The following is House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings’ respondse to President Obama’s State of the Union Address:
“During tonight’s State of the Union address, the President once again spoke about job creation and economic growth, but continued to ignore the economic opportunities that exist through energy production on federal lands and the responsible management of our Nation’s natural resources. Tonight’s speech was further indication that during his second term, President Obama will ensure his Administration is more aggressive in its unilateral pursuit of new regulations and policies that will impede economic recovery. By circumventing Congress through administrative fiat, the Obama Administration has the ability to lock up large swaths of public land from multiple use economic activity, slow federal energy production even further, and impose burdensome new layers of red tape that will destroy job creation potential for millions of American’s still looking for work.
“The President may continue to talk about the need for all-of-the-above energy, but we have learned over the last four years that actions speak louder than words. The Obama Administration has closed off millions of acres of public lands and waters to American energy production, offered the fewest offshore lease sales in the history of the program, and caused energy production on federal lands to significantly decline. Meanwhile, the private sector and individual states—not President Obama and the federal government—can take credit for America’s recent increase in oil and natural gas production. It’s simply difficult to take President Obama seriously when he talks about job creation while flatly ignoring one of America’s largest potentials for job creation.”
Early in this session, Senator Alan Bates (D – Medford) introduced legislation to designate many of Oregon’s rivers and creeks as scenic waterways. The Oregon scenic waterways program restricts many activities within a quarter of a mile on either side of a river that has been defined as a “scenic waterway” regardless of the ownership of the land. Private land owners, industries that work within the waterway and any others that depend upon the resources of the river or creek could be adversely affected by these restrictions.
“This bill affects Josephine and Jackson counties more than any other counties in the state,” said Senator Herman Baertschiger, (R – Grants Pass). “It will regulate activities of private land owners. This a taking of property rights by government, in my opinion.”
Senate Bill 401 adds nearly 30 rivers, creeks and segments of rivers and creeks to the control of the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department’s scenic waterways program. This bill has a significant impact on Southern Oregon. Nearly 70% of the additional rivers are in Southern and South West Oregon. SB 401 adds 16 individual sections of rivers and creeks from Josephine and Jackson County alone. By restricting access and activities there can be serious adverse effects on Southern Oregon employers and private land owners.
“Defending the rights of property owners is an on-going battle in Salem,” said Senator Ted Ferrioli (R-John Day). “Senator Baertshiger is going to be a tenacious defender of property rights as this issue continues to be debated.”
Senator Baertschiger is continuing to work with his colleagues in the Senate to build opposition of this bill and others like it. He feels that constituents should know about bills such as these before they make it out of the committee process. He encourages the citizens of Oregon to voice their opinion to their respective legislators on this bill.
Baertschiger has served on several county boards and tasks forces. He and his wife have raised their two sons on a ranch west of Grants Pass. He is an avid hunter, fisherman and enjoys horseback riding and is a private pilot.
State Rep. Wally Hicks will have office hours from 10:00-11:00 every Saturday morning either at Elmer’s Restaurant in Grants Pass or at Taylor’s in Cave Junction. His GP and CJ office hours schedule for the legislative session is posted here.
Thank you, Wally!
Allen Alley has announced that he will not run for re-election as chair of the Oregon Republican Party. We appreciate all that Allen has done for our party and wish him well in whatever he decides to pursue next.
Our own Art Robinson, from here in Josephine County, has decided to run for the postion as chair of the ORP. Art ran a good race against U.S. Congressman Peter DeFazio in this last election, but was unable to carry the liberal counties that are so firmly devoted to big government. But he won big here in Jospehine County, and we hope and expect that he will win big across the state of Oregon running for chair of our state Republican Party.
Please give your full support to Art Robinson for Oregon Republican Party chair!