Leading the West forward
By Rep. Dan Newhouse (WA-04) and Sen. Cynthia Lummis (WY)
Washington, February 2, 2023
This piece was originally published on Agri-Pulse.
It’s true, for the last two years, rural Americans have been left behind, their concerns ignored, and their voices silenced. All the while, the Congressional and Senate Western Caucuses have been listening to these same men and women who feed and clothe the world. Now, we’re acting.
As Chairs of the Congressional and Senate Western Caucuses, we have the privilege of leading more than 100 members of the House and Senate who represent a diverse landscape of our great nation. As a farmer and a rancher respectively, we understand firsthand the issues our constituents in Washington and Wyoming face. Together, we will defend the western way of life by promoting local decision-making and smart public land management, re-establishing American energy dominance, and fostering rural economic development in our communities.
For too long, the Biden Administration has abandoned common sense to appease radical environmentalists, and its nonsense knows no bounds. Even as the Supreme Court is set to release a decision that will likely rein in the unelected bureaucrats in D.C., the Biden Administration is forcing American farmers and ranchers to abide by yet another definition of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS). The administration is also decimating our domestic energy and critical minerals production (in the name of climate change), while at the same time increasing global emissions by importing energy resources from countries like Venezuela, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Russia which have no environmental standards of which to speak. This must end now.
We came to Washington to serve the people of Central Washington and Wyoming, and now as Chairs of the House and Senate Western Caucus will advocate for all rural communities in the west and beyond. We are eager to work in both chambers on our priorities. We will work to regain energy dominance by embracing new and emerging energy technologies, encouraging domestic mineral development, and fixing our broken federal permitting processes. We will strengthen our national security by making investments in critical mineral development, infrastructure projects, and border enforcement. We will ensure our communities have the resources they need for future generations to succeed by preserving private property rights and unburdening landowners from onerous regulations. Lastly, we will advocate for local control so those who are closest to the land are making resource management decisions and leading conservation efforts.
America is a land of entrepreneurship and growth. While the Biden Administration turns its back on our resource abundant western states in order to side with the shiniest radical environmental group, they forget that it is the folks who live in the rural west who are leading the way forward. People out west are leading conservation efforts which increase farm yields without increasing land usage, ensuring our food supply chain remains stable. They’re also properly managing our forests that produce timber, pulp and paper products, and chips and pellets for biomass energy. Together our farmers, ranchers, and energy producers are providing conservation benefits that improve soil and water health, air quality, and wildlife habitat, while producing the energy that powers our country—and the world.
As we head into the 118th Congress, we will fight every day to lift up the voices of these men and women and, together, lead the west forward.
Dan Newhouse, a Republican, represents Washington’s 4th Congressional District and is Chairman of the Congressional Western Caucus.
Cynthia Lummis, a Republican, is a U.S. senator from Wyoming and Chair of the Senate Western Caucus.