The Senate voted 99-1 to advance the Natural Resources Management Act (S 47), a legislative package that includes a measure to reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).
The LWCF uses receipts from oil and gas extractions on federal lands to support national parks and federal land management. The Senate vote this week is a procedural step that essentially guarantees the LWCF will not face major opposition in the Senate on its route to final passage. The Chamber is still debating whether any amendments will be attached, but Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Washington), a co-author of the bill, said she expects a “short process” to a final vote.
Perhaps even better news came from House Natural Resources Chairman Raul Grijalva (D-Arizona) who told reporters this week that he will not propose significant alterations to S 47 after it passes the Senate. Supporters of the bill were concerned Chairman Grijalva would push for more concessions from Republicans on the LWCF language which would compromise the bipartisan agreements that underpinned the Senate bill. It is unclear when the House of Representatives will take up S 47 after it passes the Senate but Chairman Grijalva said he would like to move quickly.