Strategic Production Response Act

Floor Speech

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


Ms. DeGETTE. 89.


Ms. DeGETTE. Mr. Chair, this amendment requires oil and gas companies operating on our public lands to make one simple pledge to the American people, that it won't gouge consumers at the pump.

It requires the Secretary of Energy to secure that commitment before any new permit to increase production on our lands will be approved.

It would help prevent some of the damage that this disastrous bill would do to our Nation's ability to address skyrocketing energy prices in the country.

Frankly, the bill before us is nothing more than a shameless attempt by my Republican colleagues to help increase drilling. If this bill were titled correctly, it would be known as the big win for Big Oil act, and it would come at a huge price for the American people.

As the chair of the Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee in the last Congress, I have been on the front lines to bring down gas prices in this country. I held a hearing last year with the top executives from six of the Nation's largest oil producers to have them explain why Americans were suddenly being asked to pay record-high prices at the pump and why Americans should be forced to provide their companies billions of dollars in subsidies each year when they were reporting record-high profits and hardworking families were struggling hard to fill up their cars.

Despite what the supporters of this bill will tell you, not one executive at that hearing claimed that opening up Federal land for drilling would lower prices at the pump. In fact, one executive at that hearing even admitted that opening up more land to drilling in the country would do nothing to bring the cost of gasoline down.

Why? Because there is nothing--and I repeat, nothing--preventing the oil industry from expanding its production tomorrow if they wanted to. They just choose not to because of profits.

The oil industry currently leases 26.6 million acres of Federal lands. Less than half of that land under current lease, 12.7 acres, is currently being used for production, so there is no relationship between opening up more Federal lands for the production of oil and gas and the price that Americans pay at the pump. None.

Instead of helping to bring down prices for consumers, what this bill does is it really makes it harder for future administrations to respond.

It takes away the one tool that has been used effectively to help alleviate the pain consumers were suddenly feeling this past summer and the one tool we have to prevent it from happening again.

It prevents the President from releasing our Nation's oil reserves on to the market during a crisis. It prevents the administration from taking the steps necessary to curb excessive price increases that can cause real harm to people, family, and businesses across this country.

If Republicans were serious about helping consumers, let's do it, but let's do it explicitly.

Let's include in this bill a provision that will expressly prohibit these companies from gouging consumers at the pump.

My amendment requires the Secretary of Energy to secure from any oil company looking to increase production on Federal lands a commitment that it will not excessively increase its prices during periods of future disruption.

It gives the oil companies what the Republicans say the industry wants, which is the ability to increase production on the public lands. So all we ask for--all we ask for--Mr. Chairman, is a simple commitment that they won't gouge consumers at the pump.

Sounds like a win-win to me.

I would urge my colleagues to adopt this amendment to the underlying bill, and I yield back the balance of my time. Point of Order


Ms. DeGETTE. Mr. Chairman, this amendment is focused on the development of the plan in the underlying bill, and therefore, it is germane. We actually narrowed this amendment so we didn't get into actual implementation.


Ms. DeGETTE. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.