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Produced Water Utilization Act of 2008

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Location: Washington, DC


PRODUCED WATER UTILIZATION ACT OF 2008 -- (House of Representatives - July 30, 2008)

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Mr. HALL of Texas. I yield myself such time as I may consume.

I thank Mr. Matheson and his fine staff, the staffs on both sides of the aisle, for doing a very good job on this bill.

Madam Speaker, I rise today, of course, in support of H.R. 2339, the Produced Water Utilization Act of 2008. I introduced H.R. 2339 in May of last year, and it was recently reported out of the Committee of Science and Technology by a voice vote. It comes to the floor today with unanimous, bipartisan support.

For those who are not familiar with the term, the Department of the Interior defines produced water as mainly salty water trapped in reservoir rock and brought up along with oil or gas during production. Produced water cannot, in its current form, be used for any purposes, and it is most commonly reinjected into the ground at great expense to small producers across the country. Each barrel of oil produced generates approximately 10 barrels of produced water, and we currently produce over 5 billion gallons of produced water a day in the United States. That is enough water to accommodate 14.3 million homes a day.

As we are facing shortages in energy and water, my bill could not be more timely, in my opinion. H.R. 2339 is legislation that has two main purposes: one, increasing domestic energy production by lowering production costs for small producers; two, increasing the amount of water available for agricultural, irrigational, municipal, and industrial uses by making produced water usable. The Produced Water Utilization Act will provide important funding for research, development, demonstration, and commercial application of technologies to purify and use produced water.

There is a critical interdependency between energy and water. Water is needed to produce energy, and the treatment and distribution of water requires energy, and as our population grows, so will the demands grow on both. According to a report by the Department of Energy on the Interdependency of Energy and Water, ``The lack of integrated energy and water planning and management has already impacted energy production in many basins and regions across the country. For example, in three of the fastest growing regions in the country, the Southeast, Southwest, and the Northwest, new power plants have been opposed because of potential negative impacts on water supplies. Also, recent droughts and emerging limitations of water resources have many States, including Texas, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Tennessee, scrambling to develop water use priorities for different water use sectors.'' We obviously need to take a serious look at how we can avoid a water/energy crisis, and my bill certainly helps.

Madam Speaker, produced water is currently considered an expensive nuisance by oil and gas producers, but it could be--no, it needs to be--considered a valuable, usable commodity. With the research and development set forth in the Produced Water Utilization Act, we can make it happen. I urge my colleagues to vote for this bill.

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