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Public Statements

Energy Markets Emergency Act of 2008

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC


ENERGY MARKETS EMERGENCY ACT OF 2008 -- (House of Representatives - June 26, 2008)

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Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, I want to commend the chairman of the committee, Mr. Peterson, for his work in this area. We held a hearing on this issue on Tuesday of this week. In the farm bill which the Congress just passed overwhelmingly several times, we overrode the President's veto, it includes legislative language that takes further steps to complete the closure of the Enron loophole. In that testimony we received on Tuesday, we received assurance that between the language that was in the Commodity Futures Modernization Act passed in the aftermath of the Enron scandal, and in the language that was included in the farm bill, the Enron loophole is now closed.

I have no reason to oppose this legislation and I therefore will support it. It simply tells the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to do what it already has the authority to do, and based upon the testimony that we received on Tuesday is already doing to ensure that there is not excessive speculation in the energy futures markets. I have every confidence that they will do so, that they will heed this additional voice of support for their doing their jobs. But, quite frankly, this legislation does not do what needs to be done by this Congress.

The Democratic leadership in this Congress is continuing a pattern that the American people are increasingly concerned about, and that is to do everything they can to try to blame everyone but themselves for the problem that we face in this country of having years of neglect of not having a domestic energy policy dedicated toward increasing the supply, increasing the supply of oil, increasing the supply of natural gas, increasing the supply of clean-burning coal, increasing the supply of nuclear power, increasing the supply of alternative fuels, increasing efforts to bring about new technologies. This is the all-of-the-above approach that this Congress should be taking that our conference has taken. In fact, we have worked very hard to see that this policy be brought to the floor of the House.

Yes, I will support this bill telling the CFTC to use its authority to curb excessive speculation, but I think it appalling that we aren't doing the job that needs to be done. It is being blocked by the party that controls the access to the floor of this House.

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H.R. 2279, to expedite the construction of new refining capacity on closed military installations in the United States, and for other purposes, sponsored by Representative Pitts of Pennsylvania with 55 cosponsors. From the House Energy and Commerce and Armed Services Committees, last major action taken, a motion to discharge petition filed by Mr. English, petition 110-9. Why haven't we seen this bill brought to the floor of the House?

H.R. 3089, the No More Excuses Energy Act of 2007 sponsored by Representative Thornberry of Texas, 77 cosponsors, referred to the Committees on Natural Resources, House Ways and Means, and Energy and Commerce. Last major action, June 10, motion to discharge petition filed by Mr. Walberg. A motion was filed to discharge the Natural Resources, Ways and Means, and Energy and Commerce Committees of this action. No action taken. Why hasn't that bill been brought to the floor of the House?

We have this week another discharge petition on H.R. 5656 which repeals the requirement with respect to the procurement and acquisition of alternative fuels, a discharge petition filed this week by Representative Hensarling. Why hasn't this legislation been brought to the floor of this House?

There are scores of other bills sponsored by both Republicans and Democrats dedicated to relieving this energy crisis that have been bottled up by the Democratic majority.

When, Mr. Speaker, will we get the chance to vote on these very worthy bills? When will we get the chance to actually start offering relief from the outrageously high gas prices that American consumers are facing?

That's the problem we are confronting. That's the problem that the leadership in this Congress is not allowing us to address. That's what needs to be done, not telling the CFTC to do the job that they are already doing and already have the authority to do, but acting to make sure that we are increasing supply of all sources of energy, new sources of energy, traditional sources of energy, acting to make sure that the incentives are in place for Americans to conserve. My goodness, they are already doing that. We are seeing that reflected in their activities. This Congress could be helping them out. It is failing to do so. And that, Mr. Speaker, is why we are failing the American people when the leadership of this Congress does not allow us to have these votes.

I reserve the balance of my time.

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Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 30 seconds to respond.

I support this resolution because it gives nothing new to the CFTC but it gives it encouragement to do its work. It does not make any finding that there is excessive speculation in the market, and if there is excessive speculation in the market, then I certainly expect and support action by the CFTC to exercise its emergency powers to do so.

But the gentleman is exactly right when he notes that India and China are increasing their consumption of all different types of sources of energy, and they're not the only ones. They're just the largest ones.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman's time has expired.

Mr. GOODLATTE. I yield myself an additional 30 seconds to say further to the gentleman that when demand around the world, and not just in China and India, is increasing as steadily as it has in recent years and the United States sits back and waits for other countries to increase that supply and increases our dependence upon foreign oil from such unreliable sources as Venezuela and Nigeria and the Middle East, and we then think that simply asking the CFTC to do its job will solve this problem, that is a very serious problem.

At this time, it is my pleasure to yield 2 minutes to a member of the Agriculture Committee and the ranking member of our Department Operations and Oversight Subcommittee, the gentleman from Louisiana (Mr. Boustany).

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