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 6/15/05

Energy Subcommittee to Study
Effects of Wildlands Project Land Grab

Washington, DC -The Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold an oversight hearing on The Impact of Environmental Regulations on Energy and Mineral Development: The Wildlands Project Thurs., June 16 at 10:00 a.m. in Room 1334 Longworth House Office Building. 

The Wildlands Project, in conjunction with multiple local or national environmental organizations, seeks to reestablish wilderness designations for approximately 50 percent of North America with the U.S. west as a major target.  The groups pursuing the Wildlands Project exploit various laws or file lawsuits against federal agencies to block energy development projects.

"We can protect our habitat and wildlife without locking up millions upon millions of acres from environmentally responsible energy and mineral development," said subcommittee Chairman Jim Gibbons (R-NV).  "Our nation needs to access domestic sources of energy to reduce energy costs, create jobs, bolster national security, and support our economy.  We simply can not remain so reliant on foreign oil and minerals."

A number of major organizations list themselves as official affiliates of the Wildlands Project, while some federal and state land and resource management personnel also participate in the planning and implementation of local and regional projects.  The hearing will focus on their tactics for restricting energy production and the consequences it has on U.S. energy supplies.

"Outdated regulations have locked away energy-rich lands in the U.S., which has certainly been a factor in the rise of our foreign dependence," said Resources Committee Chairman Richard W. Pombo (R-CA).  "It is critical for us to reverse this trend.  With today's advanced technologies, we can and should increase our domestic energy supplies and protect the environment at the same time."

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