Natural Resources Dems to Trump: Ocean Monuments Report Belongs to the American People

Washington, D.C. – Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and 19 House Democrats sent a letter to President Trump today urging him to release the Department of Commerce report sent to the White House last week on Secretary Wilbur Ross’ review of 11 National Marine Sanctuaries and Marine National Monuments. Secretary Ross promised to consider the 100,000 public comments the Department received, but has failed to inform the American people of his plans.

In the interest of bipartisanship and of ensuring diligent oversight of executive branch agencies within the Committee’s jurisdiction, Ranking Member Grijalva asked Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah) to sign on to the letter, but received no response. In June, it was reported that the Trump administration plans to ignore letters from Democrats and only “accommodate the requests of chairmen” in responding to congressional correspondence and requests for information.

The letter points to the lack of transparency around the review and report. It states in part:

This secrecy creates uncertainty for communities and businesses that depend on healthy oceans and coasts. Rather than creating another example of behind-closed-doors government bureaucracy, we respectfully ask that you provide all information relating to the Secretary’s review and report.

The full letter can be found here: http://bit.ly/2Aa8JXG.

The Trump administration has actively tried to hide information from the American people and is instead pushing to open up our public lands and oceans to oil and gas drilling. Last month more than 30 House Democrats introduced a resolution calling out the Administration for refusing to hand over a memo outlining the reasoning behind shrinking or modifying the boundaries of numerous national monuments. The resolution was voted down by Committee Republicans.

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