Meetings watch: Udall discusses Valles Caldera, Gulf crisis and Murkowski Resolution

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Tom Udall, D-NM, talked today with radio reporters from around the state about a bill he introduced with Senator Jeff Bingaman to transfer the Valles Caldera to the National Parks Service. Udall also gave his thoughts on Senator Lisa Murkowski’s pending resolution to strip the Environmental Protection Agency of its authority to regulate green house gas emissions and the on-going response to the crisis in the Gulf. To listen to the audio, click here.

Below is a time key of Senator Udall’s remarks:

00:00 – Udall opens the conversation by discussing his bill to transfer the Valles Caldera to the National Park Service, a move that will preserve the ecological integrity of the land while expanding public access. He also gives his opinion of Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski’s resolution to strip the EPA of its authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, which will be voted on by the full Senate on Thursday, calling it a step backward for climate science. In addition, Udall provides his thoughts on the “Big Oil Bailout Prevention Act of 2010,” legislation that will be considered Wednesday by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

06:25 – Comments on recent primary races in New Mexico and talks about the upcoming gubernatorial contest.

08:25 – Stresses the importance of using new technologies to increase border safety.

10:00 – Responds to a question on the closing of the Paolo Soleri amphitheatre. Notes that the structure is under the jurisdiction of the All Indian Pueblo Council and discusses his personal remembrances of the amphitheatre.

14:08 – Expresses the need for a “Do it All, Do it Right” energy plan. Emphasizes the economic and environmental impact of the BP oil spill as reasons for acting swiftly on a comprehensive plan.

17:49 – Discusses the future of Senate action on climate change legislation. Pledges to work to make the bill as strong as possible. Says a strong bill is critical to curbing the nation’s dangerous dependency on foreign oil and investing in renewable energies.

18:28 – Continues his call for increased federal regulation of the offshore oil industry.

21:53 – Discusses support for New Mexico’s algae biofuels industry as a means to help the U.S. decrease its dependence on foreign oil and develop local renewable resources.

25:18 – Talks about the public input his office has received in response to the introduction of legislation to transfer the Valles Caldera to the National Park Service. Stresses the importance of protecting the ecological integrity of the land while allowing expanded public access.

29:05 – Emphasizes that broad support of climate change legislation will put pressure on the federal government to act. Notes that the city of Albuquerque and the New Mexico state government have become leaders in the effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at a local level.

31:23 – Talks about the need for comprehensive energy legislation in the wake of the disaster in the Gulf.

32:35 – Talks about different proposals to stop the BP leak. Says some of the top scientists from New Mexico are working on the issue.