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Reversing President Obama's Offshore Moratorium Act

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

I rise to protect the beaches and shoreline and economy of the State of Washington. This amendment is quite simple. It would simply say that we will not allow the Federal Government to run over the State of Washington on issues of drilling off of our coastline, that we won't be shackled to this antiquated policy of drilling without first providing reasonable protection, without first addressing the issue of rampant speculation that is what is exposing my consumers to $4 a gallon gas in the State of Washington, and without freeing us to do what we should be doing, which is developing new, clean energy sources. I want to address each one of those.

Basically our position is we don't think in the State of Washington, or any State, and particularly the State of Washington, which is the Evergreen State, we ought to have this policy foisted upon us that is not an evergreen energy policy for this century for three reasons.

Reason number one: Despite the fact that we have had this enormous passage of time since this horrendous spill in the gulf, this Chamber has not passed into law one single safety provision to bring additional safety to anywhere on our coastline. My amendment would simply say that the people of the State of Washington and their elected officials ought to be able to make a decision that we have got adequate, reasonable safeguards for drilling before it happens off of the State of Washington. That has not happened, and it is inexcusable.

Second, before this happens, the people of the State of Washington ought to have reasonable protection against the rampant speculation that is going on that is driving up these prices. Even Goldman Sachs has recognized we have had four times the speculative positions taken and probably a $20 amount that has driven up these prices associated with this unchecked speculation. Yet this Chamber and my friends across the aisle have not done a single thing to address this speculation. Until we do that, we shouldn't have my neighbors and my constituents have foisted down their throats this policy of mandatory drilling without them first making a decision.

Third, the people of the State of Washington want to help in our energy crisis and they are capable of helping in this energy crisis if this Chamber will just free them to do it.

Here is how they want to help. They want to produce lithium ion batteries that can run electric cars so we don't have to start being shackled and just addicted to oil. But this Chamber hasn't done a single thing, a single thing this year, to help clean energy sources that Washington State business people want to produce.

I look at the EnerG2 company that is making ultracapacitors. This Chamber isn't helping them make electric batteries for electric cars.

I look at the REC company in Moses Lake, Washington, that is making the polysilicate cells for photovoltaic cells to produce the electricity for electric cars. This Chamber hasn't done a single thing to help that company advance.

I look at the Targeted Growth company and the Boeing company that are developing biofuels so that we can have a competitor to gasoline so we can drive those prices down. This Chamber hasn't done a single thing to help those companies develop Washington State jobs for a new energy future.

[Page: H3204] GPO's PDF

Now, we have got a lot of energy off of our coastline. It might be in assorted ways. But I know it is in offshore wind. But we aren't doing a single thing to help the offshore wind energy. All we are doing is trying to shackle an antiquated energy policy on the people of the State of Washington.

I would have liked this amendment to have helped all of my colleagues on the Pacific Coast, but because of some of the financial rules that we have, we have only been able to bring this involving the Evergreen State. But I would hope that all of my colleagues would join me in saying that before this gets forced on the citizens of Washington State, we adopt some reasonable measures.

I reserve the balance of my time.


Thank you.

First, I wish my friend Doc Hastings from Washington was with us today. He's not feeling well. But Mr. Young is doing an admirable job with a weak argument, and I'll report that they're getting represented.

I just want to point out we haven't seen horrendous damage to any ecosystem from a wind spill yet. If you spill a little wind, you don't end up covering large gulf areas with hydrocarbons or destroying oyster and shrimping grounds like have been in the gulf. There are differences from multiple sources.

We are simply saying that before we move forward with additional offshore drilling, we ought to have reasonable safety protocols, we ought to address speculation, and we ought to have an energy policy that looks at all of the above.

My friends across the aisle told us you were going to give us an all-of-the-above energy policy. All you have given us is an all-of-the-below energy policy. We need a little better than this.


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