Lawmaker Wants To Find Out Who Leaked A Trump Admin Report On National Monuments

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Tim Pearce Energy Reporter
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GOP Rep. Rob Bishop of Utah is calling for an investigation after a Department of the Interior report on national monuments was leaked to The Washington Post Sunday.

Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke conducted a review from April to August of 22 national monuments designated under the Antiquities Act. After completing the review, he submitted a report to the White House recommending changes to some of the designations to promote “traditional” use of the land, according to the leaked draft of the report obtained by WaPo.

“The fact this was leaked is troubling and merits an immediate and thorough investigation,” Bishop said in a statement to reporters Monday. “The President should have the time to evaluate the Secretary’s review and develop actions without the encumbrance of incomplete information being leaked to the press.”

Since the report’s leak, environmental groups have renewed their threat of lawsuits should President Donald Trump attempt to roll back any national monuments.

“Zinke and Trump are displaying a dismal disdain for these magnificent public lands and the millions of people who demanded they remain protected,” Center for Biological Diversity public lands director Randi Spivak said in a statement. “Trump has no authority to make any of the changes that Zinke’s recommending. If he tries to, we’ll see him in court.”

Bishop, who also chairs the House Committee on Natural Resources, discredited the motivations of likely litigants in a recent radio interview.

“We live in a society where there are all sorts of groups out there that make a whole lot of money by suing the government. I have no doubt that there will be lawsuits coming,” Bishop told Utah radio host Doug Wright. “But it does bring into account why the Antiquities Act must be reformed so that it becomes logical. A one sentence statement by a president is not sacrosanct.”

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