Congressman Faleomavaega announced today that the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources Democratic caucus has chosen its subcommittee assignments for the 111th Congress. With 10 new members in the Democratic Caucus, including the Delegates from the CNMI and Puerto Rico, the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources now consists of 29 Democrats, and 20 Republicans.
As had been in the past, Faleomavaega would continue to serve on the newly merged Subcommittee on Insular Affairs, Oceans and Wildlife, which among other matters, has jurisdiction over legislation governing the U.S. territories as well as issues pertaining to fisheries management, wildlife resources, coastal barrier protection and coastal zone management, and marine sanctuaries. This subcommittee assignment includes setting federal policies for the territories and also to ensure the long-term protection and responsible use of the nation’s marine and terrestrial wildlife resources, as well as the environmental health of our coasts and oceans.
In addition, Faleomavaega would serve on the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, which has within its purview legislative authority over energy development on public lands and waters, including oil and gas leasing in the Outer Continental Shelf, among other areas. This subcommittee assignment puts him in a position to help continue the work towards a dependable energy production policy while protecting vulnerable lands and waters.
“In these dire economic times, it is especially important for the territories to find innovative means to encourage economic development and also protect its natural resources. The territories could benefit tremendously if we could access the vast economic wealth of our natural resources and surrounding Pacific Ocean. Given that rich deposits of cobalt had been found near the Cook Islands, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, and Fiji in the past, there is potential for seabed mining industry in the South Pacific Region as a matter of significant economic interest. Among other ideas, I intend to pursue and explore the feasibility of a seabed mining industry in the territories,” Faleomavaega added.
“Despite the many challenges ahead, I look forward to continue working with Chairwoman Madeleine Bordallo of Insular Affairs, Oceans, and Wildlife, and Chairman Jim Costa of Energy and Mineral Resources, on this issue and other critical matters relating to the territories,” Faleomavaega concluded.