U.S. Senator Lankford Comments on Federal Land Management, TPP, GMO Labeling and MoreTue, 26 Apr 2016 21:35:22 CDT
The federal government owns more than 600 million acres across the United States, but U.S. Senator James Lankford says it is not doing an adequate job of caring for that land.
“The federal government is a terrible landlord. You’ve got federal ownership and federal control of land but not federal maintenance and care for that land,” he says. “It’s distant, it’s far away and it’s just one piece on an inventory.”
He recently introduced an amendment allocating funds from the Land and Water Conservation Fund - revenue generated from offshore oil drilling and used to purchase land - to be used in-part for maintenance of federal lands.
Although it failed in the Senate, Lankford says he will continue the push to find a responsible way to fund the $18 billion maintenance backlog of current federal land.
“I had some people that came up to me after the vote was over and say let’s just allocate more funds to manage it,” he says. “I laughed and said ‘you know as well as I do that’s not going to happen.’ When we talk about the priorities between national defense, social security and Medicare, we will always prioritize those things and our land will be the last thing.”
In a recent interview with Ron Hays, Lankford also commented on hot-button issues like the Trans-Pacific Partnership. While he doesn’t think a vote on the trade agreement will happen any time before the general election in November, he says he understands agriculture’s push to ratify it.
“We are an economy built on trade. We have great agricultural products that the rest of the world wants,” he says. “When we have trade barriers on top of a strong dollar, it makes it even tougher.”
Click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear Ron’s complete interview with U.S. Senator Lankford, including his views on TPP, GMO labeling and the final days of the Obama Administration.
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