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Endangered species, energy top House Resources Committee chairman's agenda

WASHINGTON (01/11/05) -- Congressman Richard W. Pombo (R-CA) outlined plans for his second term as chairman of the House Committee on Resources last week after he was reappointed chairman of the panel for the 109th Congress. Pombo said strengthening the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and increasing domestic energy supplies will be the committee's top priorities in his second term as chairman.

"We have ambitious goals at the Resources Committee, so we will get to work right away and build on our great record of accomplishment during the last Congress," Pombo said. "I want to change the debate on the challenges that lie ahead of us. The discussions on updating the ESA and producing energy in ANWR have been so mired in inane hyperbole that facts and true analysis have completely escaped the debate. This has done federal policy and the American public a real disservice."

Pombo said he would continue the committee's bipartisan efforts to strengthen and update the ESA, which has posted a less than 1% success rate for species recovery in the last thirty years. Last year the committee set a benchmark in its effort to achieve this goal and has already begun discussions with the Senate, the Bush Administration, and the Governors to shape legislation that will pass Congress in this session.

"Enacting a comprehensive energy plan that increases domestic production on public lands such as ANWR will top my agenda again," Pombo continued. "The House has passed comprehensive energy plans four times in the last four years, only to have its efforts strangled by obstructionists in the United States Senate. In that time, American consumers have endured huge increases in energy prices, suffered through electricty blackouts, and sent more than $600 billion overseas to import a product we can make more of here at home."

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