Capitol Comments

U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi of Wyoming told attendees of at the CSG West Energy and Public Lands Committee there’s a movement on public lands.

“There are a lot of things that are happening on private land that are not happening on federal land,” he said, noting, in particular, energy development projects underway in places like North Dakota.

Karen Billups, the minority staff director for the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy, agreed.

“The oil and gas boom has been a private sector and state phenomenon,” she said. “The federal government seems to be dragging its feet.”

On Aug. 14, 2003, the lights went out throughout the Northeastern and Midwestern regions of the U.S. and Ontario, affecting 50 million people. The outage, which started when tree limbs hit transmission lines in Ohio and cascaded across eight states, demonstrated the vulnerability of the electric grid system in the U.S.

MAP-21 was one of the most transformational pieces of legislation in the area of transportation, Dave Nichols, director of the Missouri Department of Transportation, said Friday during the session, “Transportation Funding and Performance in the MAP-21 Era.”

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon sees education’s role in economic development as plain and simple.

“Education is, quite simply, the best economic development tool there is,” he said during Friday’s opening session, “Postsecondary Education for the 21st Century.” “As we look to a future in which two-thirds of occupations will require a college degree, we must intensify our efforts to ensure that students have access to higher education.”

David McCullough, author of Truman, John Adams and 1776 and twice winner of both the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award, will speak during CSG's 2013 National Conference, Friday, Sept. 20 at noon. McCullough has been acclaimed as a “master of the art of narrative history.” His work has been translated and published in 15 countries around the world.