As Congressman Rob Bishop prepares to speak before the oil and gas industry’s Uintah Basin Energy Summit today, serious questions are being raised about the influence contributions from the oil and gas industry have had over his Public Lands Initiative—a bill he intends to be an alternative to Presidential monument designation in the Bears Ears region of southern Utah.
Executive Director of Western Values Project Chris Saeger released the following statement:
“Congressman Bishop has taken over $100,000 from oil and gas interests in this election cycle alone, including from no less than 7 of the sponsors or attendees of this industry Summit, so it’s no surprise that he’s choosing to cozy up to them this week. What’s utterly disappointing is that this comes on the heels of his recent town halls where he continually belittled, argued with and otherwise discounted the serious concerns from folks in his district about his beleaguered PLI. There should be no doubt about who the real winners in his PLI will be: The big oil companies that are bankrolling him and this event, not the people in the Bears Ears area calling for Presidential protections.”
Congressman Bishop has already admitted that the energy industry is dictating the terms of his PLI.
A Uintah Basin Standard reporter recently asked Bishop about why the PLI lacks an “energy zone.” Bishop responded that industry thought such zones would not “give them as much as it could” if they handed permitting to the state. But, he said, he wants to give them one more opportunity to re-write the bill. “I want to talk to them about it one more time,” he said.
Congressman Bishop has ignored his constituents’ concerns about the PLI:
At recent town halls held across his district, Congressman Bishop argued with opponents to his PLI and misstated the facts in response to their concerns: