Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail Designation Act

Date: July 10, 2008
Location: Washington, DC



Mr. PEARCE. Mr. Chairman, America is faced with an energy crisis today, and solutions have not been forthcoming under the current Speaker of the House or her leadership. The majority has failed in its effort to take any meaningful action to increase the domestic supply of energy for the American people. In a State like New Mexico, a very moderate income State, probably $25 to $30,000 a year is the average income, we find that the price of $4 gasoline is very difficult.

Last week in a story in the Albuquerque Journal, Associated Press talked about a young woman with cancer who was being treated almost 200 miles from her home. The family had to suspend visits by her young children to visit her because of the price of gasoline. Each day we're finding these sorts of impairments in our daily living while the majority simply says, we're in favor of energy.

I was listening with interest to the previous speaker, the gentleman from New York, and I would invite him to sign on a letter that we will be producing today that would go from the Speaker of the House to mention to President Bush about those 68 million acres of land that are not being used. Let's remove, first of all, the regulatory burdens that are stopping that land from being used and produced. In Utah alone, almost 1 million acres by one office which is 7 years overdue in putting out the land management plan that would allow people to move ahead.

Those are some of the acres that are moved from production that our friends talk about as if the greedy oil companies are sitting out here purposefully withholding production knowing that at all-time record highs, every company is producing every amount of oil and gas that they can get to, and they simply kind of twist the facts around.

So I would invite the gentleman to sign on to that letter indicating his willingness to press the President of the United States to push the BLM into getting these regulations out the door.

I would also be interested to see if the majority would recognize with us their failure in December by removing all shale oil from production. With one simple sentence in a bill in December, the majority removed almost 2 trillion barrels of shale oil from production, and again it tells me that maybe we have words on the House floor that differ from the words that are actually created in the votes.

I would also welcome our friends on the other side of the aisle to change their votes on the wilderness areas that removed over 100,000 acres from production because wilderness stops all development of oil and gas. And so again, I find some difference in the words that we hear on the House floor and the words that are actually put into place by law when we vote.

Additionally, there is a moratorium that limits 85 percent. We're told that the majority doesn't mind offshore production at all. Then go with us, sign a letter, and let's start producing just around the area, just in that spot where Cuba and China are drilling 47 miles off the coast of Florida. We have prohibited it ourselves through a moratorium in producing this oil and gas.

So I would ask the leaders of the majority party to go with me and sign on to this letter to take that one spot and let's allow American oil companies to produce where we're allowing the Chinese to produce within our Outer Continental Shelf area.

My amendment today to this House bill 1286 simply says that as we create this new trail system, we would like an accounting for all of the energy assets that are going to be affected by this bill. It's a very simple amendment.

The majority has, in fact, got a statement in the bill that says nothing will hinder, but too often we find that we do not know what has been hindered and what has not been hindered. So our amendment is very simple. Let's just get a report from the Secretary of Interior to tell us exactly what the stakes are, which resources might be limited, which might be hindered, and it's a very straightforward amendment.

I would appreciate if the majority would understand the reasons for this because we see every day that the American people are paying the price for the majority's opinion on energy. The opinion is that $4 gasoline is not too high, that in fact $4 gasoline will cause maybe a change within which we conduct our business; we ought to be converting to other forms of energy. The problem is we don't have wind cars, we don't have solar cars, we have no nuclear cars. America is on an oil and gas economy. We drive oil and gas cars, and as long as we limit the supply, we're going to drive the price higher.

It's not American consumption. American consumption actually has remained quite stable for the last 10 years. It's actually Chinese consumption. It's consumption from those developing countries around the globe that are pushing the price of oil higher.

Now, I did note with interest the comments that the majority party had done something for fuel efficiency. Actually, the majority party did nothing for fuel efficiency.

I ask for support for the amendment.