406 Dirksen EPW Hearing Room

James M. Inhofe


Thank you Senator Boxer for calling this business meeting.  I’d like to take just a moment to briefly mention a few of the bills on the agenda.  First, the Water Resources Development Act – I’m very pleased that we are considering this bill today.  We’ve been working on a WRDA bill for several years now, but something always seemed to derail it.  I am hopeful we will be able to get it signed into law this year.

I don’t know that there’s anything new to be said to highlight the importance of enacting this bill.  We all know the individual projects and policy provisions that are most critical to our own States.  We’ve also discussed on numerous occasions the provisions that have significant national implications. 

So, Madam Chairman, I’d simply like to reiterate my commitment to working with you and Senators Baucus and Isakson in order to move a good, bipartisan product through the process as quickly as possible.  I’ve said it before, and I believe you have too, but I’d like us to then plan to work on a WRDA 2008 bill in order to get us back on the intended biennial cycle.  If we can get back to a reliable schedule, I think we can avoid several of the problems we have encountered with this bill. 

Also on today’s agenda is Senator Voinovich’s bill to reauthorize the Appalachian Regional Commission.  I know he worked very hard last year trying to get this bill done, but unfortunately it got hung up in the House.  I am pleased we were able to add his new bill to the agenda and hope we will also be able to move it through the Senate in a timely fashion. 

Today we will also be considering S. 992, the Public Buildings Cost Reduction Act of 2007, which I cosponsored with you, Madam Chairman, and several other members of this Committee.  Energy efficiency, along with developing new domestic energy sources and ensuring a diverse energy portfolio, is a key component of our overall energy security.  This bill will help enable buildings at both the Federal and local government levels to achieve cost savings through more energy-efficient operation.

Finally, I am pleased that the Committee is considering the nomination of Roger Martella.  He is a highly qualified career attorney, who will make an excellent General Counsel.  I support his nomination.