Washington, D.C. – Today, outgoing Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) was elected to continue his tenure as top Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee in the position of ranking member in the 118th Congress. Prior to becoming chair when Democrats won the House majority in 2018, Chair Grijalva had served as ranking member since 2014 and had been a member of the Committee since coming to Congress in 2003.
During his chairmanship, Chair Grijalva has elevated not only the profile of the Natural Resources Committee, but has also brought climate action, environmental justice, Indigenous affairs, and the decolonization of U.S. Territories to the forefront of the national political stage. Some of the Committee’s most celebrated accomplishments under Chair Grijalva’s leadership include:
- Passing the Great American Outdoors Act into law, which permanently authorized the widely popular Land and Water Conservation Fund.
- Championing major ocean and climate action wins through passage of major legislation, like the Inflation Reduction Act, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and the National Defense Authorization Act.
- Passing the Environmental Justice For All Act, the most comprehensive environmental justice legislation in history, through the Committee.
- Holding the first congressional hearings in history on issues critical to Indian Country, including Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Indian Boarding Schools, tribal co-management of public lands, and his tribal consultation bill, the RESPECT Act.
- Passing the Puerto Rico Status Act, which will grant the people of Puerto Rico the opportunity to determine their own political status future, through the House.
- Leading the defeat of the “Dirty Deal,” which intended to attach a permitting policy rider curtailing public input to must-pass legislation.
On being elected as Ranking Member for the 118th Congress, Chair Grijalva said:
“As I transition into the position of ranking member, I know that my job is no less important than it has been as chair. Republicans have already shown their hand on how they plan to use these next two years—ignore the climate crisis and give polluting industries a free pass to steamroll vulnerable communities, bypass environmental and public health protections, and stick American taxpayers with their cleanup bills.
This is not the future the American people want and it’s not one that younger generations deserve to inherit. I intend to do everything in my power as ranking member to make sure that this change in House control doesn’t take us backwards in the historic progress we’ve made in fighting climate change and building a cleaner, more just environmental future for everyone.”
Media Contact: Lindsay Gressard
202-225-6065 | cell: 202-740-4715
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