U.S. Congressman Ed Case has received a second key committee appointment to the House Committee on Natural Resources. “This critical committee has jurisdiction over public lands and natural resources and is ground zero for our efforts in Congress to preserve the natural heritage that was gifted to us for generations to come,” said Case. “It is also responsible for our national oceans policy which is becoming even more critical as the threat to our world’s oceans from climate change, resources degradation and pollution become even more acute.”
Case said his appointment to Natural Resources will enable him to work on key areas for Hawai’i within the committee’s kuleana including ocean and fisheries programs through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Parks and Monuments, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
“Our state is special and distinctive in all the world – we are lucky to live Hawaii with one of the most unique natural heritages anywhere,” said Case. “But our flora and fauna are also fragile – so much so that Hawaii is considered by experts as the ‘Endangered Species Capital of the World’ – and we need constant vigilance and innovative programs to assure their survival.”
Other specific projects on which Case will focus through this committee assignment include restoration of the dock at the World War II Valor of the Pacific Monument (the Arizona Memorial), repairs at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park left severely damaged by the last year’s volcanic and seismic activity, and the preservation of the 583-square-mile Papahanaumokuakea National Marine Monument located in waters off the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands which Case worked to establish during his prior service in Congress.
The Committee also has jurisdiction over federal programs administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior on behalf of Native Hawaiians. “We are at an especially critical time as our Native Hawaiian community charts the best course toward establishing a direct relationship with our federal government akin to that recognized with other indigenous peoples for some 150 years now,” said Case. “My role on the committee will be to oversee and support that effort in Congress in close partnership with Native Hawaiians.”
Case was also recently appointed to the House committee on Appropriations, one of the U.S. House’s few exclusive committees, meaning that members are not usually permitted to serve on others, but was asked ty the House leadership to add Natural Resources to his portfolio. “This combination of Natural Resources and Appropriations should be especially effective for programs under Natural Resources in being able to focus not only on the programs themselves but on adequately funding them,” said Case.