Senator Wyden has made a career of seeking consensus among environmentalists and natural resource businesses engendering a greater mutual respect for the environment. Wyden’s record has lead to impressive results in saving endangered species and Oregon’s special places. In Oregon, Wyden’s efforts have led to expanded Wilderness protections for the Mount Hood and the Columbia River Gorge, Copper Salmon, the Oregon Badlands, Spring Basin, the Cascade Siskiyou National Monument and the addition of hundreds of miles of Oregon rivers to the Wild and Scenic Rivers system.
Wyden has taken the lead in protecting old-growth forests. He led the opposition to the salvage rider. He has advocated reform of federal government land management practices and believes that extractive industries such as oil and coal should pay for all of the costs they impose on public lands and that the American taxpayer should see a fair return on commonly held national resources.
In 2008 Senator Wyden won passage of the Combat Illegal Logging law that is having a real effect on the survival of endangered forests around the world by cutting off the market for illegal timber.
As Chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Wyden is working with the committee’s top Republican, Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, to ensure taxpayers receive the full value of royalties owed for coal mined on federal lands. At their request, the Department of the Interior has launched an investigation of whether coal companies are underpaying royalties on coal that is exported to foreign markets and sold far above the low U.S. price.
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