Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Week of Nov. 13-17 - House Natural Resources Committee Dems!

Below, please find the House Natural Resources Committee Dems updates for this week.

What happened the last few weeks:

  • 10.20.23 – Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva Rep Jared Huffman sent two letters—one to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and one to the U.S. Department of Commerce and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)—responding to recent investigative reporting in The New Yorker by Ian Urbina which documents major human rights abuses perpetrated by illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing practices by the People’s Republic of China’s fishing fleet and seafood processing centers. Read press release HERE.
  • BILL INTROS 11.01.23 – Rep. Grijalva and Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) introduced two House and Senate companion bills to advance Tribal management of public lands and to improve the protection of sacred and cultural sites: The Advancing Tribal Parity on Public Land Act and the Tribal Cultural Areas Protection Act. Read about these bills HERE and HERE.
  • 11.02.23 – The Department of Energy (DOE) announced recipients for $440 million in funding for rooftop solar and battery storage in Puerto Rico. The funding will support rooftop solar and battery storage systems for 30,000-40,000 vulnerable households on the island. Read Rep. Grijalva’s statement HERE.


Resources (not endorsements):

  • Please see this FACT SHEET created by HNRC Dems regarding FY 2024 Appropriations Bill: Interior Department, Environment and Other Related Agencies. Access that HERE.


  • Interior Department Announces Nearly $22 Million for Local Parks and New Actions to Increase Outdoor Access in Urban Areas. Read more HERE.


  • Bullard Center Re-launches People of Color Environmental Groups Directory to Connect Environmental and Climate Justice Communities. Read more HERE.


  • PUBLIC INPUT - US Army Corps of Engineers seeks public comments on Dakota Access Pipeline Draft Environmental Impact Statement. More information HERE.
    • Deadline extended to December 13!
  • A call for Tribal governments!

The Environmental Law Institute and Native American Rights Fund/National Indian Law Library are actively seeking the permission of Tribes across the U.S. to include their consultation policies (or redacted versions) in a digital consultation hub. The hub is intended to assist Tribal governments and agencies in developing Tribal consultation policies and engaging in best practices for consultation. Read more HERE.


  • A call for organizations in North Central & the Southwest!

Qualified organizations are invited to apply to host and, as applicable, serve as consortium partners for the North Central and Southwest Climate Adaptation Science Centers (CASCs).

Deadline February 1, 2024 by 4pm ET.

More information HERE.

  • Grant opportunities! EJ4Climate Grant and Information Session. “Community empowerment strategies to improve resilience to extreme weather events in urban settings”. The deadline to apply is November 9th and applicants can submit proposals up to C$200,000. The call for proposals can be found HERE. To register for the online information session click HERE.


Week Ahead: Your comments in writing are welcomed about this week’s hearings. When you send your statements, they can be used to inform legislation and be submitted to the Congressional Record - please email to me or let me know if you have questions about how to do this.

Week of Nov. 13-17



Activity Type


M 13




Tu 14

Energy & Mineral Resources
































Federal Lands

























































Indian & Insular Affairs



10:15 a.m Oversight Hearing

“Examining the Biden Administration’s Abandoned Mine Lands and Active Mining Programs”


Watch here.




























10:30 a.m Legislative Hearing


  • H.R. 4235 (Kim of CA) Wildfire Technology Demonstration, Evaluation, Modernization, and Optimization Act
  • H.R. 4353 (Salinas) Civilian Conservation Center Enhancement Act of 2023
  • H.R. 4717 (Lamborn) Locally Led Restoration Act of 2023
  • H.R. 5582 (Barr) White Oak Resilience Act
  • H.R. 5665 (Stansbury) Promoting Accessibility on Federal Lands Act of 2023
  • H.R. 6070 (Amodei), To amend the Military Lands Withdrawal Act of 1999 to clarify the authority of the Department of Defense to conduct certain military activities at the Nevada test and training range, and for other purposes.
  • Discussion draft of H.R. ____ (Westerman) BIOCHAR Act






























2:15 p.m Oversight Hearing

“Opportunities and Challenges for Improving Public Safety in Tribal Communities.”



• Coal is a dying industry, putting rural and tribal communities near mines on the frontlines of the transition away from coal. Without strengthened safeguards, bankrupt coal companies will continue to shed healthcare, pension, and cleanup responsibilities, further devastating communities and the environment and shifting their financial liabilities to taxpayers.

• Federal and state regulations were not designed for the collapse of coal and have never adequately protected our environment or our health from the impacts of mining. With targeted reforms, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) at Interior can better manage the transition away from coal in a way that promotes environmental justice, protects workers, and creates long-term economic development opportunities.

• By leveraging funds secured by Natural Resources Democrats in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, we can clean up Abandoned Mine Land sites while also creating thousands of jobs for former fossil fuel workers, reducing local pollution, & restoring lands.



• This hearing is on seven bills, most of which relate to the nexus between wildfire and forest management. While none of the bills on the agenda directly undermine bedrock environmental laws, Committee Republicans will likely argue that public participation and environmental review under NEPA is the main barrier to active management, ignoring the fact that climate change is a main driver of worsening fire conditions.

•  Fortunately, Democrat-led public lands legislation and historic investments in landscape-scale preservation, conservation, restoration, and resiliency-based activities and tools continue to mitigate and respond to climate adaptation. IIJA investments include:

  • $28.1 billion across DOI bureaus and offices dedicated to restoring critical habitats, addressing drought, assisting with wildland fire management, supporting communities, and helping them prepare for extreme weather events.
  • $5.5 billion for the U.S. Forest Service and $600 million for Federal wildland firefighters.
  • IIJA also established the Wildland Fire Mitigation and Management Commission (WFMMC), which published its final report containing 148 policy recommendations to address nearly every facet of the wildfire crisis, including mitigation, management & postfire rehabilitation & recovery.

Democrats have also introduced legislation that aligns with the WFMMC report, including the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program Reauthorization Act of 2023 (Neguse) and continue to explore new opportunities to translate the report’s recommendations into action.




• The federal government has a trust responsibility to promote tribal self-government and support the general well-being of American Indians and Alaska Natives.

• There is a need for increased recruitment and retention incentives among tribal law enforcement agencies and parity for tribal law enforcement officers who enforce federal laws on tribal lands.

• Federal programs designed to support the social and economic well-being of Native Americans have been chronically underfunded for decades, which continues to leave many basic needs in the Indian Country unmet, exacerbating the observed inequities.

Until infrastructure concerns across BIA, BIE, & IHS are fully addressed, tribal communities will continue to face steep disparities in quality of education, healthcare, & public safety services.

W 15

Full Committee



































Regular Order

  • H.R. 524 (Rouzer), To amend the Coastal Barrier Resources Act to create an exemption for certain shoreline borrow sites.
  • H.R. 1667 (Westerman) Ouachita National Forest Overnight Camping Act
  • H.R. 2437 (Murphy), To revise the boundaries of a unit of the John H. Chafee Coastal Barrier Resources System in Topsail, North Carolina, and for other purposes.

Unanimous Consent

  • H.R. 1727 (Trone) Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park Commission Extension Act
  • H.R. 2882 (Ciscomani) Udall Foundation Reauthorization Act of 2023
  • H.R. 4094 (Curtis) Great Salt Lake Stewardship Act
  • H.R. 5509 (Porter) Electronic Permitting Modernization Act
  • H.R. 6070 (Amodei), To amend the Military Lands Withdrawal Act of 1999 to clarify the authority of the Department of Defense to conduct certain military activities at the Nevada test and training range, and for other purposes.


Watch here.



Th 16

Oversight & Investigations




9 a.m. Oversight Hearing

“Reporting for Duty: Examining the Impacts of the Department of the Interior’s Remote and Telework Policies.”


Watch here.

  • Republicans are—for a second time—charging us perilously close to a government shutdown that would prevent any federal agency work from happening, yet they are criticizing remote and telework policies.
  • Remote work and telework is a proven strategy to attract and retain better talent, save workers time, money, and stress by avoiding unnecessary commutes, and provide agency resilience during extreme weather events.
  • The agencies are the best ones to decide which employees should be allowed to work remotely. A one-size-fits-all approach for the entire federal government dictated by Members of Congress, as suggested by Republicans’ SHOW UP Act, will make agencies less effective, less efficient, and less productive with taxpayer funds




F 17


Adverting a government shut down?


Hope this has been helpful. Let me know if you have any questions – we are here!


Marilyn Zepeda Salazar (Mar)

Director of Public Engagement

U.S. House Natural Resources Committee Democrats

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