Sunday, January 19, 2014

Jewell to Hastings: Document requests costing taxpayers

Document requests from the House Natural Resources Committee have saddled the Interior Department with thousands of hours of work, stalling the approval of oil and gas wells and infrastructure projects, Secretary Sally Jewell said. On the eve of a committee meeting to authorize new subpoenas into Interior activities, Jewell accused Natural Resources Chairman Doc Hastings (R-Wash.) of prying beyond his constitutional limits and wasting tax dollars. "I hope that we can work together on genuine reforms that will improve the operation of the department," Jewell wrote in a letter to Hastings last night. "However, the document requests that we received from your committee in 2013 appear overly broad to address your legitimate oversight interests and have significantly impacted the department's ability to accomplish its core mission for the American people." Jewell said she spoke with Hastings on Tuesday night about his document requests and that she wants to maintain a positive line of communication. But she warned that Interior last year received at least 27 letters from the committee related to document requests on 14 topics. The agency "conservatively estimates" it spent more than 19,000 staff hours and nearly $1.5 million in taxpayer money responding to those requests, Jewell said...more

This is an agency that was allocated $3 billion in "stimulus" funds and they are complaining about spending  $1.5 million?

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