Strategic Production Response Act

Floor Speech

Date: Jan. 26, 2023
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. CICILLINE. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for yielding.

Mr. Chairman, I rise today in strong opposition to H.R. 21.

A poll was released today that 73 percent of Americans think that the Republican leadership has the wrong priorities, and today we consider a bill which demonstrates how true those poll results are.

With this bill, the Republicans are giving a big, wet kiss to Big Oil. They are making it more difficult for families to afford gas at the pump and rewarding Big Oil with record profits.

Once again, they are demonstrating they care more about protecting the profits of Big Oil than protecting the wallets of hardworking Americans.

This legislation would make it impossible--or nearly impossible--for the President to lower gas prices by tying releases from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to this notion of expanding leasing on Federal lands, which would make it almost impossible, as Mrs. Fletcher explained just moments ago.

Linking releases from the reserve to increases in drilling on Federal lands will result in higher prices for Americans and an exacerbation of the climate crisis already facing our country.

What is more startling is this isn't even necessary. There are over 9,000 leases available right now where drilling is not taking place.


Because Big Oil wants to keep the price up high to maximize their profits and continue to gouge the American consumers. Let's not continue to help them to do that.

The President was very wise to strategically use that reserve to lower the price at the pump.

I urge all my colleagues not to embrace this crazy idea of protecting the profits for Big Oil, gouging our constituents with higher gas prices, worsening the climate crisis, and instead, focus on the priorities of the American people to lower the cost of goods, to lower the cost of gas at the pump, to lower the cost of food at the grocery store.

That is what Republicans ran on, Mr. Chairman, and their first act was to gut the IRS to make it harder for people to get their tax returns back, and today they are trying to protect Big Oil and make it more expensive for our constituents.

Vote ``no.''


Mr. CICILLINE. Mr. Chairman, I rise to offer Amendment No. 135.


Mr. CICILLINE. Mr. Chairman, I rise today in support of my amendment to H.R. 21, the Strategic Production Response Act.

My amendment would prohibit offshore drilling for oil and gas along the coast of New England and the contiguous waters of the State of New York.

In Rhode Island and throughout New England, the health of our coast is sacred. Rhode Island's coastline supports good-paying jobs and economic growth in every city and town across our State. Crucial coastal industries like tourism, commercial and recreational fishing and boating are really the lifeblood of our communities.

According to NOAA, the NOAA Office for Coastal Management, Rhode Island's coastal economy employs more than 467,000 people and contributes $59.3 billion in Gross Domestic Product annually.

Rhode Islanders do not want oil and gas drilling just a few miles off our shores threatening our health, our economic livelihoods, and our way of life.

When the former President announced a plan in 2018 to open New England's coastal waters to offshore drilling, I introduced the New England Coastal Protection Act to ban his administration and any future administration from taking this disastrous action.

So I am here, Mr. Chairman, to ask my colleagues to support this amendment that really, without it, this legislation threatens the economic stability of my constituents and the quality of life for those who live in coastal communities all across the New England coast.

Make no mistake: This legislation would have catastrophic effects on the ocean and many of the other invaluable natural resources that we hold so dear and that we are obligated to protect.

While my colleagues on the other side of the aisle continue to place the profits of Big Oil above all else, I oppose these dangerous and shortsighted policies at every turn, and I am committed to protecting my constituents and the communities that I represent.

I urge my colleagues to support my amendment, and I yield back the balance of my time.