Republican News

Republican News

Mar 08 2006

Committee Approves Two Bipartisan Bills Vital to U.S. Energy Independence

Pace-Energy, OCS and 14 other bills clear committee

         
Washington, D.C. – The Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee today approved S.  2253, a bill instructing the Secretary of the Interior to begin the sale of oil and gas leases in 2.9 million acres of Lease Area 181 100 miles off the Florida Coast, and S. 2197, the Protect America’s Leading Edge Act – Energy. PACE-Energy is one of three PACE bills introduced by Senators Domenici, Bingaman, Alexander and Mikulski and now co-sponsored by a majority of the Senate.

The committee adopted by unanimous consent an amendment to S. 2197 offered by Sen. Menendez and cosponsored by Sen. Allen to increase the participation and advancement of women and under-represented minorities in science, math, technology and engineering academic pursuits.

Sen. Salazar offered and withdrew an amendment to S. 2253 that would direct the Secretary of the Interior, beginning in FY 08, to transfer to the Land Water and Conservation Fund no less than $450 million from the revenue derived from Lease Area 181 sales.

The committee approved S. 2197, as amended, by voice vote with no dissent. The committee approved S. 2253 by a roll call vote of 16-5 with one senator voting “present.”

Chairman Domenici’s statement:

PACE – “With the PACE bills, America is making a renewed investment in math, science and technology. I consider this the first major American effort in this arena since our response to the launch of Sputnik almost 50 years ago. We want to get American kids excited about math and science and provide them with unprecedented opportunity to develop their skills in these areas. The President’s budget goes a long way toward funding these programs. I’m working with the Budget and Appropriations Committee to get the rest of the money. I want to see these bills enacted and fully funded this year.”

OCS – “This is the most important piece of energy legislation we have taken up since passing the energy bill last year. There is enough gas in this part of Lease Sale 181 to heat nearly 6 million homes for 15 years. Passing this bill is the one thing we can do swiftly that will have a profound effect on gas supply and price. This bill will ease the pressure on industry, agriculture and our consumers.”

Other bills approved by the committee:

S. 1131 - To authorize the exchange of certain Federal land within the State of Idaho, and for other purposes with an amendment in the nature of a substitute that adds a 730 acre parcel of State of Idaho Land to be transferred to the Bureau of Land Management to bring the exchange into balance and adds direction to the Secretaries of Agriculture and of the Interior to complete the exchange within 180 days after its enactment.  The amendment also drops the NEPA sufficiency language.

S. 1288 - To authorize the Secretary of the Interior to enter into cooperative agreements to protect natural resources of units of the National Park System through collaborative efforts on land inside and outside of units of the National Park System with a technical amendment to make clarifications.  

S. 1346 -  To direct the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a study of maritime sites in the State of Michigan with an amendment in the nature of a substitute that makes the language consistent with other NPS studies. 

S. 1378 - To amend the National Historic Preservation Act to provide appropriation authorization and improve the operations of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation with a technical amendment in the nature of a substitute technical amendment to specify number of members needed for quorum, deleted authority to solicit donations, and extended authorization from 2011 to 2015.

S. 1913 - To authorize the Secretary of the Interior to lease a portion of the Dorothy Buell Memorial Visitor Center for use as a visitor center for the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, with a technical amendment to make clarifications.

S. 1970 - To amend the National Trails System Act to update the feasibility and suitability study originally prepared for the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail and provide for the inclusion of new trail segments, land components, and campgrounds associated with that trail with a technical amendment to make clarifications.  

S. Con. Res. 60 - Designating the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Missouri, as America's National Negro Leagues Baseball Museum with a technical amendment to make clarifications. 

S. J. Res. 28 - Approving the location of the commemorative work in the District of Columbia honoring former President Dwight D. Eisenhower. 

H.R. 318 - To authorize the Secretary of the Interior to study the suitability and feasibility of designating Castle Nugent Farms located on St. Croix, Virgin Islands, as a unit of the National Park System.

H.R. 326 (S. 505) - To amend the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area Act of 2000 to adjust the boundary of the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area.

H.R. 409 (S. 179) - To provide for the exchange of land within the Sierra National Forest, California with an amendment in the nature of a substitute that directs the Secretary, the Pacific Gas and Electric Corporation, and the Sequoia Council of the Boy of America to develop an agreement to grant the owner of Project 67 an easement for the right to enter, occupy, and use for hydroelectric power purposes the Federal land currently within the licensed boundary for Project No. 67.   Thus, maintaining the permit holders right to operate a hydroelectric dam on part of the property to be exchanged.

H.R. 1129 (S. 100) - To authorize the exchange of certain land in the State of Colorado with an amendment in the nature of a substitute that corrects the order of conveyance in relation to an easement for a trail to be granted by the county.

H.R. 1728 (S. 323) - To authorize the Secretary of the Interior to study the suitability and feasibility of designating the French Colonial Heritage Area in the State of Missouri as a unit of the National Park System.

H.R. 2107 - To amend Public Law 104-329 to modify authorities for the use of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Maintenance Fund.