Larry Craig

Sen. Craig plans to focus on natural resources, energy for the rest of his term

Sen. Larry Craig said Tuesday he plans to focus on natural resources and energy issues during the remainder of his term.

Craig, who pleaded guilty to charges resulting from a sting operation in a men's bathroom in August, issued his first general letter to constituents Tuesday since backing off his decision to resign.

"The past several weeks have been an extremely difficult time in my personal and professional life," Craig said in the letter e-mailed to people who had contacted him previously. "However, I assure you that, despite the rapidly changing circumstances surrounding my case in Minnesota, I have made decisions regarding my place in the United States Senate according to what I believe is best for Idaho."

Craig reported on bills before Congress and said he would focus on wildfire, mining, federal lands and a new energy bill. He told constituents he remained on important committees that deal with the issues but failed to report he had voluntarily given up seniority on the panels.

Craig remains on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee but he has given up his seniority as ranking member.

"I have made it a priority to ensure that this bill moves our country toward greater energy security by promoting expanded and efficient opportunities for energy production here at home, and I am looking forward to continuing my work on this front," Craig said.

Craig nor his staff would comment on the letter because they refuse to answer any questions from the Idaho Statesman.

"I hope you will continue to keep me informed on the issues most important to you," Craig wrote.