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Public Statements

Conservation and Economic Growth Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. AMODEI. Thank you to my colleague from the Evergreen State.

Twilight zone, partisan as can be, package of bad ideas for the Nation. Interesting phrases when you look at title IX.

Title IX is about 10,500 acres adjacent to the city of Yerington. This 10,500 acres is a known copper and iron ore deposit since about 1975. On this 10,000 acres and in title IX, you are seeing nothing that waives anything of environmental significance, not NEPA, not the National Historic Preservation Act.

The city's going to pay for the land. We're not giving it away. All the costs associated with transferring the land are to be borne, no cost to the government.

The District and State Bureau of Land Management offices were silent in terms of this proposal. There are no mining issues, cleanup issues, surface water, groundwater, environmental, none of those issues, none at all, abandoned mine sites.

And by the way, in this particular county, which is the leading county for unemployment in the State of Nevada, which I am sorry to inform you, we still lead the Nation in unemployment, this represents a transfer of less than 1 percent of Federal land in Lyon County.

So, when we talk about open space preservation, guess what? There is 99 percent left. Don't think you've got that one either.

Oh, by the way, there were some concerns about 90 days being too soon to transfer this, and there were some concerns about whether it was mandatory or not. Did you hear the part about 1975 known deposits? So you want to change the bill to ``if you feel like doing it, go ahead, and by the way, take as much time as you want''? No, thank you. No, thank you to ``if you feel like it, and take as much time as you want.''

So, when you hear about bad ideas for the Nation, this is about the responsible, multiple use of public resources that gores no one's environmental ox.

Oh, and here is another part that may be of significance: 800 jobs--no cost to the Federal Government. This is a State where there are loan guarantees for renewable energy to the tune of $1.5 billion, and we've got 136 jobs to show for it. Eight hundred jobs--no cost to the government.

When the Office of Management and Budget talks about ``they like to work through the community,'' I've got news for you: title IX is supported by everyone in the State of Nevada who has a voice as a shareholder in these. There hasn't been a single voice raised in opposition to this. By the way, they've been working on it for 4 years. So, if you think there's a problem with the appraisal process, did I mention it's going to be appraised for the value? There is nothing more transparent, nothing more responsible for land use that can be 800 jobs--oh, oh, and the average pay is about $75,000-plus per job. Did I say ``no cost to the government''? I'll quit saying that.

If you want to do something for the people of the State of Nevada, get behind this bill. I want to thank my Democratic colleagues who supported the bill in committee, and I look forward to their being advocates on the north side of the building.


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