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Mark Barron Testifies Before Congressional Subcommittee Regarding Excessive Litigation Against Interior Department

News / June 30, 2017

On June 28, 2017, Partner Mark Barron was on Capitol Hill to testify before the House Committee on Natural Resources Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. The subcommittee was conducting a hearing titled “Examining Policy Implications of Excessive Litigation Against the Department of the Interior.”


Barron testified regarding recent litigation over energy development projects on and near federal lands, concluding that:

History demonstrates that constant litigation is a significant contributor to the Interior’s consistent failure to meet statutorily imposed obligations attendant to Interior’s management of the public lands. Now politically motivated special interest groups have stated expressly that the groups intend to increase the amount of litigation they initiate specifically to frustrate Interior’s ability to execute the new administration’s policy choices. Without structural changes, this litigation will serve as an obstacle depriving private companies and taxpayers of the important benefits of responsible commercial development on our nation’s public lands.

Other witnesses included:

  • Daniel Jorjani: Principal Deputy Solicitor and Acting Solicitor, United States Department of the Interior. 
  • Lois Schiffer: Former General Counsel, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Former Assistant Attorney General, United States Department of Justice, Environment & Natural Resources Division
  • Caroline Lobdell, Executive Director and Supervising Attorney, Western Resources Legal Center

Read Mark Barron’s testimony.

Watch a recording of the hearing.

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