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Public Statements

American-Made Energy and Good Jobs Act

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC


AMERICAN-MADE ENERGY AND GOOD JOBS ACT

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Mr. KIND. Madam Speaker, we will hear a lot of discussion today about how drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for our oil needs is nothing but an illusion, a fraud being perpetrated on the American people, because it is not going to be an answer either in the short term or the long term in regards to the energy challenge that we face. I believe that.

Why drilling in one of the most pristine, untouched areas of the world is something up for consideration in the House for the 12th time is beyond me.

But I also want to raise a very important issue, because there are a lot of gimmicks being played with the budget on this issue. At the very least, you think we would be honest and truthful and decent with the American taxpayer in regard to the hopeful revenues that this will generate.

In this legislation, it calls for a 50/50 split with the State of Alaska on royalties, but we all know this is not going to happen. The State legislature in Alaska last year passed a resolution saying, no, it will only agree to a 90/10 split. If we don't get it, we are suing you. Given the States' rights make-up in the court, they will in all likelihood prevail. Tens of billions of dollars are on the table over this important difference.

Even our friend and colleague in Alaska has publicly made it known his intent to fight this 50/50 split that is contained in this legislation. Yet they will roll out the statistics on the budget revenue enhancers with royalties that we are going to be collecting by drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge when they know it is false.

So at the very least, we should at least pin down the State of Alaska and our colleague from Alaska into whether they are going to accept the 50/50 split or whether they will tie this up in courts and probably have the courts rule against us under the Alaska Statehood Act. That is something that should be clarified before the ink is dry on this legislation.

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Mr. KIND. Mr. Speaker, I thank my friend for yielding to me.

Mr. Speaker, just a few moments ago, Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling were convicted on all counts for cooking the books at Enron, yet that is exactly what is going on with this legislation today by perpetrating this fraud on the American taxpayer that they can expect a 50-50 split on the royalties received up in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, when we know today that is not true and it is not going to happen.

In fact, the State of Alaska, the legislature, last year, passed a resolution saying 50-50 is not acceptable, and under the Alaska Statehood Act, they demand a 90-10 share. Our own friend and colleague from Alaska, Mr. Young, was recently quoted in the Anchorage Daily News, and I quote, ``I have to say 50-50 is something I don't relish. I think it's totally illegal. I believe we can win it in court.''

This will cost the American taxpayer tens of billions of dollars if we don't get something in writing now before this legislation advances. I guess it is a good thing there is a Speech and Debate Clause in this Congress, because there is a whole lot of cooking the books in regards to the royalty that the American taxpayer can receive from private oil companies drilling in this pristine national wildlife refuge.

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