Chris Wood, (703) 284-9403
Brad Powell, (928) 300-5451
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Sportsmen Applaud Passage of CLEAR Act in House of Representatives
TU urges continuation of oil and gas reforms in U.S. Senate
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Declaring that it is time to balance the nation's demand for domestic energy development with the need to maintain the health of our land, water and natural habitats for fish and wildlife, sportsmen today applauded the passage of the Consolidated Land, Energy, and Aquatic Resources Act of 2010 (CLEAR Act) by the House of Representatives.
"Trout Unlimited has worked hard over the years to ensure that energy development is conducted in a manner that conserves fish and wildlife habitat and the great hunting and fishing opportunities provided by our nation's public lands and waters," said Chris Wood, president and CEO of Trout Unlimited. "The oil spill along the Gulf Coast has demonstrated once again the adverse consequences of poorly-executed energy development. This legislation will help prevent similar tragedies – both offshore and on land – and will mandate more responsible development in the future."
Among the provisions of the CLEAR Act cited by Wood as the most significant reforms to traditional oil and gas development were the repeal of the stormwater exemption for oil and gas development from regulation under the Clean Water Act, and the repeal of special categorical exclusions from the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) used to issue permits to the oil and gas industry. The act also requires full and dedicated funding to the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). The fund, viewed by hunters and anglers as an essential tool for conserving intact fish and wildlife habitat and increasing recreational access to public lands, has long been undercut by a lack of funds.
Following the vote in the House, sportsmen turned their attention to the U.S. Senate, which may consider the Clean Energy Jobs and Oil Company Accountability Act of 2010 next week. In addition to requiring full funding for the LWCF, the Senate bill contains provisions requiring the chemical disclosure of fluids used in hydraulic fracturing, a common-sense reform that keeps state and federal land managers, as well as the public, informed about the chemicals and other substances that are injected into the ground during operations to release natural gas.
"The information gained through disclosure will help to manage natural gas development in a way that protects clean water and healthy fisheries," Wood said.
Full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund and chemical disclosure for hydraulic fracturing are high priorities for a coalition of sportsmen's organizations who hope to see them passed in the Senate.
Trout Unlimited is a private, non-profit organization with 140,000 members dedicated to conserving,
protecting and restoring North America's coldwater fisheries and their watersheds.