Monday, October 08, 2012

White House again says no new national monuments for Montana

There will be no end-of-term national monument designations by President Barack Obama, the White House said Sunday, reaffirming earlier assurances that one isn’t planned. The assurance, the second of its kind this year, comes days after Rep. Denny Rehberg, R-Mont., raised the monument issue again Friday in a letter to Obama. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar last March said there were no plans to designate new national monuments in Montana. But that assurance from a member of Obama’s cabinet was an empty promise, Rehberg said in his Friday letter to the president. “It’s not up to the Secretary Salazar or those of the Department of Interior to designate national monuments. The only person whose promises matter is you,” Rehberg wrote. Montana’s lone congressman then asked for Obama’s “unequivocal promise not to misuse the authority granted under the Antiquities Act to designate any new national monuments in Montana at the end of your first term in office.” The White House said the president’s position and the Interior secretary’s were the same. “Secretary Salazar’s statement represents the administration’s position,” said Clark Stevens, White House assistant press secretary...more

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