Thursday, February 07, 2019

Murkowski Kicks Off Floor Debate on Bipartisan Lands Package

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, today spoke on the Senate floor to begin debate on S. 47, the Natural Resources Management Act. This bipartisan package of more than 100 public lands, natural resources, and water bills was reintroduced by Murkowski and former ENR Ranking Member Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., in January 2019. Yesterday, Murkowski, Cantwell, and ENR Ranking Member Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., secured an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 99-1 to take up the package on the Senate floor.
Below are excerpts from Murkowski’s floor speech: 
“This package is the result of multiple years of regular order process in the committees of jurisdiction, most notably the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. It is the result of months of intense bicameral negotiations with now-Chairman Raul Grijalva and now-Ranking Member Rob Bishop of the House Natural Resources Committee.
“It’s important that this bill – this package – become law in the near future. It provides new opportunities for economic development through land conveyances and exchanges. It expands and enhances access for our sportsmen and women on federal lands for hunting, fishing, and other outdoor recreation activities. And it features provisions related to western water management, National Park units, and other federal lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service.
“This is also a good package for Alaska. It upholds our promises to Alaska Natives who served during the Vietnam War, but who never received the land allotments promised to them by the federal government. It provides routing flexibility for our proposed natural gas pipeline. And it creates new economic opportunities for communities like Kake and Utqiagvik.
“We have an excellent package in front of us. It’s time for us to pass it. It’s time to show our strong support, send it on to the House of Representatives, and then to the president’s desk.”

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