Rep. Peter DeFazio Blasts Request to Overturn Protections for Critical Watershed
WASHINGTON—Representative Peter DeFazio (OR-04) today released the following statement in response to House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop’s request to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to review all mineral withdrawals ordered by the Obama administration, including the withdrawal on the Smith River and the headwaters of Hunter Creek and Pistol River.
“This is an egregious overstep by Washington, driven by special interests,” said Rep. DeFazio. “The prohibition on mining on the Smith River and the headwaters of Hunter Creek and Pistol River has broad, overwhelming support from thousands of residents of southwest Oregon, local governments, businesses and community leaders. Re-opening this area to allow a foreign company to strip mine our public lands without paying American taxpayers hardly any royalties would devastate surrounding economies and threaten critical drinking water sources. This withdrawal has been discussed, debated and endorsed by the surrounding communities and supported by federal agencies. Chairman Bishop and the Trump administration need to respect the will of southwest Oregon.”
Rep. DeFazio has repeatedly introduced the Southwestern Oregon Watershed and Salmon Protection Act to protect this vital community resource. He has called on Chairman Bishop multiple times to hold a hearing on the matter, but Chairman Bishop has refused requests to take up the bill in his committee.
For Chairman Bishop’s letter to Secretaries Zinke and Perdue, click here.
For Rep. DeFazio’s request for a hearing on the Southwestern Oregon Watershed and Salmon Protection Act, click here.
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