On Jan. 21, Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky announced that Utah's Bob Bennett will serve on the energy and natural resources committee in the 111th United States Congress.
"The bills that come before the Senate energy and natural resources committee that affect the everyday lives of Utahns," said Bennett. "As a senator from the West, I am honored to be selected to serve on this coveted committee where I can work on some of the most important issues in Utah, including energy development and public land policies."
Bennett will bring to the committee experience in resolving long-standing natural resources conflicts in Utah as demonstrated by the recent passage of the Washington County Growth and Conservation Act of 2009.
The bill will play a critical role in addressing public land preservation and rapid population growth in Utah's Washington - one of the nation's fastest growing counties, pointed out Republican leaders.
The U.S. House of Representatives and Senate leaders have signaled that the energy crisis will be a top priority in the 111th Congress.
The energy and natural resources committee will be tasked to oversee federal legislation pertaining to energy resources and development, renewable resources, nuclear energy, coal, oil and gas leasing, public lands and water resources.
In addition to the energy and natural resources position, Bennett will remain a member of the Senate's appropriations and joint economic committee as well as a senior member of the Senate's banking Committee. Appropriations assignments have not been announced, but it is expected that Bennett will be a ranking member on one of the subcommittees.
Bennett will continue to have a seat on the Republican leadership team as counsel to McConnell. As counsel, Bennett will advise the leader on legislative strategy and policy, help set the Senate Republican agenda and attend all leadership meetings.