WASHINGTON — Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) wants to know who’s really behind the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to consider new regulations on drilling in wildlife refuges.
Fish and Wildlife hasn’t actually proposed any new regulations, but it accepted public comments earlier this year on how the agency might update the rules governing oil and gas development in lands and waters that are part of the National Wildlife Refuge System. The agency estimates that more than 200 refuges have oil and gas operations, with at least 1,600 active wells.
Young isn’t happy about the possibility of new rules. “The whole, god-darned, blessed Fish and Wildlife department has got this idea again they’re God, and Congress doesn’t count,” Young said at a Natural Resources subcommittee hearing on Tuesday. “This is America — not a bunch of dictators dictating through agencies that are taking away the rights as individuals that Congress said they had.”