Grijalva Statement on DOJ Settlement with Lumber Liquidators: “If Republicans Had Their Way, They Could Cut Any Tree They Liked”

Washington, D.C. – Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) released this statement on today’s announcement that Lumber Liquidators has pled guilty to violations of the Lacey Act. The company illegally imported Russian timber into the United States and has agreed to pay fines totaling $10 million.

“This is why we amended the Lacey Act in 2008 to include plant products. Illegal logging is one of the world’s biggest environmental and economic problems, and today’s announcement shows we are serious about stopping it.

“If House Republicans had their way, Lumber Liquidators would have been able to cut down whatever trees they liked. Too often they choose to protect well-connected corporations at the expense of our economy, our forests and hardworking Americans who respect our laws. Instead of scapegoating environmental standards and brushing off criminal activity as no big deal, Republicans should join me in thanking the Obama Administration for its strong action to ensure that cheap, stolen timber from Russia will no longer undercut prices for American hardwood.”

Among the multiple bills weakening the Lacey Act that House Republicans introduced since taking power in 2011, the 2012 FOCUS Act would have eliminated criminal penalties under the law and barred conservation law enforcement officers from carrying weapons and making arrests. That same year, Natural Resources Committee Republicans pushed through legislation that would have weakened the 2008 Lacey Act plant amendments used to bring Lumber Liquidators to justice.

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