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Providing for Consideration of H.R. 6899, Comprehensive American Energy Security and Consumer Protection Act

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. DeFAZIO. I thank the gentlelady for yielding.

If you listen to the Republicans here today, you would think that Detroit can't make more efficient automobiles, something the Republicans blocked for 12 years, which we did within the first year of taking back power here in the House.

They are saying that our electric generators can't produce 15 percent, one-sixth of their energy from renewable resources. In the United States of America in the 21st century, we can't get 15 percent from renewables? We have to rely on fossil fuels?

Do you believe that they say that the oil companies can't afford to pay the American taxpayers fair royalties for the nonrenewable resources they are extracting from our Federal land? If you do believe all that, then you probably believe that they do have a plan for independence and energy sustainability for the future.

Now the gentleman there spoke earlier, the gentleman from Washington, a good friend, about a fig leaf hiding an embarrassing fact or problem. There is one huge fig leaf over this debate today, and here is what is under the fig leaf: George Bush, holding hands with the King of Saudi Arabia.

Now the Bush administration, last time I checked, same party affiliation as that side of the aisle, the Republicans, led by Vice President Cheney, last time I checked, a member of the Grand Old Oil Party, wrote an energy bill in secret. They pushed for it for 5 years.

When the Republicans controlled everything, the House, the Senate and the White House, they jammed through their energy bill over the objections of many on our side of the aisle who said wait, no, this isn't a forward-looking energy policy. It's going to make us actually more dependent on imported oil, and it's going to make us more dependent on fossil fuels, and it's not going to give us a new energy future that the American people need. It's not going to make us more efficient, more sustainable and more affordable.

Now they are trying to hide that fig leaf. Now they have also talked about the price per gallon, that when Speaker Pelosi became Speaker almost 2 years ago, there has been a big run-up in prices.

Whoops. Here is when George Bush took office. Gas was about $1.45 a gallon; today, bumping back up, over $4 in some hurricane areas.

Now there is something else that goes along with that that they don't want to talk about, and this is what's really going on here, folks.

They want to talk about relief for American consumers. They don't give a fig leaf about relief for American consumers.

This is what the debate is all about. Look at the obscene growth in profits of the oil industry since the oil men in the White House, George Bush and Dick Cheney, took over; from $30 billion a year to $160 billion this year, every penny of that extracted from the pockets of American consumers and American business. An unbelievable, unprecedented breath-taking run-up in profits.

And they say now they are concerned and want a change. They don't really want a change. They don't want this to change. They want us to continue to be dependent on oil and foreign oil and, yeah, maybe a smidgeon more of domestic oil.

Now they have a few other whoppers out there today. They say no drilling in Alaska. Whoops, sorry, wrong, guys. Actually, this bill would push the industry to get off its rear and begin to extract oil from the former Naval Petroleum Reserve, renamed the National Petroleum Reserve Alaska by the Republican Congress and put out for leasing. It has been leased. Bill Clinton, in fact, did the first leases. But guess what, 10 years later not a drop of oil, even though the known reserves, and why was it the Naval Petroleum Reserve for 80 years, because we knew there was a pile of oil under there, a huge pool of oil under there, more than 10 billion barrels.

No one knows if there is any oil under the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge, but they want to talk about the refuge. They don't want to talk about the fact that their friends in the hugely profitable oil industry have failed to extract any oil from the known 10 billion barrels of reserves in the Naval Petroleum Reserve Alaska.

This bill would push for production there, push them to connect it to the existing pipeline, and push them to bring that oil down to the lower 48.

As Members on my side said earlier, we need a transitional fuel. We need to enhance our oil supply; this bill would do that. We also need to go after natural gas in a much more robust way, a cleaner fuel, a fuel of which we have significantly more reserves here in the United States of America which we don't need to import if we develop those reserves. This bill would do that.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman's time has expired.

Ms. SLAUGHTER. Let me give the gentleman an additional 30 seconds.

Mr. DeFAZIO. This bill would also reform royalties. It would end the party. The Minerals Management Service under the Bush administration was swapping oil or something for royalties, or maybe it was sex, drugs and rock and roll. This bill would reform that process.

This bill would bring back integrity, fiscal responsibility, and give us a sustainable, renewable and cleaner energy future. Vote for a new future, not the same old Big Oil, Grand Oil Party plan.

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