WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a senior member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, today applauded the inclusion in S. 2012, the Energy Policy Modernization Act, of several measures that address long-term priorities in the realm of fish and wildlife conservation and historic resource preservation. Passed by a vote of 85-12, the measure represents the first broad Senate action on energy policy and related issues in nearly a decade. It invests in research and innovation, makes responsible investments in energy efficiency, and better develops a skilled workforce to meet the energy needs of the 21st century.
Specifically, Senator Cardin highlighted the permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a vital tool for the creation of urban parks, community green spaces and the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay; the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, a successful and popular public-private partnership-based program that has notched significant gains in wetland habitats and waterfowl populations alike; the National Fish Habitat Conservation Act, which builds on the power of partnerships to better manage and expand fish populations nationwide; and two measures to promote the preservation of historical sites in Baltimore, President Street Station and PS 103, where groundbreaking Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall attended elementary school. The bill also permanently reauthorizes the Historic Preservation Fund.
“The Energy Bill today passed by an overwhelming, bipartisan majority illustrates two realities: the power of partnerships in protecting our cherished cultural and wildlife resources and the amazing good that can be accomplished when we overcome our partisan differences and place the good of the country above partisan bickering,” said Senator Cardin. “We know that our fish and wildlife resources, along with the habitats on which they depend, are continually under siege and that we must identify and expand innovative ways to protect them. Many of the measures in this bill do exactly that by establishing and expanding public-private partnerships that are proven effective in maximizing our national investments in conservation. Significant and lasting successes that benefit our country’s incredible fish and wildlife resources undoubtedly will result from these advancements. The energy bill also will help create momentum toward better stewardship of two of Baltimore’s underappreciated historic resources, President St. Station and PS 103, where Justice Thurgood Marshall first learned many of the lessons that would make him a legendary jurist. For too long, these cultural jewels have been allowed to lose their shine, and the provisions in the energy bill passed by the Senate today will move us toward their improved, and hopefully permanent, preservation.”