Senator’s Concerned About Designation of National Monuments
President Obama has the authority to unilaterally designate new federal monuments. U.S. Senators, Mike Enzi and John Barrasso, both R-Wyo., have concerns of possible abuses of this power. They joined some of their colleagues last week in warning President Obama against using his discretionary powers to limit energy production on federal lands by designating energy rich lands as sites for monuments.
A recent report stated that environmental groups who supported your re-election are asking you to abuse your authority under the archaic American Antiquities Act of 1906 (16 U.S.C. 431-3) to designate large swaths of federal land in states as national monuments,” the senators wrote in a letter to President Obama. “This is particularly problematic because the report suggests you should do so, not for the purposes of protecting important historical areas as the Act allows, but to bolster the re-election efforts of certain political allies and to stop American energy development.
While the law does exempt Wyoming and Alaska from these designations, Enzi and Barrasso ask in the letter for the president to reject calls to use the 107-year-old law to circumvent Congress and benefit political allies.