Democratic News

Today, the Senate voted 76 - 22 to provide $1.4 billion in dedicated funding over the next two years for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).  This vote will provide $700 million for each of the next two years to help protect some of our nation's most significant resources, and represents a major increase over the $269 million current funding level.  

The LWCF is credited with $900 million each year from oil and gas revenues from the Outer Continental Shelf, with the premise that some of the revenues from OCS oil and gas production, a non-renewable natural resource, should be used to permanently protect other natural and cultural resources throughout the country.  Although revenues are credited to the LWCF each year, any expenditures from the fund must be appropriated, and in most years Congress appropriates far less than the authorized amount.  Chairman Bingaman is the sponsor of S. 1265, the Land and Water Conservation Authorization and Funding Act, which would permanently authorize the LWCF and provide dedicated funding at its fully authorized level.  

“Protecting our nation's special places and landscapes for the common good has been one of the great American successes, and one that has been exported to the rest of the world.  The Land and Water Conservation Fund is the primary tool our nation uses to fund the protection of our national heritage, and I have worked to secure full funding for the program for many years. Again this Congress, I have introduced a bill, S. 1265, the Land and Water Conservation Authorization and Funding Act of 2011, to permanently authorize and fully fund the LWCF. 

“The amendment approved by the Senate today dedicates $1.4 billion for LWCF programs over the next two years, and is a significant improvement over the $269 million current funding level.  While I will continue to push for full funding, today's vote is an important step towards fulfilling the promise of the Land and Water Conservation Fund.”

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For more information, please contact Bill Wicker at 202.224.5243 or bill_wicker@energy.senate.gov

or Rosemarie Calabro at 202.224.5039 or rosemarie_calabro@energy.senate.gov

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