To: Interested Parties
From: Chris Marshall, Research Manager for Energy and Environment, Accountable.US 

Re: Opposition to National Monuments motivated by anti-government sentiments 

On Wednesday the MAGA-led House Natural Resources will hear a bill to curb the creation of new National Monuments through the Antiquities Act. In just the few years of his Presidency, Joe Biden has used this authority to protect iconic historic sites such as the Emmit Till and Mamie Till-Mobley National monument in Mississippi and Illinois and the Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni – Ancestral Footprints of the Grand Canyon National Monument in Arizona. 

Just as these declarations have come in response to calls from indigenous and communities of color, they have generated fierce backlash from some of the most extreme members of Congress, which you can expect to continue during this hearing. The co-sponsors of this bill have collectively taken more than $3 million from the oil and gas industry and hold extreme and undemocratic positions: 

  • Cliff Bentz backed a pardon of the anti-government extremists who occupied federal property in support of the Bundy family.
  • Matt Rosendale supports transferring federal lands to states based on his false belief that it is unconstitutional.
  • Harriet Hageman likened Biden Administration conservation policies to ”controlling people through controlling the food supply.”
    Eli Crane advanced a theory that alleges “‘a group of world leaders orchestrated the pandemic to take control of the global economy.’”

Here’s the full download.

Some Of Congress’s Most Egregious MAGA Conspiracy Theorists And Oil-Backed Members Are Planning To Gut The Antiquities Act. 

19 Members Of Congress Have Sponsored A Bill That Would Eviscerate Theodore Roosevelt’s Landmark Law That Has Been Used To Protect Iconic Landscapes All Over The United States. 

Rep. Mariannette Miller Meeks And 18 Cosponsors Have Introduced Legislation That Would Seriously Weaken The Antiquities Act. “…To amend the Antiquities Act to increase congressional oversight with respect to the designation of national monuments, and for other purposes.” [Congress.Gov, 09/14/23

  • The Bill Would Require Congress To Approve National Monument Declarations, Essentially Defeating The Purpose Of The Antiquities Act. “The legislation would require approval from Congress when a president declares a national monument within six months or before the end of the last session of Congress it was introduced, whichever comes first, according to Miller-Meeks’ office. If the declaration does not receive approval from Congress, the same declaration cannot be made for 25 years.” [Iowa Capital Dispatch, 09/15/23]

The Antiquities Act Is A Popular Tool That Has Been Used To Protect Important Landscapes And Historical Sites. “National monument designations are one way the president is securing locally led landscape protection wins. For more than a century, the Antiquities Act of 1906 has been a popular bipartisan tool for presidents to expeditiously protect lands with scientific or historical significance. It has been used to safeguard some of the country’s most iconic sites, including Bears Ears, Muir Woods, and Stonewall national monuments. Even the Grand Canyon, Arches and Canyonlands, and Olympic national parks started as national monument designations.” [Center for American Progress, 12/20/23]

The Members Of Congress Supporting A Bill To Eviscerate The Antiquities Act Have Collectively Taken More Than $3 Million In Campaign Contributions From The Oil And Gas Industry. 

An Analysis Of Data From The Center For Responsive Politics Shows That The Career Sum Total Of Oil and Gas Contributions For The 19 Members Of Congress Supporting H.R. 5499 Is $3,109,060. 


The List Of Cosigners On H.R. 5499 Includes Members Of Congress Who Have Shared Extreme Conspiracy Theories About Conservation And Other Topics. 

Andy Biggs Is Among Congress’s Most Prominent And Vocal Election Deniers, And Has Even Been Criticized By Republican Colleagues Of Being A Leader Of “‘Grifters And Performance Artists.’’”
Andy Biggs Is Stands Out “Even Among The Most Vocal Election Deniers” In Congress. “That is what is happening this week. The state’s GOP leaders invited one of the country’s most prominent election deniers, Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona, to give the keynote address at the party’s annual fundraising dinner, which occurs a day before the state party assembly on Saturday. The message is unavoidable: Election denial is a value that party leadership celebrates and promotes. Even among the most vocal election deniers in Congress, Biggs stands out. He was until recently the head of the House Freedom Caucus, whose members, including Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado, are among the Republican Party’s most politically extreme.” [Colorado Newsline, 04/07/22]

  • Even Andy Biggs’s Republican Colleagues Say Biggs Is A Leader Of “‘Grifters’” And “‘Performance Artists’” “Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Tex.) called out members of the House’s conservative Freedom Caucus, decrying them as “grifters” and “performance artists” who failed to support much of President Donald Trump’s agenda when he was in office and Republicans controlled Congress. […] The Freedom Caucus was formed in 2015 by a group of conservative Republicans frustrated with their party leaders for making legislative compromises with Democrats and President Barack Obama. The caucus is currently led by Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), who will be replaced as chairman by Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) next month.” [Washington Post, 12/07/21]

Cliff Bentz Supported Pardoning The Anti-Government Extremists And Arsonists Who Instigated Occupation Of Malheur Wildlife Refuge

Cliff Bentz Commended The Pardons Of Oregon Ranchers And Arsonists Who Instigated The Bundy Land Takeover. “U.S. Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) encouraged Trump to grant the Hammonds clemency and state Sen. Cliff Bentz (R-Ontario), in whose district the Hammonds lived, celebrated the president’s decision in a statement today. “I also want to thank Congressman Greg Walden for his tireless efforts in support of these pardons,” Bentz said. “Based upon my conversations with several of those involved I am relatively certain that without the Congressman’s meaningful involvement this would not have happened.”” [Willamette Week, 07/10/18]

Matt Rosendale Voiced Repeated Support For Transferring Federal Lands To The States, Saying He Believed Federal Land-Owning Agencies Like BLM And USFS Land Are Not Supported By The Constitution.

Matt Rosendale Said The Federal Government Should Transfer Land To The States Because Federal Land-Owning Agencies Including USFS And BLM Are Not Backed By The Constitution. “Republican U.S. House candidate Matt Rosendale is proposing that the federal government transfer Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management lands in Montana to the state to manage and control. Federal lands make up 35 percent of Montana. “The U.S. Constitution clearly defines the purpose for the federal government to retain land for post offices, batteries and things like that,” Rosendale said. “There is no call in the Constitution for the federal government to own national forests or BLM land and just to manage those additional lands.” [Billings Gazette, 04/18/14]

Harriet Hageman Likened Biden Administration Conservation Policies To Dictators Starving And Killing Their People, Saying “It’s About Controlling People Through Controlling The Food Supply.”

Hageman Likened 30×30 And The Green New Deal To African Dictators Starving People To Stay In Power, Alleging “It’s About Controlling People Through Controlling The Food Supply”. “In Sudan, because of the Civil War starting in the 80s and 90s they urbanized all their people and they took them off the land and they put them in refugee camps. And over 90 percent of the food that is consumed in Sudan is imported. So anytime their dictator needed to control the masses and needed to make sure that there would be no uprising, he just starves his people. You can look at Somalia, you can look at the Congo, you can look at country after country after country after country, and what they’ve done is they control their people with food. They control their people by limiting the food supply. That’s what 30 by 30 is about. That’s what the Green New Deal is about. That’s what all of this is about. From the Netherlands trying to reduce their ag production by 30 percent. It’s about controlling people through controlling the food supply. ” [Youtube, R-CALF, 22:17 – 23:02, 09/01/22]

Eli Crane Shared An Article On Facebook Promoting A Conspiracy Theory Aledging That “‘A Group Of World Leaders Orchestrated The Pandemic To Take Control Of The Global Economy.’”

Eli Crane Shared An Article On Facebook Titled, “The Great Reset Is Not A Conspiracy Theory.” Eli Crane commented, “After months of research I started to find a couple different,  organizations and individuals that seemed ‘out there’ but who continued to support their arguments with evidence that I could go and corroborate myself that I found shocking but made overall sense when added to what I was seeing with my own eyes. Finally,  a mainstream outlet,  has published ‘some’ of the it.  I’ll let you read it yourself below but others need to realize that there are major pieces being maneuvered on the global board right now,  and it’s goal is not for our safety or prosperity.” [Eli Crane on Facebook, 11/20/20

BBC: The Great Reset Was A “Baseless Conspiracy Theory” Which Claimed “‘A Group Of World Leaders Orchestrated The Pandemic To Take Control Of The Global Economy.’” “We start with the revival of the baseless conspiracy theory, known as the ‘Great Reset’, which claims a group of world leaders orchestrated the pandemic to take control of the global economy. The conspiracy theory has its origins in a genuine plan entitled ‘The Great Reset’, drawn up by the World Economic Forum (WEF), the organisers of an annual conference for high-profile figures from politics and business. The plan explores how countries might recover from the economic damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic.” [BBC, Reality Check, 11/22/20]

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