PROVIDING FOR CONSIDERATION OF H.R. 6515, DRILL RESPONSIBLY IN LEASED LANDS ACT OF 2008 -- (House of Representatives - July 17, 2008)
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Ms. SUTTON. I thank the gentleman for the time and for his leadership on this extraordinarily important issue.
Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of the DRILL Act, a real solution for the hardships facing our families and a real answer to the mistruths being spread to the American people.
The truth is that there are millions upon millions of onshore and offshore acres available for drilling, but the oil companies are only using a fraction of them.
The truth is that the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska, also known as the NPR, is home to 20 million acres that could produce 10.6 billion barrels of oil. This area, Mr. Speaker, has been set aside for oil and gas exploration since the 1920s, but not a single oil company is producing there.
Mr. Speaker, the cry by those on the other side of the aisle and Big Oil, that the problem is that the oil companies don't have access to drill, is false. And it is an effort to deflect the American people from holding the two oilmen in the White House accountable, as well as their friends, for an energy policy that has given Big Oil record profits, and the American people $4 a gallon gas.
Mr. Speaker, the American people deserve to know why we need to open up ANWR when we have this huge, untapped resource right next to the existing oil infrastructure in Alaska known as the NPR.
The DRILL Act will accelerate the development of the NPR by requiring the Bureau of Land Management to offer annual lease sales of the land.
Our bill also calls for the President to facilitate the completion of oil pipelines into the NPR, and to speed construction of a natural gas pipeline to the Continental United States to move the product to the market. When this natural gas pipeline gets built, NPR will be even more important, as it holds over 60 trillion cubic feet of gas, nearly 16 times what ANWR holds.
And Mr. Speaker, the DRILL Act also incorporates important use it or lose it legislation which requires oil producers to drill on the leases they already have before asking us for new ones.
Again, the truth is that Big Oil holds leases on 68 million acres in the U.S. that they could drill on but they are not doing so.
And lastly, this bill also reinstitutes the ban on the export of Alaskan oil so that American oil is used right here at home in the United States. Can you imagine, at this time of crisis, the same oil companies who are telling the American people that they want to be part of the solution, are sending the oil that they are drilling to other parts of the world, when we need that oil right here.
Mr. Speaker, the DRILL Act is a solution to the energy costs that our constituents are facing today.
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