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Mr. SCALISE. I thank the gentleman from Colorado for his leadership and for bringing this legislation to put a good energy policy in place in this country, which we do not have today under President Obama.
If you look at components of the bill, it talks about the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The President has used the Strategic Petroleum Reserve as his bailout fund, basically, for his failed policies.
He's raided it. Last year he raided 30 million barrels from SPR and still, to this day, hasn't replaced that oil. But on top of that, the President took those dollars, billions of dollars, and spent them on unrelated government spending. So that's what the President's been doing with SPR--using it as his personal piggy bank and bailout fund for his failed policies.
The President and others like to talk about an all-of-the-above strategy. They love to talk about energy production never being higher. One thing they fail to mention is that energy production on Federal lands, where the Federal Government actually has control, is down. In fact, President Obama's own administration, the Energy Information Agency, confirmed again recently that production this year on Federal lands is down 30 percent just in the Gulf of Mexico from last year. So they talk about production being higher. It's higher on private lands where they have no control.
And by the way, through EPA and Department of the Interior and other Federal agencies they're trying to regulate and shut that down right now, too. So while they're bragging about it, they're trying to shut it down.
Just today, in New Orleans they had a lease sale; first lease sale we've had in more than 2 years. And in fact, it shows that there's tremendous interest in exploring for American energy. The only problem is there is no more plan in place.
Normally, you always have a 5-year plan in this country. By law, the President's supposed to have a 5-year plan. After today, there's nothing on the books for any more future lease sales. And, in fact, the proposal that the President has been sitting on shuts off 85 percent of the areas that were getting ready to be opened up for exploration. And what does that lead to? It leads to a greater dependency on Middle Eastern oil, on these foreign countries that don't like us.
The President has shipped tens of thousands of energy jobs out of this country. We've tracked rigs that have left the states and gone to places like Egypt and Ghana and Brazil. Those jobs ought to be here. We ought to be creating those jobs here and seeking energy independence, and this bill is a great start. I urge its support.
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