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Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to this rule and the underlying bill. We all understand the desire to do something about high gas prices, and we all sympathize with families in this economy who are struggling with $4 a gallon gasoline.
But these bills will do nothing to provide American families with relief. They could threaten coastal ecosystems and the millions of Americans who rely on them.
It's been a year since we watched the horror in the gulf coast. We found that the agencies who oversee offshore drilling and the oil companies that engage in it were not prepared for the disaster. And Americans will be paying for that failure for years.
The administration has taken a number of steps to prevent future spills. Unfortunately, these bills undermine that process, making drilling less safe.
Instead of pretending as if one of these terrible environmental disasters never happened, Congress should implement the recommendations of the oil spill commission. We should be pursuing legislation that will reduce our dependence on oil by investing in things that give American commuters choices, in terms of more efficient vehicles, transportation alternatives, alternative fuels.
This bill, fortunately, will never be enacted into law. But I'm disappointed that the Rules Committee did not make in order any of the amendments to repeal unnecessary tax subsidies to the oil industry. At a time of record profits, it's adding insult to injury that billions of dollars are going to flow to the largest oil companies and make no difference to the consumer, no difference in the production of oil. It just adds to the bottom line of these international corporations.
I hope that at some point the House will be able to deal with these subsidies, which, even our Republican Speaker recently said, should be examined. And I've had legislation ready and ready to go for months now, and I hope it gets a chance to be voted on on this floor.
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