U.S. Rep. Mark Udall (D-Eldorado Springs), who will be voting for the Consolidated Natural Resources Act (S. 2739) this evening on the House floor, released the following statement highlighting three important issues in the omnibus measure, which includes some 60 bills:
"This omnibus measure includes my legislation (H.R. 902) aimed at making the produced water' brought to the surface in connection with oil, gas, or coalbed methane wells available for use. Some of that water is relatively clean, but often it's contaminated - and too often it is all treated as waste. If we can find ways to make it useable for agriculture or other purposes, it could help supplement water supplies in Colorado and other parts of the arid west.
"My other bill in the package (H.R. 1462) would authorize the Interior Department to fulfill its part in a plan to manage the South Platte in a way that will protect endangered species while allowing farmers and others in Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska to continue to use the Platte's water. The plan took many years to work out, but all three states and the federal government have all reached agreement. I commend them for that achievement and am proud to have had the opportunity to take the lead with the legislation to implement a plan that will be a win for everyone involved.
"The other important part of this bill will reform the immigration policies and working standards in the Northern Marianas Islands. It's a change that is long overdue. Finally, after years of obstruction by the previous Republican leadership in the House, we will take the steps needed to end documented human rights abuses including exploitation of workers, forced prostitution, and forced abortions, as well as criminal trafficking in illegal drugs and weapons."