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Public Statements

Domestic Energy and Jobs Act

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. LANDRY. Mr. Chairman, here are some facts: an estimated 13 million Americans are out of work. The State of Colorado's unemployment rate is 8.1 percent, which correlates with the national unemployment rate. Today, the State of Colorado's estimated reserves are 1 billion barrels of oil.

In 1995, the State of North Dakota's estimated reserves were 151 million barrels. Today, those reserves have been increased to 4.2 billion barrels of oil; yet today, the State of North Dakota's unemployment rate is 3 percent. What do those facts tell us? Those facts tell us that drilling equals jobs, Mr. Chairman. And it's very simple. In North Dakota, they are drilling on private lands. They are driving unemployment rates down.

Please, if the President wants a jobs plan, it is here. And I urge all Members to vote for this bill.

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Mr. LANDRY. Mr. Chairman, this amendment is very simple. It seeks to improve the environment by ensuring that those States that allow offshore drilling are allowed to keep more of the revenue generated off of their shores.

In 2007, Congress passed a historic Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act, or GOMESA. This historic legislation for the first time allows States to share in the royalties generated from offshore drilling. However, GOMESA only provided 37.5 percent of the revenue to the States and then capped the States at no more than a collective $500 million per year. Conversely, the Mineral Leasing Act required the Federal Government to give 50 percent of the energy revenue generated on Federal lands to States in which it is generated.

In Louisiana, we wholly support offshore drilling. We are proud to supply 80 percent of our Nation's offshore energy. But why should we not share in the funding generated by this drilling?

My amendment simply moves offshore royalty sharing more in line with the benefit experienced from onshore States by moving the GOMESA cap from $500 million to $750 million per year. My amendment does not impact onshore-producing States. If your State is receiving revenue from onshore energy production now, my amendment does nothing to change that. All the amendment does is move Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, and Alabama a little closer to what those onshore States currently enjoy.

This amendment is nearly identical to the amendment that both myself and the gentleman from Louisiana (Mr. Richmond) offered during consideration of H.R. 3408, the PIONEERS Act, of which that amendment passed by bipartisan support of 266 159.

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Mr. LANDRY. I would only remind the gentleman from Massachusetts that this is, if you are an environmentalist and you want to help protect the environment like I know the gentleman from Massachusetts so desperately wants to do--I have served with him in committee and enjoyed his passion for taking care of the environment--this is an environmental amendment.

The citizens of Louisiana have passed a constitutional amendment that dedicates all of the proceeds from offshore royalty to go to wetlands restoration, coastal restoration, and hurricane protection. This is buying us an insurance policy that the other 46 States, who I know have been so generous to help us when hurricanes ravage our coast, this helps to protect us. And I know that the gentleman from Massachusetts would love to protect the environment in Louisiana.

I yield back the balance of my time.Mr. LANDRY. I would only remind the gentleman from Massachusetts that this is, if you are an environmentalist and you want to help protect the environment like I know the gentleman from Massachusetts so desperately wants to do--I have served with him in committee and enjoyed his passion for taking care of the environment--this is an environmental amendment.

The citizens of Louisiana have passed a constitutional amendment that dedicates all of the proceeds from offshore royalty to go to wetlands restoration, coastal restoration, and hurricane protection. This is buying us an insurance policy that the other 46 States, who I know have been so generous to help us when hurricanes ravage our coast, this helps to protect us. And I know that the gentleman from Massachusetts would love to protect the environment in Louisiana.

I yield back the balance of my time.

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