Sen. Southerland appointed Chairman of Environment, Conservation and Tourism Committee

January 15, 2009

Sen. Southerland appointed Chairman of Environment,
Conservation and Tourism Committee

(NASHVILLE, TN), January 15, 2009State Senator Steve Southerland (R-Morristown) has been appointed Chairman of the Environment, Conservation and Tourism Committee in the State Senate.  The announcement was made by Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey as the 106th General Assembly concluded their organizational session in Nashville today.

     “This is a key time in our state’s history to be appointed as chairman of this committee,” said Sen. Southerland.  “There are many issues facing our state as we look for innovative ways to conserve our energy resources and at the same time preserve Tennessee’s precious resources for the next generation.  I look forward to the challenge ahead of us for the next two years.”

     The Committee will consider environmental issues in the wake of the recent coal ash spill in Kingston, Tennessee.  It is also expected to review any “green energy programs” that will be a part of President-elect Barak Obama’s stimulus package to the states.  These issues are in addition to continuing to monitor the state’s energy conservation efforts, the preservation of the state’s natural resources, protecting Tennessee’s state parks, and fostering the state’s tourism industry.

     “Tourism is a great economic benefit to our legislative district and in a time of economic downfall, we must do everything we can to bring more tourists to our state, “ Southerland added.  “I have also been very active in monitoring the water quality in our state’s rivers and streams.  I look forward to making sure we have the kind of protections in place to provide our citizens with safe water for both drinking and recreation, which is so important to our district.

     Southerland was also appointed to the Senate Transportation Committee, which oversees all road needs in the state.  That committee is also expected to review critical legislation regarding the state’s road improvement program.

     Now that the organization is completed, the General Assembly has adjourned until February 9, when Governor Phil Bredesen will present his budget.

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