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Mrs. CAPPS. I thank my colleague for yielding.
Madam Speaker, I rise to express my strong opposition to this rule and the underlying bill. We all know that high oil and gasoline prices take their toll on American consumers. Understandably, they want their elected officials to take action. But what the American people don't want is empty promises, and they don't want more political posturing designed to score cheap political points in an election year. And that's all this bill gives us.
H.R. 4480 blocks and delays EPA air-quality protections--protections that haven't even been proposed yet. It includes a radical proposal that damages the Clean Air Act goal that air should be clean enough to breathe safely. And it gives the Energy Department the job of developing a new drilling plan on Federal lands, even though this is not an area of expertise at all.
Madam Speaker, the idea behind this bill is just not thought out. It's not a solution to high oil and gasoline prices, nor will it create any immediate jobs. It is really nothing more than a transparent attempt to use this issue as an excuse for advancing an agenda in order to hurt our precious resources of lands and our own health.
And that's why I had sent to the Rules Committee a straightforward amendment that would have protected my State's coastline from new offshore drilling. My Republican colleague from California, Mr. Bilbray, had a similar amendment on the same issue; but this Rules Committee is not allowing either amendment even to be debated, even to have its say on the House floor. A State where offshore drilling has been protected in State waters will now, because these amendments were not made in order, have to allow the Federal Government to work its will in contradiction to the State. And that's wrong. That's why Members from both sides should use their good sense and oppose this rule and oppose the underlying bill.
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