EXCLUSIVE: Republicans on the House Natural Resources Committee warned several federal agencies in a letter Wednesday that they were planning sweeping oversight into various climate and energy programs.
The letter — which was led by Chairman Bruce Westerman, R-Ark., and signed by every other GOP member of the committee — was sent to Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Brenda Mallory. It stated that, while they expected the agencies would cooperate with any investigations, committee Republicans were prepared to also employ compulsory processes.
“Our Republican majority will be using every available resource at our disposal to prevent waste, fraud, and abuse in the departments and offices under your purview,” Westerman and the other Republicans wrote. “We will rigorously pursue information to best guide our policy decisions, and satisfy our obligations to hold Executive Branch officials accountable for any mismanagement of their delegated authority on behalf of the American public.”
According to the letter, between 2021-2022, Republicans on the Natural Resources Committee received just 61 responses to their more than 230 collective document or information requests to the four agencies addressed in the letter. The Interior Department and its subagencies had the highest number of “outstanding and delinquent documents and information due” to the committee, they added.
“Nearly 75 percent of our requests for transparency went ignored or unsatisfactorily answered,” the lawmakers wrote.
“We intend to pull back the curtain and show how each taxpayer dollar is being spent by this administration and how this administration’s failing policies are impacting American families.”
The committee Republicans also listed a series of programs — including the administration’s 30×30 conservation initiative, the environmental harms from the migrant crisis at the southern border, environmental funding priorities, efforts to…