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Tomorrow: House to be Allowed Only Yes or No Vote on Senate Omnibus Public Lands Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 10, 2009 - Today, House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Doc Hastings (WA-04) released the following statement regarding the possibility of a suspension vote by the House of Representatives tomorrow (Wednesday) on the Senate Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 (S.22):

“A 1,200 page piece of legislation that costs over $10 billion and contains over 170 bills deserves careful examination by Members of Congress. Unfortunately, Democratic House leaders have prevented the House from considering this bill through the regular legislative process so it continues to block American-made energy production, discourage job creation, restrict access of public land, and even make it a federal crime for children to collect fossils. Considering a bill of this enormity under the suspension process is an abuse to all House members, including Democratic Representatives who’ve publicly sought changes to it and been denied. It’s important for all Members to understand the expensive and far-reaching impacts of this bill before they cast their vote.”

The Democrats are expected to consider S. 22 under a special process that suspends all House rules. This process is reserved for noncontroversial bills, limits debate to only 40 minutes and does not allow any amendments.

S.22 By the Numbers
$10 billion Total projected cost to the federal government of S.22
170+ Bills in S.22
75 Measures in S.22 that were never reviewed by the House
1,200+ Pages in S.22
37 The number of times the word “controversial” is used in the Congressional Research Service report describing S.22 provisions
19 Provisions specifically withdrawing federal land from mineral leasing, such as oil, gas, and coal exploration…which restricts American-made energy production and American energy jobs
3 million Total acreage withdraw from energy leasing and recreation use
331 million Barrels of recoverable oil being taken out of energy exploration in Wyoming
8.8 trillion Cubic feet of natural gas in Wyoming taken out of energy exploration

What People Are Saying About S.22

  • “(S.22) substantially hampers energy development and private property rights by withdrawing millions of acres of land from oil and gas exploration…shackling U.S. energy exploration and development at this critical time would substantially jeopardize America’s already fragile economy.” U.S. Chamber of Commerce, February 11, 2009


  • “With the federal deficit reaching record highs and the economy struggling to get back on its feet, the people of Wyoming should not be forced to carry an even greater burden. This bloated bill increases Washington spending by more than $10 billion. That might seem like a small amount of money to some here in Washington, but folks in Wyoming understand that is a big chunk of change.”Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis (R, WY), March 10, 2009


  • “I urge the House Natural Resources Committee to remove the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Wilderness designation (Title I, Subtitle H) from S.22. This designation has received no endorsements from the local municipalities or Alger County where the designation would take place. I cannot support this designation, which would take place completely within my district, until there is local support.” Congressman Bart Stupak (D, MI-01), March 3, 2009


  • “I think it's terrible. These areas are great opportunities for kids.” X Games gold Medalist and Freerider Matt Buyten, March 2, 2009
  • “It is our sincere hope that this Congress will develop a more thoughtful approach to managing our public lands than simply eliminating public access and creating additional layers of bureaucracy. Continued responsible access to public lands is vitally important for current and future generations.” American Motorcyclist Association and American Council of Snowmobile Association, February 9, 2009

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Contact: Emily Lawrimore or Jill Strait (202) 226-2311

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