Bipartisan Bill Would Create Oil & Gas Jobs by Plugging Orphaned Wells
Senator Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) and I introduced the Revive Economic Growth and Reclaim Orphaned Wells (REGROW) Act of 2021.
While thousands of the nation's oilfield workers are out of a job, our country has over 50,000 abandoned oil and gas wells with no one responsible for their cleanup. As a top energy and agricultural producer, North Dakota excels at prioritizing the reclamation of these orphaned wells, which keeps people employed, reduces environmental hazards and public health risks, and makes previously unusable land productive again. The REGROW Act would follow our state's lead by providing states, tribes, and federal agencies the resources they need to properly plug orphaned wells. It's a win for workers, landowners, and the environment.
Meeting with JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon
JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon and I met in my office on Wednesday. We discussed my Fair Access to Banking Act and ways to responsibly achieve climate goals in the United States.
I am very encouraged by our meeting. I believe he has a good understanding of my concerns regarding financial institutions categorically discriminating against legally operating industries, and he seems to clearly recognize working to reduce our carbon footprint does not mean shutting down America's fossil fuel industry and ruining our economy in the process. I look forward to working with him and his peers on those and other mutual goals.
Hearing Covers Transportation Infrastructure Funding Solutions
I participated in a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing this week on addressing the long-term solvency of the Highway Trust Fund. During my conversation with the witnesses, I touched on current funding mechanisms for the Highway Trust Fund, the White House flawed discretionary grant funding proposal, and bold steps we should take in crafting an infrastructure package.
Senate Confirms Chair of White House CEQ
On Thursday I voted against the nomination of Brenda Mallory to be Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ).
She refused to give a direct answer when I asked if the White House would commit to not letting politics influence its decisions to shut down energy infrastructure like the Dakota Access Pipeline. The Biden Administration is already filled with people ready to put the desires of the Hollywood elite ahead of American energy. They don’t need more leaders who won’t acknowledge the role energy assets like pipelines play in creating economic opportunity, bolstering our energy security, and keeping emissions in check. The Dakota Access Pipeline has passed every environmental assessment put before it by the career professionals this Administration claims to listen to, yet its ability to operate still remains in jeopardy. I urge Mrs. Mallory and her colleagues to set aside the unfounded, partisan arguments from the far-left and support the pipeline.
Resolution Condemns Hate Crimes and Racism Targeting Asian Americans
I joined Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) in introducing a resolution condemning crimes and expressions of racism and hate toward Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. The rise in bigotry toward Asian Americans is heartbreaking. Our diversity and multiculturalism is our strength. It's frustrating that some Americans still don't realize that.
I spoke to members of the media on Tuesday about this issue and a wide array of topics, including President Biden’s decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, the recent shooting in Minnesota, and calls by some Democrats to end policing.
Legislation Would Protect Consumers' Access to Financial Services
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) is leading legislation I cosponsored called the Financial Institution Customer Protection Act. This bill prohibits federal regulators from arbitrarily forcing banking institutions to terminate their relationships with legal businesses solely because the operations of the businesses are not in line with the views of the contemporaneous administration.
Federal banking agencies should be servants of the American people, not political henchmen for whichever party holds the White House. Our bill protects consumers access to financial services and prevents financial institutions from undue political pressure by the federal government.
Bipartisan Bill Restores Holocaust Survivors' Rights
I joined Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) in introducing the Holocaust Insurance Accountability Act, bipartisan legislation to allow beneficiaries of Holocaust-era insurance policies to bring civil action in U.S. district courts against the insurer for the covered policy to recover proceeds due or otherwise enforce any rights under the policy.
Holocaust survivors endured one of the darkest moments in the history of the world. Insurers have no business profiting off of their pain and hardship. Our bill gives survivors and their beneficiaries a way to receive the money they are owed.
Bipartisan Bill Supports Veterans Transitioning to Civilian Life
I joined fellow Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee members Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) in introducing bipartisan legislation to strengthen the Solid Start program, which reaches out to veterans multiple times after they leave active duty to check in and help connect them to VA programs and benefits.
Our bill would codify a flexible, personalized program which helps veterans return to civilian life. These patriots put their lives on the line each day. We should give them all the resources they need to make that transition as easy as possible.
Bill Abolishes the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and I have introduced a bill to abolish the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The CFPB is the embodiment of a federal bureaucracy run rampant. It is a bloated and unaccountable agency which fails to accomplish its stated purpose of protecting consumers. Our bill would get rid of this Obama-era mistake.
Ceremony Honors Fallen U.S. Capitol Police Officer Billy Evans
Officer Billy Evans was a hero who gave his life protecting our nation's temple of democracy. As he laid in honor at the Capitol on Tuesday, I joined in mourning his tragic loss and offering my condolences to his wife, children, and loved ones. We will never forget his sacrifice.
Grants for North Dakota
NDDEQ Receives $2.5 Million for Environmental Protection Programs
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded $2,514,478 to the North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality (NDDEQ). The federal funds will be used by the state for programs which address clean air, clean water, hazardous and solid waste, drinking water, underground storage tanks, underground injection control, and radon.
Valley Community Health Partners Receives $1.7 Million
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through the Health Resources and Services Administration awarded $1,757,581 to the Valley Community Health Partners in Grand Forks. The funds are a continuation of previously approved grants by HRSA to help the grantee continue to provide health services to the region.
UND Receives $1.2 Million for Aging Research
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded $1,230,093 to the University of North Dakota (UND). The funds will be used for aging research, specifically for Alzheimer's Disease.
Commerce Dept. Awards $1.1 Million to Establish Technology Accelerator in Grand Forks
The U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration (EDA) awarded $1,100,000 to the city of Grand Forks, to convert a historic downtown building into a technology accelerator.
Whether at Grand Sky or the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks is a leader in emerging technologies with great potential to contribute to our nation's technological efforts. A technology accelerator will help attract more economic opportunity to the community and create jobs in the process.
This EDA project, to be matched with $1.1 million in local funds, is expected to create 139 jobs.
USDA Awards $500k for Meat Processing Workforce Training
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture awarded $500,000 to North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton. The funds will be used for workforce training for workers in rural meat processing.
As recommended by the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), our in-state offices are taking precautions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Our staff members are available by phone or email and are taking in-person meetings by appointment only.
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Weekly Radio and TV Schedule
What's On Your Mind with Scott Hennen
Fridays from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. central
KFYR 550 AM - Bismarck
1100 The Flag - Fargo
KLTC 1460 AM - Dickinson
KTGO 1090 AM - Tioga
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Thursdays from 10:00 to 10:30 a.m. central
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KHND 1470 AM - Harvey
Every other Tuesday from 3:00 to 3:30 p.m. central
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Chris Berg - Point of View
6:30 p.m. central (Semi-Monthly)
Valley News Live - Fargo
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