DENVER, Colo. — Today, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet announced he will chair the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry’s Subcommittee on Conservation, Climate, Forestry, and Natural Resources and the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance’s Subcommittee on Energy, Natural Resources, and Infrastructure. Bennet’s chairmanship of the Subcommittee on Conservation, Climate, Forestry, and Natural Resources, which is now expanded to place a focus on climate, will ensure a bipartisan discussion of the threat that climate change poses to our agricultural economy and way of life.
On the Agriculture Committee, Bennet will bring Colorado’s climate resilience and forestry priorities to the table while overseeing natural resource conservation and protection, forestry, pesticide regulations, and agriculture biotechnology. On the Finance Committee he will work to improve our nation’s energy tax policy and infrastructure financing solutions.
“From healthy soils to the forests that sustain our water supply, conservation and forestry are central to our economy in Colorado,” said Bennet. “Climate change threatens our way of life in the West, and I’m glad that we’ve expanded the scope of the conservation and forestry subcommittee to focus in a bipartisan manner on locally-led efforts to build climate resilience. On the energy and infrastructure subcommittee, I’ll work to promote a forward-looking energy policy that addresses climate change while working to build consensus to finance our nation’s infrastructure needs. Colorado has been leading the way toward building a resilient, 21st-century clean energy economy, and I look forward to bringing our state’s experience to my committee work.”
Last year, Bennet convened a Western Climate Resilience Roundtable to develop a collaborative, consensus-driven set of priorities for Western climate resilience. The roundtable consisted of leaders in Colorado with a connection to the Colorado River––from the agriculture, water, local government, tribal government, education, environment, and business communities. In February, Bennet announced a framework of Western climate resilience priorities that the group identified. This framework will help guide Bennet’s climate priorities in Congress.
Bennet is also working on a proposal to create hundreds of thousands of jobs by investing in the forests and watersheds of the West. By partnering with collaborative groups, water districts, local governments, and western governors, the bill would boost local restoration and resilience efforts. This proposal would invest in the natural infrastructure that millions of people rely on for their livelihood, health, and well-being. After introducing the bill in December, Bennet welcomed broad, bipartisan support for the idea from Colorado and national stakeholders.
Bennet has served on the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee since first coming to the U.S. Senate in 2009. During that time, he has worked to pass two bipartisan Farm Bills — in 2014 and 2018 — and secured a number of priorities for Colorado, such as new tools to improve drought resilience and soil health, and expanded funding for collaborative forest restoration and wildlife habitat improvements. Since passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, Bennet has remained committed to ensuring key Colorado priorities in the bill are fully and effectively implemented.