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E&E NEWS: [Cramer] Bill passes to prevent electric fires on public land

Nov 3, 2017
Press Release

E&E NEWS: [Cramer] Bill passes to prevent electric fires on public land

Cecelia Smith-Schoenwalder, E&E News reporter

Published: Wednesday, November 1, 2017

The House yesterday approved legislation to allow utilities to test projects that could reduce the risk of wildfires on national forest land.

H.R. 2921, from Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), passed with support of the Forest Service and by voice vote under suspension of the rules, a way to fast-track noncontroversial measures.

Cramer said that deep within national forest lands, "the potential for problems persists." He also noted how important a reliable source of electricity is for rural areas.

Some of the pilot projects could involve tree thinning and fuel reduction. Cramer noted they would only be implemented outside designated wilderness areas.

The House also passed H.R. 2521, from Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.), to amend the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 to allow residents of South Carolina to be appointed to the Peanut Standards Board.

South Carolina grew very few peanuts in 2002, said Wilson, but now the state is the fourth-largest producer, and the official snack is a boiled peanut.

"If only the farm bill was this easy," Rep. Rick Crawford (R-Ark.) quipped during debate.

The House passed two more bills by voice vote:

  • H.R. 2941, from Rep. Ralph Abraham (R-La.), to provide for the conveyance of certain National Forest System land within Kisatchie National Forest in Louisiana.
  • H.R. 3567, from Rep. Ken Calvert (R-Calif.), to authorize the purchase of about 8.75 acres from the Natural Resources Conservation Service in California by the Riverside-Corona Resource Conservation District.

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