WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (ENR) passed four pieces of legislation that include key Wyoming priorities. They are:
- An amendment to S. 2130, the Reinvesting In Shoreline Economies and Ecosystems (RISEE) Act;
- An amendment to S. 2693, the Salton Sea Projects Improvements Act;
- H.R. 6434, the Japanese American World War II History Network Act; and
- An amendment to H.R. 1931, the Japanese American Confinement Education Act.
U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), ranking member of ENR, highlighted what each piece of legislation intends to accomplish.
On his amendment to S. 2130, the RISEE Act:
“Mr. Chairman, thank you for working with Senators Cassidy, Hyde-Smith, Murkowski, and me on this amendment.
“I’m grateful that it eliminates an unnecessary and punitive fee that the Department of the Interior has imposed on Wyoming and other western states, which produce energy and minerals on federal lands within their borders.
“Since 2007, this fee has diverted hundreds of millions of dollars away from K through 12 public education and other essential services in Wyoming.
“Last fiscal year alone, it cost Wyoming an estimated $14 million.
“This fee has also diverted hundreds of millions of dollars away from public services in New Mexico, North Dakota, Colorado, Utah, and Montana.
“This is an important step to restoring to the people of the West what rightfully belongs to them.”
On his amendment to S. 2693, the Salton Sea Projects Improvements Act:
“The package contains legislation to help farmers, ranchers, and rural communities in the West address the effects of drought.
“Wyoming, and the other Colorado River Basin States, are facing severe drought.
“In response, the Upper Basin states have developed a 5 Point Plan.
“A key provision of that plan is reauthorization of the System Conservation Pilot Program.
“The System Conservation Pilot Program is designed to explore potential solutions to address declining water levels in Lake Mead and Lake Powell.
“Senator Hickenlooper and I are offering an amendment to reauthorize this critical program and introducing a bill today to do that very same thing.”
On H.R. 6434, the Japanese American World War II History Network Act:
“Today’s agenda also includes the Japanese American World War II History Network Act.
“It would create a Park Service-administered network of interconnected sites across the country related to the mass incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II.
“This includes the Heart Mountain Relocation Center located in Park County, Wyoming.
“Sites like Heart Mountain increase public awareness and recognition of the unjust and tragic events that occurred on American soil.”
On his amendment to H.R. 1931, the Japanese American Confinement Education Act:
“This package also includes an amendment that I am offering with Senator Hirono to H.R. 1931, the Japanese American Confinement Education Act, to rename this legislation after former Transportation and Commerce Secretary, Norman Mineta.
“During World War II, when he was very young, Secretary Mineta was held at Heart Mountain Relocation Center, located in Park County, Wyoming.
“While there, Secretary Mineta met a fellow boy scout, future Senator Al Simpson, who visited the detention center with his scout troop.
“The two became close, lifelong friends.
“Secretary Mineta served in the U.S. Army, the House of Representatives, and both Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush as a cabinet Secretary.
“This is a fitting way to honor his heroic story.”
To watch the full business meeting and see the full list of bills considered, click here.