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Senator Lankford Opposes Energy Policy Modernization Act

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today issued the following statement after he opposed the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2016 (S.2012).  

“While I appreciate the intent of the bill and support several provisions, such as expediting permits so the US may continue to export some of our bountiful natural gas resources, I cannot support legislation that uses taxpayer dollars flippantly,” said Lankford. “The bill encourages an expansion of federal land holdings by permanently reauthorizing the Land and Water Conservation Fund, even though the maintenance backlog on our current federal lands exceeds $18 billion. The bill also increases government involvement for how Americans use energy, which should be left to the consumer. With our nation’s debt issues, we need to find savings in as many federal programs as possible instead of expanding our debt even more.”

In February, Lankford introduced an amendment; and, yesterday, he spoke on the Senate floor to promote reform to the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The amendment would have required spending on land acquisition to not exceed spending on maintenance; required that land acquisitions funded through the LWCF include funding for maintenance needs on the land to be acquired; and required Congressional authorization for acquisitions under LWCF that cost more than $50,000 per acre. The amendment failed by a vote of 34-63.