April 04, 2007

Wyden to Head Senate Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests

Washington , D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) was today appointed chairman of the U.S. Senate's Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee. The chairmanship will provide an important platform for Wyden to act on the nation's foremost environmental and natural resource issues.

"I am honored by this opportunity to assist Chairman Bingaman in protecting our nation's wilderness and public lands, promote sustainable and wise use of our natural resources, and champion important legislation like the Secure Rural Schools Act which is so vital to Oregonians." Wyden said. "I also welcome the opportunity to contribute to the Committee's oversight of how these federal lands are used."

Wyden added that he intends to coordinate the subcommittee's efforts closely with those of Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) to examine whether taxpayers are getting a fair deal for oil and gas leasing on the Outer Continental Shelf. The Oregon senator has previously sponsored proposals to ensure the full amount of federal royalties are paid on oil and gas leases.

Jurisdiction of the Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests includes oversight and legislative responsibilities for public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service; the establishment of wildlife refuges and wilderness areas and policies governing the extraction of natural resources from federal lands.