Two Gosar Sponsored Bills Unanimously Pass House Resources Committee

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Washington, July 18, 2018 | comments

(U.S. Representative Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. and Yavapai County Supervisor Randy Garrison testified on the importance of the bipartisan Cottonwood Land Exchange Act in theHouse Committee on Natural ResourcesSubcommittee on Federal Lands.)

Washington, D.C.Today, the House Committee on Natural Resources unanimously passed two bipartisan bills sponsored byU.S. Representative Paul A Gosar, D.D.S (AZ-04)H.R. 6146the Cottonwood Land Exchange Act and H.R. 5556, the Environmental Compliance Cost Transparency Act.

H.R 6146,the Cottonwood Land Exchange Act, is bipartisan legislation that authorizes the conveyance of 80 acres of Coconino National Forest land to Yavapai County, Arizona in exchange for 369 acres of County land that will be conveyed to the U.S. Forest Service.

Congressman Gosar stated,“The bipartisan Cottonwood Land Exchange consolidates multiple checkerboards of land at the request of local stakeholders. After many years of collaboration with Yavapai County officials, community leaders, students, parents and the Forest Service, we have found a common sense, locally-driven solution that allows for significant improvements at a high-traffic county park and makes the most efficient use of our land for the benefit of the people of Arizona. H.R. 6146 is good for the County, good for the Forest Service, good for local species and good for families that like parks. I am extremely grateful to Yavapai Supervisor Randy Garrison for making the trip to testify on the bill yesterday and can’t thank the County enough for all their help with this legislation. I look forward to seeing this H.R. 6146 on the House floor.”

HR 5556, Environmental Compliance Cost Transparency Act requires federal agencies active in the wholesale power business to disclose the costs of environmental compliance to their customers.

“Power customers deserve to be taken out of the dark when it comes to costly environmental laws and policies,”said Congressman Gosar.“Right now, in the Pacific Northwest, 30% of the rates are estimated to be related to environmental costs. In Arizona, the Glen Canyon Dam flows are estimated to cost customers up to $50 million annually due to foregone power. More transparency in relation to costs is always a good thing.I’m pleased to see H.R. 5556 pass Committee today with strong bipartisan support.”

Additional Background:Today,the House Committee on Natural Resources passed H.R 6146, the Cottonwood Land Exchange Act, at a full committee markup. This bipartisan legislation would authorize the conveyance of 80 acres of Coconino National Forest land to Yavapai County, Arizona in exchange for 369 acres of County land that will be conveyed to the U.S. Forest Service.

The text of H.R. 6146 can be found HERE.

A map of this land exchange can be found HERE.

Cosponsors of Congressman Gosar’s legislation include:Ruben Gallego(AZ-07), Debbie Lesko (AZ-08), David Schweikert (AZ-06),Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09),andTom O’Halleran (AZ-01)

Yavapai County officials have been in discussions with the Forest Service for several years and passed a resolution in favor of advancing this mutually beneficial exchange.The isolated lot of National Forest land is an 80 acre island parcel not contiguous or adjacent to any other Forest or state land.It is surrounded completely by private or county land which is mostly residential in nature. The 369 acres which the Coconino National Forest would receive from the County will add value to the Forest Service system by connecting separated tracts and consolidating land already under the stewardship of the Forest Service.

The County has stated that it would like to maintain the land as a park and other public use in order to better serve the residents of the County, City of Cottonwood and the community of Cornville. Specifically, the County has expressed that it would like to maximize use of the park and make it easier for visitors to access the park by making significant improvements that include adding a walking bridge, adding a new trail and expanding the park. As clearly outlined in the bill, the County has agreed to pay for the required land surveys, appraisals, and any other costs necessary to complete the exchange.

The full text of the Environmental Compliance Cost Transparency Act can be found HERE.

HR 5556,Environmental Compliance Cost Transparency Actrequires the agencies, known as the Power Marketing Administrations (PMAs), responsible for marketing and delivering power from federal projects like the Hoover Dam, to report to power customers the direct and indirect costs associated with any Federal environmental laws impacting the conservation of fish and wildlife in their monthly billing statements.

Direct costs associated with compliance include costs related to environmental studies, capital, operations, maintenance, and staffing. Indirect costs would include forgone generation and replacement power costs.

Congressman Gosar’s legislation does not repeal or change a single environmental law; it simply requires much needed transparency that is long overdue.

The bill has 16 original bipartisan cosponsors including: Ralph Abraham (LA-05), Mark Amodei (NV-02), Andy Biggs (AZ-05), Dave Brat (VA-07), Ken Buck (CO-04), Ted Budd (NC-13), Greg Gianforte (MT-at large), Louie Gohmert (TX-01), Walter Jones (NC-03), Steve King (IA-04), Tom McClintock (CA-04), David McKinley (WV-01), Ralph Norman (SC-05), Stevan Pearce (NM-02),Kurt Schrader (0R-05), and Ted Yoho (FL-03).

The Environmental Compliance Cost Transparency Act is endorsed by the Grand Canyon State Electric Cooperative Association, the Irrigation and Electrical Districts Association of Arizona and the Colorado River Energy Distributors Association.


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