TO THE MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES:
As the Committee convenes today to consider the nomination of Representative Debra Haaland to be Secretary of the Interior, the Chamber encourages you to focus particular attention on the Department’s “multiple use” mandate in its management of federal lands.
Congress has explicitly directed the Department of Interior to develop energy resources on the lands and waters it oversees. However, we are greatly concerned by initial actions taken by the new Administration. Within hours of the inauguration, the Acting Secretary issued an order effectively halting the issuance of leases, lease extensions, and permits for oil and natural gas development on federal lands and waters. Subsequently, President Biden issued Executive Order 14008 which indefinitely banned leasing of federal lands and waters for oil and natural gas development.