Friday, August 14, 2009

Guam: One of America's Natural Resources

Rahall vows to support Guam’s needs
Friday, 14 August 2009 03:43 by Jude Lizama
Marianas Variety News Staff

ON THE final day of an official congressional delegation trip to the region that included Palau, the CNMI and Guam, U.S. congressman Nick Rahall declared “Certainly, Guam is one of our natural resources.”

As the chairman of the Committee on Natural Resources, Rahall also spoke about the important work currently underway to protect the natural environments of both the nation and its territories.

“We’re working to authorize a coastal management program to give the coastal states and the territories federal support and the tools from which they can plan for responsible and sustainable development, and to the protect the integrity of our coastlines and our beaches,” he said, adding that “all of Guam” is designated as a coastal zone.

Rahall’s comment came during presentations the congressional power-player delivered at the University of Guam in Mangilao and to Guam Chamber of Commerce members at the Hyatt Regency Guam in Tumon earlier this week.

Rahall, who is also the vice chairman for the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, said he recognizes the critical nature of modernizing all modes of transportation on Guam to support the buildup and growth in the civilian community.

“We want to ensure to the greatest extent that improvements, facilities and infrastructure are realized beyond the gates of the military installations,” he said.

The congressman cited that U.S. House of Representatives have been diligently working on legislation for fiscal year 2010 that would allocate nearly $50 million for the island under the Defense Access Roads Program. Rahall added that monies given to the island under the program is a “healthy down payment and a good start.”

Rahall added that the “essential ingredients” of local and national leadership and cooperation are in place not only for a successful buildup, but also towards educating the island community on the various options in choosing a preferential political status.

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