Mrs. MALONEY. Mr. Chair, like a broken, outdated record player, with this legislation the Republican Majority in the House shows itself to be out of touch with America's energy needs and energy future. The Congress should be encouraging innovation in our energy sector and natural resource preservation. Instead, H.R. 3408 shirks environmental stewardship and ignores all lessons from past drilling and spill related disasters. Almost two years after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster there are still no new safety measures or reforms in place to prevent and mitigate a future catastrophe. Rather than meaningful efforts to prevent loss of life and loss of habitat, the Republican Majority chooses to open up nearly every coastline of the U.S. for development of oil and gas drilling.
This bill threatens our nation's most pristine wilderness, the beautiful Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Opening this area to oil and gas drilling is not projected to lower gas prices in the near future or by any significant amount--less than two cents per gallon 20 years from now. But this is not the only area that would be opened up for offshore drilling under this bill. The Majority wants to mandate that broad swaths of the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf coasts be made available for drilling leases. I thank my colleague in the New York Delegation, Mr. Bishop, for his amendment that would prevent oil and gas leases in the Northeast region. If I had been present, I would have voted ``aye'' on the Amendment 12 offered by Mr. Deutch.
The grievances continue. The Majority repeats itself by again attempting to force approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. Throughout the 112th Congress they have refused to allow for a thorough review and study by the State Department. Seeking to direct the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to approve the pipeline within 30 days without conditions is wholly irresponsible and does nothing to ensure the safety and security of workers, residents, and communities impacted by the pipeline.
The Republican Majority has tried to say opening up these lands to drillings will pay for a transportation package but that is false. This legislation would cover less than one percent of the overall cost of their transportation proposal.
For reasons listed above, I oppose this misguided and dangerous legislation.