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Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act

Pursuant to House Resolution 245 and rule XVIII, the Chair declares the House in the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union for the consideration of the bill, H.R. 1230.

Accordingly, the House resolved itself into the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union for the consideration of the bill (H.R. 1230) to require the Secretary of the Interior to conduct certain offshore oil and gas lease sales, and for other purposes, with Mr. Womack in the chair.

The Clerk read the title of the bill.

The CHAIR. Pursuant to the rule, the bill is considered read the first time.

The gentleman from Washington (Mr. Hastings) and the gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. Markey) each will control 30 minutes.

The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Washington.

Rep. Doc Hastings

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Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Chairman, the national average price of gasoline has gone up 10 cents in just the last week, and is now about 1\1/2\ cents nationally from $4 a gallon. By comparison, the price was $1.84 a gallon when President Obama was sworn into office.

In my home district in Central Washington last week, I heard from farmers, the foundation of our region's economy, who are finding it harder and harder to pay these high energy prices. And I have no doubt that my colleagues from other parts of the country have heard similar stories from their constituents.

The pain being felt today has been exacerbated by the actions of this administration, this administration which, for the past 2 years, has repeatedly blocked, hindered, and raised the cost to access to our American energy resources.

The House Natural Resources Committee recently passed three bills, H.R. 1229, 1230, and 1231, with bipartisan support, all of which reverse specific actions taken by the Obama administration to block offshore energy production. These bills will increase American energy production. They will create jobs, and they will lower energy prices. These are the first of an array of bills that will be introduced by our committee as part of the American energy initiative that will focus on expanding renewable energy, onshore production, hydropower, coal, critical minerals, and address offshore drilling revenue sharing and other needed reforms.

Today we are debating H.R. 1230, the Restarting America Offshore Leasing Now Act. This bill requires the Secretary of the Interior to conduct oil and natural gas lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and offshore Virginia that have been delayed or canceled by this administration.

The Virginia lease sale, for example, was scheduled to happen this year; but due to the Obama administration actions, the earliest this lease sale could occur is now 2017.

This bill will create thousands of jobs and, according to CBO, it will generate $40 million in new revenue to the Federal Government over the next 10 years.

I will note that very soon after this bill passed out of committee, with bipartisan support, the Obama administration announced that it would move forward on one gulf lease sale. Prior to this sudden action, the Obama administration was on course to make 2011 the first year since 1958 that the Federal Government would not have held an offshore lease sale.

Squeezing one conveniently timed offshore lease sale does not undo the Obama administration's long track record of blocking and delaying American energy production. This bill that we are considering today is necessary to hold their feet to the fire and to ensure that these lease sales move forward.

Americans instinctively understand the pain inflicted by rising gasoline prices, but yet we continue to hear the same excuses on why we shouldn't act. And let me give you several examples.

My colleagues across the aisle will say that expanding drilling will do nothing to lower gasoline prices. The truth is, and this is the important part, it will send a strong signal to the world markets that the U.S. is serious about producing our own resources and bringing more production, American production, online. Furthermore, this argument has been used by opponents to American energy production for decades. We can no longer delay and prevent access to our own American resources.

My colleagues will also propose increasing taxes on American energy production. Let me repeat that, Mr. Chairman. They will also propose increasing taxes on American energy production. I have to ask: When has raising taxes lowered the price of anything? And of course the answer to that is never. And it won't happen with energy. Whether it is taxing American energy producers or imposing a cap-and-trade national energy tax, the Democrats' plan will only further increase the price at the pump and ultimately cost jobs.

We are also likely to hear my colleagues reiterate the old ``use it or lose it'' myth, claiming that there are thousands of acres of nonproducing leases. Mr. Chairman, in reality, ``use it or lose it'' is already the law of the land. The moment a company pays for and receives a lease, the clock starts ticking. Leases have a time line. If action doesn't occur on that lease, the lease is lost, according to the lease.

In addition, and this is important, too, only about one-third of the leases contain oil or natural gas. Sometimes we think we are very powerful, but one thing we can't do is mandate production where there is no oil or natural gas.

And, finally, my colleagues will undoubtedly attempt to claim that these bills ignore the need to ensure safety in offshore drilling. Nobody has forgotten the tragic Deepwater Horizon accident. And I hear that especially from Members of the gulf, and, Mr. Chairman, I heard that when I was down at the gulf at a hearing only 2 weeks ago. However, we must not forget the fact of the economic threat that high gasoline prices have to our economy and our need to move forward.

The administration has slowly started to issue deepwater permits in the Gulf of Mexico, which is in direct recognition, by the way, that it can be done safely and responsibly or they wouldn't have done it. Yet my colleagues act as if nothing has changed at all as far as safety reforms. But by doing so, they are completely ignoring reality and the actions of their own party's administration.

They are ignoring the facts that regulations have been enhanced and strengthened; that standards have increased; and that new technologies have been developed, tested, and deployed. And, I might add, Mr. Chairman, we heard this at the hearing that I alluded to a moment ago in Houma, Louisiana, 2 weeks ago.

Furthermore, H.R. 1229, which we will debate next week, improves safety by making two reforms to current law. Number one, it requires that the Secretary issue a permit to drill; and, two, requires that the Secretary conduct safety reviews. Neither of those provisions are in current law today.

In 2008, the last time gasoline prices reached $4 a gallon, Congress stepped up to the challenge and took bold action to end a decades-long ban on new offshore drilling. Although this administration has effectively reimposed that ban, the American people are once again calling on Congress to act. By passing H.R. 1230 today, Congress can show the American people that we have heard their concerns and that we are taking actions.

So I urge my colleagues to vote in favor of the bill that will create American jobs, lower gasoline prices, and strengthen energy independence.

I reserve the balance of my time.

Sen. Edward J. Markey

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I yield myself such time as I may consume.

One year ago today, we were 2 weeks into the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. We were 2 weeks into what would ultimately become the worst environmental disaster in our Nation's history, with more than 4 million barrels of oil spilling into the Gulf. And since that disaster, we have learned many things about the safety of offshore drilling.

We learned that the blowout preventer that the oil industry touted as fail-safe could in fact be sure to fail if an actual blowout was under way. We learned that the only technology the oil industry had been relying upon in the event of a spill was a Xerox machine. The spill response plans for major companies were so similar that they contained plans to evacuate walruses from the Gulf of Mexico even though the walruses had not called the Gulf home in more than 3 million years. And they were such dead ringers for each other that they contained the same name and phone number of the same long-deceased expert.

We learned that the oil companies had neither the resources nor the ability to stop a deepwater blowout. BP spill response included an attempt to shoot golf balls and bits of rubber into the well. When we were told that the industry was relying on the most sophisticated technologies, we assumed that they meant technologies developed by MIT and not the PGA.

And we learned from an independent BP spill commission that the root causes of the Deepwater Horizon disaster were ``systemic'' to the entire oil and gas industry.

And yet here we are debating legislation that would do nothing to improve the safety of offshore drilling and could actually make drilling less safe. The legislation before us represents a return to the pre-spill mentality of speed over safety.

H.R. 1230 would force the Interior Department to rush to hold new lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico by ``deeming'' the shoddy environmental analysis conducted by the Bush administration's Mineral Management Service before the BP spill as sufficient for future lease sales in the Gulf.

Just looking at some of the conclusions contained within the Bush administration's 2007 environmental analysis exposes the absurdity of deeming this work as sufficient for new leasing in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

In its 2007 multisale Environmental Impact Statement completed in April of 2007, the Interior Department determined, ``The most likely size of an offshore spill greater than or equal to 1,000 barrels that is predicted to occur is 4,600 barrels'' of oil. The BP Deepwater Horizon disaster led to more than 4 million barrels spilling into the Gulf. That is 1,000 times the size of the largest spill this analysis concluded was likely to occur.

In 2007, MMS analysis concluded that the total volume of oil that would be spilled from all spills in the central and western Gulf over the next 40 years would be roughly 47,000 barrels of oil. That is less than what was spilled in the Deepwater Horizon in 1 day.

MMS concluded that, in 2007, a worst-case scenario, only 19 to 31 miles of Gulf coastline would be impacted by a spill. The Deepwater Horizon disaster resulted in oil reaching over 950 miles of Gulf coastline.

And MMS determined that a deepwater blow-off would not present a cleanup problem because the oil would rise in the water column, surfacing almost directly over the source location, but in fact the oil spewing from the ocean floor remained in enormous subsurface plumes that spread across the Gulf.

The Obama administration is already moving forward to hold these lease sales in the Gulf later this year and early next year, and they are going to be more responsible. Even the Congressional Budget Office analysis of H.R. 1230 concludes, ``CBO estimates that implementing the bill would have no significant impact on proceeds from lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico because the proposed schedule is similar to the plan included in the DOI's budget for 2011.''

So, really, all the majority is accomplishing with this legislation is ensuring that we don't do any new environmental review of the impacts of these lease sales. Instead of actually reviewing the lessons of the BP spill, the majority wants to lessen the environmental review.

In addition, this legislation would force the Department to move forward with a lease off of the coast of Virginia within one year. Well, I have very bad news for the majority. The overwhelming majority of the area that would comprise this lease sale would infringe on critical training areas for the U.S. Navy. The Department of Defense concluded that 78 percent of the area offered in the Virginia lease sale would occur where military operations would be impeded by drilling structures and related activities. Moreover, much of the remaining area is comprised of a major shipping channel.

This bill is really a solution in search of a problem. The bottom line is that oil production is at its highest level in nearly a decade and natural gas production is at record levels. We should instead be debating legislation that would protect the lives and the livelihoods of the people in the Gulf and that could actually help consumers at the pump this summer.

I reserve the balance of my time.

Rep. Doc Hastings

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Mr. Chairman, I yield 1\1/2\ minutes to the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Goodlatte).

Rep. Robert W. Goodlatte

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Mr. Chairman, I rise to engage the chairman in a colloquy.

Chairman Hastings, as you know, I am committed to ensuring that revenue-sharing of the benefits of OCS development are returned to those coastal States where drilling is occurring or may occur, like Virginia. Can you share with me and other Members of this body whether this will be addressed by the committee?

Rep. Doc Hastings

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Will the gentleman yield?

Rep. Robert W. Goodlatte

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I yield to the gentleman.

Rep. Doc Hastings

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I thank the gentleman for yielding.

The answer is that it will absolutely be a focus and a priority. When I first introduced the bill before us today, I stated that these are only the first steps in this Congress' efforts to increase American energy production.

The committee will continue to move forward on an array of bills that will be introduced in advance as part of the American Energy Initiative. Coming soon will be bills focused on expanding renewable energy, offshore production, onshore production, hydropower, coal, critical minerals and revenue sharing.

Today, only a few select States receive revenue sharing from OCS activities. This committee will be working to reform OCS revenues to ensure that there is a fair treatment to all States that produce oil and gas in the OCS. Revenue sharing will be a priority, and action will be forthcoming.

Rep. Robert W. Goodlatte

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I thank the chairman for his comments. I commend him for this legislation, and I support it.

Rep. Doc Hastings

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At this time, I would like to yield 1\1/2\ minutes to the distinguished chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Upton).

Rep. Fred Upton

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Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Most Americans understand the concept of supply and demand, and in fact a third of oil now comes from the gulf. The Department of Energy's information agency tells us that last year's production in the gulf was 20 percent less than projected in 2007, and in 2012 we are going to be getting a half a million barrels a day decline in production from 2010.

What happens when the production goes down and the demand goes up? The price goes up--way up. Add to that the uncertainty and the unrest in the Middle East, and there is no surprise that we have gas prices at $4 and $5 now in this country, and who knows where they are headed.

This legislation, if we pass it today and get it enacted, helps turn the key to unlocking the door on domestic energy production. This legislation is not about new lease sales. It is simply catches up with the leases already approved.

Let's pass it.

Sen. Edward J. Markey

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I yield 2 minutes to the ranking member of the subcommittee, the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Holt).

Rep. Rush Holt

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I thank my friend from Massachusetts.

Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong opposition to H.R. 1230.

This is the first in the Republican ``amnesia acts'' that ignore what happened last year in the Gulf of Mexico. It would force the Department of Interior to rush into holding new lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and off the coast of Virginia, not far from New Jersey, I might add, even though Congress has not enacted a single piece of legislation to improve the safety of offshore drilling.

The President's spill commission reported that offshore drilling in U.S. waters is four times more deadly than drilling elsewhere in the world, even for the same companies. Clearly there is a safety problem that must be addressed.

And I must emphasize, because they have talked about it again and again, they are talking about high oil prices, high prices at the pump. We feel it. Everybody in America feels it. Do they address it? No, they do not address gasoline prices. It actually accelerates handouts to Big Oil, this legislation does.

In addition to being silent on safety concerns, this prohibits any further environmental review in the gulf based on the lessons learned from the Deepwater Horizon last year. That tragedy exposed the woefully inadequate ways in which the environmental reviews had been done in the Gulf of Mexico.

Need I remind the Speaker or the majority that there are no walruses to protect in the Gulf of Mexico? As you heard from Mr. Markey, that is the level of quality in the environmental review that they want to apply from here on out. The analysis assumed that blowout preventers were capable of preventing blowouts. We know now, we have learned, they are not. The post-spill investigations have clearly demonstrated that the assumptions of the environmental review are not sufficient. I will offer an amendment shortly to drop the language that would deem this environmental review to be adequate.

Despite the poor safety and environmental record accumulated in the gulf, H.R. 1230 recklessly puts the Atlantic coast at risk.

The CHAIR. The time of the gentleman has expired.

Sen. Edward J. Markey

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I yield the gentleman 30 additional seconds.

Rep. Rush Holt

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H.R. 1230 recklessly puts the Atlantic coast at risk of experiencing an oil spill such as what we have seen before. That is why I call this an ``amnesia act.'' There are two more bills we will be seeing here on the floor that are similar.

This is not in the interest of the U.S. consumer, it is not in the interest of fishermen, it is not in the interest of coastal residents. This is not in the interest of America.

Rep. Doc Hastings

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Mr. Chairman, I am pleased to yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Colorado (Mr. Lamborn), the chairman of the subcommittee dealing with this legislation.

Rep. Doug Lamborn

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Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

This bill is the first step for Republicans to bring a new energy policy to this country, the American Energy Initiative. Look at this chart. It says it all. Under Barack Obama and his regulators, the average price of gasoline in this country has gone up from $1.84 a gallon when he took office to just under $4. Under his watch, gasoline has more than doubled. We need more supply, and everyone agrees it should be our own energy, not foreign. Under the law of supply and demand, which my friends across the aisle have not found a way to repeal, more supply means lower prices, in addition to thousands of more jobs for Americans and billions of revenue dollars for the Treasury.

H.R. 1230 requires that four promising lease sale areas, three in the gulf and one off Virginia, must be opened up for production. No more stonewalling by this administration and extreme environmentalists. After this bill came out of my committee and the full Natural Resources Committee, this administration belatedly said it would start action on one of these four lease areas. If the only way we can get action is to shame them into it, Republicans will do so. If the administration still refuses, we will do our best to force action by changing the law.

This bill is the first step to get gasoline prices down. The American people deserve no less.

Sen. Edward J. Markey

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Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Oregon (Mr. DeFazio).

Rep. Peter A. DeFazio

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We are headed toward $4.25, $4.50 a gallon by Memorial Day, the usual oil company run-up when the driving season starts, crushing the dreams of American families, small businesses, and our economic recovery. But, hey, the profits are up. It's good.

Republicans say, It's just supply and demand. It's simple. So if we add a small increment to future domestic supply, 5 or 10 years from now, that will bring down the price.

No, it won't. Remember, it's a world price commodity. In fact, supply is up. The U.S. has 12.6 million more barrels in storage than the 5-year average. Demand is down. Americans can't afford the price and the economy is depressed. Libyan lost production has been made up by the Saudis. Every gallon of that has been made up.

So what is really going on? Well, it's market manipulation, price gouging, profiteering and speculation. But the Republicans won't take on their benefactors from Big Oil and Wall Street. Even Goldman Sachs says that $20 a barrel is excessive speculation. Twenty dollars a barrel. That's 60 cents a gallon. We could stop that tomorrow. Put a tax on speculators. Or encourage the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to regulate what you're trying to block. But you're not going to do that because, hey, that would upset the speculators on Wall Street who are making a fortune.

On the NYMEX Exchange, 45 percent of the trades in one day were driven by computers. They traded twice the world's daily oil consumption, by computer, in one day, driving up the price, and the Republicans say, Oh, it's supply and demand.

It's not supply and demand. It's market manipulation. It's price gouging. It's speculation. Do something about it. Those tools are before us.

Yeah, if you want to have a debate about future domestic supply from natural gas or offshore drilling or biodiesel or whatever, let's have that debate. If you want to get people relief this year, save our economic recovery, save American families, then take on Wall Street, take on Big Oil, take on the speculators. Or I guess you're afraid they won't contribute to your next campaign.

Rep. Doc Hastings

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I am pleased to yield 1 minute to the gentleman from California (Mr. McClintock).

Rep. Tom McClintock

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I thank the gentleman for yielding.

Mr. Chairman, fortunately the vast majority of the American people and the majority of this House recognize that it is long past time to put American energy independence and prosperity first.

By opening up these resources, we assure energy abundance for the next generation. We begin to arrest the ruinous increase in prices at the pump. We assure productive, high-paying jobs, not only for the thousands of American workers directly employed in the industry but for many times more the employees in support and spin-off jobs. We assure billions of dollars of oil royalties paid directly into this Nation's Treasury at a time when the Treasury is empty. We assure that our growing reliance on foreign sources is reversed.

To those who are clamoring for more tax revenues, this is the healthy way to get them, by removing the impediments that have prevented a prosperous and expanding economy. It is prosperity and prosperity alone that creates tax revenues.

With this measure, we begin to change the policies that have produced the pathetic and self-inflicted spectacle of the most energy rich nation in the world importing most of its energy.

Sen. Edward J. Markey

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Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Moran).

Rep. James P. Moran

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Well, we certainly know that our constituents are paying too much at the pump, but we also know where that money's going. Almost $30 billion, just in the last 3 months, went to the top three oil companies, Exxon, Shell and BP. Remember BP? Over $7 billion just this quarter in profit, not revenue, pure profit. And that's after the American taxpayer, which we say we're so concerned about, shelled out $5 billion in subsidies to the oil and gas companies. That's profit of more than $100 billion on an annual basis. That's where the money's going.

And within that profit, not revenue, profit, we're talking about, what do they do with it? Ninety percent of it is used for stock buybacks and dividends to enrich the executives and the shareholders and to spend on TV advertising to convince the American public they're spending on just the opposite. Ten percent is going for drilling exploration.

Now what this legislation would do is to bring us back to a period of even weaker regulation than we had before the gulf oil spill. Imagine, it just happened, 200 million gallons of oil spilled into the Gulf Coast waters, and now we want to make the governing regulations weaker than they were before the spill. And then we want to open up the area off the shore of Virginia where thousands and thousands of jobs are dependent upon the naval operations that take place in those waters which would not be able to be conducted if we go ahead and drill in these waters. Plus much of the remaining 22 percent is devoted to shipping lanes for two of our busiest commercial ports, Hampton Roads and Baltimore. Do we really want to jeopardize those thousands of jobs, not to mention the thousands of jobs in fishing and tourism in places like Virginia Beach?

We should be about creating jobs, not jeopardizing jobs and protecting our environment, not despoiling it. Defeat this bill.

Rep. Doc Hastings

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I would just note that the two Democrat Senators from Virginia and the Governor of this State are in favor of this legislation.

With that, Mr. Chairman, I am more than happy to yield 1 minute to the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Johnson).

Rep. Bill Johnson

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Mr. Chairman, I rise today in strong support of the Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act.

Last night, I held a telephone town hall with hundreds of my constituents. The overwhelming concern was about the high price of gas. Seniors, students, working families and small business owners want to know what we're doing to help lower fuel costs. They want us to stop being dependent on foreign energy and start really developing America's resources. Today, we're doing that.

Unfortunately, our colleagues across the aisle believe that raising taxes on oil companies will somehow lower the price of gas. This defies both logic and common sense. Not only would raising taxes ensure job losses in America but it would also result in the increase of America's dependence on foreign sources of oil. Raising taxes on American energy companies would give a competitive advantage to the Russian, Chinese and OPEC countries that are operating without anti-growth, anti-self-sufficient energy policies.

Mr. Chairman, my constituents in southeastern and eastern Ohio understand the negative impact that these proposed tax increases would have on gas prices and they oppose these efforts. I strongly encourage all of my colleagues to support the Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act that will help put our country on the path to energy security.

Sen. Edward J. Markey

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I yield 2 minutes to the gentlelady from Santa Barbara, California (Mrs. Capps).

Rep. Lois Capps

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I thank my colleague for yielding.

Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong opposition to this oil spill amnesia bill that threatens our coastal communities.

H.R. 1230 is a collection of bad ideas. It mandates that the administration offer new lease sales, even though they say they're not prepared to properly oversee them. The bill sidesteps safety and environmental reviews, acting as if the Nation's worst oil spill in history never happened. And, it pushes a failed energy plan that pours billions of dollars into already overstuffed oil industry coffers.

The only thing it adds up to, Mr. Chairman, is a false promise. The truth is the Republican majority is hoping to delude the public into believing that this rush to new offshore drilling will provide a quick fix to high gas prices, but the harsh reality is this: The U.S. is never going to have control over world oil supplies or gas prices through drilling. We simply don't have the oil reserves, no matter how much we drill. What we do have is the ability to control prices by lowering our consumption, and that's just what we're starting to do.

For example, the EIA's latest report says we're lowering oil usage thanks in part to the President's fuel savings standards. We will get control over our energy future by making more cars that go further on a gallon of gas and bringing new types of fuel supplies to the table. If in 10 or 20 years oil and gas are still the focus of our energy debate, then we have miserably failed. We will have followed the path that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney charted, and we've seen where that leads: high gas prices and billions in oil company profits.

It's about time we break free from our addiction to oil. I urge a ``no'' vote on this misleading bill that accelerates new dirty and dangerous drilling.

Rep. Doc Hastings

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Mr. Chairman, may I inquire how much time remains on both sides.

The Acting CHAIR (Mr. Bass of New Hampshire). The gentleman from Washington has 16\3/4\ minutes remaining, and the gentleman from Massachusetts has 16 minutes remaining.

Rep. Doc Hastings

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Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Chairman, I am pleased to yield 1 minute to the gentleman from New Mexico (Mr. Pearce).

Rep. Steve Pearce

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I rise today in strong support of H.R. 1230, a bill that will restart American jobs.

The current 5-year lease plan would have allowed for the sale of four leases, one off the coast of Virginia and three in the Gulf of Mexico. The President and his agencies are continuing to block these sales. It's time to stop that blocking.

We're talking about jobs. The Nation is faced with 8 to 9 percent continuing unemployment. The jobs offshore are good, high-paying jobs--$400 a day, $50,000 per year. Recently, the President had strong rhetoric to Georgetown University, saying that he's going to increase oil and gas production in America. Yet the administration's actions are moving us the opposite direction.

Tax increases kill jobs. That's an economic truth. Our friends across the aisle want to kill American jobs by raising taxes at a time when unemployment is too high, when we're dependent on too much foreign oil. In his speech last month at Georgetown, President Obama said, ``The fact of the matter is, is that for quite some time, America is going to be still dependent on oil in making its economy work. We're exploring and assessing new frontiers for oil and gas developments from Alaska to the Mid- and South Atlantic States.''

Mr. Chairman, we are with this bill giving the President the bill that he is saying that he's going to implement. Now let him sign it.

Sen. Edward J. Markey

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I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Vermont (Mr. Welch).

Rep. Peter Welch

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I thank the gentleman.

Imagine what we could do for the American consumer at the pump if we stopped lobbing rhetorical grenades back and forth and decided to focus on the concrete things that it is within our power to do today that would lower the price at the pump. There's three things.

One, why are we giving tax breaks to oil companies? You do have to wonder. A trillion dollars in profits. Nothing wrong with that. But do they really need to reach into the pocket of the American consumer and get $40 billion on top of that? That's number one.

Number two, have the futures market be about protecting the consumer, not enriching the hedge fund Wall Street speculator. It is astonishing what's going on. And it's so bad that even Goldman Sachs acknowledges that at least $27 on the price of a $110 barrel of oil is about speculation. Why in the world do we allow that? Because every time you and I go to the pump, our constituents go to the pump, they're paying for Wall Street and they're paying for tax breaks to oil companies.

The third thing we can do, and we can do it short-term, is go into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Two Republican Presidents and one Democratic President have done that with great effect--lowering the price 33 percent, 19 percent, and 9 percent. It gives immediate relief to the consumer at the pump.

We can do this together if the agenda is about doing something for your constituent and mine and not just having this political food fight. End speculation, end the tax breaks, and go into that asset belonging to all of us, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, and bring prices down immediately.

Rep. Doc Hastings

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Mr. Chairman, I am pleased to yield 1 minute to the gentleman from South Carolina (Mr. Duncan), a member of the Natural Resources Committee.

Rep. Jeffrey Duncan

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Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for your leadership on this issue.

Our friends across the aisle here want us to use this debate today to demagogue this issue and demonize American energy producers. Let us refocus on what this debate is really about today.

Mr. Chairman, this administration's policy of drill there, not here, has helped produce the record gas prices that we are facing today. Rather than fueling our economy with American energy independence, this administration has fueled overseas oil producers by shutting off domestic exploration. And now, today, we hear the other party tell us that raising taxes on American energy production will somehow make prices go down. This is insane, Mr. Chairman, as any economist can tell you.

We need to end the de facto moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico on the permits there. We need to reopen the West to exploration. We need to open up ANWR for exploration. We need to allow American entrepreneurs to do the work of the free market and get this economy moving again.

Energy production is a segue to job creation. This bill will begin the process of releasing the potential of American energy. This means tens of thousands of American jobs producing American energy for American households and businesses.

I urge my colleagues to help this economy. Pass this bill, and let's put Americans back to work producing American energy.

God bless you. God bless America.

Sen. Edward J. Markey

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I yield myself 3 minutes.

This is the wrong debate to be having here today. The Republicans are debating more drilling without more safety even though the BP spill commission that examined what went wrong last year concluded that there was a ``systemic'' failure in our country to deal with the safety issues that confront the offshore drilling industry. In fact, they concluded that there are four times greater fatalities in drilling for oil off the shores of the United States than there are in Europe--four times more fatalities. We should be number one in drilling but we should be number one in safety as well.

What the Republicans are doing here today is they are saying that they believe in ``all of the above.'' But the truth is that with this bill they are saying once again it is really an agenda of ``oil above all.'' They have nothing out here on renewable energy resources--wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, plug-in hybrids, all-electric vehicles. None of that is part of their debate. They just go back to the same old agenda of oil above all.

And do we need to give more to the oil industry? We have $10 billion in profits for ExxonMobil in January, February, and March--$10 billion they made. Shell, $8 billion; BP, $7 billion; Chevron, $6 billion; ConocoPhillips, $3 billion. Shouldn't we talk a little bit about safety as we're talking about new drilling off of our shorelines? But no, that's not the Republican agenda.

Should we be talking about taking away the tax breaks from the oil industry, the $40 billion which the American taxpayer gives to the oil industry? Do we really need to have the oil industry in the consumers' pocket at the gas pump and then in their other pocket as taxpayers to give even more money to ExxonMobil? That's what the Republicans should bring out here for a debate. They do not do that.

The New York Mercantile Exchange, that's where they trade for oil futures. Computerized Program Trading is now 45 percent of the oil futures trading on the commodities-futures trading floor of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

What do the Republicans do to deal with the fact that it has turned into a crude oil casino where gambling is going on as the speculators of our country and the world look at Saudi Arabia, look at Libya, as the price of oil skyrockets, as Goldman Sachs concludes that $20 a barrel in the increase of the price of oil just comes from the speculation, from the gambling that's going on in the NYMEX? You might as well put ``Las Vegas'' over the New York Mercantile Exchange. It is a crude oil casino, ladies and gentlemen. What do the Republicans do? They have slashed the budget for the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, who are the cops on the beat. They're saying we need fewer cops to police these speculators. They slash the wind and solar budget by 70 percent in their budget that just passed last month.

The Acting CHAIR. The time of the gentleman has expired.

Sen. Edward J. Markey

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I yield myself an additional 30 seconds.

This is their agenda. Nothing on safety; nothing on wind and solar; nothing on corralling the speculators. And what do they say? What they say is they're going to in fact go into the Medicare budget of Grandma and Grandpa and cut their programs and then put an oil rig on top of Medicare to suck out the money like a pipeline out of the pockets of Grandma and Grandpa and put it into the profits of the oil industry with more tax breaks for them, even as they report the greatest profits in the history of any companies in the history of the world.

Ladies and gentlemen, vote ``no'' on this legislation.

Rep. Doc Hastings

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Mr. Chairman, I yield myself 2 minutes.

Mr. Chairman, sometimes I am absolutely baffled by the rhetoric that I hear here. Let me remind my colleagues that 2\1/2\ years ago, in 2008, when gasoline prices went to $4 a gallon, we Republicans came into the House, even though we weren't in session, and talked about the potential resources that we have in this country to make America self-sufficient. And the American people got it. They got it and they said, you know, we ought to utilize those resources. And they said we should drill; we should drill in the Outer Continental Shelf and we should drill onshore.

The American people get it. Yet the rhetoric we're hearing here is entirely different from the economic issues that we face. Here is the whole point:

When America ended the moratoria on offshore drilling, the prices went down. See, that has never been explained by the other side, but it's pretty darned obvious. When you send a signal to the markets that you're serious about becoming less dependent on foreign energy, the markets respond. They responded 2\1/2\ years ago, and they will respond the same way. Yet all we hear from this side is you have to have a bogeyman. There has to be a bogeyman. Everybody is against us.

Baloney. The market is what drives the price of oil, and it's in our best interest in this country to become less dependent on foreign energy, and that's what these three bills do.

I reserve the balance of my time.

Rep. Rush Holt

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I am pleased to yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from New York (Mr. Tonko).

Rep. Paul Tonko

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I thank the gentleman for his leadership on this issue and for yielding me time.

Let there be no doubt, Americans are worried about the price of gasoline; and its recent spike has, once again, put us on notice. Yet this bill that relieves regulation provides the wrong tools.

Americans know we can do better. We cannot afford to mindlessly give billions of dollars to Big Oil companies while they make record profits. In the short term, we must ensure that speculators and Wall Street quit playing games with the price of oil. Finally, we must provide motorists with fueling options at the pump. It is unconscionable that we would give $4 billion of taxpayer money to Big Oil companies this year alone while they're on track to make nearly $100 billion in profits in 2011. With prices this high, does Big Oil really need even more money? Taxpayers know they don't, and taxpayers are hit twice with taxes on gasoline--once at the pump and once on tax day. This must end.

We can help consumers at the pump by going after Wall Street speculators who drive up the cost of oil. We can increase mileage standards, and it's entirely reasonable that they could reach 60 miles per gallon by the year 2025. Also, we can invest in fueling options so that consumers can choose the lowest alternative.

High gas prices are painful. They are painful to American families; they are painful to seniors living on fixed incomes; and they are painful to small businesses; and the Big Oil subsidies that accompany them are painful for our Nation's economy as it recovers from the Bush recession. Let's end these Big Oil giveaways to some of the most profitable companies in the world, and let's provide drivers with alternatives--fueling options, better vehicles--and create the clean-energy jobs of the future.

Rep. Doc Hastings

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Mr. Chairman, I am pleased to yield 1 minute to the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Benishek), a valuable member of the House Natural Resources Committee.

Rep. Dan Benishek

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Mr. Chairman, this morning, a gallon of gasoline in my hometown of Iron River, Michigan, was $4.29. Unfortunately, most people are plagued with the fact of knowing that prices are going to go up even further in the next few weeks.

I believe that we in Congress know that there is no silver bullet that is going to lower prices at the pump. However, we have a responsibility here to craft policy and to pass legislation that will increase the supply of crude oil that will be produced here at home. As Members of Congress, it is our duty to take these actions to help lessen the pain of these prices on our families in Michigan and throughout the country.

Mr. Chairman, we need to find a long-term solution to high fuel prices. I believe that the full-day markup we held in committee last month was the first step and that passing this bill today will be the next step, but we have many further steps to take.

Rep. Rush Holt

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Mr. Chairman, I now yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. Sarbanes), one of the most thoughtful members of the Natural Resources Committee.

Rep. John Sarbanes

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I thank the gentleman for yielding.

I oppose the legislation, which would really open in a wholesale fashion very sensitive areas to offshore drilling. We have to take a lot of care when it comes to doing this offshore drilling, and I don't think that this bill exercises that care.

During the committee's consideration of the bill, I put forward an amendment that would strike that section of the bill that authorizes drilling off the coast of Virginia. I did this because of my concern of the potential impact of a spill in the Chesapeake Bay, which, of course, is a treasure for Marylanders and for all those who live in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The Chesapeake Bay is really the soul of my State of Maryland. It's a national treasure in so many ways.

As for the Virginia parcel, which is called Lease Sale 220 and is a lease parcel that the Republicans would like to put back into play with their bill, when you look at it, about 78 percent of that parcel you have to immediately take off the table because it would occur in areas where military operations would be impeded.

I want to thank my colleague, Gerry Connolly from Virginia, for putting forward an amendment on this bill which would shift the burden and say the Department of Defense has to affirmatively conclude that you will not impede these kinds of military operations in order to drill.

So you take that out of the equation. Then when you take another chunk of it out because you need to keep commercial shipping lanes open, what you're left with is about 10 percent of the parcel that you could actually drill on, and what you could get from that would only supply the demand of the country for one day. So you'd be putting at risk this valuable, sensitive Chesapeake Bay and all of the surrounding areas for getting one day's worth of energy production.

That just doesn't make sense, and I think it undermines the bill on a wholesale basis. It shows that this is not put forward in a way that is sensible. For that reason, I oppose the legislation.

Rep. Doc Hastings

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Mr. Chairman, I am pleased to yield 2 minutes to another valuable member of the Natural Resources Committee, the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Wittman).

Rep. Robert J. Wittman

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I would like to thank the chairman of the committee for his leadership and work and for making sure we are addressing the energy needs of this Nation.

Mr. Chairman, Virginia has the opportunity to develop offshore energy in an environmentally friendly and responsible manner. Like any industrial or commercial activity, energy production has its risks. However, those risks have been significantly mitigated, and offshore energy production can be conducted in a safe and responsible manner. Unfortunately, the administration has halted any further oil and gas development in the Atlantic Ocean.

Our economy continues to struggle, and any further increase in energy prices will exacerbate that struggle to regain its footing as unemployment hovers at 9 percent. The unrest in the Middle East and in North Africa continues to threaten this Nation's energy security. The failure to promptly address our energy needs could negatively impact the U.S. economy, could stall any recovery, and continue to affect national security.

Energy production offshore of the Commonwealth would create thousands of jobs and generate much needed revenue to reduce the deficit. The Department of the Interior has calculated that Virginia could produce 500 million barrels of oil and 2.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, natural gas being one of the most economically viable and environmentally friendly sources of fossil fuels. A recent study by ICF International concluded that offshore energy production in Virginia would create 1,888 new jobs and generate $19.5 billion in Federal, State, and local revenues.

I can tell you, in Virginia, as we struggle to find dollars to clean up the Chesapeake Bay and as we struggle to find dollars for transportation, those dollars are much needed. Virginia can lead the Nation in improving our energy security and in reducing our reliance on foreign oil. To do that, we must reinstate the planned offshore oil and natural gas lease sale.

With that, I urge my colleagues to support this measure.

Sen. Edward J. Markey

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I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Connolly).

Rep. Gerald E. Connolly

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I thank my colleague.

Mr. Chairman, I hate to say it, but what we're hearing here on the floor of the House of Representatives in defense of this legislation is snake oil. Somehow the hard-pressed commuters and consumers of gasoline in this country are supposed to believe that if today we unleash all possibility of oil drilling, gas drilling offshore the continental United States, we're going to be producing thousands of barrels of oil. False. We're going to reduce the price of oil today? Equally false. In fact, there's plenty of evidence that the market that drives oil is relatively inelastic.

We heard earlier today on the floor of this House, driving is down, demand is down, supply is up, but so are prices. In fact, if you look at this chart, there's an eerie correlation between oil profits and the spike in the price of gasoline charged to our hard-pressed consumers in the United States.

The other side wants you to believe in a smokescreen that somehow their tax subsidy being changed or lifted by our side of the aisle would, in fact, further increase the price of oil. They have low taxes. They have low royalties. They have record profits. How has that worked out for the average driver in America? It's produced record gasoline prices.

The Republican policy that will be enshrined today in this legislation has produced these profits and those costs for the average consumer in America. It is wrong, and to argue otherwise is selling snake oil.

I urge the defeat of this legislation on behalf of the consumers of America.

Rep. Doc Hastings

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I reserve the balance of my time.

Sen. Edward J. Markey

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I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Washington State (Mr. Inslee).

(Mr. INSLEE asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

Rep. Jay Inslee

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Mr. Chair, we should oppose this bill not because it is too strong, but because it is too weak. Americans do need relief from $4 a gallon gasoline, and they are not going to get it from this bill either in the short term or the long term. The reason they won't get relief in the short term is we're not drilling in the right places. We need to drill speculators, not just wells. Even Goldman Sachs recognizes that a significant portion of the huge spike in prices is due to rampant speculation in the market, but this bill doesn't do a single thing about that short-term reason for this short-term price. We need to drill speculators, not just wells.

But, secondly, in the long term, this bill does not give us what we need. My friends across the aisle told us they were going to give us an all-of-the-above energy strategy. They haven't given us an all-of-the-above strategy. They are just giving an all-of-the-below strategy, because the only thing they are thinking about are these archaic technologies of drilling holes in the ground.

We use 25 percent of the world's oil. We only have 3 percent of the world's oil supply, even if we drill in Yellowstone National Park. The dinosaurs just didn't die underneath our feet. We need new supplies of energy, of electricity, camalena-based biofuels from Targeted Growth in Seattle, advanced forms of algae-based biofuels from Sapphire Energy and General Atomic and other companies.

We need new sources of energy, not just below our feet but above our feet, and in our minds where we get the intellect to invent these technologies. That's an all-of-the-above strategy. Let's do what we can do to give real short-term relief. Defeat this bill, and we will get a comprehensive energy policy for this country.

Rep. Doc Hastings

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Mr. Chairman, at this time I am very pleased to yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Arizona (Mr. Flake).

Sen. Jeff Flake

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I thank the gentleman for yielding. I won't take 2 minutes.

I've been listening to part of the discussion here, and it just strikes me that when you see graphics with an oil rig sucking money out of Social Security or Medicare or whatever that was, you know that you have gone beyond the realm of what is logical for a debate or the real facts about what this legislation does.

The bottom line is that it will make it easier for us to become more energy independent, not completely energy independent--it can't go that far--but it will make us more independent than we were before. It will create an environment where jobs can be created by the private sector. It will help, over time, to lower the price of gasoline because it will create more supply in the end. That's what it does. It doesn't put a big oil rig on the top of Medicare and suck money from our seniors. Come on.

This is just a measure to help the situation, to make it better. We've locked off too many areas to oil drilling, and we've not exploited our own supply enough to help bring down price and to help consumers out there in the world.

So that's all this does, and I commend the gentleman for bringing it forward. I urge support for it.

Sen. Edward J. Markey

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I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Holt).

Rep. Rush Holt

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I thank my friend, Mr. Markey, for yielding.

This is about Big Oil handouts, pure and simple. There are no lessons learned, no lessons applied with regard to safety or protection of the environment. You know, if these companies were energy companies, as they like to say, they would invest more in producing sustainable, clean energy alternatives.

In the long run, we all know it. We've got to face the facts. We've got to break our addiction to oil; and if the majority, the authors of this legislation, really wanted to help the motorists, the consumers, they would address speculation. They would end the speculation. They would end the tax giveaways. They would use the strategic oil reserve to short-circuit speculation. The oil companies are not energy companies. They are fleecing machines.

The greatest profits of any corporation in history--and you heard me say a few minutes ago--that the biggest of them, Exxon, had an effective tax rate of about 0.4 percent. This will not help the consumer.

Rep. Doc Hastings

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Mr. Chairman, I am very pleased to yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Louisiana (Mr. Landry).

Rep. Jeff Landry

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Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I ran down here to thank my colleagues in this Chamber for finally doing what the American people have been asking them to do and to start the process of stopping to kick the energy problem can in this country down the road. Finally, we're going to take the steps necessary to put people back to work and to start America down a path of affordable domestic energy.

Now, they say that we're robbing Grandma and Grandpa. Grandma and Grandpa hold stock in those energy companies. Down in Louisiana, Grandma and Grandpa's grandsons and grandchildren work in an industry that provides that energy. Right now, they don't have a job. They're being laid off, or they're being sent to Brazil or Africa or the Middle East to drill for oil out there, while we have spent over $1 trillion of taxpayer money funding the Department of Energy to wean us off foreign oil.

I just rise to say thank you, Mr. Chairman, thank you to my colleagues who have come today in support of this amendment.

Sen. Edward J. Markey

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I would defer to the chairman of the committee. If he is the concluding speaker on his side, I am prepared to close on our side.

Rep. Doc Hastings

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I advise my friend I am the concluding speaker, so I will reserve the balance of my time.

Sen. Edward J. Markey

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I yield myself the balance of my time.

So here's where we are. Republicans take over, Republicans say they're ready to put together a plan for our country. It's 1 year after the BP catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico, the worst environmental disaster in our Nation's history.

Last year, the Republicans blocked passage of any safety legislation that would learn the lessons of what happened in the Gulf of Mexico. The BP spill commission has come back. They now say that fatalities on U.S. rigs are four times higher than those on European rigs. We should be number one in drilling, and we should be number one in safety. The Republicans refuse to deal with the endemic, systemic problems with safety that have been identified in the American oil industry.

The oil industry is now garnering the largest profits any corporations in the world have ever been able to enjoy, but the Republicans refuse to bring out here legislation which will take away their tax breaks. Oil companies don't need to have tax breaks to do something they are doing anyway. It's like subsidizing a fish to swim or a bird to fly. We don't have to give them taxpayers' money. The Ryan budget slashes benefits for grandma and grandpa, then takes that money and gives it away in tax breaks to millionaires and to the oil industry. Do we really need to tell grandma we're cutting back on her medicare benefits and then taking that money and giving it in oil breaks to the biggest companies in our country? They don't need tax breaks.

And finally, what we should be talking about is the deployment of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The Strategic Petroleum Reserve was used by both President Bushes. It was used by President Clinton. It does work. The New York Mercantile Exchange is where oil futures are traded. It is a casino of crude oil right now. On one day back just 2 months ago, 45 percent of all of the oil futures trades were computer-generated trades. Those trades were twice the value of all of the oil consumed in the world on a single day. That's what we need to do, to deal with those speculators. And the way to do it is what we have done in the past, deploy the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, deploy it now. Send the fear of losing fortunes into the hearts of those speculators, and you will see the price of oil drop like a rock. That's what we need to do. That's what the consumers need as they are heading into the Memorial Day weekend. That's what people all across our country are wondering--what is going to happen to our economy?

Ten of the last 11 recessions in our country are tied to the rise in the price of oil. That is 10 of the last 11 recessions, ladies and gentlemen. What we saw in 1990 was, President Bush won the war in Iraq in '90 and '91, but because he never deployed the Strategic Petroleum Reserve until it was too late, a mini-recession went through our economy, and President Clinton was able to defeat him. Let's learn this lesson of the link between the rise in the price of oil and recessions that are created in our economy. Deploy the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Ignore this agenda of the Republican Party.

Rep. Doc Hastings

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I yield myself the balance of my time.

Mr. Chairman, this has been a very interesting debate, and there's been a lot of rhetoric thrown around, some of which doesn't even apply whatsoever in any remoteness to the bill that's before us today. H.R. 1230, which we are debating today, simply tells this administration to go through with the lease sales that were already authorized by a previous administration. In other words, all of these lease sales had gone through whatever process they had gone through. Three of them were in the Gulf of Mexico. One of them was off the coast of Virginia.

We are simply saying with this legislation, let's send a signal to the international markets that America is serious about becoming less dependent on foreign oil. And we do that by saying, this administration should go through with these lease sales, which, I might add, Mr. Chairman, we have heard about loss of revenue from the other side of the aisle. These lease sales themselves would provide the general fund with $40 million over the next 10 years. So what we're doing is really kind of ironic: We are telling this administration to do something it should be doing by law anyway. That's what the scope is. So I urge my colleagues to vote on this bill. We can have other discussion on the other bills in the ensuing days.

As far as the discussion talking about Big Oil, I could probably count the number of colleagues on the other side of the aisle that didn't say something about Big Oil rather than those that did. But what is interesting, you would be led to believe that the only Big Oil in the world apparently are American companies. I would suggest that that is entirely not true. In fact, when you talk about Big Oil, Mr. Chairman, really who you should be focusing on is OPEC, because crude oil is an international product, or is a global product. There's no question about that.

Yet OPEC controls 45 percent of the market. It is a cartel, Mr. Chairman; there is no question about that. We all know simple economics. If there is a cartel on any commodity, on any commodity, the way that you break the cartel is by increasing the supply. And that's what the combination of these three bills do. It simply sends a signal to the markets--and I have said this over and over--that we are serious about utilizing the resources we have. Several of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle have said, The United States doesn't have any resources. Well, nothing could be further from the truth because if you look at government data on what the potential resources are in the Outer Continental Shelf--and I'm going to say onshore because it's all American potential resources--the potential resources of oil equivalent per barrel, when you combine OCS and onshore, the potential resources are in excess of 2 trillion barrels of oil. That far exceeds what one of my colleagues earlier, Mr. Fleming from Louisiana, said. It far exceeds what they have in Saudi Arabia. In fact, in other OPEC nations.

This is rhetoric about trying to blame somebody when the issue is really something as basic as having a supply out there that consumers can utilize. What we are saying here is threefold. One of them relates directly to American jobs. Energy sector jobs are good-paying jobs. So let's encourage the energy sector in this country to expand so we can have those good-paying jobs. That's good to get the funk out of our economy. Secondly, we become less dependent on foreign sources because energy is an important part of our growing economy. And if we have a stable source of that in the future, our economy can grow with the surety we will have a stable source of energy.

But probably more important in the long term, Mr. Chairman, the reason why we should pass these bills to send the signal to the market is a national security issue. I mentioned OPEC. There are some countries in OPEC that are outwardly hostile to the United States. One of them is in South America, Venezuela. Why are we relying on them for the supply of our energy when we have these resources that I just pointed out to you in excess of 2 trillion equivalent barrels of oil?

So, Mr. Chairman, this is the first step. This is the first step of starting the process of becoming less dependent on foreign energy, and it is the first step to get our economy recovering by creating good American jobs. I urge my colleagues to support H.R. 1230.

Rep. Chris Van Hollen

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Mr. Chair, on April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, killing eleven crewmen and causing over 4 million barrels of oil to spill into the gulf. Now, barely a year after the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history, the majority is rushing three reckless offshore drilling bills to the floor as if the Deepwater Horizon disaster never happened.

Under the guise of combating high gasoline prices, today's legislation proposes to mandate the sale of three leases in the Gulf of Mexico and a fourth lease off the coast of Virginia--whether or not appropriate safeguards are in place. Astonishingly, the Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act actually requires the Secretary of the Interior to rely on demonstrably unrealistic environmental reviews conducted under the Bush Administration for purposes of approving these four leases. For example, these pre-spill analyses assumed that the worst case scenario for a Gulf oil spill would involve 4600 barrels of oil--or about 1/1000 the actual amount of oil spilled by the Deepwater Horizon.

Fortunately, the Obama Administration is taking a more responsible approach. Using the lessons we have learned from the Deepwater Horizon disaster, the Obama Administration has announced that it is prepared to move forward with the three Gulf lease sales by the middle of 2012--after rigorous, post-spill safety and environmental standards have been put into place. Additionally, the Administration has in my judgment correctly concluded that the Virginia lease should be cancelled as posing too great a risk to the economies and environment of the mid-Atlantic states.

Mr. Chair, this bill does nothing to lower gasoline prices. It does nothing to end the billions in wasteful taxpayer subsidies going to oil companies already reporting record profits. It does nothing to invest in America's clean energy future or strengthen America's energy security. In fact, this legislation doesn't even contain a requirement that the oil produced from these leases be sold in the United States rather than exported. The only thing this bill really does is undermine the improved well design, workplace safety and environmental standards the Obama Administration is trying to put in place in order to avoid another Deepwater Horizon disaster.

This legislation is irresponsible, and it deserves a ``no'' vote.

Mr. Chair, I rise today in support of H.R. 1230, ``Restarting American Offshore Leasing now Act'' which will require four specific offshore oil and gas lease sales within the next year. Three of these lease sales will be for locations in the Gulf of Mexico and one will be off the Coast of Virginia.

Although I have reservations about certain aspects of this bill, I nevertheless support it as a step in the right direction for America in our efforts to achieve energy independence. The central issue is promoting oil and gas related American jobs in the Gulf Coasts and to fill our Nation's oil and gas needs as we search for alternative energy sources.

We must have fair and balanced discourse that considers our safety, national security, and our environment and does not place oil & gas producers at an unfair disadvantage when these very companies produce vital American jobs and contribute greatly to our economy. I am informed that there is an amendment or legislative proposal under consideration which will tax the top 5 oil and gas producers more heavily than other producers of such energy (who will receive a tax credit).

We must ensure that we afford fair and equal tax treatment of oil and gas producers and that we do not unduly single out and punish the top 5 oil and gas producers (three of which are U.S. companies: Exxon-Mobil, Chevron and Conoco Phillips). This discriminates against large oil and gas producers who provide valuable American jobs and contribute greatly to our national and local economies; while at the same time we give a tax break and preference to foreign oil companies who do not fall within the top 5 producers. This is neither fair nor balanced and allows oil companies owned by, for example Hugo Chavez and Venezuela, to receive better tax treatment than the top 3 U.S. companies. This hurts American jobs and our economy. I appeal for us to use common sense to avoid disturbing outcomes such as this as we consider oil and gas drilling, permitting and lease sale issues.

Energy is the lifeblood of every economy, especially our local economies on the Gulf Coast. Producing more of energy leads to job creation, cheaper goods and greater economic and national security. However, the U.S. is more than 60 percent dependent on foreign sources of energy, twice as dependent today as we were just 30 years ago.

Although energy is the lifeblood of America's economic security, this growing and dangerous dependence has resulted in the loss of hundreds of thousands of good American jobs, skyrocketing consumer prices, and vulnerabilities in our national security.

The attacks of September 11, 2001 and the current instability in the Middle East places further highlights our need for legislation that will lead to our energy independence. It has always been risky to rely on unstable and unfriendly nations as the source of so much of our domestic oil supply. Currently, offshore petroleum is a source for roughly a third of domestic oil production. Any increase in our own production will place us one step closer to decreasing our dependence on foreign oil.

Energy imports now make up one third of America's trade deficit. Through this bill, America could improve the supply-demand imbalance, lower consumer prices, and increase jobs by producing more of its own energy resources.

According to the U.S. Minerals Management Service, MMS, estimates, America's deep seas on the Outer Continental Shelf, OCS, contain up to 115.3 billion barrels of oil and up to 565 trillion cubic feet of natural gas (the U.S. consumes at least 23 TCF per year) and 86 billion barrels of oil (the U.S. imports 4.5 billion per year). Even with all these energy resources, the U.S. sends more than $300 billion (and countless American jobs) overseas every year for energy we can create at home.

Given the aftermath of the BP Oil spill, it is easy to understand the importance of addressing all safety concerns prior to the issuance of oil and gas lease sales. Since the disaster, federal safety regulations have been tightened, spill containment response capability has been enhanced and lessons have been learned. The yearlong moratorium on offshore drilling activity gave the Administration the time they needed to carefully evaluate current practices and create an effective regulatory regime.

We must make sure that as we effectively lift the offshore drilling moratorium that we properly fund that department of interior to do its job more quickly rather than cutting their budgets. I have offered an amendment to H.R. 1230 to provide for necessary and proper levels of staffing and training of technical engineers and other personnel as are necessary to review permits for drilling in the outer continental shelf land and offshore gas and oil leasing sales activities.

It is the job of the Department of the Interior to ensure that all lease sales meet the highest reasonable standards for safety. My concern is that H.R. 1230 would require the Department of Interior to act more quickly in their review of lease sale applications than their current resources allow. If the Department of the Interior moves to quickly, no one will benefit from unsafe and inadequate standards.

The Administration has already aggressively restarted drilling the outer continental shelf. To continue drilling safely, the Department of the Interior must be properly funded and staffed with technical engineers to review permits, examine lease sales, and ensure that each application is afforded proper consideration.

As a Representative of an oil and gas producing District and state, I am aware that offshore drilling is an important component of the nation's energy supply and provides many Gulf communities with jobs and income.

We can protect the environment while drilling the outer continental shelf. Providing adequate resources for review will prevent permits from being declined due to time constraints.

Responsible offshore drilling with proper funding and staff for the DOI is a good solution, and I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to compromise and help the hard working people in Gulf Coast communities get back to work.

We must get the American Gulf Coast oil and gas community back to work. Many people in the oil and gas industry in my district and the people and businesses of the Gulf Coast rely on oil and gas industry jobs and this benefits local economies and our national economy.

Through this bill, America could improve its energy supply and demand imbalance, lower consumer prices, and increase jobs by permitting the United States to produce more of its own energy resources as we pursue forms of alternative energy for the stability of our national energy production and our national security itself.

Mr. Chair, I believe it is very important to allow these oil and gas lease sales and properly fund the Department of the Interior to do its jobs. I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting H.R. 1230.

Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr.

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Mr. Chair, I rise to express my strong opposition to H.R. 1230. Just over one year ago, the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded and sank, taking the lives of 11 workers and releasing millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Instead of learning from the catastrophic economic and environmental consequences of last year's spill, H.R. 1230 would speed up leasing without introducing new safety standards and throwing environmental review to the wind.

One of these leases would be located off the shore of Virginia, just 75 miles from the shores of my home state of New Jersey. Drilling operations could potentially devastate the economy of New Jersey in the event of a spill, since the tourism and fishing industries support hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions of economic activity across the state and region.

Furthermore, this legislation does nothing to address rising gasoline prices. Instead of giving more handouts to Big Oil, we need to crack down on speculators and oil companies who post record profits on the backs of the American public. We should be investing in alternative energy sources such as wind power to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, not subsidizing Big Oil.

Rep. Steny H. Hoyer

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Mr. Chair, all Americans are concerned about high gas prices and the growing cost they are imposing on our families. We should also be concerned that those high prices might stall our economic recovery. So what can we do to reduce the burden, both for families and for our economy as a whole?

I support safe, responsible drilling. So does President Obama: his administration has already set us on course to re-issue three out of four of the leases in question in this bill. Domestic drilling is definitely part of the solution to meeting our energy needs.

But I also know that offering drilling as the only solution is simply not up to the scale of the challenge we face. Consider that the United States already produces about 1.5 million more barrels of oil per day than it did in 2005. And last year under President Obama's watch, domestic oil production rose to its highest level since 2003. If Republicans were right, that increased production would lower prices--but in fact, oil reached a record of $147 per barrel during the same period.

Consider the fact that Canada, unlike the U.S., produces about 1.1 million more barrels of oil than it consumes each day. Canada produces far more oil than we do--and if Republicans were right, Canadian gas prices wouldn't be rising at the same rate as ours. But they are--they're feeling the effects, just as we are.

So while I am a strong supporter of drilling, and making use of our natural resources, the fact remains that the issuing of four leases, even in the very near term, will have little to no impact on gas prices today.

In the wake of the devastating BP Gulf oil spill, we need to focus on responsible drilling as we work to increase production. We should not auction off more leases to oil companies without adequate consideration of whether offshore drilling in those locations is safe and without environmental consequences.

That's a reckless course to take, especially when the effect on today's gas prices is essentially nonexistent. While the American people want us to do everything in our power to lower gas prices, they also don't want us to set up a process that could lead to another BP Gulf oil spill.

I believe we can drill and do so responsibly, and we can expedite leases responsibly. Rather than Republicans' one-dimensional approach of simply issuing new leases, let's also ensure that oil and gas companies are diligent about producing on the leases they already own. Let's expedite leases without disregarding the environmental impacts. Let's invest in clean energy technology and efficiency to break our oil addiction--not defund those investments, as Republicans demand. Let's crack down on the financial speculation that drives gas prices up for American families.

And--when even Speaker Boehner agrees that the oil companies ``ought to be paying their fair share''--let's end unjustifiable subsidies to some of the world's most profitable companies, subsidies that are only driving our nation deeper into debt.

That's what a real, responsible energy policy would look like--not this bill. I would have supported it if amendments had passed to ensure environmental and safety reviews to prevent another oil spill, and to ensure that offshore drilling does not conflict with military training operations off our coasts. But because Republicans rejected those amendments, this bill remains flawed. I urge my colleagues to vote against it.

Rep. Sander M. Levin

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Mr. Chair, I rise in opposition to the three oil drilling bills reported by the Republican Majority on the House Resources Committee, including the one before the House today. I urge the House to defeat them.

One year after the largest oil spill in U.S. history revealed huge safety and enforcement problems with ultra-deep offshore drilling, gas prices are going through the ceiling and the oil companies are raking in profits hand-over-fist. Exxon Mobil just posted a first-quarter profit of $10.7 billion, a 69 percent gain from the previous year. BP reported a first-quarter profit of $7.1 billion, a 17 percent increase. Royal Dutch Shell earned $6.3 billion, up 30 percent. Chevron's profit grew to $6.2 billion, a 36 percent increase. Conoco Phillips reported a first-quarter profit of $3 billion, up 44 percent.

What is the Republican Majority's response? They want to reward the oil companies with additional offshore leases and reduce the ability of the Interior Department to review offshore oil drilling applications for safety.

Proponents of this bill would have us believe that gas prices will go down if we only open up more coastal areas to ultra-deepwater drilling and reduce safety oversight of the oil companies. This is not true. None of these bills will do anything at all to reduce gasoline prices. Even if we threw caution to the wind and opened up these new offshore areas tomorrow, it would take years for them to produce any oil.

Before opening up new offshore areas, it's fair to ask what the industry is doing with the leases they already have. A new report by the Department of Interior reveals that more than two-thirds of existing offshore leases in the Gulf of Mexico and more than half of onshore leases on federal lands are unused. Tens of millions of acres that have already been leased to industry sit idle. The industry should either use the leases they have or give them up.

At a time when our constituents are feeling the pain of rising gas prices, it is unjustifiable that our tax code subsidizes Big Oil to the tune of billions of dollars a year. The Big Five oil companies reported a combined profit of $32 billion in the first quarter of 2011 alone. Repealing the three largest tax breaks for the Big Five oil companies would save taxpayers billions of dollars a year. Instead of rewarding the oil companies, we should at last end these unwarranted subsidies to Big Oil.

Mr. Chair, I rise in strong opposition to H.R. 1230.

It appears to me that the Republican energy plan is higher gas prices and lower safety standards. This fits nicely with their overall agenda for the 111th Congress: end Medicare to pay for tax breaks for Big Oil.

Yesterday, the Republicans on the Rules Committee blocked my amendment that would require oil and gas companies to publicly disclose their environmental and worker safety record before drilling on the Outer continental shelf.

Earlier this year, Republicans voted to gut the Commodity Futures Trading Commission--the consumer watchdog agency charged with overseeing oil speculators.

And earlier today, even though BP is now reporting $7.1 billion in quarterly profits--17 percent increase--every Republican in the House voted to block consideration of our Democratic bill, the Big Oil Welfare Repeal Act of 2011, to stop the billions of dollars in tax giveaways to the biggest oil companies who don't need taxpayer help to get their job done.

Under the Republican budget that the House approved earlier this year, people in their 40s and 50s now will be forced to pay more for health care when they retire than under current law--at least $6,400 per year more.

But consider this: in the past three months, the top five oil companies made $30 billion in profits and Republicans in Congress want to give them billions more in tax benefits and subsidies. The same Republicans who voted to end Medicare are now refusing to hold a vote on repealing the generous tax breaks for the largest and most profitable corporations in world history.

Make no mistake about it. Their bill on the floor today won't bring down the price at the pump. It won't end the massive taxpayer giveaways to Big Oil. It won't lead to more fuel-efficient cars. It won't crack down on oil speculators. And it won't improve the safety of offshore drilling--and in fact it will require the Interior Department to accept the very same flawed NEPA documents that helped lead to the BP spill in the Gulf.

I urge a ``no'' vote on H.R. 1230 because it ignores the lessons of the BP spill and it does nothing to help families or consumers. I don't think Americans want Congress to take money away from seniors only to give that very same money to oil giants.

Rep. Doc Hastings

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Mr. Chair, I also want to mention that two members of the House, Congressman Gerlach and Congressman Culberson had wanted to cosponsor this bill but because we had to file the reports on the bills on Monday, they were unable to. I appreciate their support.

I yield back the balance of my time.

The Acting CHAIR. All time for general debate has expired.

Pursuant to the rule, the bill shall be considered for amendment under the 5-minute rule and shall be considered read.

The text of the bill is as follows:

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

This Act may be cited as the ``Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act''.

(a) In General.--The Secretary of the Interior shall conduct offshore oil and gas Lease Sale 216 under section 8 of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (33 U.S.C. 1337) as soon as practicable, but not later than 4 months after the date of enactment of this Act. (b) Environmental Review.--For the purposes of that lease sale, the Environmental Impact Statement for the 2007-2012 5- Year OCS Plan and the Multi-Sale Environmental Impact Statement are deemed to satisfy the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.).

(a) In General.--The Secretary of the Interior shall conduct offshore oil and gas Lease Sale 218 under section 8 of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (33 U.S.C. 1337) as soon as practicable, but not later than 8 months after the date of enactment of this Act. (b) Environmental Review.--For the purposes of that lease sale, the Environmental Impact Statement for the 2007-2012 5- Year OCS Plan and the Multi-Sale Environmental Impact Statement are deemed to satisfy the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.).

(a) In General.--The Secretary of the Interior shall conduct offshore oil and gas Lease Sale 220 under section 8 of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (33 U.S.C. 1337) as soon as practicable, but not later than one year after the date of enactment of this Act. (b) Prohibition on Conflicts With Military Operations.--The Secretary shall not make any tract available for leasing under this section if the President, through the Secretary of Defense, determines that drilling activity on that tract would create an unreasonable conflict with military operations.

(a) In General.--The Secretary of the Interior shall conduct offshore oil and gas Lease Sale 222 under section 8 of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (33 U.S.C. 1337) as soon as practicable, but not later than June 1, 2012. (b) Environmental Review.--For the purposes of that lease sale, the Environmental Impact Statement for the 2007-2012 5- Year OCS Plan and the Multi-Sale Environmental Impact Statement are deemed to satisfy the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.).

In this Act: (1) The term ``Environmental Impact Statement for the 2007- 2012 5 Year OCS Plan'' means the Final Environmental Impact Statement for Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program: 2007-2012 (April 2007) prepared by the Secretary of the Interior. (2) The term ``Multi-Sale Environmental Impact Statement'' means the Environmental Impact Statement for Proposed Western Gulf of Mexico OCS Oil and Gas Lease Sales 204, 207, 210, 215, and 218, and Proposed Central Gulf of Mexico OCS Oil and Gas Lease Sales 205, 206, 208, 213, 216, and 222 (September 2008) prepared by the Secretary of the Interior.

The Acting CHAIR. No amendment to the bill is in order except those printed in part B of House Report 112-73. Each such amendment may be offered only in the order printed in the report, by a Member designated in the report, shall be considered read, shall be debatable for the time specified in the report, equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent of the amendment, shall not be subject to amendment, and shall not be subject to a demand for division of the question.

The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 1 printed in part B of House Report 112-73.

Rep. Rush Holt

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Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.

The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.

The text of the amendment is as follows:

Page 3, beginning at line 6, amend sections 2 and 3 to read as follows:

The Secretary of the Interior shall conduct offshore oil and gas lease sale 216 under section 8 of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (33 U.S.C. 1337) as soon as practicable after compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.).

The Secretary of the Interior shall conduct offshore oil and gas lease sale 218 under section 8 of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (33 U.S.C. 1337) as soon as practicable after compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.). Page 5, beginning at line 1, amend section 5 to read as follows:

The Secretary of the Interior shall conduct offshore oil and gas lease sale 222 under section 8 of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (33 U.S.C. 1337) as soon as practicable after compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.). Page 5, beginning at line 15, strike section 6.

The Acting CHAIR pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 245, the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Holt) and a Member opposed each will control 5 minutes.

The Chair recognizes the gentleman from New Jersey.

Rep. Rush Holt

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The authors of this bill are so eager to accelerate the giveaways to Big Oil, rather than protect the consumers, the environment and workers, that they, in their legislation, deem that the shoddy environmental analysis conducted 4 years ago, in other words, years prior to the gulf oil blowout, to be sufficient for all future lease sales in the gulf, despite their glaring deficiencies. They deem--in other words, assume, declare--that this is sufficient. Look, this environmental impact statement was not adequate then, and we know it's not adequate now.

``Deem'' is a dangerous word in legislation, especially legislation that could jeopardize worker safety and imperil the economic structure of coastal communities.

My amendment would strike the language deeming the pre-spill environmental work to be sufficient and it, therefore, would require a new, updated analysis. And the administration says they intend to and are prepared to apply a strengthened environmental analysis incorporating the lessons learned.

This amnesia bill before us learns no lessons from the worst environmental oil spill in our history. Just look at some of the conclusions contained in the outdated environmental analysis.

The EIS determined ``the most likely size of an offshore spill greater than or equal to 1,000 barrels would be 4,600 barrels.'' So, in other words, the pre-BP spill analysis concluded that the most likely size of the largest spill that we would see in the Gulf of Mexico would be 4,600 barrels of oil. The Deepwater Horizon produced 4 million barrels spilling into the gulf.

In addition, the analysis concluded that the total volume of oil that would be spilled from all spills over 40 years would be roughly 47,000 barrels of oil. That's less than what spilled from the Deepwater Horizon in 1 day.

The EIS concluded that, in the worst-case scenario, something like several dozen miles of gulf coastline would be affected by the spill. In reality, it affected 950 miles of coastline, across all the Gulf States.

The earlier EIS review that they would say should apply for all future drilling determined that a deepwater blowout would not present a clean-up problem because the oil would rise in a water column, surfacing almost directly above, that's their words in the EIS, that they would deem to apply, surfacing almost directly over the source location. In fact, we know the oil spewing spread in subsurface plumes for miles and miles and miles across the gulf.

For commercial fisheries, the environmental statement said ``a subsurface blowout would have a negligible effect on the Gulf of Mexico fish resources or commercial fishing.'' In reality, the BP spill closed 88,000 square miles of the gulf to fishing.

These are just a few examples of how this is an inadequate environmental statement. Have we learned nothing from the largest oil spill in gulf waters?

It is so thoughtless and so boilerplate that it talks about protecting walruses in the Gulf of Mexico. This was a thoughtless environmental impact statement, surely not worthy of the people who live along the coast. This environmental impact statement is surely not worthy of those who make their living either in the oil business or the fishing business or any other business.

The fact is, we have far more information now than we did in 2007. And after immense cost, really hard-earned knowledge, we certainly should not proceed as if nothing has happened without reassessing our assumptions and our analyses. The Department of the Interior is working to hold these sales mandated by this bill, but in a reasonable timeframe.

Any leases should reflect the lessons learned from the BP spill. In other words, it should reflect reality, not some dream world. They live in a dream world economically; they live in a dream world environmentally. It is clearly a world where walruses live in the Gulf of Mexico.

My amendment, I think, is a reasonable way to proceed. It would require that we do new environmental work that builds on the hard-earned lessons that we learned from the largest oil spill in the gulf waters. It ensures that future leasing in the gulf fully considers the environmental impact of drilling.

I urge adoption of the amendment.

The Acting CHAIR. The time of the gentleman has expired.

Rep. Doc Hastings

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Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the amendment.

The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman is recognized for 5 minutes.

Rep. Doc Hastings

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I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Chairman, I strongly oppose this amendment. The EIS work conducted thus far for the lease sales, and keep in mind, these lease sales were already okayed, is complete, thorough and sufficient to safely and responsibly conduct these lease sales.

It is important to note that this is only one of many environmental analyses that these leases will undergo before any drilling can start. At each of multiple stages, additional detailed environmental and safety reviews will be conducted.

The language in this bill, underlying bill, allows the administration to move forward with these lease sales in a timely manner, but does not allow drilling until at least several more layers of thorough environmental assessments and reviews are conducted on each lease sale sold at these sales. I think that's what the gentleman was getting to. The underlying bill allows that to happen.

These additional environmental studies will allow for the latest and best available information following the oil spill to be included in the studies and applied to any drilling that will take place.

In totality, the library of environmental reviews will end up totaling tens of thousands of pages, Mr. Chairman, and hundreds of hours by environmental scientists, engineers, biologists, and other professionals.

But this amendment isn't about environmental protection. This amendment is about removing the timelines in this bill to conduct these four lease sales. Keep in mind, these lease sales were already agreed to by a prior administration. The real effect of this amendment is to allow President Obama to block increased energy production by continuing to push these lease sales off past 2012 or 2017, in some cases. The real impact of this amendment is that we are right back where we started when the President canceled these lease sales, sending jobs and energy production overseas.

This administration's actions to delay these lease sales and their long record of anti-energy roadblocks is why 2011, this year, may be the first year since 1958 that no lease sales will occur in the OCS. It is for this reason that OCS revenues in 2011 will fall by more than $9 billion compared to 2008.

By validating the existing EIS work, the bill ensures that these lease sales will move forward this year, generating revenue for taxpayers and ensuring that our leasing program continues in a timely manner, while also allowing for additional safety measures to be taken.

I urge my colleagues to vote ``no'' on this amendment.

I yield the balance of my time to the gentleman from Louisiana (Mr. Landry).

Rep. Jeff Landry

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Here we go again. Delay, delay, delay. The poor people of my district will have to sit there, unemployed and wait again. We've gotten environmental study after environmental study after environmental study that will happen after these lease sales. This does not prevent the additional environmental studies that will take place anyhow. All it will do is force those companies to take up to three more years before we can get to our business of drilling so we can get to our business of providing for the American people affordable energy. Again, it's a delay tactic.

How do I know that? Because I can tell you that this administration pulls delay tactic after delay tactic after delay tactic in permitting wells in the Gulf of Mexico. They lift the moratorium, and then they don't issue permits.

So what do they do now, the other side of the aisle, my colleagues on the other side? They say, well, it looks like we have a piece of legislation in front of us that's going to finally start to open the gulf back up. So let's see how many roadblocks we can put in front of it.

I urge my colleagues, defeat this amendment. Let's get on with the business of providing this country with affordable energy and let's get this economy rolling and let's get back to creating jobs.

The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Holt).

The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the noes appeared to have it.

Rep. Rush Holt

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Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.

The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from New Jersey will be postponed.

The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 2 printed in part B of House Report 112-73.

Rep. Gerald E. Connolly

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Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.

The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.

The text of the amendment is as follows:

Page 4, beginning at line 19, strike ``if the President, through the Secretary of Defense, determines that drilling activity on that tract would create an unreasonable conflict'' and insert ``until the President, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense, certifies that drilling activity on that tract would not create a conflict''.

The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 245, the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Connolly) and a Member opposed each will control 5 minutes.

The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Virginia.

Rep. Gerald E. Connolly

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Mr. Chairman, this simple amendment requires the President, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense, to certify that moving forward with Lease Sale 220 will not impede naval or other Department of Defense operations off Virginia's coast.

The Department of Defense issued a report which stated that 78 percent of the area of Lease Sale 220 is currently used by the Navy for equipment testing, practicing with live ordnance, underwater training, and other critical operations.

There may not be a readily available alternative for live ordnance testing. And, of course, we wouldn't want live ordnance being used near oil wells, now, would we?

As you know, Norfolk is the largest naval base in America. It is critical for our national security and has beneficial side effects, obviously, for the regional economy. But billions of dollars have been invested in Norfolk and in that test bed area.

Perhaps it is possible for offshore oil exploration or wind energy development to be compatible with continued naval operations. That is why we asked for certification. But if energy development forced the Navy to relocate, our national security would suffer, preparedness would suffer, and billions of dollars of extra cost in Federal expenditures would be incurred. Virginia's economy of course would also suffer, as we could lose more than $10 billion in annual contracting income derived from that base.

This amendment ensures that energy development would not cripple naval operations by simply requiring the President with the Secretary of Defense to certify that moving forward with Lease Sale 220 won't impede naval operations and harm national security.

I reserve the balance of my time.

Rep. Doug Lamborn

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Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the amendment.

The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Colorado is recognized for 5 minutes.

Rep. Doug Lamborn

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I yield myself such time as I may consume.

While I appreciate what the gentleman is trying to accomplish, the underlying bill already protects the Defense Department's responsibilities in the Outer Continental Shelf of Virginia. So this amendment is totally unnecessary.

Because preserving the working relationship between the Department of Defense and the Department of the Interior is of great importance to the Virginia congressional delegation and to the Natural Resources Committee, H.R. 1230 already ensures the mutual goals of national security and energy independence by requiring that the lease sale be conducted with stipulations on surface use, as well as additional requirements to make certain that the leases issued in this area would not impact defense operations.

I also want to point out that bipartisan support for energy production offshore of Virginia does exist. According to a study by the Southeast Energy Alliance, offshore energy development in Virginia could create nearly 2,000 jobs in Virginia and produce more than one-half billion barrels of oil and 2.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

This natural gas is important, because in the last few years the Dominion liquefied natural gas terminal in Baltimore, Maryland, received huge amounts of foreign natural gas. Developing energy production in offshore Virginia could displace foreign natural gas as well as mean more energy for Virginia.

Now, in context, one-half billion barrels of oil is enough to fuel all 4 million cars in Virginia for more than 4 years, and 2.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas could heat all 3.2 million Virginia households for more than 11 years. And, developing resources off Virginia's coast could generate nearly $19.5 billion in revenues to Federal, State, and local governments.

Virginians, along with their Governor, both Democratic Senators, and a majority of the congressional delegation here in Congress, and the city council of Virginia Beach, off of which much of the development would take place, do support offshore leasing and development because they understand it can bring much-needed jobs and revenues to the State.

I reserve the balance of my time.

Rep. Gerald E. Connolly

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I thank my friend from Colorado for his remarks. But, frankly, if he is so certain of the protections contained in this legislation, then surely this extra special amendment to make sure that Virginia is protected would not find objection on the other side of the aisle.

I yield 2 minutes to my friend from Northern Virginia (Mr. Moran).

Rep. James P. Moran

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I thank my good friend and colleague.

Mr. Chairman, the U.S. Atlantic fleet is based at the Norfolk Naval Base and operates in the same waters that this legislation proposes to sell for oil and gas development. Does the Republican majority really want to jeopardize those thousands and thousands of jobs that are identified with that naval base?

According to a report issued by the Secretary of Defense, there should be no lease sales in 72 percent of the proposed lease area that this bill directs be sold to oil and gas companies because it is in conflict with live ordnance, air-surface missile, and gunnery exercises, shipboard qualification trials, carrier qualifications, and development and operational follow-on testing and evaluation, and an additional 5 percent would interfere with aerial operations and should not host permanent surface structures such as drilling rigs.

In other words, more than three quarters of the area that this legislation directs be sold to oil and gas companies is in conflict with our national security interests, and a good deal of the remaining 22 percent is within shipping lanes of the country's two busiest commercial ports, Hampton Roads and Baltimore.

Mr. Chairman, our coastal waters are a shared resource that host a number of competing and sometimes incompatible uses. Clearly, direct national security interests should be weighed at least alongside the indirect benefit of unproven oil and gas developments that won't occur for many, many, many years to come.

This amendment would ensure national security interests would prevail. But it also underscores the point that the majority seems too anxious to dismiss: The interests of our coastal fisheries and the tourism industry. Those industries generate billions in income and sustain the livelihood of millions of Americans. Their future is placed at risk when Congress passes laws that disregard the lessons past disasters have taught by mandating shortcuts to more drilling.

I urge my colleagues to accept this amendment and reject the underlying bill.

Rep. Gerald E. Connolly

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I yield 1 minute to my friend from Virginia (Mr. Scott).

Rep. Robert C. Scott

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Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of the amendment.

This amendment will ensure that necessary safeguards are in place to protect military training operations, NASA missions, and port access in certain offshore areas.

In the Commonwealth of Virginia, the United States Navy trains extensively in the Virginia Capes Operations Area off the coast of Virginia. Additionally, NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia's Eastern Shore requires a clear and unrestricted rocket and target launch range off Virginia's coast.

I have long had reservations about drilling off the coast of Virginia. I believe the environmental, economic, and national security risks for that drilling far outweigh any potential benefits. But if drilling will occur, this amendment will ensure that commonsense and responsible processes will be in place to safeguard against obvious negative consequences to our military, to NASA, and to port operations.

I urge my colleagues to support this amendment.

Rep. Gerald E. Connolly

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Mr. Chairman, may I ask how much time is remaining.

The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Virginia has 30 seconds remaining, and the gentleman from Colorado has 2\1/2\ minutes remaining.

Rep. Gerald E. Connolly

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Before I yield back, I just want to say I appreciate again the reassurances from our colleague from Colorado, but many of us in Virginia want to be sure.

Again, this amendment is simple. It does not stop oil production or oil drilling offshore. It simply requires, first, a certification that the all-important naval base at Norfolk is protected and that the testing bed offshore is not in jeopardy, given the billions of dollars we have invested in national security in that area and its importance to our regional economy. We think it is a reasonable protection, a reasonable measure.

I urge adoption of the amendment.

I yield back the balance of my time.

Rep. Doug Lamborn

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In closing, Mr. Chairman, I would just point out that the Governor of Virginia supports this, the majority of the House Members from Virginia support this without the amendment, and the Democratic Senators from Virginia have in the past agreed to legislation identical in wording to what this legislation says about offshore activity. So because the offshore activities are adequately and responsibly dealt with in the bill as it is, I would urge a ``no'' vote on the amendment.

I yield back the balance of my time.

The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Connolly).

The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the noes appeared to have it.

Rep. Gerald E. Connolly

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Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.

The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Virginia will be postponed.

The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, proceedings will now resume on those amendments printed in part B of House Report 112-73 on which further proceedings were postponed in the following order:

Amendment No. 1 by Mr. Holt of New Jersey.

Amendment No. 2 by Mr. Connolly of Virginia.

The Chair will reduce to 5 minutes the time for any electronic vote after the first vote in this series.

The Acting CHAIR. The unfinished business is the demand for a recorded vote on the amendment offered by the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Holt) on which further proceedings were postponed and on which the noes prevailed by voice vote.

The Clerk will redesignate the amendment.

The Clerk redesignated the amendment.

The Acting CHAIR. A recorded vote has been demanded.

A recorded vote was ordered.

The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--ayes 174, noes 240, not voting 18, as follows:

[Roll No. 295] AYES--174 Andrews Baca Baldwin Bass (CA) Bass (NH) Becerra Berkley Berman Bishop (GA) Bishop (NY) Blumenauer Bono Mack Boswell Brady (PA) Braley (IA) Brown (FL) Butterfield Capps Capuano Cardoza Carnahan Carney Carson (IN) Castor (FL) Chu Cicilline Clarke (MI) Clarke (NY) Clay Cleaver Clyburn Cohen Connolly (VA) Conyers Costello Courtney Cuellar Cummings Davis (CA) Davis (IL) DeFazio DeGette DeLauro Deutch Dicks Dingell Doggett Doyle Edwards Ellison Eshoo Farr Fattah Filner Fitzpatrick Frank (MA) Fudge Garamendi Gonzalez Grijalva Gutierrez Hanabusa Hastings (FL) Heinrich Higgins Himes Hinchey Hinojosa Hirono Holt Honda Hoyer Inslee Israel Jackson (IL) Jackson Lee (TX) Johnson (GA) Johnson (IL) Johnson, E. B. Jones Kaptur Keating Kildee Kind Kissell Kucinich Langevin Larsen (WA) Larson (CT) Lee (CA) Levin Lewis (GA) Lipinski Loebsack Lofgren, Zoe Lowey Lujan Lynch Maloney Markey Matsui McCarthy (NY) McCollum McDermott McGovern McIntyre McNerney Michaud Miller (NC) Miller, George Moore Moran Murphy (CT) Napolitano Neal Owens Pallone Pastor (AZ) Payne Pelosi Perlmutter Peters Pingree (ME) Polis Price (NC) Quigley Rahall Reichert Reyes Richardson Richmond Ros-Lehtinen Roybal-Allard Ruppersberger Ryan (OH) Sanchez, Linda T. Sanchez, Loretta Sarbanes Schakowsky Schiff Schrader Schwartz Scott (VA) Scott, David Serrano Sewell Sherman Shuler Sires Slaughter Smith (WA) Speier Stark Sutton Thompson (CA) Thompson (MS) Tierney Tonko Towns Tsongas Van Hollen Velazquez Visclosky Walz (MN) Wasserman Schultz Waters Watt Waxman Welch Wilson (FL) Woolsey Wu Yarmuth Young (FL) NOES--240 Adams Aderholt Akin Alexander Altmire Amash Austria Bachmann Bachus Barletta Barrow Bartlett Barton (TX) Benishek Berg Biggert Bilirakis Bishop (UT) Black Blackburn Bonner Boren Boustany Brady (TX) Brooks Broun (GA) Buchanan Bucshon Buerkle Burgess Burton (IN) Calvert Camp Campbell Canseco Cantor Capito Carter Cassidy Chabot Chaffetz Chandler Coble Coffman (CO) Cole Conaway Cooper Costa Cravaack Crawford Crenshaw Critz Culberson Davis (KY) Denham Dent DesJarlais Diaz-Balart Dold Donnelly (IN) Dreier Duffy Duncan (SC) Duncan (TN) Ellmers Farenthold Fincher Flake Fleischmann Fleming Flores Forbes Fortenberry Foxx Franks (AZ) Frelinghuysen Gallegly Gardner Garrett Gerlach Gibbs Gibson Gingrey (GA) Gohmert Goodlatte Gosar Gowdy Granger Graves (GA) Graves (MO) Green, Al Green, Gene Griffin (AR) Griffith (VA) Grimm Guinta Guthrie Hall Hanna Harper Harris Hartzler Hastings (WA) Hayworth Heck Heller Hensarling Herger Herrera Beutler Holden Huelskamp Huizenga (MI) Hultgren Hurt Issa Jenkins Johnson (OH) Jordan Kelly King (IA) Kingston Kinzinger (IL) Kline Labrador Lamborn Lance Landry Lankford Latham LaTourette Latta Lewis (CA) LoBiondo Long Lucas Luetkemeyer Lummis Lungren, Daniel E. Mack Manzullo Marchant Marino Matheson McCarthy (CA) McCaul McClintock McCotter McHenry McKeon McKinley McMorris Rodgers Meehan Mica Miller (FL) Miller (MI) Miller, Gary Mulvaney Murphy (PA) Myrick Neugebauer Noem Nugent Nunes Nunnelee Olson Palazzo Paul Paulsen Pearce Pence Peterson Petri Pitts Platts Poe (TX) Posey Price (GA) Quayle Reed Rehberg Renacci Ribble Rigell Rivera Roby Roe (TN) Rogers (AL) Rogers (KY) Rogers (MI) Rohrabacher Rokita Rooney Roskam Ross (AR) Ross (FL) Royce Runyan Ryan (WI) Scalise Schilling Schmidt Schock Schweikert Scott (SC) Scott, Austin Sensenbrenner Sessions Shimkus Shuster Simpson Smith (NE) Smith (NJ) Smith (TX) Southerland Stearns Stivers Stutzman Sullivan Terry Thompson (PA) Thornberry Tiberi Tipton Turner Upton Walberg Walden Walsh (IL) Webster West Westmoreland Whitfield Wilson (SC) Wittman Wolf Womack Woodall Yoder Young (AK) Young (IN) NOT VOTING--18 Ackerman Bilbray Crowley Emerson Engel Giffords Hunter Johnson, Sam King (NY) Meeks Nadler Olver Pascrell Pompeo Rangel Rothman (NJ) Rush Weiner {time} 1306

ROSKAM changed their vote from ``aye'' to ``no.''

Mr. CUMMINGS, Mrs. BONO MACK, and Mr. ELLISON changed their vote from ``no'' to ``aye.''

So the amendment was rejected.

The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.

The Acting CHAIR. The unfinished business is the demand for a recorded vote on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Connolly) on which further proceedings were postponed and on which the noes prevailed by voice vote.

The Clerk will redesignate the amendment.

The Clerk redesignated the amendment.

The Acting CHAIR. A recorded vote has been demanded.

A recorded vote was ordered.

The Acting CHAIR. This is a 5-minute vote.

The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--ayes 176, noes 240, not voting 16, as follows:

[Roll No. 296] AYES--176 Altmire Andrews Baca Baldwin Bass (CA) Becerra Berkley Berman Bilirakis Bishop (GA) Bishop (NY) Blumenauer Boswell Brady (PA) Braley (IA) Brown (FL) Butterfield Capps Capuano Cardoza Carnahan Carney Carson (IN) Castor (FL) Chu Cicilline Clarke (MI) Clarke (NY) Clay Cleaver Clyburn Cohen Connolly (VA) Conyers Cooper Costello Courtney Critz Cuellar Cummings Davis (CA) Davis (IL) DeFazio DeGette Deutch Dicks Dingell Doggett Doyle Edwards Ellison Eshoo Farr Fattah Filner Frank (MA) Fudge Garamendi Gonzalez Green, Al Green, Gene Grijalva Gutierrez Hanabusa Hastings (FL) Heinrich Higgins Himes Hinchey Hinojosa Hirono Holt Honda Hoyer Inslee Israel Jackson (IL) Jackson Lee (TX) Johnson (GA) Johnson, E. B. Jones Kaptur Keating Kildee Kind Kissell Kucinich Langevin Larsen (WA) Larson (CT) Lee (CA) Levin Lewis (GA) Lipinski Loebsack Lofgren, Zoe Lowey Lujan Lynch Maloney Markey Matsui McCarthy (NY) McCollum McDermott McGovern McIntyre McNerney Michaud Miller (FL) Miller (NC) Miller, George Moore Moran Murphy (CT) Napolitano Neal Owens Pallone Pastor (AZ) Payne Pelosi Perlmutter Peters Pingree (ME) Polis Price (NC) Quigley Rahall Reyes Richardson Richmond Ros-Lehtinen Roybal-Allard Ruppersberger Rush Ryan (OH) Sanchez, Linda T. Sanchez, Loretta Sarbanes Schakowsky Schiff Schrader Schwartz Scott (VA) Scott, David Serrano Sewell Sherman Shuler Sires Slaughter Smith (WA) Speier Stark Sutton Thompson (CA) Thompson (MS) Tierney Tonko Towns Tsongas Van Hollen Velazquez Visclosky Walz (MN) Wasserman Schultz Waters Watt Waxman Welch Wilson (FL) Woolsey Wu Yarmuth Young (FL) NOES--240 Adams Aderholt Akin Alexander Amash Austria Bachmann Bachus Barletta Barrow Bartlett Barton (TX) Bass (NH) Benishek Berg Biggert Bishop (UT) Black Blackburn Bonner Bono Mack Boren Boustany Brady (TX) Brooks Broun (GA) Buchanan Bucshon Buerkle Burgess Burton (IN) Calvert Camp Campbell Canseco Cantor Capito Carter Cassidy Chabot Chaffetz Chandler Coble Coffman (CO) Cole Conaway Costa Cravaack Crawford Crenshaw Culberson Davis (KY) Denham Dent DesJarlais Diaz-Balart Dold Donnelly (IN) Dreier Duffy Duncan (SC) Duncan (TN) Ellmers Farenthold Fincher Fitzpatrick Flake Fleischmann Fleming Flores Forbes Fortenberry Foxx Franks (AZ) Frelinghuysen Gallegly Gardner Garrett Gerlach Gibbs Gibson Gingrey (GA) Gohmert Goodlatte Gosar Gowdy Granger Graves (GA) Graves (MO) Griffin (AR) Griffith (VA) Grimm Guinta Guthrie Hall Hanna Harper Harris Hartzler Hastings (WA) Hayworth Heck Heller Hensarling Herger Herrera Beutler Holden Huelskamp Huizenga (MI) Hultgren Hunter Hurt Issa Jenkins Johnson (IL) Johnson (OH) Jordan Kelly King (IA) Kingston Kinzinger (IL) Kline Labrador Lamborn Lance Landry Lankford Latham LaTourette Latta Lewis (CA) LoBiondo Long Lucas Luetkemeyer Lummis Lungren, Daniel E. Mack Manzullo Marchant Marino Matheson McCarthy (CA) McCaul McClintock McCotter McHenry McKeon McKinley McMorris Rodgers Meehan Mica Miller (MI) Miller, Gary Mulvaney Murphy (PA) Myrick Neugebauer Noem Nugent Nunes Nunnelee Olson Palazzo Paul Paulsen Pearce Pence Peterson Petri Pitts Platts Poe (TX) Pompeo Posey Price (GA) Quayle Reed Rehberg Reichert Renacci Ribble Rigell Rivera Roby Roe (TN) Rogers (AL) Rogers (KY) Rogers (MI) Rohrabacher Rokita Rooney Roskam Ross (AR) Ross (FL) Royce Runyan Ryan (WI) Scalise Schilling Schmidt Schock Schweikert Scott (SC) Scott, Austin Sensenbrenner Sessions Shimkus Shuster Simpson Smith (NE) Smith (NJ) Smith (TX) Southerland Stearns Stivers Stutzman Sullivan Terry Thompson (PA) Thornberry Tiberi Tipton Turner Upton Walberg Walden Walsh (IL) Webster West Westmoreland Whitfield Wilson (SC) Wittman Wolf Womack Woodall Yoder Young (AK) Young (IN) NOT VOTING--16 Ackerman Bilbray Crowley DeLauro Emerson Engel Giffords Johnson, Sam King (NY) Meeks Nadler Olver Pascrell Rangel Rothman (NJ) Weiner {time} 1313

So the amendment was rejected.

The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.

The Acting CHAIR (Mr. Yoder). Under the rule, the Committee rises.

Accordingly, the Committee rose; and the Speaker pro tempore (Mr. Bass of New Hampshire) having assumed the chair, Mr. Yoder, Acting Chair of the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union, reported that that Committee, having had under consideration the bill (H.R. 1230) to require the Secretary of the Interior to conduct certain offshore oil and gas lease sales, and for other purposes, and, pursuant to House Resolution 245, reported the bill back to the House.

Under the rule, the previous question is ordered.

The question is on the engrossment and third reading of the bill.

The bill was ordered to be engrossed and read a third time, and was read the third time.

Rep. Ben Ray Lujan

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Mr. Speaker, I have a motion to recommit at the desk.

Is the gentleman opposed to the bill?

Rep. Ben Ray Lujan

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I am opposed to it in its current form.

The Clerk will report the motion to recommit.

The Clerk read as follows:

Mr. Lujan moves to recommit the bill H.R. 1230 to the Committee on Natural Resources with instructions to report the same back to the House forthwith with the following amendment: Page 5, after line 14, insert the following (and redesignate accordingly):

The leases offered for sale under this Act shall specify that all oil and natural gas produced under such leases shall be offered for sale only in the United States.

Rep. Doc Hastings

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Mr. Speaker, I reserve a point of order.

A point of order is reserved.

The gentleman from New Mexico is recognized for 5 minutes in support of his motion.

Rep. Ben Ray Lujan

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Mr. Speaker and my colleagues, American families are hurting right now. When the cost of gas at the pump rises, that means that the cost of groceries goes up, the cost of goods goes up, and the cost of just getting to work goes up. The American people need relief; and the way this legislation is written, it will do nothing to decrease the price at the pump, and it will do nothing to lower the international price of oil.

All day today, my colleagues on the other side of the aisle have suggested that drilling more is the solution to high gas prices. If my Republican colleagues really believe that increasing drilling in the U.S. will lower gas prices, then we should all be able to agree that oil produced in America should stay in America to help American families and American businesses.

That's why I am offering this final amendment today--to ensure that oil resources that are produced through leasing under this act are kept here and sold here in the United States. Simply put, this means, if we produce it here, we should keep it here for the American people.

Mr. Speaker, I come from a State that has oil and gas production, and we know how important domestic production is. We don't disagree that production in the United States is important. Personally, I favor a more comprehensive plan to reduce our dependence on foreign sources of oil, one that includes natural gas, wind, solar, one that grows new industries and creates jobs that cannot be outsourced out of the United States.

While I disagree with my Republican colleagues' approach, I think that we can all agree that something must be done to reduce the price of gasoline for consumers. The American people want us to work together to lower gas prices, plain and simple. They know our country is far too reliant on foreign oil, and they want us to do something real about it, plain and simple. Mr. Speaker, some things deserve to be repeated, and I'll tell you that the American people want us to come together to lower gas prices, plain and simple.

At a time when gas prices are at historic highs, if we're going to produce more from American drilling, we should keep it in America to help Americans. We've heard from the other side that the solution is as simple as producing more oil in the U.S., but that's not going to lower costs in international energy markets. That's not how it works.

Mr. Speaker, U.S. domestic oil production is already at its highest level in almost a decade, and that's a fact. In the last 2 years, oil production from the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf has increased by more than a third, and that's a fact. So, while we see our domestic production going up, the price at the pump is going up even higher, and that's hurting families.

Without this amendment, there is nothing in the Republican bill that would guarantee that oil produced under this act would stay in the United States to offer relief for the American people. Yet, Mr. Speaker, we can change all of that, and we can do it together and do what's right for the American people. We can support this amendment that simply says that oil produced in the United States under these leases would stay in the United States.

My Republican colleagues will tell us that this bill is about sending a message to OPEC and to the world that we are willing to produce our own oil. If we're going to send a message, Mr. Speaker, let's send the message that when we drill on the taxpayers' land that America's oil should stay right here in America to lower prices at the pump, plain and simple.

To my colleagues, when you go home to your districts this weekend, ask your constituents if they think oil produced in the U.S. should be kept in the U.S. and refined in the U.S. for American consumers, American families, and American businesses or if they think it should be shipped out of the country.

What do you think they'll say?

Quite simply, that is the choice, and that is all this final amendment says. It will not kill this bill. If it is adopted, it will be immediately incorporated into the underlying bill, and the bill will be voted upon immediately. Let's do something for the American people, and plain and simple, let's support this amendment. I urge my colleagues to vote ``yes.''

I yield back the balance of my time.

The Chair will remind the Members that remarks in debate must be addressed to the Chair.

Rep. Doc Hastings

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Mr. Speaker, I withdraw my reservation, and I rise in opposition to the motion.

The gentleman is recognized for 5 minutes.

Rep. Doc Hastings

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Mr. Speaker, I oppose this motion to recommit.

Quite frankly, this amendment is redundant, unnecessary, and another attempt to divert attention from the real issue of increasing energy production in order to create jobs, lower energy costs, and improve national security by lessening our dependence on foreign oil.

First, Mr. Speaker, exports are already subject to the Export Administration Act. Before any oil or gas can be exported, the President must find that the exports will not diminish the total quantity or quality of petroleum available to the U.S. and the national interests and are in accord with the provisions of the Export Administration Act of 1969. If the President finds that exports are in violation of the Export Administration Act, an executive order can halt all these exports if Congress finds that the exports are in conflict with the national interests, and they can act accordingly.

Now, having said it is covered under law, let's really get to the bottom line. This is another distraction from the same people that brought us cap-and-trade. Now, that should probably say everything right there because I find it absolutely ironic my good friend from New Mexico making this argument that if we went out and talked to our constituents if they would like to buy American-made energy, he suggested they would say overwhelmingly yes. Well, of course, they would. They would also say why aren't we drilling for sources here in the United States, offshore in the Gulf of Mexico and onshore; and that's what these three bills do.

So I urge my colleagues to vote against this motion to recommit and pass the bill.

I yield back the balance of my time.

Without objection, the previous question is ordered on the motion to recommit.

There was no objection.

The question is on the motion to recommit.

The question was taken; and the Speaker pro tempore announced that the noes appeared to have it.

Rep. Ben Ray Lujan

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Mr. Speaker, I demand a recorded vote.

A recorded vote was ordered.

Pursuant to clause 9 of rule XX, the Chair will reduce to 5 minutes the minimum time for any electronic vote on the question of passage.

The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--ayes 171, noes 238, not voting 23, as follows:

[Roll No. 297] AYES--171 Altmire Andrews Baca Baldwin Barrow Bass (CA) Becerra Berman Bishop (GA) Bishop (NY) Blumenauer Boren Boswell Brady (PA) Braley (IA) Brown (FL) Butterfield Capps Capuano Cardoza Carnahan Carney Carson (IN) Castor (FL) Chandler Chu Cicilline Clarke (MI) Clarke (NY) Clay Cleaver Clyburn Cohen Connolly (VA) Conyers Costa Costello Courtney Critz Cuellar Davis (CA) Davis (IL) DeFazio DeGette DeLauro Deutch Dicks Dingell Doggett Donnelly (IN) Doyle Edwards Ellison Eshoo Farr Fattah Filner Fudge Garamendi Gonzalez Green, Al Green, Gene Grijalva Gutierrez Hanabusa Hastings (FL) Heinrich Higgins Himes Hinchey Hinojosa Holden Holt Honda Hoyer Inslee Israel Jackson (IL) Jackson Lee (TX) Johnson (GA) Johnson, E. B. Jones Kaptur Keating Kildee Kind Kissell Kucinich Langevin Larsen (WA) Larson (CT) Lee (CA) Levin Lewis (GA) Lipinski Loebsack Lofgren, Zoe Lowey Lujan Lynch Maloney Markey Matheson Matsui McCarthy (NY) McCollum McDermott McGovern McIntyre McNerney Michaud Miller (NC) Miller, George Moore Moran Murphy (CT) Napolitano Neal Pallone Pastor (AZ) Payne Pelosi Perlmutter Peters Peterson Pingree (ME) Price (NC) Quigley Rahall Richmond Ross (AR) Roybal-Allard Ruppersberger Rush Ryan (OH) Sanchez, Linda T. Sarbanes Schakowsky Schiff Schrader Schwartz Scott (VA) Scott, David Serrano Sewell Sherman Shuler Sires Slaughter Smith (WA) Speier Stark Sutton Thompson (CA) Thompson (MS) Tierney Tonko Towns Tsongas Velazquez Visclosky Walz (MN) Wasserman Schultz Waters Watt Waxman Welch Wilson (FL) Woolsey Wu Yarmuth NOES--238 Adams Aderholt Akin Alexander Amash Austria Bachmann Bachus Barletta Bartlett Barton (TX) Bass (NH) Benishek Berg Biggert Bilirakis Bishop (UT) Black Blackburn Bonner Bono Mack Boustany Brady (TX) Brooks Broun (GA) Buchanan Bucshon Buerkle Burgess Burton (IN) Calvert Camp Campbell Canseco Cantor Capito Carter Cassidy Chabot Chaffetz Coble Coffman (CO) Cole Conaway Cooper Cravaack Crawford Crenshaw Culberson Davis (KY) Denham Dent DesJarlais Diaz-Balart Dold Dreier Duffy Duncan (SC) Duncan (TN) Ellmers Farenthold Fincher Fitzpatrick Flake Fleischmann Fleming Flores Forbes Fortenberry Foxx Frank (MA) Franks (AZ) Frelinghuysen Gardner Garrett Gerlach Gibbs Gibson Gingrey (GA) Gohmert Goodlatte Gosar Gowdy Granger Graves (GA) Graves (MO) Griffin (AR) Griffith (VA) Grimm Guinta Guthrie Hall Hanna Harper Harris Hartzler Hastings (WA) Hayworth Heck Heller Hensarling Herger Herrera Beutler Huelskamp Huizenga (MI) Hultgren Hunter Hurt Issa Jenkins Johnson (IL) Johnson (OH) Jordan Kelly King (IA) Kingston Kinzinger (IL) Kline Labrador Lamborn Lance Landry Lankford Latham LaTourette Latta Lewis (CA) LoBiondo Long Lucas Luetkemeyer Lummis Lungren, Daniel E. Mack Manzullo Marchant Marino McCarthy (CA) McCaul McClintock McCotter McHenry McKeon McKinley McMorris Rodgers Meehan Mica Miller (FL) Miller (MI) Miller, Gary Mulvaney Murphy (PA) Myrick Neugebauer Noem Nugent Nunes Nunnelee Olson Owens Palazzo Paul Paulsen Pearce Pence Petri Pitts Platts Poe (TX) Polis Pompeo Posey Price (GA) Quayle Reed Rehberg Reichert Renacci Ribble Rigell Rivera Roby Roe (TN) Rogers (AL) Rogers (KY) Rogers (MI) Rohrabacher Rokita Rooney Ros-Lehtinen Roskam Ross (FL) Royce Runyan Ryan (WI) Scalise Schilling Schmidt Schock Schweikert Scott (SC) Scott, Austin Sensenbrenner Sessions Shimkus Shuster Simpson Smith (NE) Smith (NJ) Smith (TX) Southerland Stearns Stivers Stutzman Sullivan Terry Thompson (PA) Thornberry Tiberi Tipton Turner Upton Walberg Walden Walsh (IL) Webster West Westmoreland Whitfield Wilson (SC) Wittman Wolf Womack Woodall Yoder Young (AK) Young (FL) Young (IN) NOT VOTING--23 Ackerman Berkley Bilbray Crowley Cummings Emerson Engel Gallegly Giffords Hirono Johnson, Sam King (NY) Meeks Nadler Olver Pascrell Rangel Reyes Richardson Rothman (NJ) Sanchez, Loretta Van Hollen Weiner {time} 1339

So the motion to recommit was rejected.

The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.

Rep. Shelley Berkley

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Mr. Speaker, on rollcall No. 297 had I been present I would have voted ``aye.'' I was unfortunately detained and unable to vote.

Rep. Chris Van Hollen

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Mr. Speaker, on rollcall No. 297, I was unavoidably detained. Had I been present, I would have voted ``aye.''

The question is on the passage of the bill.

The question was taken; and the Speaker pro tempore announced that the ayes appeared to have it.

Rep. Doc Hastings

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Mr. Speaker, I demand a recorded vote.

A recorded vote was ordered.

This will be a 5-minute vote.

The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--ayes 266, noes 149, not voting 17, as follows:

[Roll No. 298] AYES--266 Adams Aderholt Akin Alexander Altmire Amash Austria Bachmann Bachus Barletta Barrow Bartlett Barton (TX) Bass (NH) Benishek Berg Biggert Bilirakis Bishop (GA) Bishop (UT) Black Blackburn Bonner Bono Mack Boren Boswell Boustany Brady (TX) Brooks Broun (GA) Buchanan Bucshon Buerkle Burgess Burton (IN) Calvert Camp Campbell Canseco Cantor Capito Cardoza Carter Cassidy Chabot Chaffetz Chandler Coble Coffman (CO) Cole Conaway Conyers Cooper Costa Cravaack Crawford Crenshaw Critz Cuellar Culberson Davis (KY) Denham Dent DesJarlais Diaz-Balart Dold Donnelly (IN) Dreier Duffy Duncan (SC) Duncan (TN) Ellmers Farenthold Fattah Fincher Fitzpatrick Flake Fleischmann Fleming Flores Forbes Fortenberry Foxx Franks (AZ) Frelinghuysen Gardner Garrett Gerlach Gibbs Gibson Gingrey (GA) Gohmert Gonzalez Goodlatte Gosar Gowdy Granger Graves (GA) Graves (MO) Green, Al Griffin (AR) Griffith (VA) Grimm Guinta Guthrie Hall Hanna Harper Harris Hartzler Hastings (WA) Hayworth Heck Heller Hensarling Herger Herrera Beutler Hinojosa Holden Huelskamp Huizenga (MI) Hultgren Hunter Hurt Issa Jackson Lee (TX) Jenkins Johnson (IL) Johnson (OH) Johnson, E. B. Jordan Kelly King (IA) Kingston Kinzinger (IL) Kline Labrador Lamborn Lance Landry Lankford Latham LaTourette Latta Lewis (CA) LoBiondo Long Lucas Luetkemeyer Lummis Lungren, Daniel E. Mack Manzullo Marchant Marino Matheson McCarthy (CA) McCaul McClintock McCotter McHenry McIntyre McKeon McKinley McMorris Rodgers Meehan Mica Miller (FL) Miller (MI) Miller, Gary Mulvaney Murphy (PA) Myrick Neugebauer Noem Nugent Nunes Nunnelee Olson Owens Palazzo Paul Paulsen Pearce Pence Peterson Petri Pitts Platts Poe (TX) Pompeo Posey Price (GA) Quayle Rahall Reed Rehberg Reichert Renacci Reyes Ribble Richardson Richmond Rigell Rivera Roby Roe (TN) Rogers (AL) Rogers (KY) Rogers (MI) Rohrabacher Rokita Rooney Roskam Ross (AR) Ross (FL) Royce Runyan Ryan (WI) Scalise Schilling Schmidt Schock Schweikert Scott (SC) Scott, Austin Sensenbrenner Sessions Sewell Shimkus Shuler Shuster Simpson Smith (NE) Smith (NJ) Smith (TX) Southerland Stearns Stivers Stutzman Sullivan Terry Thompson (MS) Thompson (PA) Thornberry Tiberi Tipton Turner Upton Walberg Walden Walsh (IL) Walz (MN) Webster West Westmoreland Whitfield Wilson (SC) Wittman Wolf Womack Woodall Yoder Young (AK) Young (FL) Young (IN) NOES--149 Andrews Baca Baldwin Bass (CA) Becerra Berkley Berman Bishop (NY) Blumenauer Brady (PA) Braley (IA) Brown (FL) Butterfield Capps Capuano Carnahan Carney Carson (IN) Castor (FL) Chu Cicilline Clarke (MI) Clarke (NY) Clay Cleaver Clyburn Cohen Connolly (VA) Costello Courtney Cummings Davis (CA) Davis (IL) DeFazio DeGette DeLauro Deutch Dicks Dingell Doggett Doyle Edwards Ellison Eshoo Farr Filner Frank (MA) Fudge Garamendi Grijalva Gutierrez Hanabusa Hastings (FL) Heinrich Higgins Himes Hinchey Hirono Holt Honda Hoyer Inslee Israel Jackson (IL) Johnson (GA) Jones Kaptur Keating Kildee Kind Kissell Kucinich Langevin Larsen (WA) Larson (CT) Lee (CA) Levin Lewis (GA) Lipinski Loebsack Lofgren, Zoe Lowey Lujan Lynch Maloney Markey Matsui McCarthy (NY) McCollum McDermott McGovern McNerney Michaud Miller (NC) Miller, George Moore Moran Murphy (CT) Napolitano Neal Pallone Pastor (AZ) Payne Pelosi Perlmutter Peters Pingree (ME) Polis Price (NC) Quigley Ros-Lehtinen Roybal-Allard Ruppersberger Rush Ryan (OH) Sanchez, Linda T. Sanchez, Loretta Sarbanes Schakowsky Schiff Schrader Schwartz Scott (VA) Scott, David Serrano Sherman Sires Slaughter Smith (WA) Speier Stark Sutton Thompson (CA) Tierney Tonko Towns Tsongas Van Hollen Velazquez Visclosky Wasserman Schultz Waters Watt Waxman Welch Wilson (FL) Woolsey Wu Yarmuth NOT VOTING--17 Ackerman Bilbray Crowley Emerson Engel Gallegly Giffords Green, Gene Johnson, Sam King (NY) Meeks Nadler Olver Pascrell Rangel Rothman (NJ) Weiner {time} 1359

Messrs. MILLER of North Carolina, SCHRADER, BUTTERFIELD, and PRICE of North Carolina changed their vote from ``aye'' to ``no.''

So the bill was passed.

The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.

A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.

Stated for:

Mr. Speaker, on rollcall No. 298, had I been present, I would have voted ``aye.''

Mr. Speaker, on rollcall No. 298, had I been present, I would have voted ``aye.''