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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  November 19, 2013 2:00pm-4:01pm EST

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the speaker pro tempore: on this te the yeas are 223 --
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the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 223. the nays are 194. the previous question is ordered. the question is on adoption of the resolution. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. for what purpose does the gentleman from massachusetts rise? mr. mcgovern: on that i ask for a recorded vote. the speaker pro tempore: a recorded vote is requested. those favoring a recorded vote will rise. a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 222. the nays are 196. the resolution is adopted. without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid upon the table. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, the unfinished business is the question on agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal on which the chair will put de novo. the question is on agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the journal stands approved.
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the gentleman from washington. mr. hastings: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on h.r. 1965. the speaker pro tempore: without objection.
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the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to house resolution 419 and rule 18, the chair declares the house in the seminole house on the state of the union for consideration of h.r. 1965. the chair appoints the gentlewoman from north carolina, ms. foxx, to preside over the ommittee of the whole. the chair: the house is in the committee of the whole house on the state of the union for consideration of h.r. 1965,
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which the clerk will report by title. he clerk: a bill to streamline john shore energy permitting, providing for onshore leasing certainty and giving certainty to oil shale development for american energy security, nick development, and job creation, and for other purposes. . the chair: the house will be in order. members will please take their conversations off the floor. he committee will be in order. members will please take their conversations off the floor.
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the committee will be in order. members will please take their conversations off the floor. pursuant to the rule, the bill is considered as read the first time. the gentleman from washington, mr. hastings, and the gentleman from new jersey, mr. holt, each will control 30 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from washington. mr. hastings: thank you, madam chairman, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. hastings: thank you, madam chairman. growing debts and deficits and energy prices that are far too high, the united states needs to implement an all-of-the-above energy plan to
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responsibly harness our nation's energy, resources on our federal lands. new energy production is one of the best ways to grow the economy and create new jobs to put people back to work. one needs to look no further for proof to that than go to the states like north dakota economies ushished and low unemployment rates and due to energy production. because of the energy boom, the united states will be the world leader in energy production, surpassing saudi arabia. the production is happening on private and state lands, which is good, madam chairman. places that aren't as restricted as federal onerous regulations and policies. however, federal lands are being left behind. however, this lack of production on federal lands is not for a lack of resources.
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we have tremendous potential for new onshore oil and natural gas production on federal lands. but unfortunately the obama administration is actively and purposely keeping these resources off-limits. leasing and permitting delays, regulatory hurdles and ever-changing rules are few of the reasons energy production on federal lands is in decline. president obama has had the four lowest years of federal acres leased for energy production going back to 1988. under his administration, the average time -- the average time, madam chairman, to get a drilling permit on federal lands is 307 days. by contrast, it takes an average of only 10 days in north dakota to get a permit, and another example in colorado, it only takes 27 days. so it's no wonder that state lands are flourishing while federal lands are experiencing
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a decrease in energy protux. that's unacceptable. -- production. that's unacceptable, and this bill will unlack the shackles that have been placed on our federal lands. h.r. 1965, the federal lands, job and energy security act, is a package of bills that will help us expand, oil, natural gas and renewable energy production on public lands. it will streamline government red tape, break down bureaucratic hurdles and put in ace a clear plan for developing our own energy resources. these bills will spur job creation and help grow and strengthen our economy. now, madam chairman, i want to take a moment to specifically highlight the importance of the third title in this bill, the national petroleum reserve alaska access act. npra was specifically designated in 1923 as the
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petroleum reserve. let me repeat that, madam chairman. npra was specifically designated in 1923 -- that's 90 years ago -- as a petroleum reserve. its expressed purpose was to supply our country with american energy. that was the foresight of congress 90 years ago. that's why it's completely unacceptable that the obama administration this year finalized a plan to close half of npra to energy production. now, let me repeat. we set aside npra 90 years ago for energy production, and this administration unilaterally shut off half of that. this bill would nullify that plan and require the interior department to produce a new plan pour responsibly developing these -- for responsibly developing these resources. this bill would require be aual lease sales in the npra and ensure that necessary roads, bridges, pipelines needed to support energy resources out of
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the npra can be approved and completed in a timely efficient manner. now, madam chairman, this is crucial to the transalaskan pipeline system, or taps. it's crucial that that poopline needs to remain full and operational. much focus has been given to the keystone x.l. pipeline, and properly so, but we cannot forget that taps is one of the most important pieces of energy infrastructure in our nation. reduced production in alaska has left taps at less than half of its capacity, threatening a shutdown that would cost jobs and significantly weaken our energy security. we cannot allow that to happen, and developing our resources in the npre is ensuring that it doesn't. i urge my colleagues to support this job-creating legislation and allow our federal lands to be part of our nation's energy quation.
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we've seen how it can grow local communities and thrive communities and how lower energy prices will put money in the pockets of american families. we know it's possible. it's just realizing the potential by allowing new energy production to incur on our federal lands. the majority of the provisions bill passed last congress. it's time for this congress to once again move forward for this commonsense, job-creating energy plan. with that, madam chairman, i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from washington reserves. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. holt: mr. speaker, i rise in on -- madam speaker, i rise in opposition to this unnecessary and environmentally harmful piece of legislation. we all know that under the united ma states is in the middle of an almost unprecedented oil and
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gas boom. last week, the energy information administration said that for the first time in 20 years, u.s. crude oil production surpassed imports. also last week, the international energy agency projected that the u.s. would become the number one oil producer by 2015. the headlines keep coming. on october 4, e.i.a. reported, quote, the u.s. expected to become the largest producer of petroleum and natural gas hydrocarbons in 2013, end quote. on october 16, the headline read, quote, the u.s. is already world's number one producer, consultants say, end quote. even the republicans have to admit this energy boom is happening. but they say it has nothing to do with president obama because they don't want to give him credit for anything. they say all of the increased production, all of it is coming from state and private lands.
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president obama, they believe, is choking off production on federal lands, and that's why we need the giveaways to big oil. that's why we need these attempts in this legislation to stifle public comment. that's why we need drill at all cost measures. but they're wrong, flatout wrong. what has actually happened to oil production from our public and indian lands out west since president obama took office, you may ask, it has skyrocketed. onshore oil production from federal and indian lands, just what we're talking about in this legislation, has gone up every year since the president has been in office. it's now 35% higher than it was under president bush. yet, this legislation would not just reduce environmental protections, it would gut them. it would remove them. so here's an even more
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interesting statistic. the nationwide increase in oil production since president obama took office increased in oil pro-- increase in oil production is 30%. the increase on federal and indian lands is even outpacing the increase nationwide, including private lands. enough it's simple that anyone should be able to understand this. oil production for the entire country is up 30%. oil production on federal and indian land is up 35%. but the republicans have this playbook that they just can't get away from, this shopworn 2008 drill, baby, drill playbook, and so they want to try to make things easier for big oil while trying to ensure that conservation, hoot 111th congressing, recognizery -- hunting, ruckryation, anything
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else these federal lands -- recreation, anything else these federal lands is used for has to take a backseat. they are saying that president obama is driving oil production down. the premise is false. we're not here because we need this legislation to increase our domestic production of oil and gas. and it certainly has nothing to do with prices at the pump. we are not here because the bill will have any impact on the world price of oil or gasoline at the pump. we're not here because anyone thinks this bill has a chance of becoming law either. we're here because we have a deeply divided republican caucus and one of the few things that unites this caucus is the belief that big oil should enjoy higher profits and those profits should come from
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publicly owned land. we're here because bills to convert our priceless natural treasures and the profits on big oil's balance sheets are about the only idea that our republican colleagues can agree on among themselves. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from new jersey reserves. the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. hastings: thank you, madam chairman. i'm very pleased to yield three minutes to the member of the committee, the gentleman from alaska, mr. young, three minutes. the chair: the gentleman from alaska is recognized for three minutes. mr. young: madam chairman, i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend. the chair: without objection. mr. young: you know, it's amazing as i sit on this floor after 40 years listening to so much nonsense on the other side when it comes to energy. this increase of production in the united states came from private land and state lands, not the federal lands, and those are the facts. and we are still not independent from the oil from the mideast that causes disruption in our economy and
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has the same litany of words we have to r again, save, we can't produce but we have to have employment. we'll have a stimulus package. in fact, we'll have more government borrowing for the economy and forget real jobs. i want to talk about title 5 of this legislation. the federal lands job and energy security act, contains a number of measures energy development by and for indians and alaskan natives. specifically title 5 contains a range requested by a number of alaskan bes, the native corporations to streamline legal procedures that hinder exploration, development and production of energy on their lands. there are 56 million acres of land held in trust for the federal government. in alaska there's 44 million acres. a total land mass larger than the state of california. they are untapped energy resources. it is estimated up to 10 mothers or more of our nation's
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energy is attained on native lands. the problem is that outdated ederal policy thwart the benefits. indian trust lands require federal review and approval which brings little or no value to the tribes involved. if federal review and approval of energy leases create economic value, then private landowners will be clamoring to have their projects reviewed and approved by the federal government too. these are few better measures on how ineffective supervision of indian affairs has been. since 2010, nearly $5 billion has been paid by the government to indians to settle federal mismanagement of their lands. while many indian tribes and alaska native corporations have strengthened our economy, tribal communities remain at the bottom of nearly every economic and social indicator. the sad fact that the 21st century america severe poverty wears a native face. instead of helping tribes make
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strive for energy development, the obama administration is erecting new hurdles. the e.p.a. canceled a permit for the largest tribe to operate a large power plant on its land with its coal. e department of interior's proposed hydraulic fracturing rule that makes tribal land less attractive. several tribes are seeking to shed the current system altogether and take over management of their lands and energy resources. and these tribes, which ask -- these tribes ask for provision in title 5 of the bill today. it's a great pleasure that a stand-alone bill, h.r. 1548, has been endorsed by the national congress of american indians and several individual tribes. it is time to stop treating indian trust lands as public lands. they are not public lands. they are private lands. increase the tribe's power of self-governance over the energy d resources of the good -- mr. hastings: i yield the gentleman 30 minutes -- 30
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seconds. mr. young: for the good of the united states of energy security. let's make the principle of tribal self-governance, which you talk about, and never follow. never give the indians a break for anything. pat them on the head. give them a blanket and a half of beef and be quiet. that's that side over there. you do not support the american indians. you never have, but you pat them on the head and give them a side of beef. i yield back my time. . the chair: the gentleman from washington reserves. the gentleman from nming new jersey is recognized. mr. holt: i'm pleased to yield two minutes to the gentleman from michigan, a lifelong stalwart supporter of the environment, and of energy production, mr. dingell. mr. dingell: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the chair: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. dingell: madam speaker, i
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rise first to pay respects to the distinguished gentleman on the majority side handling the legislation to tell him that my affection and respect for him, but he's handling a bad bill. and i want to thank my good friend for yielding me this time. i have been to alaska many times. i have hunted there. i fished there. i have been to all the refuges and national forests and national parks and the b.l.m. lands up there. i have seen what a treasure it is. i have also supported actively the idea that this nation must make it possible for us to easily produce energy. but not at the price of throwing away things like our basic fundamental environmental protection laws. this legislation is not going to significantly increase production of oil. all it's going to do is throw away the things that are necessary to protect it against unwise use. this has been a battle that we
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have had in this body many, many times where the majority will consistently seek to make it easier to drill for oil that either isn't there or isn't there in the amounts, or that is not going to be produced by the oil companies. because we are finding that there's a lot of oil where there's authorization for drilling, or they just got the drilling permits and they sit there and look at the drilling permits. oil is not produced. having said this thing, the secretary in the last year or so has increased the ability of this nation to continue producing more and more oil from the public lands. one of the problems with alaska is, the public lands are cold, they are harsh, and they are hard to produce oil from. so it is necessary that it takes longer for us to produce oil on those lands. and that's properly so. it's easy to produce it in the
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warmer, more gentle climates here in the united states. and given that fact we could expect and we will see more rapid increases in production ere than we will see up there. we have a tremendous national treasure in alaska. produces fish, wildlife, open spaces, salmon, all kinds of riches of renewable resources of all kinds. we should not be throwing away the protection that is we have put in place for those because a bunch of oil companies -- the chair: the gentleman is recognized for an additional minute. mr. dungle: i thank my dear friend and again express my thanks. i wish -- we should not throw away those protections. nor should we open those lands up to being blasted, drilled, and pitched, and dug without wise protection. after all good conservation is
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wise conservation, and wise use of the resources. we are going to find, as times pass, that the predictions of our energy department and the department of interior, that this oil is not present in -- and in the arctic game range is not there in the amounts that we would like. and there's no real reason for increasing that oil production, especially by permits that will not really yield any additional production of oil to this nation. i would urge my colleagues reject the legislation. let the administration continue its production of oil according to a wise use, and see to it that we protect the treasures we have in alaska against unwise
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use. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from new jersey reserves. the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. hastings: thank you madam chairman, i'm very pleased to yield four minutes to the sponsor of this legislation, the gentleman from colorado, mr. lamborn. the chair: the gentleman from colorado is recognized for four minutes. mr. lamborn: thank you, madam chairman. i thank the chairman of the committee, doc hastings. i rise in strong support of h.r. 1965, the federal lands job and energy security act, which incorporates four additional bills into my bill. this legislation takes significant steps toward moving our country forward on a path to energy independence by streamlining government regulations and reducing government red tape that hinder onshore energy production. it will create new american jobs, promote energy and economic development, and increase revenues to the state and federal governments. this legislation also sets firm timelines for applications for permit to drill or a.p.d. approvals, and dedicates funds
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from a.p.d. solar and wind right of way fees to the permitting field offices. it will rush hour the bureau of land management to lease at least 25% of the nominated acreage, not previously made available for lease. it will inject certainty into the leasing process and terms to give energy developers the certainty they need to move forward with production. also requires the secretary of interior to develop a four-year plan for onshore energy development similar to the five-year plan they are required to develop for offshore development. opens up the national petroleum reserve in alaska for energy production, and allows the b.l.m. to conduct leasing through the internet. since taking office despite claims to the contrary, president obama has waged a war on energy development. under the administration, a simple permit, which in my home state of colorado on average takes 27 days to approve, takes nearly a year on federal land. and only minuscule areas of land
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have been leased for energy development despite significant interest in many more acres. in fact, the obama administration has had the four lowest years of federal acres leased for energy production going back to 1988. the obama administration has even taken the shocking and questionable step of canceling leases that have been legally bought and paid for. energy companies are practically fleeing from developing energy on federal lands in favor of the more reliable and state and private permitting proses. further, the obama administration has made up -- made it harder for oil shale technology to develop so that companies are showing little interest in developing this promising technology. while the president tries to take credit for increased energy production under his administration, the reality is that the vast majority of any increased production occurs on state and private land that the federal government has no
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jurisdiction over. in fact, since 2009, total federal oil production is down 7.8%, and total natural gas production on federal lands is down 21%. my legislation would interject much needed certainty into nearly every step of the onshore energy production proscies. it will ensure permits are approved in a timely fashion, prohibit the administration from changing lease terms or revoking leases after they have been legally won, would ensure that onshore leasing moves steadily forward, and allow the secretary to plan for this nation's future energy needs. energy that is available and affordable creates more jobs for americans. rather here at home rather than overseas. it lowers the price of essential goods that american families buy every day, and it leaves more of the hard-earned money in the pockets of americans after they pay their gas and utility bills. there is no reasonable objection to -- objection to this bill.
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i would urge my colleagues to support this critical legislation to create new american jobs, establish an efficient process to produce both renewable and conventional energy on federal lands. we can do this while meeting the extensive environmental standards that are already in place. i urge support for this bill. and, madam chairman, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from washington reserves. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. holt: thank you, madam chair. let let's summarize what is in this legislation. h.r. 1965 would, it's a compilation of a number of wishful bills, wishful legislation from the other side, it would short cut environmental reviews, discourage public participation in energy and pment decisions, eliminate thoughtful leasing reforms. publicd require that any
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entity or individual that wanted to challenge a leasing decision just $5,000 protest fee to be able to access the process. it would require that the department of the interior lease at least 25% each year of oil and gas nominated areas. whether or not they are suitable for drilling now. and, and i do, madam chair, i want you to get this, it would elevate oil and gas leasing decisions above all other uses of public lands. such as hunting and fishing and grazing and conservation and recreation and other energy uses. t would also require a plan to
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crisscross the national petroleum in alaska with roads and pipelines d.d. petroleum reserve in alaska with roads and pipelines, a network that would be a bonanza for some contractor, i'm sure, ignoring the management plan that was approved. this year. and why? well, not a good reason. we don't need all these relaxations or -- relaxation is too mild a word, the gutting of environmental review, the removal of public participation. because oil production is doing very well, thank you. let's deal with the facts. federal onshore oil production, which is what this bill is bout, has increased 35%. it's actually a faster growth rate than oil production overall in the united states.
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and i'm not sure why the other side refuses to acknowledge that. i would think they would want to take that as good news. if you look past their talking point at the actual data, you'll see that federal onshore oil production has increased every year since 2008. and that doesn't include indian lands where production has also increased every year since 2008. so the fundamental premise of this bill is flawed. right now 37 million acres of federal land under lease for oil and gas development. but 2/3 of that are not in production or exploration. so go figure. let's go ask these companies why
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are they bidding on these lands? when you lease land, it's because you think it will be productive. and yet they are sitting on it. so we don't need to streamline, any n't need to remove environmental controls in order leasing, because 37 million acres of federal land are under lease now. and furthermore, even if the other side was right about their flawed premise, even if it was a problem in production, onshore federal oil is only 5% or 6% of total production. that's all it will be. and so this tsh-if there were a production problem, if it were not the case that we were producing more than we have
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roduced -- than -- we are in better shape than we have been for decades, further drilling on federal land would not be the answer. so there's no reason for this bill. of these ck the use federal lands to a free-for-all, unprotected state, and this is bad legislation. i reserve the rest of my time. the chair: the gentleman from new jersey reserves. the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. hastings: i yield three minutes to the gentleman from colorado, mr. tipton. the chair: the gentlewoman from colorado is recognized for three minutes. mr. tipton: thank you, madam chair. thank you, mr. chairman, for yielding me time on this critical matter. i appreciate my planning for
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american energy act was incorporated as title 2 of the federal lands jobs and energy security act of 2013. this final commonsense package seeks to put in place responsible american energy plans that will reduce energy costs for consumers while also growth and omic job opportunities. the legislation before us today would enleash the potential for thousands of new jobs and establish a reliable, affordable and secure source of american energy through responsible production. title 2 seeks to establish commonsense steps to create an all-of-the-above american energy plan for using federal lands to meet america's energy needs. under title 2 of this legislation, the nonpartisan energy information administration provides the projected energy needs of the united states for the next 30 years to the secretaries of interior and agriculture. the secretaries would use this
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information to establish an environmentally responsible four-year energy production plan. e bill allows for energy development on public lands in order to promote the energy and national security of the united states. in accordance with multiple use management standards by the federal land management policy act. title 2 requires that all of the -- all-of-the-above approach to energy production responsibly in this country. the bill specifically cites wind, solar, jo thermal, oil, gas, coal, oil shale and minerals to be included in the plan. these goals will be accomplished responsibly without repealing a single environmental regulation or review process. earlier this year, an important study entitled "energy cost impacts on american families" was released. this had some troubling findings, including more than 50% of u.s. households are
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expected to spend at least 20% of their family budgets on energy costs in 2013. this figure is nearly doubled -- has nearly doubled in the last 10 years alone. the energy increases have disproportionately impacted families on lower incomes and seniors on fixed incomes. this stands to reason. iven the decline in energy production on federal lands under this administration. since president obama took office, production on federal lands has declined significantly. including a staggering 21% decline in federal natural gas production. colorado, along with our neighboring western states, is in a unique position to contribute to our nation's energy security and ensure that the united states remains competitive in the world market. promoting a commonsense regulatory framework, embracing domestic energy research and development and applying environmentally and safety standards already on the books rather than adding costly new mandate, we can help meet
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america's energy needs right here at home, providing energy and economic security that will benefit american families. an all-of-the-above approach in energy, this responsibly increases -- mr. hastings: i yield an additional 20 seconds. mr. tipton: and is needed to ensure that the prosperity of this nation is ensured. this is exactly what h.r. 1965 will accomplish. it creates a framework to responsibly meet america's energy needs, lower energy costs for consumers and create much-needed american jobs. i urge its immediate passage of this bill, and with that, mr. chairman, i thank you and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from washington reserves. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. holt: madam chair, i'm pleased to yield four minutes to the distinguished whip of the democratic party, steny hoyer from maryland, someone who understands the importance -- the economic importance of protecting the environment. the chair: the gentleman from maryland is recognized for four
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minutes. mr. hoyer: thank you, madam speaker. i thank the gentleman from new jersey for yielding. madam speaker, this bill and the other two house bills we will consider this week were put forward, in my opinion, to fill time. yes, they are unifying issues on the republican side of the aisle, madam speaker, but but they're not pressing. even if they were good policy, they're not pressing. we stand here without a budget. we stand here with 10 days left to go. madam speaker, it's now quarter of 3:00 and it was about 2:30 and our business is through for the day. no budget. no unemployment insurance extension.
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no farm bill. no conference report, even, on the budget. no immigration bill. , enda g discrimination bill. critically important issues that this house out to be considering, and so this is somewhat the fiddle on which we are playing while rome is burning. we shut down the government for 16 days. for the first time in 17 years, a conscious decision to shut down government. and the majority of republicans voted to keep the government shut down and voted against paying our bills. and yet we consider this legislation. now, i'm against this
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legislation substantively, but even more egregious is the 12 days four of the we had available to address the issues i've just discussed. america is rightfully disgusted of the united ss states. me too. energy security remains an important issue. i agree with my colleagues on that. but these bills offer partisan solutions to energy projections that are -- that are taking our time away from pressing matters, as i've explained, like the budget conference, comprehensive immigration reform, the farm bill, medicare physician payment formula and tax extenders. wringing oing to be
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our hands just a few days from now saying, of course we want to make sure there is doc fix to make sure doctors are paid appropriately so they'll continue to serve them. we'll say, of course we want to do that. well, why did you waste a week? we won't have an answer to that. unless the answer is, well, we're really not going to address them. we'd rather address these issues that bring our party together and make us look like we're doing the work that our base wants us to do. tomorrow's legislation seeks to block a proposed bureau of land management regulation that's not even yet in effect. and overreaches to cover all interior department lands. the first of these bills sets arbitrary deadline on leases, permits and reviews that stand in the way of regulators doing their job to protect citizens and affected communities.
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i think citizens want to be protected. yes, they want it done in an efficient manner, about you they want to be protected. these bills were put forward in the name of achieving energy security when in truth, ironically america is now more energy secure than it has been in decades. may i have two additional minutes? mr. holt: be happy to yield two minutes. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. hoyer: more energy independent than we've been in decades. as a matter of fact, when i talk about the make it in america agenda, making manufacturing jobs and making things here in this country, one of our assets is we are the abundant energy supply in the world today. there are more oil rigs in america today than the rest of the world combined. and yet we're talking about energy security. we have it. do we need to enhance it?
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of course. just days ago, the energy information administration announced that we produced more crude oil last month, madam speaker, than we imported for the first time in almost 20 years. under president obama, oil production is up. we now have more rigs operating, as i said, than the rest of the world combined. domestic natural gas extraction has also grown to an all-time record. energy companies already hold more than 20 million acres of public land onshore on which they have yet to produce oil or gas. leased public lands onshore. the gentleman from new jersey, mr. holt, was speaking of that. ese bills distract and delay this body's critical attention to the issues of critical concern to all americans, and yes, indeed, to the rest of the
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world that wants and needs to see a responsible, fiscally secure america. no budget, no budget conference, no farm bill, no immigration bill, no enda bill, all which passed the senate in a bipartisan fashion. they're worthy of debate. that doesn't mean either side has to agree, but that's what we ought to be debating, ladies and gentlemen of this house, because they are the critical issues confronting us before the end of this year and yet we waste our time, and frankly, we let ourselves off early because we don't have enough work to do. i urge opposition to these three bills. i urge the majority party to bring the important pieces of legislation to the floor that america needs, and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from maryland's time has expired. the gentleman from new jersey reserves. the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. hastings: mr. chairman,
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before i yield to my colleague from ohio, i yield myself one minute to respond to my good friend, the minority leader. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. hastings: he characterized these bills as being not pressing. mr. chairman, i would point out that probably the biggest issue facing america that we have heard from our constituents, probably on both sides of the aisle, is the need to have a growing economy and jobs. american energy, we have a chance to capture american energy and jobs with this legislation. while it's not pressing, as the gentleman says, it is certainly very, very important. i'd also point out, the gentleman was -- the minority leader talked about several issues that were important. i'd probably suggest number one on america's minds right now -- actually started on october 1, when a signup for the health care plan passed.
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now, if there is something that is absolutely pressing that needs to pass this congress before the end of the year is to rectify how people can keep the policies -- health care policies that they wanted. i might add, last week, last friday -- i yield myself another 30 seconds. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for an additional 30 seconds. mr. hastings: last friday in a bipartisan vote, bipartisan vote, 39 members of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle joined us to ensure that if people like their health care policies they can keep their health care policies. now, that bill is waiting in the senate. we have a bicameral legislature. we know they have to act. but if there is one thing that is absolutely pressing before we get done is to resolve that issue. with that, mr. chairman, i'm very pleased to yield two minutes to the gentleman from ohio, mr. johnson. the chair: the gentleman from ohio is recognized for two minutes. mr. johnson: mr. speaker, today i rise in support of the
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federal lands jobs and energy security act. this important legislation will help streamline onshore energy production and create jobs right here in america. i want to thank the chairman for including legislation i've introduced, the b.l.m. live internet auctions act, as a title in this legislation. as we're all aware, oftentimes the federal government is behind the private sector when it comes to technological innovation. as a former chief information officer of a publicly traded company, i understand how much more efficient the federal government could become if we were able to provide some much-needed technological innovation. the b.l.m. live internet auctions act will allow the federal government to come into the 21st century and do what the private sector's already been doing for over a decade. this legislation fixes an unintended consequence of a 26-year-old law that requires that b.l.m. conduct auctions by oral bidding. back in 1987, the internet hadn't even been created by a certain former vice president, and this bill certainly gives
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the bureau of land management the option to conduct auctions r their lease sales over the internet. traditional in-person auctions will still be but we can ensure the best return to federal taxpayers. for oil and gas leases by conducting them securely online. most importantly, this legislation will ensure efficient and timely lease sales so developers can more quickly begin producing homegrown energy for american consumers and create uch-needed jobs for americans. we know b.l.m. has the capability of doing this because they conducted a test run of the program by sell 25g parcels via live internet auctions. the pilot program resulted in 1,500 unique visitor, increasing the number of bidders and sale price when compared with traditional in-person option. even the admferings support this
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is legislation and i'm hopeful the senate will act on it quickly to bring the b.l.m. process into the 21st centuryism urge my colleagues to support the underlying legislation and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expire. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. >> mr. chairman, i'm pleased to yield to the gentleman from oregon, mr. defazio, the ranking -- the minority member of highest rank on our committee, the resources committee. may i ask how much time -- how much time -- the speaker pro tempore: the -- the chair: the gentleman from new jersey has 11 1/2 minutes remaining. the gentleman from washington has 9 1/2 minutes remaining. i yield the gentleman from oregon five minutes. mr. defazio: i thank the gentleman. i was listening with interest to some of the statements made earlier in the debate about the
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administration deliberately restraining the oil and gas industry in this country. actually, the facts belie those statements. the federal lands oil production is growing faster than that on private lands, plus 30, plus 35, obviously they start with a larger base but it is growing faster. that hardly shows any deliberate attempt by the obama administration to limit this production. then, you know, again, they talked about, you know, the -- this president had not leased an adequate amount of land but if you look these lit foal toes are the former president, george bush and then the lines start to go up, these are the current president barack obama. onshore oil production on federal lands is up 35%. so let's deal with what the real intent here is. the opa ma administration has an all of the above strategy, they
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are trying to produce these resources responsibly. the other side of the aisle would have us believe that environmental laws and other restrictions and an intentional campaign by the obama administration is making us vulnerable to foreign influence when actually our imports were at the lowest level in recent history, we're producing more and more of our own oil and heading toward self-sufficiency but we have to deal with climate change and prices to consumers. now, this legislation that we're actually -- this legislation, we're celebrating thanksgiving a week early. i would call the bill a turkey but it's not just a turkey. it's leftovers from turkey day. we've passed this legislation previously and it went nowhere previously as will this legislation here today but they want to pretend it benefits consumers and that there's a
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campaign by though ba ma administration to restrain the supply. if we wanted to drive down prices at the pump tomorrow by 70 cents, pretty simple. stop the speculation on wall street. but i'll talk about that more later. there are a number of provisions that are egregious, don't have time to go into all of them. a few things, do away with environmental protections, muzzle the public's voice in terms of them appealing decisions by the distant federal government to develop in their backyard or next door. to elevate oil and gas drilling to the predominant use on any federal public lands. yes, predominant use, over and above hunting, fish, recreation, anything else, oil and gas is predominant. now the president also said, i think we ought to go out and look at these parcels before we lease them. that's something they didn't do in the bush era.
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we have 25-year-old land use plans at many of these agencies, they're understaffed, haven't refined their land use in 25 years. it might be that there's a ski resort next to a proposed -- anera that that was previously available or potentially available for oil and gas leasing. obama administration said we should go look and see how it's going to impact other activity that was come to the floor in the last 25 years. they're being crit sighed for that. it does take a little bit of time but they're saying, some states are leasing private lands allowing them -- allowing private lands to go forward in 10 days. these aren't private lands. needs are the lands of the people of the united states of america. i think a little more due diligence is in order. we don't want to mimic a state that says, oh, you want to drill there? here. here you go. no one gets to say anything about it, it's your land, go right ahead.
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threns one, this is amazing, kind of a fun math issue. they say that the industry can nominate land which is the current law, but they're saying they must -- the government must lease 25% of whatever the industry chooses to nominate in a given year. so there are 130 million acres available on -- for oil and gas leasing in the quites, predominantly in the west system of first year, the industry nominates 130 million acres, that means the interior department has to offer 32 million acres to lease. now next year, only 100 million left so they'd get 25% of that, 25 million acres. as you can figure it out, we're infinitely headed to zero here. can figure tist, he
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it out better, we might never get to zero but it would be a smaller and smaller increme. yet there are 25 million ache thers eindustry has under lease they haven't yet developed. but they could get this astonishing, you know, increase. ust one additional minute. mr. rush: i yield the gentleman a minute. mr. defazio: i was thinking of bringing a map of all the leaseable land but it would have been difficult to produce but you can get it in your imagination. so let's deal with the real problems before us. if we're going to produce energy on federal lands make sure there's no real conflict. keep the multiple use concept. most members of the public support that, not give oil and gas a predom napt use. let's keep in hind we have to look at alternative energy development on federal land so we can deal with climate change, which some of us believe in. but this warmed over, leftover turkey proposal will pass the
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house, of course, but that will be the last that anyone hears of it. happy thanksgiving. the speaker pro tempore: the -- the chair: the gentleman's time has expire. the gentleman from new jersey reserves. the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. hastings: i'm pleased to yield two minutes to another member of the resources committee, the gentlelady from wyoming, mrs. lummis. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized for two minutes. merchandise lummis: thank you, mr. speaker. i'd like to put a couple of things straight that have been said. we're not talking about all federal lands in this bill. we're not talking about -- mrs. lummis: thank you, mr. speaker. i'd like to put a couple of thicks straight that have been said. national parks and national monuments have been excluded from this bill. we're not talking about wilderness. we're not talking about lands recommended for wilderness status. those are managed as de facto wilderness. we're not talking about wildlife refuges. we're not talking about department of defense lands. we're not talking about bureau
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reclamation lands. we're only talking about bureau of land management lands that are managed for multiple use now. we're also talking about a nation that desperately needs jobs. a country , i was in in the ashe world last week -- in the arb world last weekend. they have 63579% employment in the private sector. everyone else is either unemployed or works for the government. their neighbors prop up their their problemsep from spilling over the borders into their countries. for a country that's been clamoring for jobs to smack down his bill as being irrelevant indicates to me that congress has lost its way. that it doesn't understand that what the american people want is to work.
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hey want earned success. they want self-respect. they want jobs. h.r. 1965 would streamline the leasing and permitting process to put our public land resources back to work for the people who own them. the american people. particularly those who live near these resources and know the importance of a quality environment. i represent the whole state of wyoming. i've lived there my entire life. nobody cares more about the environment of wyoming than i do. nobody. this is also good fiscal policy. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized for 30 additional seconds. mrs. lummis: wyoming's oil, gas, and coal royalties nearly payers in entire b.l.m. budget. contrary to what the gentleman said about the increase in
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production on federal land, between 2009 and 20 -- excuse me, between the year 2000 and 2007 in wyoming, number of new leases issued was 873 on average. during the obama administration, it's 599. in my book that's a decline of 31%. mr. chairman, i want to thank mr. hastings and lamb born for making this bill possible. i urge you to support it. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlewoman's time has expire. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. rush: i reserve my time and -- mr. holt: i reserve my time and ask how many speakers the gentleman has. mr. hastings: i have one more speaker and then i'll close. the speaker pro tempore: the entleman from new jersey
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reserves. the gentleman from washington. mr. hastings: i yield two minutes to the gentleman from texas, mr. poe. mr. poe: for the first time the u.s. is producing more crude oil than it imports. it's due to the fracking in north dakota and texas and other areas. that's the reason. energy information administration said this week that oil production by barrels is up 11% from last year and 63% over the last five years. this trend continue with the expanded use of renewables and of course the completion of the'keystone pipeline it's entirely possible we could see a total energy independence in this country in the next 10 years. imagine what our foreign policy could be if we were energy independent. we could make middle eastern oil and turmoil and politics irrelevant. however, all this progress has been done despite the current administration. how ironic it is, the
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administration takes credit for all the oil production boom when it does everything it can to stonewall this boom. the oil and natural gas production on federal lands is down 40% compared to 10 years ago. most of the new drilling is on private and state lands. not federal lands. under this administration, 2010 had the lowest number of offshore leases since 1984. imagine what we could do if we could speed up the permitting process on federal lands. to address this, h.r. 1965 expands onshore oil and natural gas production on federal lands and streamlines the leasing and permitting process among many other commonsense provisions to help get the government out of the way of progress. i'll yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas yields -- the chair: the gentleman from texas yields back. the gentleman from washington reserves.
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the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. holt: mr. chairman, i would like to address the talking points that have been parroted without thinking by speaker after speaker from the other side. the fact is, oil production on onshore public lands, the subject of this legislation, is up by 35%. it's not down, it's not flat, it is up. it's up even more than oil production in the country overall. so what is the problem here? s for employment, it's worth pointing out that oil and natural gas industry employment has increased. now clearly there was a falloff with the recession. or let's call it a depression.
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but in the last half dozen years, industry employment has increased by more than 162,000. a 40% increase. oil and gas industry jobs decreased in 2009 as a result of the recession but now they're increasing at -- the jobs are increasing at a rate faster even than before then. our federal lands, and i have to emphasize that in connection with this, because this legislation says that oil and gas would take precedence over all other uses of federal lands. federal lands don't exist solely for the purpose of oil and gas extraction. and as i said before there is one thing that the republicans seem to be able to agree on that we should give away whatever we can to the oil companies. that's why we're doing this legislation. because they don't have any other legislation they agree on well enough to bring it to the floor, but multiple uses of our federal lands, aside from oil
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and gas production, are mportant to americans. as for the jobs, the government shutdown that the other -- that the folks who are proposing this legislation voted for and supported caused the closure of over 400 units of our national park service and cost local economies hundreds of millions of dollars and caused delays in the pending permits, by the way. it's also worth pointing out that this week the interior department announced that because of revenues from oil and gas extraction, the department of the interior was able to disperse $14.2 billion, a 17% increase over the previous year to state and local and tribal accounts.
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this money goes for land and water conservation fund and reclamation fund, historic preservation and so fomplete so acesses a ill that problem that doesn't exist, to do it in a way that does not improve the -- does not deal -- does not address the interests of the people at large. it is a giveaway to the oil and gas industry, and i urge my colleagues to vote this down. i yield back my time. the chair: the gentleman from new jersey yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. hastings: mr. chairman, how much time do i have? the chair: the gentleman from washington has 5 1/4 minutes remaining. mr. hastings: i yield myself the balance of the time. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. hastings: mr. chairman, let me kind of talk of what this bill is about. this bill is attempting to oil federal lands to energy
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production. it's not -- all the talk has been on oil and gas. that's very important. this is also for renewable by doing what? by saying that when the process of using federal lands for energy production, those lands that have the potential for the best production odd to be first leased. what a remarkable idea. go where the potential energy is. that's what this bill does. but let me respond to my good friend from new jersey who talked about the -- how much we are producing in this country and so forth. i would suggest he left out a few important points. first, it takes some length of active rder to get an lease in production. and the gentleman didn't talk about that. why? because it takes four to six years and sometimes eight to 10 years, but in the last
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administration, bush 2 administration, they were very active in letting leases. and as a result of that, at the time this administration took over, there were a number of active leases that were already produced. that's why -- that's why the production was high in the early part of this administration. just to put this this way. we are talking about federal lands being leased for production. when the president took office, roughly 1.9 million acres were leased for energy production. that was in 2009. n 2012, that figure dropped to 1.75 million acres for production. that's obviously a lowered reduction. and permits to drill, which is really, i guess it meets the road, so to speak.
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in 2001, there were a little over 2,000 permits that were issued. in 2012 there were a little over 1,700 permits issued. that's a 15% drop. if you drop the permits, you're obviously going to have less production. so i think that needed to be pointed out to kind of set the record straight. and as to my good friend who's not on the floor now, mr. dingell, i want to talk about the national petroleum alaska reserve one more time. 90 years ago that was set aside as a national reserve. all the years that democrats controlled congress, from mid 1950's all the way to the 1990's, nothing was done to change that policy until this administration decided without -- without any direction from congress to set aside one half of that. why is that important?
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i mentioned in my opening remarks that the transalaska pipeline is a very important part of our pipeline system. and there's no question that there's a movement in this country by trying to dry up that pipeline, by slow walking production in alaska where you talk about offshore or onshore. the n.p.r. was designed to be a petroleum reserve. why should we not -- why should we not build an infrastructure to utilize that? it's been said, there's not much oil there. well, that will come out when the leases are offered. those -- those who want to take advantage of this and think there's some production there, they'll make the leases. the market will dictate that, but to unilaterally close it off doesn't make any sense. this bill corrects that. it makes n.p.r. a -- what it was supposed to be historically since 1923.
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so those are just a couple of issues, mr. chairman, i wanted to touch on. i urge my colleagues to support this legislation and i will yield back my time. the chair: the gentleman from washington yields back the balance of his time. all time for general debate has expired. pursuant to the rule, the bill shall be considered for amendment under the five-minute rule. in lieu of the amendment in the nature of a substitute recommended by the committee on natural resources printed in the bill, an amendment in the nature of a substitute consisting of the text of rules committee print 113-26 is adopted. the bill, as amended, shall be considered as the original bill for the purpose of further amendment under the five-minute rule and shall be considered as read. no further amendment to the bill, as amended, shall be in order except those printed in part a of house report 113-271. each such further amendment may be offered only in the order printed in the report by a member designated in the report, shall be considered as
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read, shall be debatable for the time specified in the report equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent, shall not be subject to amendment and shall not be subject to a demand for division of the question. it is now in order to consider amendment number 1 printed in part a of house report 113-271. for what purpose does the gentleman from washington seek recognition? mr. hastings: mr. chairman, i have an amendment made in order under the rule. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number a printed in house report 113-271 offered by mr. hastings of washington. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 419, the gentleman from washington, mr. hastings, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from washington. mr. hastings: mr. chairman, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. hastings: mr. chairman, this amendment makes adjustments in the bill to the amount of funds authorized to the made available to b.l.m. field offices for energy permitting. this change is made to ensure
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the bill meets its goal of reducing the deficit, not increasing spending. according to information from the congressional budget office, after adoption of this amendment, the underlying bill will reduce the deficit by $26 million while generating more american energy and new jobs for american workers. this amendment sets the funding directed to wind and solar energy permitting in local b.l.m. field offices at $5 million each fiscal year. currently under existing law, no funds gets sent to those doing the work to permit these renewable projects. after the amendment, the amount to help foster renewable money on lands is far more than the zero dollars that are allocated today. a vote for this amendment is a vote for an all-of-the-above approach to american energy. it's a vote for more american-made energy, and it's a vote to support renewable energy that uses its own funds
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and not taxpayer subsidies. and, mr. chairman, it is a vote to reduce the deficit. i reserve my time. the chair: the gentleman from washington reserves the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from new jersey seek recognition? mr. holt: i rise to claim time in opposition to the amendment. the chair: the gentleman from new jersey is recognized for five minutes. mr. holt: i wanted to point out a curious but revealing point about this amendment. in order to get the bill to core properly, to fit with the policy of the republican conference, it was necessary to ut $5 million out of the authorization in the bill. so where did they go? to cut $5 million out of renewable energy and let the tens of millions of dollars of
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authorized funds for the oil and gas to sit untouched. but i'd really like to address something else that the gentleman said that has to do with the whole reason we're here. instead of doing that important rk that mr. hoyer spoke of earlier. the gentleman talked about how we have to increase the supply of oil so that we can drive down prices at the pump and talked about how the policies of mr. bush, president bush were responsible for the increases, the undeniable increases in onshore oil production. and they say that gas was as much as $4 a gallon in 2008. you know whose fault that was. d then in 2009 it was $2 a
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gallon. did the supply in the united states change that much in one year? no. this shows quite clearly that it's not because of the amount of drilling on public lands. that has nothing to do or next to nothing, a scant effect on a price at the pump. it's amazing, mr. speaker, when confronted with something uncomfortable, the republicans always have a convenient excuse. gas prices were $4 a gallon in 2008. oh, that's because nancy pelosi was speaker of the house. gas prices plummet later that year to half that amount. well, that's because president bush said we needed to drill more. then gas prices shoot up after john boehner became speaker of the house. that's because president obama came into office. and then gas prices skyrocket under president obama. it's a boom. but that's really because of president bush. so if gas prices go down
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further this year, maybe that's because of, i don't know, was ?t eisenhower or reagan give me a break. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. hastings: mr. chairman, i urge adoption of the amendment and i yield back my time. the chair: the gentleman from washington yields back the balance of the time. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from washington. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. he amendment is agreed to. it is now in order to consider amendment number 2 pribted in of a printed in part a house report 113-271. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from texas seek recognition? ms. jackson lee: amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment in 2 printed in part a of house report 113-271 offered by ms. jackson lee of texas.
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the chair: pursuant to house resolution 419, the gentlewoman from texas, ms. jackson lee, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from texas. ms. jackson lee: let me thank the speaker, the chairman, and let me thank mr. holt, mr. hastings and the rules committee for admitting this amendment. we could all engage in discussions about our commitment to a national energy policy. i would venture to say we would not find one member of this body that was not committed to the idea of individuals being able to have low costs at the pump and to be able to have heat in the winter, severe winters, and air conditioning for those of us in the heat of the summer in places like texas and elsewhere. we are committed to doing so. i said this earlier this morning at the rules. let me thank the rules committee for the amendment that was submitted on my
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behalf. but i say we will do better if we come across the aisle and talk about the issues. again, sustainible environment, sustainible energy policy, creation of jobs and addressing the needs of low-income families, that is the american way. the american way is also the ability to petition your government and the system of laws that we have, and my amendment is simple. it indicates that the underlying bill shall not be construed to abridge the right of the people to petition for the right of redress of grievances in the firl article of the amendment to the constitution and the bill of right. it's important to note that there is a $5,000 fee for anyone that wants to protest the particular structure in his bill. this $5,000 fee is supposed to be giving comfort, or you give
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comfort because on the larger entity the businesses, it's a $6,500 fee. but for many parties that may adversely affect the individuals. individuals, homeowners, small businesses, nonprofits and community organizations a filing or documentation fee of this amount in many cases is prohibitive and will discourage many injured parties from taking the action necessary to vindicate require right -- their rights. my amendment seeks to modify this result by making it plain that the -- that congress does not wish to limit the ability to make a claim. i reserve any time. the chair: for what purpose does the gentleman from washington seek recognition? mr. hastings: i rise in opposition to the amendment. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. hastings: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. hastings: i rise to oppose
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this amendment. to be clear, nothing in this act prohibits individuals from asserting their right to petition the government. in fact, it would be ridiculous for taos try to write a statute that would negate the first amendment. nothing in this bill does that at all. let me talk about the process here. the b.l.m. undertakes multiple players of rule making and environmental rue view when going through their federal actions. nearly every layer of this rocess allowers in opportunity for public comments, involvements, and questions regarding b.l.m.'s actions. nothing, nothing, mr. chairman, in this legislation, impacts an individual's right to comment, petition, and object to actions of b.l.m. you should this bill. -- under this bill. nothing, nothing by the way, in this legislation, stops individuals from filing lawsuits. that's important in this debate
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on this amendment. but, h.r. 1965 simply implements a cost recovery fee for the formal process of filing protests of oil and gas leasing. these formal protests require a direct b.l.m. response using staff time, energy, and resources to address what is simply often a delaying tactic. this paperwork recovery fee will ensure that b.l.m. has the resources necessary to address the protest, but has the necessary resources to carry out the functions of the bureau of land management which is for pultpl purpose use in this country. it's for these reasons, mr. chairman, i oppose this amendment because it does not add anything to what people already have a constitutional right to do and i reserve my time. the chair: the gentleman from
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washington reserves the balance of his time. the gentlewoman from texas is ecognized. ms. jackson lee: i take issue with my good friend from washington state this bill has a $5,000 fee on the stable of protest and petition. obviously our good friends on the industry side don't even pay anything to nominate land but it is a $5,000 barrier my friend refers to the administration process, the administrative -- i am a lawyer. it's under the a.p.a. code. that's different from being able to go to a higher level and be able to comment under the federal register and write that i don't like this and then you're ruled against anyhow, then your next level of protest is to be able to protest at the level that requires you to pay $5,000. not even $1,000. we're scoring this and doing it on the backs of citizens. my amendment does make sense because what it says is, that we are committed as a congress not
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to block people from being able to have an equal opportunity to protest. they may not prevail, mr. chairman. but an equal opportunity and my amendment, i believe, -- i believe it would be senseless for republicans and democrats not to go on record to say, we support the opportunity for protest and petition. i'm pro-energy independence, pro-free throw grohing the economy, pro-fairness, pro-sustainable economy. i believe there are opportunities to come together. we haven't lped to each other. the gentleman, mr. holt, has made some important statements. i'm making statements about the idea, i believe it is egregious to have a $5,000 fee on individuals, nonprofits, farmers, ranchers, neighbors, etc., and i will say to you, if you want to understand what it means in my town there is a group going to court to fight against a high rise. that high rise, mr. chairman they went through every process,
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the planning commission, the city council, rejected. but they are going into a lawsuit. they happen to be a little more prosperous. farmers, ranchers and others having to pay $5,000, neighbors strog pay $5,000, i simply think thats -- neighbors having to pay $5,000. i simply think that's excessive. i'd support a compromise of $1,000. but i offer this simple statement that what we do today shall not con be construed as violating the right to redress of grievances and it protects your right to protect your property. frankly i believe that that is extremely important. there are entities that are near federal lands and so i would ask my colleagues, with the generosity of spirit, i'd ask them to support the jackson lee amendment. the chair: the gentlewoman's time has expired. the gentleman from washington.
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mr. hastings: i yield myself the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. hastings: this bill has nothing to do with high rises, we should set that apart. i know the gentlelady was using that as an example. but i have to say, i have to say this in a larger sense. that is, in the time i have had the privilege to chair this committee, we have seen over and over and over what i would call frivolous action by people trying to, with lawsuits trying to slow down the process, the gentleladyudes her example of high rises in houston, i'll use another example that thing house needs to address, the issue of endangered species act and how it affects the development in other parts of the country. but setting that aside for now, this bill simply says that going , there he process
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should be something upfront if you're serious about your issue. nothing more than that. this is a modest way to say that if people are serious about the action that they are trying to take, then there ought to be, you know, nothing more than some skin in the game. and that's what this bill -- that's what this bill does. this amendment would take that out. that is why i oppose the amendment. i urge my colleagues to vote no. i yield back my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from texas. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair the noes have it. the amendment is not agreed to. ms. jackson lee: i ask for a recorded vote, the yeas and nays. the chair: purr sune to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from texas will be post-en-- from texas will be postponed. it is now in order to consider amendment number three printed in part a of house report
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113-271. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? mr. lowenthal: i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number three printed in part a of house report 113-271, offered by mr. lowenthal of california. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 419, the gentleman from california, mr. lowenthal, and a member opposed, each will control five mins. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. lowenthal: thank you, mr. chairman. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the amendment i offer today maintains the interior expect's bility to review oil and gas activities for significant impacts on public health and safety among other extraordinary circumstances. while predictable, it's unfortunate that the majority again and again a willing to out base exhealth and
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safety protections in order to speed up oil and gas extractions for industry. whether it is in this oil and gas industry bill today, last week's mining industry bill, or tomorrow's natural gas industry bill, the majority's common theme is getting rid of transparency and protections for public health and safety and threatening our environment in the name of increased profits for industry. this is not ok with me. this is not why i came to washington. the oil and gas industry is the most profitable in the world and the rates of domestic extraction have increased under the obama administration. exxonmobil reported profits over of other over $44 billion in net income in 2012. net income, not profits. in 2012. i know it, wall street knows it, and their balance sheets prove it. these companies are doing fine. so why are we stripping our oversight agencies and the ability of the public to ensure that extraction is done responsibly and not at the
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expense of the welfare of this and future generations. i think it is shortsighted, i and i t is irresponsible think it is wrong. h.r. 1965 as it's currently written would prevent and i say that again, would prevent the interior department from reviewing oil and gas activities that would otherwise qualify for skipping the national environmental policy act for extraordinary circumstances. section 390 of the energy and policy act of 2005 allows certain qualifying oil and gas activities to potentially skip a full nepa process through a cat gorical exclusion. title -- through a cat goal exclusion. -- through a categorical exclusion. another section requires the interior department to test for extraordinary circumstances in which a normally excluded action
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may have a significant environmental effect and require additional analysis and action. title 43 of section 46.215 of the code of federal regulations goes on to list the types of extraordinary circumstances to be tested before proceedings with a categorical exclusion for the oil and gas activity. before the interior department bypasses nepa it checks for -- this is what it checks for. are there significant impacts on public health or safety? are there violations of federal, state, local, or tribal laws? are there limits to access and ceremonial use of indian sacred sites? and is does it spread obnoxious weeds and invasive species, and lists eight other potential problems. this is what the existing law and regulation does.
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it help prospect the public and the environment during oil and gas activities. simply speak, h.r. 1965 a eliminates these protections. my amendment would simply preserve them. i urge a yes vote and i reserve my time. e of the chair: the gentleman from california reserves. for what purpose does the gentleman from washington seek recognition? mr. hathesings: i rise in opposition to the amendment. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for fife minutes. mr. hastings: i yield myself such time as i may consume. as i said, i rise to oppose this amendment. this amendment would increase regulatory red tape and opportunities for frivolous lawsuits to stop what we're trying to do here, american energy production and job creation. it would achieve the exact opposition of what our nation needs and what the bill provides. h.r. 1965 seeks to streamline and expedite the onshore oil and gas an renewable permitting
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process. and it does so in a safe and responsible way. this amendment would simply reinject the same uncertainty and bureaucracy in the process that this legislation seeks to do away with. e energy policy act of 2005, mr. chairman, established a broad, bipartisan fashion for the use of categorical exclusions for projects in specific and limited circumstances. this provision was intended to expedite the permit approvals of certain energy projects on disturbed land, on operations with a small footprint or in areas that were previously approved in recent years. again, the energy policy act of 2005 was a bipartisan attempt, and this was provision that i just described was part of the 2005 act.
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these pro-energy reforms are designed to allow minor actions that do not significantly affect the environment to move forward without the burdensome and lengthy full costly environmental review. this legislation clarifies to the point the gentleman is making, what the gentleman's amendment addresses. this legislation clarifies the epartment's ability to use the categorical exclusion tool to quickly permit projects. this amendment, unfortunately, would require the department of interior to unreasonably review what we call extra -- extraordinary circumstances, end quote, which require additional nepa reviews, thereby essentially negating any value from expediting a project and inserting even more uncertainty into an already uncertain energy permitting process. the intent of the legislation is
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to streamline and simplify projects that are held up, often for years in bureaucratic red ape and regulatory uncertainty. this injects more bureaucracy and regulatory hurdles into the process. so mr. chairman, i don't think this amendment adds anything to what we are trying to accomplish. in fact, i think it goes the other way, and it goes the other way in such way that negates what the energy act of 2005, in a bipartisan manner, said. so i urge rejection of the amendment, and i reserve my time. the chair: the gentleman from washington reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. lowenthal: how much time do i have? the chair: the gentleman from california has 1 1/2 minutes remaining. mr. lowenthal: thank you. remember, what the gentleman from washington is saying that if we remove the extraordinary
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circumstances part of seeing whether in fact we grant a categorical exemption, what my amendment does by saying no, that the public must have an opportunity if we are going to grant an exemption -- which we think is fine -- but what is wrong finding out there will be a significant impact on health and safety? what is wrong finding out if there will be a violation of federal, state, local or tribal law? what is wrong in understanding what are the limits of access to ceremonial use of sacred sites? he says that this imposes by asking these questions, before we give an exemption, that this imposes regulatory red tape. that's exactly the opposite of what the nation needs, it's more bureaucracy. it's just the opposite. this protects the nation. this allows us to understand when we're given categorical exemption, that we're protecting the public health of the nation. i urge an aye vote on my
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amendment. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. hastings: the gentleman yields back his time? mr. lowenthal: yes, i did. mr. hastings: i yield myself the balance of the time. the chair: the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. hastings: notwithstanding what my friend from california said, i want to make this point which was ironically not brought out at all in the gentleman's argument and that is the issue of categorical exclusion. now, that's been in place on energy projects now for eight years. if there's something wrong with that or an example where it's been abused, then maybe the gentleman has a case. but the gentleman didn't speak at all, not at all to the point that that provision in the 2005 energy act has been abused, that alone should be enough to reject this amendment. in any case, i do not believe his amendment adds to what we're doing to streamline the process of energy creation and
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creating american energy jobs. i urge rejection of this amendment and i yield back my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from california. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it. the amendment is not agreed to. mr. lowenthal: i ask for a recorded vote. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from california will e postponed. it is now in order to consider -- it is now in order to consider amendment number 4 printed in part a of house report 113-271. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from texas seek recognition? ms. jackson lee: amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 4 printed in part a of house report 113-271 offered by ms. jackson lee of texas. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 419, the gentlewoman
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from texas, ms. jackson lee, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from texas. the gentlewoman is recognized for three minutes. ms. jackson lee: i thank the chair for yielding, and i again thank the managers, mr. holt and hastings, and i again make the same comment about what i heard on this floor from members on both sides of the aisle, that they are pro-energy, pro-environment, pro-jobs, pro-sustainible environment. they simply want an opportunity to work on legislation to activate or to ensure that that occurs. there's a prohibition contained
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in section 1147 of this legislation, with respect to the recovery of attorney fees and costs by prevailing -- by a prevailing party pursuant to the equal access of justice act. the ndment removes prohibition, a prohibition that has been established law for a very long time. this amendment is needed to level the playing field and conform the bill to current law and practice. and i think that if we listen to each other, it will be a simple answer of yes. if we ask any citizen, should they have a right to sue, and if they prevail, under the equal justice act, that they are able to get attorney fees. i think the answer, when clear heads would respond, not whether or not it's an energy bill or not -- or who the defendant is, they would say, why shouldn't this bill be subjected to the law that exists? the equal justice act allows individuals, small businesses
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and nonprofits to recover attorney fees from the federal government. this act is used to vindicate a variety of federal rights, including access to veterans affairs, social security and other -- and to secure statutory environmental protections. and so therefore, to eliminate that is again to cut into -- to cut into the very bill of rights of your right to petition, to the right to counsel, all of that, because it indicates you have a right to prevail in attorney fees. it's a simple process that doesn't undermine, if you will, the question of the energy policy in the united states. if we look at the first poster, we will acknowledge the fact that interestingly enough the average amount of money under these cases was $1.8 million annually over the last eight years. the e.p.a. only paid out $280,000 annually over the last five years. i venture to say what the average payment of $100,000, this is not busting the bank. this is allowing citizens who prevail to be able to have
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attorney fees, and i clearly believe that the legislation that we have warrants a fix, a fair fix to be able to ensure that anyone that has a disagreement post the administrative process and goes into court can in fact utilize. this is one that shows that in fact local environmental groups and natural environmental groups are no more than others. and the largest amount goes to various state governments, individuals, various unions and workers that got minimal amount or may not have even prevailed. and so i think it is important to recognize that this is not one that is going to destroy this bill. it's going to enhance the bill. with that i reserve my time. the chair: the time has expired. the gentlewoman from texas reserves. the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. hastings: i rise in
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opposition to the amendment. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. hastings: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. hastings: thank you, mr. chairman. i rise to oppose this amendment. the equal access to justice act, or the eaja, was created, rightfully so, to level the playing field between citizens seeking to do the right thing and a well-funded federal government. unfortunately, wealthy activist groups have been able to distort the intended purpose of the eaja by exploiting the program as a cash register to file thousands of lawsuits, many based on frivolous technicalities. further, federal payments to lawyers fighting lawsuits come out of each agency's budget which of course hinders the agency's ability to do their job and it enforces tighter budgets on the agencies working on behalf of americans. every year numerous energy projects are held up by
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burdensome legal challenges, by activist groups whose aim is to hold up or simply stop energy production in this country. under the guise of responsible development, these groups file lawsuit after lawsuit that force the government to use federal resources and millions of dollars in taxpayer funds to litigate these lengthy and burdensome lawsuits. these well-funded activist groups have the resources to hire, in some cases multiple lawyers, to sue the federal government. these unnecessary delays in energy projects result in delays of economic development, delays in job creation, of delays in income generation for local, state and indeed the federal government. americans n making of the united states to become energy independent.
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further, many small commutes depend on a robust energy sector to have jobs for its residents and generate income for their local schools and local communities. these well-funded activist organizations should not be rewarded, mr. chairman, with taxpayer dollars for delaying american job creation and generation of funds for our local communities. i urge my colleagues to vote no on the amendment. with that i reserve my time. the chair: the gentleman from washington reserves the balance of his time. the gentlewoman from texas is recognized. ms. jackson lee: i thank the chairman very much. let me be very clear that the awards under the eaja are not available for any and every case. only when the plaintiff prevails. is that not fair? when an individual, a nonprofit who has sought to even the playing field, who wants to make sure that we have a strong energy policy but they're praying that you listen to them as to how it is destroying
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their property, their house, their quality of life, they have a right to petition. so i want to correct the gentleman's interpretation. i heard on the floor of the house that he mentioned the word frivolous. as a lawyer and one that adheres to the constitution, i'd like to not think if you are concerned about an issue that you cannot get into the court of justice and that you cannot make your case. you may not win, but i want to surprise him with the fact that the large number of cases that went under this act were trade associations. 622. private companies, 556. there are a variety of others, not collectively together. state, few miss palts, 297, should they not recover if they prevail? should environmental groups not recover if they prevail, only 388? should individuals at 185 cases not prevail if they win? should workers' groups and universities and tribes not prevail if they should win? so i think that we are
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wrong-headed if we simply do not adhere to the existing law, not use the terminology frivolous but applaud americans who are willing to stand up for their rights. my example was correct. it was an analogy. these homeowners are fighting big business, but what they decided to do, after they were ruled against by every administrative local body they've gone into the courthouse. they happen to be more prosperous than someone else, but why would you fault an individual who's using their meager pennies with an attorney to try and prevail on something that they believe will harm them? so my amendment is very simple. it just indicates if you prevail, you should not be denied the attorney fees that anyone else would and to, if the ll, debunk and rebut proposition that only those groups that we might not enjoy their position, trade
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associations, private big companies, i ask my colleagues to support the jackson lee amendment for fairness in justice in america. i yield back. the chair: the gentlewoman's time has expired. the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. hastings: i yield myself the balance of the time. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for 2 1/2 minutes. mr. hastings: mr. chairman, i'd just simply say what we are -- what this bill and the bill tomorrow, for that matter, what this bill does is designed to create an atmosphere for more american energy production which i think is badly needed in our economy because you know that a growing economy by any measure has to have a predictable energy source. that has been lacking on our federal lands. that is what the underlying bill does. what we have seen and what we have observed in our committee is the fact that the courtroom is used to slow down so many projects on federal land. this provision in the current bill simply, i think, clarifies
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and rectifies and we can have some certainty in the law and that i think is the important part of creating american energy. with that i don't think that this amendment adds anything to that. i urge rejection of the amendment. with that i yield back my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from texas. those in favor say aye. hose opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair the noes have it. ms. jackson lee: i would like a recorded vote, the yeas and nays. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceed thonings amendment of the gentlewoman from texas will be postponed. it is now in order to consider amendment number five printed in part a of house report 113-271. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from hawaii seek recognition? ms. hanabusa: i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number five printed in part a of

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