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Mr. MARKEY. Madam Speaker, I thank the gentleman very much.
This bill represents the latest Republican attempt to give away our public lands to the wealthiest oil companies in the world. This bill is the culmination of the Republican oil-above-all agenda. Instead of approving this legislative love letter to Big Oil, the majority should be sending a thank-you note to President Obama for his actions to increase domestic energy production and decrease our dependence on foreign oil.
The truth is that oil production from Federal lands on shore today is higher than it was under President Bush. And across the United States, oil production from all public and private lands is unbelievably now at an 18-year high. Obama is drilling, baby; he's drilling.
The Obama administration's all-of-the-above strategy has also been successful in creating jobs. Since 2008, 14,000 new jobs have been created in oil and gas extraction. Thank you, President Obama. And 50,000 new jobs have also been created in wind and solar, but Republicans don't want a real all-of-the-above energy strategy.
At the Rules Committee, I offered an amendment, along with Mr. Welch, that would have established a national renewable energy standard. That amendment would have created wind and solar all across our country as a standard. That amendment was germane to this bill and had no budgetary impact, but the Republican majority refused to even allow us to debate an amendment so that Members could have a chance to vote on an actual all-of-the-above package that wasn't just oil and gas.
And President Obama is about as good a President as you can have on that issue; but wind and solar and biomass and geothermal and all of these technologies of the future, they refused to even allow the Democrats to have a vote on that on the House floor this afternoon. They are not all of the above; they are oil above all. They don't want wind and solar because the oil industry doesn't want it, and the coal industry doesn't want it because it's real competition from the future.
The renewable electricity standard that I would have offered would have created 300,000 new jobs and saved consumers billions of dollars on their electricity bills.
In 2007, 32 Republicans joined 188 Democrats in overwhelming support of a similar renewable electricity standard. In 2009, the House again passed that policy on a bipartisan basis. It died in the Senate both times. Today, it dies here on the House floor because the Republicans don't want 32 Republicans to even have the right to vote for wind and solar and biomass and geothermal. They're afraid Republicans might vote for it, so there's a gag here, a gag order to the House floor saying no debate on the renewables because oil and coal don't want it debated. There will not be a vote on this.
The majority has voted more than 100 times in this Congress to help the oil industry, but they have not voted once in favor of clean energy in the year and a half that they have controlled the United States Congress.
Moreover, because they will not extend the production tax credit for wind, 40,000 jobs are going to be lost in the wind industry in the first 6 months of 2013. This is the Big Oil dream act. This is the dream act of the Republicans. This is something that should be opposed.
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