senator john barrasso

Eric Barnes

In the 1960’s, Fontanelle Reservoir in southwest Wyoming was partially built to store water from the Green River for irrigation and industrial use in Western Wyoming. It was never completed, but now a bill has passed the U.S. House that would allow the state of Wyoming to finish the job.

Since the Green River is a major tributary of the Colorado, expanding the reservoir could allow as much as 100,000 more acre feet of water to be diverted from the Colorado River system.

Alex Fiszbein

Wyoming Senator John Barrasso has one of the more difficult jobs in Washington this summer: he’s chairing the Republican platform committee for the party’s convention. As chair, he’s charged with helping usher through a cohesive party platform at a time when the party is arguably its most divided in decades.

M&R Glasgow, Flickr Creative Commons

 

In the wake of the tragic slayings in Orlando last weekend, gun-control unexpectedly dominated Congress this week.

For Democrats the slaughter of 49 people at the Orlando LGBT club was the last straw and they’re calling for overhauling the nation’s lax gun laws. On Monday, the House dedicated a moment of silence to the victims, and Connecticut Congressman Jim Himes and a few other Democrats walked out of the chamber.

Official photo of Representative Cynthia Lummis

Last month President Obama took a historic trip to Southeast Asia to strengthen U.S. ties in the region and promote a 12 nation trade deal. If Congress were to sign off on it Wyoming could benefit. That’s because it would lower tariffs on U.S. meat exports while also making it easier for energy firms to export gas overseas.

Gage Skidmore

Donald Trump wasn’t the first choice of Wyoming’s congressional delegation, but now that he’s presumed Republican nominee, they’re all embracing him in their own way.

Wyoming’s junior senator, John Barrasso, is a part of the Republican leadership team in the Senate, so he was inside Thursday’s meeting in Washington with Donald Trump. That doesn’t mean Barrasso necessarily wants to stop and talk about Trump.

“We had a very good, productive meeting and I’m late for another one right now.”

Courtesy Stephanie Joyce

  

Remember the Washington spending battles over the past few years? The government shutdown is likely the most memorable, but every fall there’s a spending battle, usually an eleventh-hour bill to keep the government’s lights on for a few weeks and then an agreement to fund the government at the last minute. That annual dysfunction angers Wyoming Senator Mike Enzi who Chairs the Budget Committee. That’s why he’s ecstatic Republican leaders are bringing up the bill to fund the Interior and Energy Departments now.

The U.S. Senate put its partisan tendencies aside this week and passed a sweeping bill aimed at modernizing the U.S. energy sector. The bill includes provisions that could help the state’s ailing energy industry.

Wyoming lawmakers are laying down their legislative priorities for the New Year, but the state’s Republicans doubt they can get much done with a Democrat in the White House.

President Obama is fresh off a quick campaign style jaunt across the nation where he tried to rally support for his agenda, which ranges from gun control to finding a cure for cancer. But Republicans, like Wyoming Senator John Barrasso, said that the president started the year on the wrong foot by announcing he was taking executive action on gun-control.

U.S. Senator John Barrasso and the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs have introduced a bill to help Native American tribes get better access to federal funds meant to help crime victims. In the last five years, tribes have received less than one percent of the federal victims’ funding available, even as crimes like homicide and sexual assault continue to rise on reservations.

 

Last night the U.S. Senate voted to repeal so-called Obamacare – no, don’t tune out. We know Republicans have done that dozens of times, but this time is different, or so they say. This ‘repeal’ is expected to make it to President Obama’s desk, and, as Matt Laslo reports from Washington, Wyoming’s two senators both played a key role in the effort.

You may or may not be aware, but one of Wyoming’s senators is a doctor. John Barrasso hates Obamacare so much he started hosting a YouTube show solely focused on derailing the president’s signature health care bill. 

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Remember when Democrats controlled Congress a few years back? House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had stout majorities back then. Yet even then Democrats couldn’t get legislation passed to combat climate change. So why is the Obama administration preparing to go to Paris to promise the world drastic emission reductions from the United States? U.S. Representative Cynthia Lummis said the answer is simple.

“Oh, he’s bypassing Congress.”

Lummis said President Obama isn’t being honest with global leaders as he’s promising lavish reductions in CO2.

CSPAN

This year Wyoming’s Junior Senator, John Barrasso, took the gavel as chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. It’s a new spotlight for Barrasso who frequently appears on CSPAN or cable news railing against the Affordable Care Act.

But as chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee he’s got one of the largest portfolios in Congress because of all the daunting issues facing Indian Country.

Stephanie Joyce

Congress hasn’t passed an energy bill since 2007, but a bill is winding its way through Congress that has the chance of becoming law.

Earlier this year a bipartisan coalition sent Keystone XL Pipeline legislation to President Obama’s desk only to have it vetoed and the President has continued his battle against climate change. But some are still hopeful that a bipartisan energy bill could still pass. Wyoming Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis said that she believes targeted legislation might become law and that’s what a bipartisan group has come up with. 

John Barrasso Official Portrait 112th Congress

Wyoming Senator John Barrasso has been a leading voice calling on Congress to lift a decades-old ban on exporting U.S. natural gas overseas. It really heated up last year when Russia invaded the Ukrainian peninsula Crimea. Senator Barrasso remembers it well.

“There were a bi-partisan group of us actually in Ukraine the day that the Russian helicopters landed at the gas plant just North of the Crimea, which tells you what it was all about. It was about the gas. And Putin uses energy to hold European countries and Ukraine hostage.”

Irina Zhorov of Wyoming Public Radio

Wyoming's two U.S. senators are getting behind a new effort to give Governors more power over the EPA. The reason is simple.

It's no secret the EPA has its sights set on the nation's traditional energy sector. In 2012, 39% of the nation's carbon emissions came from either coal, oil or natural gas fired power plants. There's only about 2500 of them nationwide, and the EPA is demanding they cut their emissions or it will have them shuttered. Wyoming's junior Senator John Barrasso says the EPA is forcing the energy industry to make terrible business decisions. 

Charles Cook via Flickr Creative Commons

  

There’s no doubt Wyoming is an energy state. With its low population most of the energy produced from fossil fuels and now increasingly from wind are sent to other states, here’s a fun fact: roughly two-thirds of all the state’s energy production gets consumed in other states.

There’s a problem though: the nation’s energy transmission system, whether pipes, wires or train tracks, are rapidly aging. In a new report, the Obama administration calls for updating the grid, which is bringing cheers from Wyoming Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis.

Wikimedia Commons

With federal highway funding once again facing uncertainty, Wyoming officials have already had to postpone transportation projects. Matt Laslo reports from Washington on how Wyoming’s all Republican delegation is trying to do to shore up the program.

Senate Energy GOP

U.S. Senator John Barrasso will be chairing a congressional hearing on the Wind River Reservation at the end of March that will bring tribal officials and law enforcement together to testify on drugs use on the reservation and different methods to curb use.

The Wind River Reservation was one of four reservations chosen for a law enforcement surge pilot program in 2010 and 2012 to combat substance abuse and violent crime. Barrasso says the hearing was called to find out if it was the surge or some other factors that helped curb crime.

One of the biggest Supreme Court cases of this term could wipe away the insurance subsidies that tens of thousands of Wyoming residents now rely on under so-called Obamacare. Matt Laslo has the story from Washington on how Wyoming Senator John Barrasso is now scrambling to find a Plan B for a law he's staked his name as a doctor opposing.  

Wyoming’s Republican senators can’t wait to go from being in the minority to the majority party come January. In the new year the GOP will hold all the gavels - and with them, most of the power - on Capitol Hill. But Republicans are still locked out of the White House, which Senator John Barrasso is keenly aware of. He's not happy the president is using his pen on immigration reform or to agree to carbon emission targets with China. 

What would the nation’s energy policy look like if Republicans capture the Senate this November? Matt Laslo caught up with Wyoming lawmakers and energy analysts to find out the potential impact on the state’s energy sector if the GOP gains control of the upper chamber.

Bob Beck

There's a water war going on in the nation's capital that has Wyoming lawmakers and land owners worried the federal government is soon going to be regulating most every drop of water that falls from the sky.

Wyoming Senator John Barrasso

Sep 18, 2014

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With a statewide broadcast, WPR plays an important role in keeping people across the cowboy state informed on what’s going on in Wyoming and the world.

Thanks to your dedication, folks in Wyoming know they can rely on Wyoming Public Radio for news and programming that matter to their lives.

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The federal pot of money that’s supposed to keep local roads and bridges intact may soon be empty, yet lawmakers on Capitol Hill are miles apart from each other. It remains unclear if they’ll be able to bridge the gulf. Matt Laslo reports from Washington on how the Wyoming delegation is weighing in on the debate that’s sucking the air out of Washington this summer.

This week’s Supreme Court ruling on the EPA and its ability to regulate carbon is a mixed bag for Wyoming officials and energy producers. It sets the stakes even higher for Republicans in the state who are determined to derail a pending EPA rule on climate change.  

Like most all things here in Washington these days, the recent Supreme Court ruling in favor of the EPA is being read along party lines. But Wyoming Senator Mike Enzi says it’s not just partisanship. He says your opinion also hinges on where you’re reading.

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The White House is painting a dire picture for every region in the nation - including here at home - if action isn’t taken to combat climate change. But Matt Laslo reports from Washington that Wyoming’s Republican senators still aren’t buying it.

The Director of the Wyoming Department of Transportation is hopeful that a bipartisan attempt in the US Senate to pass a transportation bill will be successful.

Congress has not been able to agree on similar legislation in recent years, but Thursday a Senate committee approved a measure that ensures Wyoming’s share of the distribution will pay for repairs to hundreds of miles of highways across the state.  Without a highway bill, Wyoming Department of Transportation Director John Cox says things get put off.

Next week the U-S Senate is expected to have a debate on a bipartisan bill aimed at increasing energy efficiency in the U-S, but it could get derailed by an oil pipeline in the Midwest. Matt Laslo has the story from Washington on Wyoming Senator John Barrasso's role in the ongoing debate.

Lawmakers in Washington are debating whether to export more natural gas to combat Russian threats to cut off its gas supplies to Europe. Our D-C reporter  Matt Laslo has a look at what that could mean for Wyoming’s economy – and environment.

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Wyoming Republican John Barrasso is leading a fight in the U.S. Senate to change regulations on timber harvesting in national forests. Matt Laslo reports from Washington that environmentalists and foresters are suspicious of his idea.

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