Sen. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenDemocrats scramble to reach deal on taxes Pelosi open to scrapping key components in spending package Under pressure, Democrats cut back spending MORE (D-Ore.) led a bipartisan coalition of senators representing western states in a letter Tuesday calling for federal action on jet fuel shortages, which they said are hampering aerial fighting of wildfires.
Wyden and seven other senators asked the White House for information on efforts to address jet fuel shortages. Their inquiries include how the executive branch would respond in a scenario where fuel runs short amid multiple wildfires in multiple states and what the procedures are for ensuring contractors and other entities have access to fuel.
In addition to Wyden, the letter was signed by Sens. Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleySenate Democrats call for diversity among new Federal Reserve Bank presidents Democrats look for plan B on filibuster GOP blocks Senate Democrats' revised elections bill MORE (D-Ore.), Alex PadillaAlex PadillaSenate Democrats call for diversity among new Federal Reserve Bank presidents GOP blocks Senate Democrats' revised elections bill Progressives push back on decision to shrink Biden's paid family leave program MORE (D-Calif.), James Risch (R-Idaho), Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel Feinstein Ban on new offshore drilling must stay in the Build Back Better Act Senate GOP signals they'll help bail out Biden's Fed chair Jane Fonda to push for end to offshore oil drilling in California MORE (D-Calif.), Mike CrapoMichael (Mike) Dean CrapoDemocrats narrow scope of IRS proposal amid GOP attacks Senate GOP signals they'll help bail out Biden's Fed chair Yellen confident of minimum global corporate tax passage in Congress MORE (R-Idaho), Maria CantwellMaria Elaine CantwellSenate Democrat calls on Facebook to preserve documents related to whistleblower testimony Biden says he has directed DOJ to focus on violence from unruly airline passengers Looking to the past to secure America's clean energy future MORE (D-Wash.) and Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayUnder pressure, Democrats cut back spending Overnight Health Care — Presented by Carequest — Colin Powell's death highlights risks for immunocompromised Senate Democrats ditch Hyde amendment for first time in decades MORE (D-Wash.).
“In 2021, there are already over 108 large fires burning in 15 states and the need for an aerial response to fight these fires is a critical and much-needed tool," the senators wrote. "We are concerned that fuel shortages could lead to the grounding of federal, state, and contracted aircrafts and hurt the ability for initial fire attack and further devastate communities near the growing number of wildfires."
The states represented by signers of the letter have 63 large wildfires burning, according to data from the National Interagency Fire Center.
Wyden has separately pressed the Federal Emergency Management Agency on the availability of wildfire resources at the local level, and in June praised the Biden administration for responding to his requests for a comprehensive fire response plan.