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Public Statements

Domestic Energy and Jobs Act

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. GARAMENDI. I thank the gentleman for his courtesy.

Facts are really kind of difficult if you have to deal with them. The gentleman just spoke about a sad case of an individual that wasn't able to go on a trip because of the high price of gasoline. He may want to tell that individual that the oil industry, on average, over the last several months, has exported over 24 million gallons of gasoline a day, 24 million gallons of gasoline a day, exported from the United States. Maybe that has something to do with the high prices.

But a few other facts. As of March of 2011, onshore, the Department of the Interior offered, between 2009 and 2011, 6 million acres of land for leasing. The oil industry only took 4 million acres. As of that time, March 2011, 38 million acres of land were under lease. 25 million acres of land were inactive. A full 65 percent of the available leased land already in the hands of the oil industry was inactive, not explored, not being produced. 65 percent unused, inactive.

Offshore, 37 million acres were under lease. 2.4 million acres were active. 70 percent not being used.

So why are we here opening more land? There's a reason for it. There is a reason why the oil industry wants to do this. If they are able to acquire a lease, they put it on their books as an asset, thereby giving the appearance that they have a lot of assets available to them, when, in fact, they have no intention to, in the near term, probably the next decade or so, actually explore and produce. It is a financial game. It is not a game of producing oil.

Now, if we really wanted to do something, we would immediately put in place a production tax credit for the wind turbine industry, which is languishing now because we are refusing, Republicans, in this case, refusing to put forth a renewal of the production tax so that the wind industry can actually continue to produce energy for our Nation.

So what does it mean?

There are some 70,000 jobs in the wind industry today. Some 17,000 more would immediately go into place if the production tax credit were in this bill and became law.

What does it mean?

If we were to enact my bill, H.R. 487, those wind turbines would be manufactured in the United States, and thousands more jobs.

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Mr. GARAMENDI. The bottom line of this: this is simply a play by the oil industry to gather more assets on their balance sheet, at the expense of the environment and, just as important, at the expense of a real, all of the above energy policy.

It's a sad day that we're here debating an energy bill that really doesn't do anything at all to help us meet the energy needs of this Nation. There's nothing in this about renewables. It's unfortunate.

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