Feb 25 2009
U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala) joined Senators David Vitter (R-La.) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Tex.) in introducing the National Monuments Act of 2009, a bill requiring congressional approval of proposed national monuments before any new national monument can be finalized. The bill makes several changes to the Antiquities Act of 1906, a law that provides the president with unilateral authority to declare national monuments.
Senator Shelby’s statement is as follows:
“The Antiquities Act of 1906 gave the President unilateral authority to declare a national monument. Initially, this authority was used sparingly and appropriately to set aside and preserve natural and historic treasures. Recently, however, Presidents have expanded the interpretation and execution of this authority beyond reasonable bounds.
“Particularly problematic is the unilateral designation of marine monuments, which can impede energy exploration and production, and commerce. Given our current economic crisis and energy demands, it is essential that we facilitate rather than hinder these activities. For that reason, I am proud to join Senators Vitter and Hutchison in introducing the ‘National Monuments Act of 2009.’ This legislation would require Congressional review and approval prior to designation of a national monument. It is time that we realign this authority to meet both its original intent and our current challenges.”