Western Caucus Newsletter

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President Biden’s Green New Deal policies continue to wreak havoc on American families, businesses and communities. Gas prices are up 50% since President Biden took office, driving inflation through the roof as high transportation costs result in higher prices for nearly every good and service.  To make matters worse, amid increasing global instability, our Strategic Petroleum Reserve is at its lowest level in more than 40 years. Instead of acknowledging his anti-domestic energy agenda was failing the American people, President Biden released more than 40% of the reserves to temporarily lower gas prices at times that were politically convenient.  
Members of the Senate Western Caucus have led the fight to oppose President Biden’s failed energy agenda and are working to unleash domestic energy production. 
Western Caucus Chair Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) introduced a resolution alongside 11 Republican colleagues to designate October 4, 2023, as National Energy Appreciation Day to celebrate the men and women who work to power the United States. While the radical left is hell bent on vilifying American energy workers, the Senate Western Caucus is committed to honoring their invaluable contributions to our daily lives that are so often taken for granted.
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and 15 colleagues sent a letter to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to request they withdraw the proposed rules for designation of ‘critical habitat’ for the Rice’s Whale. The Biden administration’s latest abuse of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) would shut down offshore energy development in 28,000 square miles of the Gulf of Mexico under the auspice of protecting the Rice’s Whale without evidence the whale even lives in the area.
While the Biden administration is certain to keep pursuing their radical Green New Deal agenda, the Senate Western Caucus remains steadfast in our commitment to fight for energy producers and workers.

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Putting American Mining First

Part of what makes the Senate Western Caucus unique in Washington is our commitment to listening to and working with stakeholders instead of rushing to impose heavy-handed big government regulations. This week, Senate Western Caucus staff heard from the National Mining Association and the Essential Minerals Association about the Department of Interior’s Interagency Working Group on Mining Laws, Regulations and Permitting Final Report. 
President Biden’s electric vehicle (EV) mandate has dramatically increased America’s need for critical minerals that are required to produce EVs. Similar to domestic energy production, the Biden administration has chosen to restrict domestic mineral production and instead rely on China and other hostile foreign countries.
The policies laid out in this final report will only further our critical mineral reliance on adversaries like China and Russia. Instead of implementing more red tape, our country needs to lift restrictions on domestic mining and reform the federal permitting process. The Senate Western Caucus is here to work with the domestic mining industry to decrease our reliance on foreign countries and continue to support American workers and businesses. 

Waters of the United States

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court reined in the EPA’s abuse of the Clean Water Act (CWA). In Sackett v. EPA, the Court held that only wetlands that are seamlessly connected to a body of water fall under the scope of the CWA, pulling back on EPA’s assertion that something so small as a puddle of water is subject to federal regulation.  
Members of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, including Western Caucus Chair Cynthia Lummis, had the opportunity to question witnesses on this decision as well as the Biden administration’s failure to implement the Court’s decision. Click here to watch.
SWC Legislative Actions

Members of the Senate Western Caucus have been advocating for the west in Washington. Here is a look at some of their work. 
  • Senator James Risch (R-ID) sent a letter to Senate leadership requesting the sage grouse listing prohibition be maintained in end of year appropriations.
    • Keeping the sage grouse off the endangered species list allows science-based, state-led plans to continue in order to strengthen the species in a tailored and measurably successful way that does not overreach on the lives of landowners and businesses out west.
  • Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID) introduced the Choice in Automobile Retail Sales (CARS) Act which seeks to counter the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed new emissions standards for cars and light trucks and ensure that Americans have access to affordable vehicles that meet their needs.
    • People out west should be able to choose what car they drive and not be punished for wanting to drive an American-made, gas-powered car.
  • Former Western Caucus Chairman John Barrasso and Senate Western Caucus Chair Cynthia Lummis (both R-WY), along with Senators Mike Lee and Mitt Romney (both R-Utah) sent a letter urging the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to immediately withdraw its misguided Rock Springs Draft Resource Management Plan (RMP) that would designate more than 1.8 million acres of land in Wyoming as Areas of Critical Environmental Concern.
    • The proposal ignores more than a decade’s worth of local input and would reduce the land to single use. If enforced, it will inevitably end grazing, critical transmission line improvements, and gas production that powers the region.

Andrew Williams
Executive Director
Senate Western Caucus
Russell Senate Office Building
Suite 127A
(202) 224-3424