Providing for Consideration of H.R. 6515, Drill Responsibly in Leased Lands Act of 2008

Floor Speech

By:  Jack Kingston
Date: July 17, 2008
Location: Washington, DC



Mr. KINGSTON. I certainly thank the third base coach for yielding the time.

I do think that there is a healthy thing that's going on here, and that is the Democrats are beginning to hear from their constituents that we've got to do something about foreign oil, and we've got to use our American resources. I think that's good.

I think this bill will probably pass. I don't actually know why we're debating it. It's pretty much a restatement of current law. I heard one Democrat say it's a ``drill now'' bill. You know, that's what they are doing right now. They're exploring these leases. These leases are very expensive. They don't buy them to sit on them and for the U.S. Congress to think. This is really ridiculous that they're sitting on land where there are great reserves of oil, but for some reason, they're not drilling there.

Come on, guys. This is a capitalist system. These companies are money hungry. They run after profit. If there were oil in these places, certainly they would be working on it. If you want to give them a nudge, I'm all for it.

I plan to support the bill. I think it ought to be voice voted out on suspension. It's no big deal. It's a rhetoric bill. It's not a realistic bill.

What we do know is that 65 percent of our land resources are tied up and off-limits. We do know that, for example, the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve is the size of South Carolina in a State twice as big as Texas. And in this massive amount of land the size of South Carolina, there is a tundra area of about 2,000 acres which we believe would increase our domestic American oil supply 10 percent. It was vetoed by Democrat liberal President Bill Clinton 10 years ago. If it hadn't been vetoed by the Democrat liberal, special-interest President, we would have that oil today. It's too bad.

And then we hear so often from the Democrats, well, you know, if you open up ANWR and all of these places, it will be 10 years before we get the oil. Well, where are these electric cars? Where are these battery-operated cars? I mean, all of this alternative energy, which I certainly support and have been funding from the appropriations side, working very diligently on, that's going to be 10 and 15 years down the road as well.

We've got to do three things on our energy crisis: we have to have conservation, we have to have innovation, and we have to have exploration. It's that simple. But you have got to explore where their actually is oil. I concur with the gentleman from Texas. This is good because the Democrats are admitting that we have to open up more lands.

So we're going to pass this bill. Nothing is going to happen to the price at the pump. It's not going to be affected by this because it's basically current law, but I'm glad that you guys are slowly, reluctantly entering into the debate of drilling because we believe that in an environmentally safe fashion, you can drill in Alaska, and you can drill offshore.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman from Georgia has expired.

Mr. SESSIONS. I yield the gentleman an additional minute.

Mr. KINGSTON. I just want to say 108 oil platforms were damaged in the Gulf of Mexico during Katrina, and there was no pollution. All of the problems in the gulf, pollution wasn't one of them because now we have environmentally safe ways to extract oil from the bottom of the ocean or from land.

I want to say this. You know, we tied up the offshore in the day of the 8-track tape player. That was when you had an 8-track tape player in your GTO and you were the cool, edgy, high-tech guy. Today in the world of iPods and BlackBerrys and cell phones and everything else, technology has moved past the good old 8-track tape player. And the same thing has happened in medicine, the same thing has entered in entertainment, the same thing has happened in oil drilling. We have new technology, modern technology that will extract oil in an environmentally safe fashion.

I want to close with this. What is so sacred about protecting the American global environment but not the foreign global environment? The Democrats are fine if you are drilling offshore in your country or drilling on the land in your country, but not in America.


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