Committee Advances Barrasso’s Bipartisan Nuclear Fuel, Outdoor Recreation Legislation

May 17, 2023

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), praised the Committee for voting to advance his bipartisan Nuclear Fuel Security Act (S. 452) and America’s Outdoor Recreation Act (S. 873).

Senator Barrasso’s remarks on the Nuclear Fuel Security Act:

“I’d like to express my strong support on the joint staff amendments and the work on the Nuclear Fuel Security Act.

“Thanks for working with me on the legislation.

“For years, we have discussed the need to revitalize America’s nuclear fuel supply.

“The Nuclear Fuel Security Act does just that. It also has strong bipartisan support.

“Last December, the Senate passed a nearly identical bill by voice vote.

“The version before us today authorizes Congress to appropriate funds to rebuild America’s nuclear fuel supply chain.

“It also incorporates my bill – S. 763, the Reduce Russian Uranium Imports Act.

“My bill bans imports of Russian uranium into the United States.

“It is critical that we stop funding Russia’s state-owned nuclear monopoly, Rosatom.

“As the Washington Post has documented, Rosatom is aiding Russia’s war on Ukraine.

“We also need to give America’s nuclear fuel suppliers market certainty.

“For decades, Russia has undermined America’s nuclear fuel suppliers through unfair trade practices.

“I want to thank you, Chairman Manchin, Senator Risch, Senator Heinrich, and other cosponsors of the bill.

“The package also includes important amendments – as you’ve mentioned – America’s Outdoor Recreation Act.

“Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for your leadership and support.”

The Nuclear Fuel Security Act, as reported:

  • Establishes a program to increase U.S. commercial production of low-enriched uranium (LEU) and high-assay, low-enriched uranium (HALEU).
  • Expands the American Assured Fuel Supply Program to ensure the availability of U.S. produced, converted, and enriched uranium in the event of a supply disruption.
  • Provides HALEU from the Department of Energy’s (DOE) stockpiles of excess uranium to meet the needs of advanced reactors developers until U.S. commercial HALEU is sufficient to meet future needs.
  • Expands DOE authority to provide technical assistance to state, local communities and other eligible entities to nuclear supply chain infrastructure.
  • Revises DOE’s nuclear traineeship program to enhance workforce capacity building and retraining.
  • Prohibits import of Russian uranium 90 days after enactment, with certain exceptions.

Senator Barrasso’s remarks on America’s Outdoor Recreation Act: 

“Today’s agenda also includes America’s Outdoor Recreation Act.

“This historic, first-of-its-kind recreation package will boost our outdoor recreation economy.

“It will increase access to the outdoors, streamline and simplify agency processes, and improve America’s recreation infrastructure.

“It is bipartisan, and contains several bills from members of this Committee. 

“This includes two of my bills: the Federal Interior Land Media Act, or the FILM Act, and the Cape and Antler Preservation Enhancement Act, or the CAPE Act.

“The FILM Act modernizes film and photography permitting on public lands.

“Currently, anyone who uploads a video of their National Park adventures to a social media platform must obtain a permit and pay a fee.

“While the Park Service has not enforced this requirement consistently, they have been fining people whose videos go viral.

“This can happen even when those videos involve one person using nothing more than a phone.

“Meanwhile, large productions that require extensive lighting and staging equipment do not require a permit if federal agencies deem them to be non-commercial.

“The FILM Act does away with this absurd permitting scheme.

“It requires agencies to focus on actual impacts to park resources – not the type of content visitors create.

“It is a win for the First Amendment and free speech, and for common-sense management of our public lands.

“The CAPE Act is a conservation victory for Grand Teton National Park’s native bighorn sheep.

“These iconic animals are threatened by non-native mountain goats.

“Through coordinated efforts with the Park Service, volunteers play a major role in helping to conserve the bighorn sheep by culling the non-native goats.

“Current law gives discretion to the Park Service to donate the meat obtained during these wildlife management activities.

“Unfortunately, the rest of the animal goes to waste.

“The CAPE Act remedies this by allowing for the donation of hides and horns, including to volunteers who help protect our native bighorn sheep.

America’s Outdoor Recreation Act, as reported:

  • Directs the Forest Service and relevant Department of the Interior agencies to issue guidance for allowing for safe, recreational climbing in designated Wilderness Areas, and requires the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to designate many new shooting ranges on National Forests and BLM land.
  • Modernizes film and photography permitting so land management agencies can keep pace with changing technology and social media, allowing people who responsibly recreate on public lands to record and share their experiences without the worry of unnecessary red tape and fees.
  • Improves and streamlines the permitting process for outfitters and guides who work on public lands.
  • Helps protect iconic native wildlife by improving a current conservation program to remove harmful invasive species.

Click here to read ranking member Barrasso’s opening remarks as prepared for delivery.

For more information on the ENR committee’s business meeting agenda click here.