Democratic News

Oct 31 2001

Safeguarding Energy Infrastructure

Statement by Chairman Jeff Bingaman

The Senate, by unanimous consent on Tuesday, approved legislation (HR 2925) to strengthen the ability for law enforcement officials to protect dams and other Bureau of Reclamation facilities across the West, and increase the penalties for those who threaten such facilities. The House passed the bill on Oct. 23. The legislation was proposed by the Administration and introduced by request by Energy Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-NM). “I am gratified that our Committee provided leadership in making sure that this legislation was passed quickly. I hope that as the Senate moves closer to establishing a national energy policy, that willingness to come together to address tough energy challenges will continue. “The unanimous passage of this bill exemplifies how the Congress and the Administration are partnering to protect our nation’s critical energy infrastructure – in this instance, the dams, powerplants, canals and other facilities run by the Bureau of Reclamation. Just as the Sept. 11 attacks refocused attention on the need to strengthen the ability of law enforcement to protect these resources, the Senate’s collaborative approach to dealing with this important legislation illustrates again how energy issues are not partisan.” # # #