WASHINGTON — Public Lands Council (PLC) President Bob Skinner and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) President Jennifer Houston released the following statements in response to this week’s markup of S. 1081, the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Permanent Funding Act, by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee:
“Congress eliminated their primary oversight authority over the LWCF by permanently reauthorizing the program earlier this year. If the LWCF Permanent Funding Act is enacted, what little ability lawmakers still have to oversee this $900 million checkbook will forever be lost. It is irresponsible and reckless for the legislative branch to waive its duty to oversee this federal land acquisition vehicle.” – PLC President Bob Skinner
“There is already a multi-billion dollar maintenance backlog on the lands that the federal government already administers. Granting permanent funding to the LWCF, something usually reserved for things like Social Security and veterans benefits, would be a careless misuse of federal dollars.” – NCBA President Jennifer Houston
The LWCF was established in 1964 and the funding bill which has garnered bipartisan support will now move on to the full Senate. The LWCF, which was permanently reauthorized this spring, receives most of its revenue from on- and offshore oil and gas drilling. The House Natural Resources Committee in June passed a bill that, if signed into law, would dedicate $900 million of annual royalty funds to LWCF.