Green River Star -

By John Barrasso
U.S. Senator 

Barrasso comments on water, 'Obamacare' subsidies


The Supreme Court made big waves in June when they released important decisions that directly impact Wyoming’s energy economy and health premiums for those enrolled in Obamacare.

In the Senate, we advanced bipartisan legislation to keep Wyoming’s water clean while protecting private and state water rights as well as a six-year transportation bill that includes priorities for rural states like ours.

Bipartisan Bill to Protect Wyoming’s Water Advances

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee voted on June 10th to advance the bipartisan Federal Water Quality Protection Act that I introduced this spring. The bill directs the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to issue a revised “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule. My bill protects traditional navigable water and wetlands from water pollution, while also protecting farmers, ranchers and private landowners. I will push for the full Senate to pass this bill so we can send EPA back to the drawing board to write a new rule that truly reflects the needs of all Americans.

Wyoming Priorities Included in Bipartisan Transportation Bill

On June 24, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee passed a bipartisan transportation bill to address our country’s transportation infrastructure challenges for the next six years. The bill will give states the resources and funding they need to ensure our nation’s roads, bridges and infrastructure are safe and up to date. It also includes provisions that will provide flexibility and regulatory relief for Wyoming and other rural states. These provisions will make it easier for the Wyoming Department of Transportation to implement projects specific to our state’s needs—including rural freight routes and road and bridge projects.

Supreme Court Overturns EPA’s Anti-Coal Rule

The Supreme Court ruled on June 29 that the EPA failed to take into account the compliance costs and negative health impacts of its Mercury and Air Toxic Standards (MATS) rule. This rule, which was originally proposed in 2012, established strict emission standards for coal and oil-fired power plants.

While this ruling is a welcome rebuke of the Obama administration’s runaway EPA, it’s too late for many Americans who work at coal plants that have already been forced to prematurely shut down because of this rule. Going forward, this ruling should serve as a check against future actions by this administration to roll out new costly red tape—including the so-called “clean power plan.” Republicans will continue to use every tool we have to stop regulations that will crush jobs, harm public health, and increase energy prices for American families.

Supreme Court Decision on Obamacare Subsidies

The Supreme Court released another important ruling this month in favor of the Obama administration with its decision upholding subsidies in the president’s health care law. The Court’s decision does not change the fact that the president’s health care law is unpopular, unworkable and unaffordable. Obamacare restricts Americans’ health care choices and forces them to pay more for services they do not need or want. I will continue to look for opportunities to repeal this law and replace it with reforms that will reduce costs and increase quality of care for individuals in Wyoming and all across America.

Wyoming Comes to Washington

Five students from Wyoming traveled to Washington in June for the 2015 Congressional Awards Ceremony. It was great to be with Rock Springs’ Edison Elder, Marianna Pizzato and Jaynie Welsh along with Encampment’s Keegan Johnson and Jackson’s Jeremy Shockley as they received their gold medals. All five of these students received this prestigious award for their commitment to community service, physical fitness and leadership experience.


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