Posted on April 11, 2019
WASHINGTON, April 11, 2019 – United States Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today released the following statement on his vote to confirm David Bernhardt to serve as U.S. Secretary of the Interior:
“At Mr. Bernhardt’s confirmation hearing two weeks ago, he shared with me his commitment to work with myself, the National Park Service and the community on new recreation and tourism opportunities surrounding the Foothills Parkway,” Alexander said. “I also talked with him about the Restore Our Parks Act – legislation I introduced with Senators Portman, Warner, and King that would cut in half the maintenance backlog at our national parks and help restore our 418 national parks. I appreciate his commitment to continue the department’s support for what would be the biggest help to the National Park Service in 50 years. This is especially important to Tennessee, because our state is home to one of America’s greatest treasures – the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which is the most visited national park in the country and welcomed a record-setting 11.4 million visitors in 2018.”
The Restore Our Parks Act would establish the “National Park Service Legacy Restoration Fund” to reduce the nearly $12 billion maintenance backlog in our parks by allocating existing revenues the government receives from on and offshore energy development. This funding would come from 50 percent of all revenues that are not otherwise allocated and deposited into the General Treasury not to exceed $1.3 billion each year for the next five years.
Alexander is a member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, which approved David Bernhardt’s nomination on April 4, 2019.