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Public Statements

Providing for Consideration of H.R. 4480, Domestic Energy and Jobs Act

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. BISHOP of Utah. This resolution provides for a structured rule for the consideration of H.R. 4480, the Strategic Energy Production Act of 2012, and it makes in order 27 individual amendments that are specified under the rule, two-thirds of which are Democrat amendments.

The rule provides for 2 hours of general debate equally divided and controlled by the chairman and ranking minority member of both the Committee on Energy and Commerce as well as the Committee on Natural Resources. So this structured rule is very fair, and it will provide for a balanced and open debate on the merits of the bill.

Madam Speaker, I'm actually pleased to stand before the House today in support of this rule as well as the underlying legislation, H.R. 4480. The lead sponsor of this legislation, the gentleman from Colorado (Mr. Gardner), is to be commended for his hard work and leadership in putting this piece of legislation together. I also commend the chairmen of both the Energy and Commerce Committee and the Natural Resources Committee for their support and hard work, as well, on this particular act and on other important pieces of legislation aimed at making our Nation more energy independent.

Madam Speaker, this bill is yet another reminder that this administration is not doing enough to develop our own domestic energy resources, which are plentiful in many parts of our public lands. In my home State of Utah, for example, there are vast amounts of oil and oil shale reserves that remain untapped, largely due to special interest group politics that keeps these lands locked up, even as we go abroad and increase our dependence on foreign sources as well as increasing our trade deficit.

Energy is an absolute prerequisite to our economic engine and creates jobs. If this administration ever hopes to get unemployment down during its tenure, then helping to develop more domestic energy is the key.

This bill, H.R. 4480, stands for a very commonsense proposition. The proposition is that, whenever the President of the United States authorizes a release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, the Secretary of Energy will be required to develop a plan to increase the percentage of Federal land oil production by a commensurate percentage to that released from the reserve. The reserve is a reserve. It is reserved for emergencies. Unfortunately, this administration is using our reserve to accommodate common daily life.

It is important and the purpose of this legislation is:

Number one, to develop our resources;

Number two, to make sure that we can streamline the process so that we do not delay the development of our resources;

Number three, to keep the reserve for real emergencies;

Number four, organize a plan to make sure that will be in effect; and

Number five, recognize clearly that energy is needed for job creation. Without that energy, we will not create the jobs that are necessary for this country to move forward.

This bill would actually limit the total amount of Federal lands to be leased, which is only 10 percent of the total of all public lands. Ten percent is very reasonable. The bill also excludes national parks, obviously, and congressionally designated wilderness areas from consideration of this bill.

It's a good bill. It's a commonsense bill. When passed, it will be a key part of our effective and comprehensive national energy strategy.

I urge adoption of the rule, which is a fair rule, and the underlying bill, which is a commonsense bill, and I reserve the balance of my time.

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Mr. BISHOP of Utah. Ironically, I do agree with the gentleman from Massachusetts in one element of what he said, that this administration, President Obama, is drilling on permits that were granted by Bush and Clinton. The unfortunate side is that this administration is not permitting any new drilling permits for the future growth of this country.

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Mr. BISHOP of Utah. I yield myself the balance of my time.

In the 111th Congress, when the other side was in charge, H.R. 2454 was brought forth from the floor. It was called the American Clean Energy and Security Act. There were 224 amendments submitted, and one was made in order. In our bill today, 27 amendments are made in order, two-thirds of which are Democrat amendments. This is a very fair rule, and it will provide for an open and clear debate on the particular issue.

Let's face it, Madam Speaker. The United States has a lot of untapped areas on public lands that are involved not only in oil and oil shale but in natural gas and coal. We are an energy-rich country. We are an energy-producing country. It's about time we recognized that fact and developed the energy that we have for the betterment of our people and for job creation.

We need an all-of-the-above strategy that is not just a rhetorical exercise in an election year but an all-of-the-above strategy that, actually, really creates something without hidden delays disguised as procedural practices and processes.

This bill will create jobs. This bill will keep American dollars at home. This bill will provide economic growth instead of sending our money abroad. This is a good bill, and it is an incredibly fair rule. I urge its adoption.

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