Carper Named to Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Freshman Senator Now Sits on Four Full Committees, plus Special Aging Committee

WASHINGTON, DC – Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, Senate Steering Committee Chair John Kerry and Chairman Jeff Bingaman today asked Senator Tom Carper to join the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. As a member of the committee, Carper will be an active player in the debate over our nation’s energy policy, the protection of our wildlife and wilderness refuges, and development of alternative fuels like soy biodiesel. “There is a great need to develop a coherent energy policy for our nation this year. This policy must stress the need for greater conservation while also providing for increased energy production,” said Carper. “This will be an important debate, and I hope to be a catalyst for reaching consensus on this issue.” With President George W. Bush making the creation of a national energy policy one of the top priorities of his administration, Energy and Natural Resources has emerged as one of the most high-profile committees. The committee’s focus includes issues such as renewable energy sources like soy biodiesel and poultry litter, national parks, recreation areas, historic sites, hydroelectric power, irrigation and reclamation, off-shore drilling, and the use of OCS funds to protect open space in coastal states. “I normally would not accept a fourth full committee assignment in my first year in the Senate, but this is a tremendous opportunity to make an impact. I am grateful to my colleagues for offering me this opportunity,” Carper said. “Our office is now fully staffed, we are up and running, and we are all looking forward to tackling this challenge.” With his role on the Environment and Public Works Committee, Carper now sits on the two committees most involved in environmental issues. While the EPW oversees the Environmental Protection Agency, Energy and Natural Resources oversees the Department of the Interior. The Senator is also member of the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, the Government Affairs Committee, and the Senate Select Committee on Aging. “In the short time he’s been in the Senate, Tom Carper has distinguished himself as someone who works hard and gets things done,” said Chairman Bingaman (D-NM). “I believe Tom has the ability, experience and knowledge to make an immediate impact on our committee.”