Barrasso Opening Statement at Nominations Hearing

September 21, 2021

Click here to watch Ranking Member Barrasso’s remarks.  

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (ENR), delivered the following remarks at a nominations hearing. 

The hearing featured testimony from Ms. Laura Daniel-Davis, nominee to be assistant secretary of Land and Minerals Management at the Department of the Interior; Ms. Camille C. Touton, nominee to be commissioner of Reclamation; and Ms. Sara C. Bronin, nominee to be chairman of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. 

For more information on witness testimony click here. 

Senator Barrasso’s remarks: 

“I would like to welcome Laura Daniel-Davis, Camille Calimlim Touton, and Sara Bronin, to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.   

“It is nice to see senators from Connecticut who are here to do introductions as well. 

“Congratulations to each of you on your nominations.

“Ms. Daniel-Davis has a long history working at Interior. 

“She previously served at Interior as chief of staff for Secretaries Ken Salazar and Sally Jewell, and in many other roles. 

“She currently serves as principal deputy assistant secretary of the Interior for Lands and Mineral Management.

“Under Daniel-Davis’ supervision, Interior imposed an oil and gas leasing moratorium on federal lands. 

“She has rescinded previously granted grazing permits. 

“In March, she directed all Interior agencies handling energy and land management decisions to go through her office for approval. 

“The action undermines energy projects on federal lands. 

“It creates unnecessary bureaucracy and backlogs.

“It causes delays and uncertainty. 

“It causes significant costs and headaches. 

“We need someone in this important role who understands and supports the need for U.S. energy security. 

“It is all the more critical based on the actions House Democrats are taking on the $3.5 trillion reckless tax and spending blowout. 

“The House Natural Resources Committee just passed legislation that will effectively kill oil, natural gas, coal and hardrock mineral production on federal lands and in federal waters. 

“If enacted, it would surrender America’s energy independence and make us dependent on OPEC, on Russia, and on China. 

“It will cost thousands of U.S. jobs and devastate communities in New Mexico, Wyoming, Louisiana, Nevada, Colorado, and Montana.  

“We need leadership at the Department of the Interior that recognizes the importance to our international competitiveness of maintaining robust energy and mineral development on federal lands and waters. 

“Ms. Touton has been nominated to serve as commissioner of Reclamation at the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation. 

“She has experience working at Interior on issues relating to the Bureau of Reclamation, including as deputy commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation since January and as deputy assistant secretary for Water and Science during the Obama administration.

“For much of her career, she has served on congressional staffs, including as Democratic professional staff for Senator Cantwell who was ranking member of this committee at the time. 

“In Wyoming and across the West, there is no more important resource than water. 

“Our agriculture, industry, cities, forests, and wildlife, all depend on strong and healthy watersheds. 

“This committee needs a commissioner who will work with members of both parties to strengthen desperately needed western water infrastructure, to improve Interior’s management of water resources, and to listen to state and local officials. 

“I think Ms. Touton is up to the job. 

“Lastly, Ms. Bronin has been nominated to serve as chairman of the advisory council on historic preservation. 

“If confirmed, she will be charged with ensuring that historic preservation needs are balanced with federal project requirements. 

“She will also make recommendations regarding historic preservation to the president, to Congress, and to heads of other federal agencies. 

“She currently serves as a professor of city and regional planning at Cornell University’s College of Architecture, Art, and Planning, and as a professor at Cornell Law School. 

“She has experience in the historic preservation field, including serving as an advisor to the national trust for historic preservation. 

“I am interested in hearing more about her views on the role of the council in advising others on the designation, preservation, and rehabilitation of historic sites. 

“I look forward to hearing her explain her vision for the council. 

“Congratulations again to each of the nominees. 

“I look forward to hearing more about your qualifications, your policy views, and your plans for ensuring the work of these agencies benefit all Americans, including those in my home state of Wyoming.”