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Public Statements

Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011 - Continuing

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. PASTOR of Arizona. I want to thank the chairman for recognizing and providing time.

This amendment would prevent FERC from carrying out its statutory authority. The term ``enforce'' would impact oversight of existing and operating liquefied natural gas facilities. This amendment appears to prohibit FERC from approving environmental or safety-related amendments to existing liquefied natural gas facilities. This amendment will impact both import and export proposals in addition to almost any new facilities at preexisting plants.

While I understand the gentleman has concerns in his district, the language would impact a much broader constituency, and for that reason I oppose this amendment and urge my colleagues to join me.

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Mr. PASTOR of Arizona. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the amendment.

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

Mr. PASTOR of Arizona. I just want to make a point.

The gentleman from California is correct. We did accept his amendment several days ago, an amendment which dealt with the reduction of funds--I think it was $1.9 million--but it was not specific to this dam; it was specific to the account. So this is a very different amendment, and that's why we rise in opposition.

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Mr. McCLINTOCK. Mr. Chairman, in closing, the gentleman from Arizona is disingenuous when he says that we didn't know this was about the Klamath when we adopted the funding reduction on Tuesday. That was the entire context of the debate. I mentioned it over and over again. It's not true that this is somehow a surprise if the gentleman was listening.

As to the claim that this is an agreement that has been agreed to by all of the political insiders in the area, let me assure the gentleman from California that it is opposed by the overwhelming majority of voters as tested in several local elections, including the formal opposition to the dam removal by the Siskiyou border supervisors elected by the people of the region.

Mr. PASTOR of Arizona. Mr. Chairman, I was listening; I did understand. Because even though I heard the words, the understanding I had with the chairman of the subcommittee and the reason we supported it was that the reduction of funds was to the account, not these specific projects. So I did listen; I did understand.

But today we are talking about prohibiting money for the study. And I have to tell you that this agreement is to study the potential removal of four privately owned dams, not the agreement to remove dams. It is designed to bring about significant improvements to both environmental conditions and water supplies, certainly, which need to be confirmed through the study.

The studies are scientific. They deal with engineering and economic and environmental-based analysis to determine whether the promise of the agreement will occur. And for that reason, we oppose this amendment.

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Mr. POLIS. I thank the gentleman.

I rise in opposition to the amendment. There are over 20 million acres of Federal land in Colorado. I want to be clear with, of course, great respect to my colleague from Ohio. This is not in any way, shape or form a giveaway to our counties. This is land we cannot tax, we cannot develop, we cannot benefit from. In fact, PILT payments are insufficient. They're too low to compensate for the burden of having all this land that's not part of our local tax base. It is a burden. In fact many of our counties have to actually spend money maintaining this land because some of the Federal infrastructure isn't sufficient as well. There is nobody who's making out like a bandit from this and it's all we can do to justify the fact that the Federal Government owns a lot of land.

Mr. SIMPSON. I would be happy to yield--I think I just have 30 seconds left; is that correct?

The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Idaho has 1 minute left.

Mr. SIMPSON. I would be happy to yield 30 seconds to the gentleman from Arizona.

Mr. PASTOR of Arizona. I want to thank the chairman for yielding.

I have to remind my good friend from Ohio that as the West was settled, it was people from Ohio and Virginia and the Midwest that were making these laws that created most of the western States to be 80 percent, 70 percent, 90 percent Federal lands.

In order for us to be able to have somewhat of a tax base because of the limited private property we have, we need to ask the Federal Government to pay its share. You cannot in many cases develop economically these lands because people from the East prohibit us from developing these public lands. I just want to throw that out as a reminder.

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