Featured Items

-- On Monday, Feb. 15, the full committee will hold a field hearing to receive testimony on S.1689, the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks Wilderness Act. In addition to Chairman Bingaman, Sen. Tom Udall and Congressman Harry Teague, there will be three panels of witnesses: Doña Ana County Commissioner Leticia Duarte-Benavidez; Las Cruces Mayor Pro-Tem Sharon Thomas; Mesilla Mayor Michael Cadena; Gary Esslinger, treasurer and general manager, Elephant Butte Irrigation District; John Hummer, chairman, Greater Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce; Tom Cooper, owner, Cooper and Co.; Frank DuBois, consultant, People for Preserving Our Western Heritage; Nathan Small, conservation coordinator, New Mexico Wilderness Alliance; John Muñoz, board member, Hispano Chamber of Commerce de Las Cruces; Jim Bates, board member, Doña Ana County Associated Sportsmen; and Rolando Trevino, representing El Paso Natural Gas. The hearing will be in the Corbett Center of New Mexico State University, Las Cruces. (2:30 p.m.)

-- On Wednesday, Feb. 24, the full committee will meet to consider the proposed FY11 budget for the U.S. Forest Service. Witnesses to be announced on the Committee’s website. (Dirksen 366 at 10:00 a.m.)

Bonus …

The Energy Committee will reschedule the four hearings it postponed this week due to snowstorms. (Note: Cold weather in winter does not disprove global warming.) Those hearings will be on electricity market mechanisms, the SECURE Water Act, the Interior Department budget and DOE’s loan guarantee program. The Committee also will reschedule a business meeting to vote on pending nominations. Watch this space for details.

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