Senate Western Caucus Announced by Bennett and Hatch

To preserve posts from a blog I closed down I have ported them to Rickety. I haven’t heard anything more of the Senate Western Caucus since the announcement last June.

In the following video, Senator Barrasso (R-WY) speaks first, followed by Congressman Bishop (R-UT), Senator Bennett (R-UT), Senator Risch (R-ID), and Senator Hatch (R-UT).

Utah Senators Bob Bennett and Orrin Hatch were among 11 Republican Senators from western states who announced a new Western Caucus Wednesday. One of the aims of the Senate Western Caucus is to thwart the anti-oil agenda of the Washington elite and their extreme environmentalist allies, while at the same time promoting alternative energy. Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming has been named the first chairman of the newly formed Caucus. Hatch said:

Orrin Hatch

As one of the senators who initiated the first sagebrush rebellion in the ’70s, I recall that debate being largely about land use questions. The impact of that battle was felt mostly by Westerners. But the anti-oil agenda being pursued by the current administration and congressional leadership, will impact every American in higher gas prices, higher energy prices and higher food prices.

We call ourselves the Senate Western Caucus because we represent good western values and we need to underscore the common beliefs Utahns share with our neighbors. However, we’re really fighting for all Americans who pump gas into their car, turn on the lights at home, or want to feed their children healthy, affordable meals. That’s really what our agenda comes down to.

Although the Senate Western Caucus is founded today with a discussion of energy issues, that is just the beginning. The values held by citizens in the West are applicable to more than our nation’s energy debate and the caucus will be rolling out several western initiatives over the coming weeks and months that will present common sense solutions to a whole host of problems currently facing our country.

The caucus, made up of conservatives from eight states, will advocate for less government control over lands and resources in the open spaces of the Western U.S., starting with proposals for legislation that would open the outer continental shelf and Arctic Wildlife National Refuge for oil and gas exploration. Members of the Senate Western Caucus used Wednesday’s launch to introduce a comprehensive energy bill. The bill aims to protect our natural resources, while developing a sound energy policy that uses all American sources. The Clean, Affordable, Reliable Energy Act (CARE) was introduced to take advantage of all American resources — from wind and solar to nuclear and clean coal to oil and gas.

Bennett said:

As we see our gas prices start to rise again, we are reminded that energy security must continue to be a top priority. The West is well-positioned to be a leader in energy development, and I will work with my colleagues on the caucus to hold the administration accountable on its promise to produce more energy at home.

Senate Western Caucus Membership

Senator John Barrasso (R-WY)
Senator Bob Bennett (R-UT)
Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID)
Senator John Ensign (R-NV)
Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY)
Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ)
Senator Mike Johanns (R-NE)
Senator Jim Risch (R-ID)
Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS)
Senator David Vitter (R-LA)
Rickety signature.

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