Tipton Continues Push for Additional Air Tankers

June 21, 2013
By
The House approved Tipton's measure as an amendment to a farm spending measure, but then rejected the underlying bill Thursday

The House approved Tipton’s measure as an amendment to a farm spending measure

WASHINGTON — A Colorado House Republican indicated he would re-introduce a measure that would allow the U.S. Forest Service to lease as many as five new large firefighting air tankers.  A spokesman for Rep. Scott Tipton (R-Cortez) said the lawmaker was looking  into drafting a stand-alone bill to accomplish the same goal.  The House had approved Tipton’s measure as an amendment to the farm bill Thursday, but rejected the underlying bill.  

An amendment sponsored by Rep. Jared Polis (D-Boulder) that would permit colleges and universities to grow and cultivate industrial hemp in states in which the production is legal met a similar  fate.

Supporters said the measure would help combat wild fires and forest fires with newer aircraft from private contractors and save money in the long run.

“It gives us another tool in the tool chest,” Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colorado Springs, said in an interview Thursday.

Tipton noted the federal government spends $1.77 billion to suppress wildfires and $268 million to prevent and treat wildfires. “There is an imbalance there that we can do a better job of addressing,” he said in an interview Thursday.

The measure would have allowed the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture to enter a contract with private companies to lease firefighting air tankers. It said the contracts would impose no additional cost on the federal government.

A July 2012 study from the Rand Corporation concluded that the average annual capital and operating costs of leasing a 3,000-gallon air tanker is $7.1 million.

Tipton’s measure passed in the House without opposition.

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2 Responses to Tipton Continues Push for Additional Air Tankers

  1. Chuck OReilly
    June 24, 2013 at 8:16 am

    Why are Wild Fires getting worse?

    My lot borders the Pike National Forest. As a result of record snow storms that have occurred over the past ten years, there has been a massive build up of dead trees lying on the ground. This build up of fuel is why forest fires that start in the national forest become terrible fire storms that then roar into populated areas such as happened in Colorado Springs.
    NO ONE is TALKING about the massive amounts of fuel in the national forest. The local fire departments such as the Larkspur Fire Protection District do not TALK about the massive amount of fuel that lies just on the other side of the national forest’s boundary line.
    Our members of the US Congress do nothing that addresses this issue. The Obama administration has taken no action with The Colorado Roadless Rule”. The Colorado state legislature has a tax credit for mitigation that is meaningless.

  2. Bob Terry
    June 24, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    Fuel!!! just as Mr O’Reilly has stated not only here in Douglas County, but overall in Colorado. Why?? because per the Enviro’s we can’t maintain, harvest, or even manage because we’ll damage the forest. Well when it’s all a blackened landscape what have we preserved.. Go around Swan mountain road, in Summit County…with all the beetle kill…(hopefully no beetles were killed) They gleaned the countryside…to keep more fires from starting…No one addresses the issue, why because we have SO MUCH Government, they can’t even keep up with all the beareaucratic crap that abounds…anything with “service” in the name as a Government entity be suspicious.. US Forestry Service…Internal Revenue Service… Where are they serving… they are not…but doesn’t it feel nice…fuzzy and warm that they are trying or supposed to look out for us….Get real people….we the PEOPLE and the individual states need to start taking control….The Fed’s they couldn’t fix a sandwich without 5000 pages of crap and amendments

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