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Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. PASTOR of Arizona. To my colleague from Missouri, I would tell him that the objective of this amendment has pretty much been accomplished. The last funding that occurred for this study was in, I think, 2009, which was an earmark. So now that earmarks have been eliminated in the CR and eliminated for the future, you would not have that funding as a possibility for this study. Also, the administration has not put any money in its budget, so therefore there is no money in the budget. So for all practical purposes, the funding for the study is not going to continue. So therefore, it's very unlikely that the funding level provided in the bill will receive anything more than the amount to close the study.

And I would tell my friend that the reason I oppose it is that this language I think may be unnecessary because it may impact the orderly termination of the study. And that's why I rise in opposition, because I believe since this study, at least in my opinion, has been terminated, that we at least go through an orderly order with the funding that's available so we can have an orderly termination.

I reserve the balance of my time.

Mr. LUETKEMEYER. With all due respect to the gentleman, I would appreciate some certainty, and I think that's what the purpose of this amendment is all about.

You indicate that it's still in existence; it's still being funded. We want it out. We don't want it funded any longer. The purpose of it is duplicative. The study has been done before. And I think it's time that we called a stop to it.

Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.

Mr. PASTOR of Arizona. Well, I think I heard the gentleman tell me that the last time the study occurred was in 1944. And because earmarks are no longer the practice and the administration is not providing any funding, it's my belief and my opinion that this study will not go further, and the few dollars that may be left from the former earmark will be used to terminate the study in an orderly fashion.

Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.

Mr. LUETKEMEYER. Mr. Chairman, the last study was done, completed in 2004 at a cost of $35 million. It took 17 years, and now we want to do it again. I don't believe it's appropriate for our taxpayer dollars to be used in this manner.

And with that, I ask for the support of the body.

I yield back the balance of my time.

Mr. PASTOR of Arizona. Again, I would ask my colleagues to vote ``no'' on this amendment because the objective of the amendment has pretty much been met. There is no funding available to continue it. The few dollars that remain will only be used to terminate the study in an orderly manner. That's the proper way of doing it, and I would ask my colleagues to vote ``no'' on the amendment.

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

Mr. Chairman, I also rise to oppose the amendment.

The amendment prohibits funds from being used for oil and gas research. Without this amendment, the Department of Energy would spend $38 million during the year. As my chairman points out, fossil fuel sources are and will continue to be a large part of our energy mix.

Given the importance of research and development in this area, it is necessary to improve the efficiency in the environmental cost of fossil fuels. Further, stopping programs mid year, which this would do, results in costs associated with terminating ongoing work.

I am committed to working with the gentleman to review the balance of funding as we move forward, but I cannot support the amendment at this time.

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