by Countable | 12.27.18
A bipartisan bill that’d use royalties from existing energy development on public lands to fund the National Park Service’s nearly $12 billion maintenance backlog will move ahead early in the new Congress, after senators tried and failed to pass it unanimously last week.
Amid a flurry of bills being passed by unanimous consent and voice votes on the Senate floor, Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) asked for legislation known as the Restore Our Parks Act to be among the bills passed. But Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), one of the four senators to oppose the bill when it passed the Energy & Natural Resources Committee on a 19-4 vote, objected to the bill passing the Senate unanimously ― leaving Gardner “pretty doggone upset”.
Senate Energy & Natural Resources Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) told reporters that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) agreed to schedule floor time for the bill in January.
The National Park Service is massive: according to data from USAFacts it’s grown from 83.4 million acres in 1997 to more than 85 million acres in 2017 ― an area larger than New Mexico (America’s fifth largest state).
— Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: iStock.com / HaizhanZheng)
Written by Countable