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Protecting Investment in Oil Shale the Next Generation of Environmental, Energy, and Resource Security Act

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. LAMBORN. Mr. Chairman, I thank the chairman of the committee, Dr. HASTINGS.

I rise in support of H.R. 3408. This legislation does three vital things: it will open up land in the West to oil shale development; open up one of our most promising areas for energy development in the United States, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; and increase offshore production as well.

These provisions will create hundreds of thousands of American jobs and ensure the continued production of new domestic increases in our energy security and decrease our reliance on foreign oil--a goal the administration has professed to support time and time again.

Oil shale is one of the most promising new sources of American-made energy. The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that the Western United States holds more than 1.5 trillion, with a ``t,'' barrels of oil--six times Saudi Arabia's proven resources and enough to provide the United States with energy for the next 200 years. Opponents to this legislation will argue that this legislation attempts to promote technology that isn't proven.

However, while the American oil shale industry is forced overseas due to regulatory uncertainty and burdensome Federal regulations here, other nations are profiting right now from this technology, countries like Jordan, China, and Estonia.

Just this morning we heard from Secretary Ken Salazar who expressed the administration's support of emerging technologies. You would think that that would include oil shale. Unfortunately, the Obama administration's support amounts to offering leases with such extremely restrictive terms that it attracts hardly any industry support at all.

As a result, countries overseas, which get over 90 percent of their total energy supply from oil shale, like Estonia, have robust oil shale industries.

I asked Secretary Salazar how this administration can say it promotes new energy while stifling research and development of this tremendous energy potential, oil shale, and he had no good answer.

Now, this legislation also opens up energy in Alaska, specifically in the less than 3 percent of ANWR that the bill deals with. This area was set aside by President Carter in 1980 precisely for oil and gas development. The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge holds the single greatest potential for a new domestic energy source within the United States. Offshore, this legislation would increase drilling in Federal waters while ensuring the protection for our offshore military operations as well as fair and equitable revenue sharing for all coastal States. This energy legislation will create consistent policies to move the domestic energy industry forward and will create good-paying American jobs for thousands of Americans.

People say all the time to me, Why don't we have a better energy policy in this country? This legislation does exactly that.

I urge my colleagues to support H.R. 3408.

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