Press Releases


Grijalva Criticizes the Return of “Sight-Unseen” Leasing Policies

Washington, D.C. - The Department of the Interior (DOI) released a report today that stated it will repeal the 2010 Bureau of Land Management (BLM) onshore oil and gas leasing reforms and stop developing Master Leasing Plans. Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva condemned the release of the Final Report: Review of the Department of the Interior Actions that Potentially Burden Domestic Energy, and points out that Leasing reforms and Master Leasing Plans are necessary to guarantee a safe land ma… Continue Reading


Grijalva: Trump Trying to Shrink Utah National Monuments is Illegal and Unpopular – and Republicans Admit It

Washington, D.C. - Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) released the following statement on today's news that President Trump will sign an order next week unilaterally attempting to shrink Utah's Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and Bears Ears National Monument. Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah), who has pressured President Trump for months to shrink both sites, recently introduced a bill that creates presidential authority to shrink or eliminate monuments - an admission that n… Continue Reading


Top Democrats Demand IG Investigation into Whitefish Energy No-Bid Contract in Puerto Rico

Washington, D.C.-Today Ranking Member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Ranking Member of the House Committee on Natural Resources Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) sent a letter to U.S. Department of Homeland Security Inspector General (IG) John Roth requesting a comprehensive audit and investigation of a $300 million no-bid contract between the Puerto Rico Electric Power Association (PREPA) and Whitefish Energy Holdings, LLC. "At the time PREPA … Continue Reading


Committee Dems Respond to Report that Threatens Fishermen, Declares Open Season on Marine Mammals and Endangered Species

Washington, D.C. - Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Committee Democrats today slammed a new Department of Commerce report issued under Executive Order 13783, which recommends unsupportable and dangerous changes to the way we manage our oceans. Among other moves, the report calls for weakening already inadequate consultation requirements for Essential Fish Habitat under the Magnuson-Stevens Act; requiring expensive and time-consuming cost-benefit analyses that would bias feder… Continue Reading


Grijalva and Pingree: Commerce, Justice Departments Must Take Stronger Enforcement Actions against ‘Codfather’ to Deter Pirate Fishing

Washington, D.C. - Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) sent a letter today to Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and Department of Justice (DOJ) Attorney General Jeff Sessions, urging them to penalize Carlos Rafael - the notorious 'Codfather' of New Bedford, Mass. - for violations of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA). While Rafael pled guilty and was sentenced for violations of the Lacey Act, he has not been… Continue Reading


Ahead of Sage-Grouse Hearing Even Republicans Don’t Want, Grijalva Highlights Lack of Military or Local Demand for “Reform”

Washington, D.C. - Ahead of Wednesday's hearing on the Republican effort to tear up the multi-state conservation plan for greater sage-grouse habitat - a negotiated product meant to forestall the bird's listing through the Endangered Species Act - Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) questioned in whose interests Republicans are acting, given the lack of demand from the military branches they claim to be helping or from Western states that support the conservation plan. John Tubbs, … Continue Reading


Ranking Member Grijalva Statement on Whitefish Contract and Reconstruction Efforts in Puerto Rico

Washington, D.C. - Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) released the following statement today on the widely reported reconstruction contract awarded to Whitefish Energy Holdings, a small company based in Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's home town of Whitefish, Mont. "Congress needs to understand why the Whitefish contract was awarded and whether other, more cost-effective options were available. We also need to know why the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Army Corp of Engin… Continue Reading


Ranking Member Grijalva Statement on Committee Democrats’ Meeting With Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke

Washington, D.C. - Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) released the following statement today on Committee Democrats' meeting this afternoon with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. "It's not clear to me why this meeting needed to be shrouded in secrecy. The Interior Department under this administration has been characterized by a troubling lack of transparency and a strange tendency to treat the Interior Department like it's the Pentagon. Democrats wanted to talk about things like Secr… Continue Reading


Grijalva Condemns Trump Administration Plan to Hike Entrance Fees at 17 National Parks After Proposing Massive Cuts to NPS Budget

Washington, D.C. - House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) criticized today's National Park Service announcement regarding increased entrance fees at seventeen highly-visited parks. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke claims the fee hikes are necessary to address the deferred maintenance backlog, but Grijalva points out that the Trump administration's FY2018 budget proposed a 12.9% cut to NPS funding. If the Trump administration is serious about updating park… Continue Reading


Countering Administration Silence, Lowenthal-Grijalva Bill Mandates Disclosure on Industry Hoarding of Unused Permits to Drill

Washington, D.C. - In response to the recent announcement that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will no longer publish its longstanding annual report on the number of approved but unused oil and gas drilling permits on public land - a key indicator that contradicts industry claims of being unable to get permits in a timely manner - Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.) introduced a bill today requiring the Interior Secretary to continue submitting unused permit data to Congress each year and to limi… Continue Reading


Gulf of Mexico: Ranking Member Grijalva Asks GAO to Investigate Trump Administration’s Latest Taxpayer Rip-off

Washington, D.C. - Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) today requested a Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigation of how much public revenue may have been lost due to changes in the way the Interior Department (DOI) leases parcels for oil extraction in the Gulf of Mexico. The request comes shortly after DOI increased the size and frequency of its lease sales as part of the 2017-2022 oil and gas leasing program. GAO found in 1985 that DOI's move from a parcel nomination … Continue Reading


Ranking Member Grijalva Calls for Accounting of Unallocated Research Money, Explanation of Canceled Coal Study in Letter to Zinke

Washington, D.C. - Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) today called on Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to explain the fate of approximately $400,000 in funding for a recently canceled study on the public health impacts of mountaintop removal mining, a destructive coal extraction process known to harm residents of Appalachian states. Grijalva points out in today's letter, available at, that Trump administration officials have repeatedly refused to answer his and h… Continue Reading


Grijalva, McEachin: Fixing National Park Service Sexual Harassment Means Changing the Culture – and Congress Needs to Step Up

Washington, D.C. - Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Rep. Donald McEachin - the ranking member of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee who requested a congressional hearing on sexual harassment at the National Park Service (NPS) in June - released the following statement on today's NPS survey in which 38 percent of employees report experiencing some form of sexual harassment. "Dumping this news on a Friday afternoon, without any clear next steps, suggests this admini… Continue Reading


Six Dem Ranking Members to GOP Leaders: Allow Our Committees to Consider Border Wall Bill, Don’t Jam it Through the House

Washington, D.C. - The ranking members of six House committees today sent a letter to their Republican counterparts and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan urging them to allow H.R. 3548 - the Republican bill authorizing the costly, destructive expansion of the border wall - to be considered for amendment in each of their respective committees before the bill goes to the full House for consideration. Moving the bill through each committee with jurisdiction, the authors note, would be the only way to … Continue Reading


Democrats Force Committee Markup on Secretary Zinke’s Secret National Monument Review Process

Washington, D.C. - Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and 30 House Democrats have set the agenda for today's 4:00 p.m. ET markup by forcing Committee Republicans to consider Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's "review" of our national monuments. Secretary Zinke's lack of transparency in the monument review process moved Democrats to introduce a House resolution (H.Res. 555) last week - a tactic used by the Minority to demand information from the Trump administration - to obtain the fin… Continue Reading


Grijalva: Secretary Zinke Shouldn’t Pass Off His Support for Confederate Monuments as Deference to Native American Public Opinion

Washington, D.C. - Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) released the following statement on Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's recent comment that he supports keeping up statues to prominent Confederate political and military figures because taking them down would upset "native Indians." "If Secretary Zinke thinks monuments to slave-owning Confederate generals are important to Native American culture, he's just as out of touch as the president. Books, museums and oral histories educate… Continue Reading


Grijalva: Deepwater Horizon Showed Why We Need Strong Offshore Drilling Enforcement – GOP Shouldn’t Weaken It Now

Washington, D.C. - Ahead of tomorrow's 2:00 p.m. Eastern hearing on a Republican proposal to study recombining the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), among other measures, Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) highlighted the long track record of mishaps, ethical lapses, and lack of enforcement that led to the agencies' split in 2010 and the continued need for an agency dedicated to a clear safety mission. Recombining BO… Continue Reading


Ranking Member Grijalva and 25 House Democrats Demand Details on Secretary Zinke’s Monument Review Process

Washington, D.C. - Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and 25 House Democratic cosponsors are using a House resolution (H.Res. 555) to force the Trump administration to be more transparent about its review of national monuments. The Democrats introduced the resolution of inquiry (ROI) today, a House resolution that requires the administration to provide Congress a final version of the secret monuments report and all supporting documents related to the executive order President Trump… Continue Reading


Grijalva, Conservation Leaders Call on GOP to Drop “Obsessive” Attacks on Endangered Species Act Ahead of Wednesday Markup

Washington, D.C. - Ahead of a Wednesday markup at 10:00 a.m. featuring five bad bills weakening the Endangered Species Act (ESA), among other measures under consideration, Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and national conservation leaders called on Republicans to drop their constant attacks on the law and attend to more pressing business, including the ongoing humanitarian disaster in Puerto Rico and the need to reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Despite now having… Continue Reading


Ranking Member Grijalva Introduces a Bill that Permanently Protects the Grizzly Bear & Honors Tribal Sovereignty Agreements

Washington, D.C. - To respond to the Department of the Interior's controversial decision to remove endangered species protections for grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) introduced the Tribal Heritage and Grizzly Bear Protection Act (H.R. 3894) at a press conference today surrounded by Tribal leaders and environmentalists. This bill would ensure that grizzly bears are permanently protected for their ecological and cultural value an… Continue Reading

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