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Monday, May 21, 2012

Obama's Department of the Interior ignores the Congress too.

Obama Administration's Department of Justice is contemning Congressional subpoenas, and continues cover up of the Administration's criminal involvement in the murder of an American border agent.  Not to be outdone in contempt of Congress, the Obama Administration's Department of the Interior (DOI) is refusing even to acknowledge Congressional subpoena.

In follow-up, the House Natural Resources Committee today issued a second subpoena to the Obama DOI for additional information relating to the investigation into the Obama Administration’s rewrite of the Stream Buffer Zone Rule (Rule) that began over a year ago.

The second subpoena follows after DOI has failed to comply with the April 5th subpoena for documents sent as part of a more than yearlong investigation into the Obama Administration’s rewrite of coal regulations that could cost thousands of jobs, negatively impact the economies of 22 states and significantly harm American energy production.

In issuing today’s subpoena, Chairman Doc Hastings (R-WA) wrote a letter to Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. Click here to read the full letter.

“The [April 5] subpoena was narrowly crafted and asked for specific documents and recordings. The expectation was that the subpoenaed material would be readily producible by the Department. It is unfortunate that the Department has chosen not to comply with this straightforward request. 

Department officials and political appointees are not allowed to shield their communications from public scrutiny on the basis that the information may prove embarrassing, especially where, as here, there are very serious questions about how and why this administrative action was initiated and is to be completed on a hastened schedule.   

The fact that an agency may be in the process of improperly imposing new regulations, eliminating thousands of jobs, and raising energy costs on the American people, is absolutely not a shield against transparency and Congressional oversight. Absent a valid claim of Executive Privilege for these documents, the Department has a duty to fully and promptly comply with both of these duly authorized and issued subpoenas and must do so by May 24, 2012. I am prepared to initiate further action, should the Department continue to refuse to comply.

Today’s subpoena to the Department seeks communications within OSM and the Department regarding the changes to the Stream Buffer Zone Rule, the decisions to expand the scope of the re-write, and the cost this rewrite will have on the American people and the economy. This subpoena represents a broader, more comprehensive set of information and documents that will answer questions the Department has refused to answer for more than a year.

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