Amendment Text: H.Amdt.733 — 112th Congress (2011-2012)

There is one version of the amendment.

Shown Here:
Amendment as Offered (07/26/2011)

This Amendment appears on page H5548 in the following article from the Congressional Record.



[Pages H5543-H5553]
     DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, ENVIRONMENT, AND RELATED AGENCIES 
                        APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2012


                             General Leave

  Mr. SIMPSON. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members 
have 5 legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and 
include extraneous material on the further consideration of H.R. 2584, 
and that I may include tabular material on the same.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Idaho?
  There was no objection.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Westmoreland). Pursuant to House 
Resolution 363 and rule XVIII, the Chair declares the House in the 
Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union for the further 
consideration of the bill, H.R. 2584.

                              {time}  1915


                     In the Committee of the Whole

  Accordingly, the House resolved itself into the Committee of the 
Whole House on the state of the Union for the further consideration of 
the bill (H.R. 2584) making appropriations for the Department of the 
Interior, environment, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending 
September 30, 2012, and for other purposes, with Mr. Dold (Acting 
Chair) in the chair.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The Acting CHAIR. When the Committee of the Whole rose on Monday,

[[Page H5544]]

July 25, 2011, the bill had been read through page 3, line 2.
  The Clerk will read.
  The Clerk read as follows:

       In addition, $32,500,000 is for the processing of 
     applications for permit to drill and related use 
     authorizations, to remain available until expended, to be 
     reduced by amounts collected by the Bureau and credited to 
     this appropriation that shall be derived from $6,500 per new 
     application for permit to drill that the Bureau shall collect 
     upon submission of each new application, and in addition, 
     $39,696,000 is for Mining Law Administration program 
     operations, including the cost of administering the mining 
     claim fee program; to remain available until expended, to be 
     reduced by amounts collected by the Bureau and credited to 
     this appropriation from mining claim maintenance fees and 
     location fees that are hereby authorized for fiscal year 2012 
     so as to result in a final appropriation estimated at not 
     more than $918,227,000, and $2,000,000, to remain available 
     until expended, from communication site rental fees 
     established by the Bureau for the cost of administering 
     communication site activities.


              Amendment Offered by Mr. Clarke of Michigan

  Mr. CLARKE of Michigan. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the 
desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.
  The Clerk read as follows:

       Page 3, line 3, after the dollar amount, insert ``(reduced 
     by $10,000,000)''.
       Page 65, line 19, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(increased by $10,000,000)''.
       Page 65, line 21, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(increased by $10,000,000)''.

  Mr. CLARKE of Michigan (during the reading). Mr. Chair, I ask that 
the reading be suspended.
  The Acting CHAIR. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman 
from Michigan?
  There was no objection.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Michigan is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  (Mr. CLARKE of Michigan asked and was given permission to revise and 
extend his remarks.)
  Mr. CLARKE of Michigan. Mr. Chair, this amendment would move $10 
million from the Bureau of Land Management to the Environmental 
Protection Agency's geographic programs under the Environmental 
Programs and Management account.
  Here's the bottom line, what this $10 million is all about. It's 
helping to save jobs connected to the $7 billion Great Lakes fishing 
industry. This industry, and the jobs connected to it, are at stake, 
are at risk because of the Asian carp. So it's my intention that the 
Environmental Protection Agency designate this additional $10 million 
to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to stop the Asian carp from 
migrating into the Great Lakes.
  Unfortunately, just last week, and this is the urgency of this 
situation, why I'm offering this amendment. Just last week, the Army 
Corps of Engineers found Asian carp DNA in Lake Michigan. This is 
deeply disturbing. We have to do everything in our power to stop the 
Asian carp from migrating to the Great Lakes basin because of the $7 
billion industry that's at stake.
  These carp, they come and they eat all the food up in the ecosystem, 
and that leaves very little for the native fish. And the native fish is 
what people fish for in the Great Lakes.
  So, again, I urge this body, for the sake of preserving the Great 
Lakes fishing industry, to allow this amendment. And again, it's my 
intention that the additional $10 million would go toward the Great 
Lakes Restoration Initiative, which right now is underfunded by $100 
million. So it'll be some measurable improvement, and to have that 
money focus on preserving our Great Lakes fishing jobs by stopping the 
Asian carp.
  I yield the balance of my time.
  Mr. GEORGE MILLER of California. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the 
last word.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from California is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. GEORGE MILLER of California. Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of 
this amendment and strong opposition to this bill. The Interior 
appropriations bill that is before us today is a radical assault on 
public health, on clean air and clean water, and on our environment.
  This bill wouldn't create a single job. Instead of creating jobs and 
protecting the public health, this bill gives polluters and other 
special interests license to do just about anything that they want. 
This might be the single worst bill in this House for our public health 
and the environment since the days of Newt Gingrich and Tom DeLay.

                              {time}  1920

  In this bill, the House Republicans are undermining the Clean Water 
Act, creating loopholes in the Clean Air Act, and gutting the 
Endangered Species Act.
  But that's not all. This legislation makes it harder for our States 
and cities to improve their crumbling water and wastewater systems 
through the State clean water and drinking water revolving funds.
  The legislation blocks the Environmental Protection Agency from 
protecting us from mercury, soot, and power plant pollution. Under this 
bill, the EPA will hardly be allowed to do anything about dangerous 
pollution that threatens our public health.
  The legislation blocks the new vehicle standards that will save 
consumers at the gas pump and would reduce the amount of oil that we 
import as a Nation. If that wasn't bad enough, the bill decides to 
prohibit the State of California from setting its own clean vehicle 
standards.
  The legislation also includes an ``extinction rider,'' one of the 
most aggressive threats to the Endangered Species Act in my career here 
that would freeze all of the efforts to protect imperiled species 
across the country.
  One of the most offensive aspects of this bill, out of a very long 
list, is the 80 percent cut to the Land and Water Conservation Fund. 
For nearly 50 years, the Land and Water Conservation Fund has taken oil 
and gas drilling fields, a finite resource, to invest them in a 
continuing protection of our resources on land, not taxpayer dollars--
these are taken from the oil companies that drill in the offshore--and 
they use that money to preserve the national parks, the wildlife 
habitat, trails, and working ranches and forests.
  With this cut, Republicans are breaking the decades-long promise that 
has been a bipartisan consensus across this country, the promise that 
we will use these oil and gas royalties to protect important American 
places for future generations.
  Outside of the Republican Conference in the House of Representatives, 
I don't know anyone in this country who wants to end our commitment to 
use these fees on Big Oil to protect our parks and recreation areas. 
These are our public lands. These are the lands that America's families 
use every summer, use at different seasons and different parts of the 
country all of the time. These are the public spaces that make us the 
envy of the rest of the world. These are the public systems that 
countries from all over the world send people to understand how did we 
save them, how do we protect them, how do we manage them. We set the 
standard for the world. As it was said earlier, one of America's best 
ideas. But now all of that is threatened under the cut to these funds 
for the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
  Mr. Chairman, these are a few of my reasons; but there are many, many 
more why I would strongly oppose this legislation and the very bad, bad 
ideas that it contains. I would hope that this Congress would reject 
this legislation out of hand.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. SIMPSON. I move to strike the last word in opposition to the 
amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Idaho is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. SIMPSON. Mr. Chairman, I appreciate what the gentleman is trying 
to do. This amendment would limit the BLM from spending $10 million in 
offsetting collections for oil and gas fees and put the funding into 
the EPA's geographic programs. I understand what he's trying to do, and 
I'm sympathetic with what he's trying to do.
  I'm not necessarily opposed to increasing this program, and we 
recognize the challenge of the Asian carp in the Great Lakes. We have 
many invasive species in Idaho, so I certainly understand where the 
gentleman is coming from and the challenges that they face.
  With that said, we worked hard to balance funding in this bill. We 
already funded invasive species in the Great Lakes at $43 million, and 
the total for Great Lakes geographic programs is $250 million. It makes 
little sense to

[[Page H5545]]

take funds from offsetting collections for the cost to administer the 
oil and gas programs. In other words, these programs are paid for by 
the industry, not by the taxpayers.
  So while I don't necessarily oppose what the gentleman is trying to 
do, it's the offset that the gentleman has created to put the $10 
million in there. We've tried to create a balance between these 
different programs with limited funding. I think we've done a good job 
in the Great Lakes, the best we could in this bill; and I would oppose 
the amendment and ask my Members to oppose the amendment.
  Mr. CLARKE of Michigan. Will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. SIMPSON. I yield to the gentleman from Michigan.
  Mr. CLARKE of Michigan. Thank you, sir. I appreciate it.
  I do have a newspaper article that does state that the oil and gas 
industry does hold around 7,200 drilling permits that haven't been used 
yet, but I do take the gentleman's point into consideration, if there 
is a way that we could work out something, because I'm not trying to 
undercut the drilling program at all here.
  I did notice in fiscal year 2012 that there was a surplus in terms of 
what we funded, which was around $45 million; in terms of the 
collections that were received, there was around $27 million. So there 
was around an $18 million overfunding there. That's why I did ask for 
this offset, because I felt it would be responsible and would not 
undercut the drilling permit program here.
  Mr. SIMPSON. Reclaiming my time, I appreciate what the gentleman is 
trying to do. As I said, we do have some concerns with the offsets, but 
I am more than willing once this bill goes to conference in whatever 
form, depending on the outcome of this amendment, obviously, to work 
with the gentleman to see what we can do with the geographical 
programs, not just the Great Lakes programs, but there are both 
Republicans and Democrats that care about the geographical programs.
  We've tried to do the best we could there, but there are other 
geographical programs that the gentleman from Washington (Mr. Dicks) is 
concerned about and that the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Moran) is 
also concerned about. We will work with the gentleman in conference in 
trying to address the concerns expressed by the gentleman.
  Mr. CLARKE of Michigan. I offer this amendment for what's at stake. 
The Great Lakes fishing industry is a $7 billion industry, and right 
now metro Detroit and the State of Michigan are in very hard-hit 
economic times by our industrial base being eviscerated. The one saving 
grace in our State and in that region is the fishing industry. That's 
the reason why I'm asking for this right now. It's emergency action. We 
found Asian carp DNA in Lake Michigan last week. I've got to do 
everything in my power as a Representative of not only Michigan but of 
that entire region to stop that carp from getting into the Great Lakes 
system, which would destroy our fishing industry. I urge your help.
  Mr. SIMPSON. I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Clarke).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the noes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. CLARKE of Michigan. I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Michigan 
will be postponed.
  Mr. MARKEY. I move to strike the last word.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Massachusetts is recognized for 
5 minutes.
  Mr. MARKEY. Mr. Chairman, in the underlying bill, the majority has 
underfunded the Interior Department agency charged with issuing new 
drilling permits and ensuring that offshore drilling is safe. The 
underlying bill would underfund the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, 
Regulation and Enforcement--BOEMRE is what it's called--by nearly $35 
million. This is the agency that is charged with the responsibility of 
ensuring that we drill safely off the coastline of the United States.
  At our very recent hearing, the director of that agency, Michael 
Bromwich, said that underfunding this agency, as the majority, the 
Republicans, have done in this bill, would slow down new offshore 
drilling permits and make offshore drilling less safe. That is 
unacceptable.
  Unfortunately, the rule the majority adopted has protected the 
underlying provision limiting the inspection fees paid by the oil and 
gas industry from a point of order, and now the Republicans will not 
allow the House to work its will on the amendment that I have drafted 
with the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Holt) and the gentlelady from 
California (Mrs. Capps).
  Our amendment would have fully funded this safety agency by 
increasing the inspection fees on the oil and gas industry. The top 
five oil and gas companies made $35 billion in profits just in the 
first 3 months of this year. This week, they will likely report similar 
profits for the second quarter. In fact, earlier today, BP reported 
quarterly profits of $5.6 billion. That's just for the last 3 months.

                              {time}  1930

  Yet the industry as a whole pays just $10 million a year in 
inspection fees for offshore drilling, and the Republicans are putting 
it offshore today from any consideration by the Members of this body.
  So our amendment would have, if the Republicans had allowed us, 
implemented a key recommendation from the independent BP spill 
commission. The BP commission recommended increasing the $10 million 
per year that the oil and gas industry currently pays in inspection 
fees significantly, and that is what our amendment would have done.
  And for my friends on both sides of the aisle who are concerned about 
reducing Federal spending, the increased funding for the safety agency 
from our amendment would have come from the oil and gas industry and 
not from taxpayers, but the majority won't even allow a vote on this 
amendment.
  The oil and gas industry supports increased funding for BOEMRE. Just 
last November, the president and CEO of the American Petroleum 
Institute, Jack Gerard, said, ``We fully support Congress providing 
additional resources for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, 
Regulation and Enforcement. This agency needs the additional inspectors 
and the increased staff and training resources to allow more efficient 
review and approval of oil and natural gas permit applications and 
processing of environmental reviews.''
  But what have the Republicans done in this bill? They have 
underfunded this agency. The oil industry agrees that there needs to be 
more funding to process permits and conduct inspections. The only 
question is whether a portion of that funding is going to come from a 
small increase in inspection fees, as the independent BP commission has 
recommended, or whether American taxpayers will have to pick up the 
entire tab. We are saying that they should pay the fee, the American 
Petroleum Institute should pay the fee. The oil industry should have to 
pick up the tab. And right now we do not have an ability to debate that 
on the House floor.
  When people go to get their cars inspected to ensure they are safe 
and not a threat to the environment, they pay a small fee. But the oil 
and gas industry, which is recording the largest profits in the history 
of the world, doesn't have to pay a fee to get some of their rigs 
inspected to ensure that we don't have another Deepwater Horizon 
disaster.
  The American people want these rigs inspected to make sure they are 
safe, not allow oil companies to be safe from paying more inspection 
fees. But when we are trying to cut the deficit, the Republican 
majority is giving another gift to the oil industry, straining our oil 
safety agency. More than 1 year after the BP spill, it is still 
business as usual.
  The Acting CHAIR. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Mrs. CAPPS. I move to strike the last word.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentlewoman from California is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mrs. CAPPS. Mr. Chairman, the legislation we are considering today 
undermines the ability of the Federal

[[Page H5546]]

Government to continue protecting our Nation's air, land, and waters.
  I intended to offer an amendment, along with my colleague from 
Massachusetts (Mr. Markey) and my colleague from New Jersey (Mr. Holt), 
to fully fund the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and 
Enforcement, fully fund the national agency in charge of regulating 
offshore oil and gas drilling. Unfortunately, due to changes by the 
Republican leadership to the House budget process, we weren't allowed 
to offer this amendment.
  Mr. Chairman, it's been over a year since the Nation's worst offshore 
oil spill. And I think our constituents would be surprised to learn 
that rather than taking action to prevent another deadly spill, this 
House continues to talk about expanding offshore drilling while 
sidestepping environmental laws to do so. They would also be surprised 
to learn that the underlying bill blocks the bureau's ability to 
collect inspection fees, and, as a result, the agency would see a $35 
million cut in their budget.
  Mr. Chairman, in his fiscal year 2012 budget request, President Obama 
asked for a significant increase for the bureau over his 2010 budget. 
He asked for this new money to hire additional inspectors, to enhance 
environmental reviews, and to enforce strengthened regulations. If we 
recall a year ago and the events following the spill, we will 
understand why this is the case.

  While this request was a significant increase over prior years, the 
administration proposed to offset nearly half of the request by 
increasing the inspection fees on offshore rigs. This was a key 
recommendation of the President's bipartisan, independent national oil 
spill commission.
  In their final report, the commissioners recommended the industry 
fees should be increased to, and I quote from their report, ``provide 
adequate leasing capabilities and regulatory oversight for the 
increasingly complex energy-related activities being undertaken on the 
OCS.''
  Our straightforward amendment adopts this key recommendation to 
provide the funding needed for government regulators to do their jobs, 
and it will ensure a safer and more environmentally responsible 
industry.
  Mr. Chairman, knowing what we know now, if we continue to allow 
offshore drilling in U.S. waters, the government has a responsibility 
to ensure that they are protecting us against a repeat of last year's 
disaster. And if oil and gas corporations want the opportunity to 
drill, it's only fair for them to help cover the cost of ensuring it's 
done properly, that their workers are protected, and the surrounding 
ocean is safe. But, ultimately, Congress holds the purse strings, and 
we must require these corporations to step up so the bureau can ensure 
that the people, communities, economies, and environment in the gulf, 
Alaska, and off the southern California coast are sufficiently 
protected against a spill.
  Whether or not we have an agency capable of properly regulating the 
oil and gas industry is dependent upon our decisions. Without these 
fees, taxpayers, rather than the industry, would have to shoulder the 
costs of these operations.
  If we want to ensure safe and responsible energy development, we must 
put the lessons learned from the BP oil disaster to use.
  I urge my colleagues to vote down this bill which blocks the bureau's 
ability to collect inspection fees. It's what is needed so we do not 
have to endure a repeat of the horrific disaster that is still 
inflicting pain and damage to the Gulf of Mexico and to those who make 
their living from it.
  What a terrible legacy of this Congress that we have done so little 
following the gulf oil disaster. What a legacy should, God forbid, a 
future disaster take place and we would have remembered that on our 
watch we could have done something about it.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. HOLT. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from New Jersey is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. HOLT. As you heard, this appropriations bill provides several 
hundred million dollars to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, 
Regulation and Enforcement. Sounds like a lot of money, but it is far 
less than what is needed for the protection of the environment and of 
workers for offshore oil and other activities.
  The Director of the bureau recently testified that these funds that 
are missing are needed and that their lack will have a direct and 
immediate impact on the ability of the agency to hire inspection and 
permitting personnel.
  It's interesting that so eager is the majority to look after the 
interests of the oil industry that they ruled out of order our 
amendment which provides one way to make up for these lost funds, this 
amendment that I would have offered with Mr. Markey of Massachusetts 
and Mrs. Capps of California had the amendment been in order. So eager 
are they to look after the interests of the oil industry that they 
actually work against the oil industry.

                              {time}  1940

  So eager are they to look after the interests of the oil industry, 
that they actually work against the oil industry. The irony is pretty 
rich here. At a time when the majority is aggressively pushing their 
oil, oil, oil, drill, drill, drill agenda, they are slashing the very 
funds that are needed by the bureau to conduct the lease sales and 
issue the permits and inspect the offshore drilling facilities so the 
industry can move ahead safely and efficiently.
  You know, at a time when we are about, according to the majority 
here, about to require seniors and the poor to pay more for their 
health care, and the majority is considering drastic cuts to the social 
safety net and considering trading away critical parts of Medicare and 
Medicaid, the majority is prepared to hand out yet another subsidy to 
the oil industry. They refuse to make in order the legislation that 
would take 0.02 percent, that is two-tenths of 1 percent, of the annual 
profits of the top five oil companies to replace the missing $35 
million in inspection fees. That amount would fully fund the bureau and 
would ensure that the agency could effectively and efficiently issue 
the permits and conduct the safety inspections.
  This is an industry that is making tens of billions of dollars each 
quarter. As we have heard, BP just today announced more than $5 billion 
in profit. That is a little bit below expectations, we read, $5 billion 
in the last 3 months.
  So as a result, because this amendment is not being made in order, 
this bill, should it become law, would leave the agency that is 
responsible for the management, regulation, and enforcement of offshore 
drilling underfunded, understaffed, and it would leave the public and 
the workers at risk.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will read.
  The Clerk read as follows:

                              construction

       For construction of buildings, recreation facilities, 
     roads, trails, and appurtenant facilities, $3,576,000, to 
     remain available until expended.

                            land acquisition

       For expenses necessary to carry out sections 205, 206, and 
     318(d) of Public Law 94-579(43 U.S.C. 1715, 1716, and 
     1748(d), respectively), including administrative expenses and 
     acquisition of lands or waters, or interests therein, 
     $4,880,000, to be derived from the Land and Water 
     Conservation Fund and to remain available until expended.


             Amendment Offered by Mr. Bass of New Hampshire

  Mr. BASS of New Hampshire. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the 
desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.
  The Clerk read as follows:

       Page 4, line 6, insert after the dollar amount the 
     following: ``(increased by $1,000,000)''.
       Page 10, line 1, insert after the dollar amount the 
     following: ``(increased by $4,000,000)''.
       Page 15, line 19, insert after the dollar amount the 
     following: ``(increased by $4,000,000)''.
       Page 32, line 12, insert after the dollar amount the 
     following: ``(reduced by $20,000,000)''.
       Page 76, line 2, insert after the dollar amount the 
     following: ``(increased by $7,000,000)''.
       Page 78, line 1, insert after the dollar amount the 
     following: ``(increased by $4,000,000)''.

  Mr. BASS of New Hampshire (during the reading). Mr. Chairman, I ask 
unanimous consent that the amendment be considered as read.

[[Page H5547]]

  The Acting CHAIR. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman 
from New Hampshire?
  There was no objection.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. BASS of New Hampshire. I thank the Chairman for recognizing me 
and making it possible for me to offer this amendment at this point in 
the bill.
  This amendment will restore $20 million to the Land and Water 
Conservation Fund. It is offset by a $20 million reduction from the 
Department of the Interior salaries and expenses. Now, the Department 
of the Interior salaries and expenses at present are about $250 
million, so this would represent roughly a 10 percent reduction in the 
overhead for the agency. But what do you get for that? You get about an 
8 percent increase in the Land and Water Conservation Fund funding.
  Now, the Land and Water Conservation Fund, as has been mentioned by 
other speakers, was established 46 years ago in 1965. It was designed 
as a forward-looking program to preserve critical assets in America for 
all of us to enjoy.
  When you travel around the world, you don't find countries like 
America that have large parts of our country preserved for public use. 
Most of the land in other countries around the world is owned privately 
or by the government and it is not accessible to the public. The LWCF, 
through its stateside program, its Forest Legacy Fund, has provided 
countless acres of protected land for public enjoyment.
  Now, the fund has, for the last 25 or so years, received most of its 
funding from offshore oil royalties, and those royalties have averaged 
anywhere from $7 billion to $18 billion a year. And I have a little 
table here for the last few years that shows the total royalties and 
how little amount of money that the Land and Water Conservation Fund 
takes from these receipts. It is authorized at $900 million. It has 
been funded of late between $300 million and $500 million. But, my 
friends, this year it is funded at less than $70 million.
  We Republicans have set as a goal in our principles to reduce the 
growth of government and to reduce programs to their January 1, 2008, 
level. What have we done in this appropriations bill? We have reduced 
this fund to its 1965 level.
  I have here another little table that shows the historical funding 
for the Land and Water Conservation program. There is 1965. We will be 
lower than that if we don't pass this amendment.
  I ask you, my friends, for the sake of the 900,000 Americans who 
visit these lands during the year, of the millions of dollars spent 
through the outdoor recreation industry, for those opportunities that 
we may never see again to make critical purchases and easement 
purchases of assets that are so important to the future of our country, 
to raise this appropriation from $68 million to $90 million is a small 
price to pay for what could be done with those funds.
  We need to continue the program of land conservation, local 
recreation, and, yes, working forests. And a $68 million appropriation 
just plain doesn't do it.
  So on behalf of my cosponsors, I urge you, Mr. Chairman, to support 
this amendment and make it a part of the underlying bill.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. MURPHY of Connecticut. I move to strike the last word.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. MURPHY of Connecticut. Mr. Chairman, I join my friend from New 
Hampshire as one of the cosponsors of this amendment, and I urge House 
passage.
  Let me say at the outset that this is a terrible bill. This is the 
first time I have come to the House floor to speak on it. It goes 
without saying that the devastation that this underlying legislation 
would do to our, frankly, century-long history of environmental 
protection is almost indescribable. The League of Conservation Voters 
said simply this: that this bill is the biggest assault on the air we 
breathe, the water we drink, and the wildlife and wild places we hold 
dear to ever come before Congress.
  It rolls back new vehicle emission standards. It guts the Clean Water 
Act. It defunds the Endangered Species Act. And in the middle of it 
all, it adds an 80 percent cut to the Land and Water Conservation Fund. 
As my friend, Representative Bass, rightly pointed out, it essentially 
reverses 50 years of investment in land conservation by returning this 
account back to the 1965 level.
  It was a great Republican President, Teddy Roosevelt, who first had 
the wisdom to understand how integral the open spaces of this country 
are to what it means to be an American. There is something unique about 
this country. The views and the vistas are just one part of it. Our 
identity is wrapped up in the places that we have conserved, the places 
that we have conserved through the very rightful acts of investment by 
our Federal Government over the last 50 years, indeed, over the last 
100 years. And it has been Republican and Democratic Presidents, 
Republican and Democratic Congresses that since that moment of 
awakening in this Nation have realized this is the right kind of 
investment for this Nation. It is the right kind of investment because 
not only does it preserve the character of our Nation, but it does so 
by leveraging private investment and State investment.
  As Representative Bass noted, one of the most important pieces of 
LWCF is the Forest Legacy Program. That program has conserved 2 million 
acres around the country. In my State of Connecticut, it has helped 
conserve 8,000 acres, and it does it by partnering with State 
resources, with local resources, and with private resources; in my 
State, often through the generosity of land trusts. This is an 
incredibly wise investment, as it has been over the years.
  And worst of all, this isn't even getting at the larger question of 
deficit reduction because this account has never been funded through 
deficits or borrowing. It has been funded through the money that comes 
from our offshore oil leases.
  There are so many horrible cuts in this bill. There are so many 
reasons for those of us who believe in the concept of environmental 
protection made real by bipartisan support over the course of the last 
century to oppose this bill. But this, in my mind, is the worst of it. 
This is a sad day where we stand today. This is a small, small increase 
beyond what the Republicans have proposed to cut, but I think it is 
meaningful in the sense that it is an opportunity for this Congress to 
come together and say what dozens upon dozens of Congresses have said 
since 1965, that it is an American investment to spend Federal money 
toward the project of land conservation.
  I yield back the balance of my time.

                              {time}  1950

  Mr. MORAN. Mr. Chairman, I claim time in opposition to the amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Virginia is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. MORAN. Mr. Chairman, I am a strong supporter of the Land and 
Water Conservation Fund. It's one of the great environmental success 
stories of the past 50 years. The $65.8 million that the bill contains 
for the Land and Water Conservation Fund is in fact, as has been 
stated, the lowest since the program was started back in 1965. This is 
a 78 percent cut from the current level of funding. But I have to 
oppose the Bass-Murphy amendment because it not only is too small but 
the offset used would in fact harm other important programs.
  The $20 million for the Land and Water Conservation Fund that the 
Bass-Murphy amendment would restore is less than 10 percent of the $235 
million cut from this year's level. But to fund this plus-up, the Bass 
amendment actually makes it worse by taking $20 million from the Office 
of the Secretary's account. Because what appears to be an increase in 
funding in the Secretary's office is actually the transfer of the 
revenue collection function from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, 
Regulation, and Enforcement. The Office of the Secretary took that in 
so that the Interior Department can do a better job in collecting the 
royalties and payments that are due the American people from Outer 
Continental Shelf drilling. But if you take this $20 million away, it 
jeopardizes those collections.
  The problem is that the Land and Water Conservation Fund is in fact 
funded with Outer Continental Shelf royalties. But if you take away the 
ability to collect those royalties, not

[[Page H5548]]

only are you taking the $20 million from the ability of the Secretary 
of the Interior to manage the office, but you could very well be 
costing the government much more than $20 million because they won't 
have the ability to collect those royalties that in fact pay for the 
Land and Water Conservation Fund.
  Now, we couldn't agree more that it never should have been cut by 78 
percent. It should be restored. We have said that in our statement. We 
support amendments to restore it, but certainly not to take it from the 
ability of the Secretary of the Interior to collect the very revenues 
that the government needs and that the American people are owed.
  So that's why, regrettably, I have to oppose the gentleman's 
amendment.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. REICHERT. Mr. Chair, the Land and Water Conservation Fund has 
helped ensure the permanent protection and maintenance of critical 
lands in our national forests, parks, wildlife refuges, and historic 
sites. Equally important, it has provided matching funds to support 
countless state parks and recreation projects in thousands of 
communities in every state in the nation.
  The Land and Water Conservation Fund not only helps provide outdoor 
recreation access so that parents can teach their children about 
active, healthy lifestyles, it also provides an economic boost. In 
Washington state alone, the 2.7 million people who enjoy hunting, 
fishing, and wildlife watching contribute $3 billion to the local 
economy.
  I've joined bipartisan efforts to protect this important fund 
because, in the Pacific Northwest, we take special pride in our natural 
resources. I'm proud to, again, follow in the footsteps of so many who 
have worked together to protect the outdoors and our environment. I 
urge my colleagues to support the Bass amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from New Hampshire (Mr. Bass).
  The amendment was agreed to.


                    Amendment Offered by Mr. Lamborn

  Mr. LAMBORN. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.
  The Clerk read as follows:

       Page 4, line 6, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(decreased by $4,880,000)''.
       Page 10, line 1, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(decreased by $15,047,000)''.
       Page 15, line 19, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(decreased by $18,294,000)''.
       Page 78, line 1, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(decreased by $12,500,000)''.
       Page 158, line 25, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(increased by $50,721,000)''.

  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Colorado is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. LAMBORN. Mr. Chairman, I am offering this amendment on behalf of 
and in cooperation with Representative Paul Broun of Georgia, who could 
not be here tonight. What this amendment does is it would zero out all 
of the land acquisition programs within the Interior, Environment, and 
Related Agencies appropriations bill, thus placing more than $50 
million in the Spending Reduction Account in order to reduce our 
national debt.
  The Federal Government already owns more than 650 million acres of 
land, or about 30 percent of the total land area of the United States. 
We can't even take good care of the lands that the Federal Government 
already owns. An example of this is that the Park Service has a current 
backlog of several billions of dollars of repairs and maintenance in 
our beautiful national parks. At a time when we are facing an 
unprecedented fiscal crisis, the Federal Government needs to focus its 
energy on taking better care of the land it already has rather than 
purchasing additional acres. Our Federal agencies have enough on their 
plate, and if we zero out these land acquisition programs, we can save 
a significant amount of money.
  Mr. Chair, we cannot spend our way out of the debt dilemma. I urge my 
colleagues to support this amendment and to send more than $50 million 
toward paying down our national debt.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. MORAN. I rise in opposition to this amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Virginia is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. MORAN. Mr. Chairman, I wish that our friends who just spoke on an 
amendment to add $20 million were still around, because their points 
are well taken. We've already cut 78 percent from this program.
  The gentleman from Colorado wants to eliminate it entirely. The Land 
and Water Conservation Fund is one of the premier environmental 
programs in this country. Most Americans have no idea how important it 
has been to their quality of life and to the ecology of this great 
country. But by wiping out these funds entirely, the amendment would 
force land management agencies to cease all work on congressionally 
approved projects that are now under way using previous year 
appropriations.
  This mean-spirited amendment will hurt willing sellers--landowners 
who are willing to sell--because it's going to prevent agencies from 
finishing the commitments that are already in place. Among the willing 
sellers who would be unfairly thrown to the curb are owners who are 
partway through contracted sales and are counting on Land and Water 
Conservation funds to complete those sales, those contracts that they 
have already been working on. Many landowners, who range from elderly 
widowers and family trusts to ranchers and forest owners, have pressing 
financial needs that now depend on the completion of what are ongoing 
Land and Water Conservation projects. The amendment would also 
frustrate land exchanges that are currently in process. So it's not 
just the sale of land, it's exchanges of land that this amendment would 
prohibit. Many of them have been years in the making. And so it's very 
important for local and private economic development and for public 
land management.
  Under this amendment, staff would not even be in place to accept and 
process donations of important natural historic and other properties. 
Donations to the public, you wouldn't even have staff to accept those 
donations. Without staff, right-of-way work to provide or maintain 
access to key public needs also would be impossible. The public, the 
American taxpayer, would be unable to secure critically needed routes 
for fuels and wildfire management or for watershed management or for 
access for sportsmen and other recreational use. I can't imagine that 
the sportsmen in this country could ever want to have this kind of 
prohibition in place that might prevent them from even getting access 
to important recreational areas for fishing and hunting and so on.
  The amendment would exacerbate an already draconian cut--78 percent 
cut--to the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a program that is already 
paid for using a very small percentage of oil drilling receipts. I 
would hope that my colleagues and anybody that might be listening to 
this debate would understand that Land and Water Conservation Fund 
moneys are not taxpayer dollars. They come from the receipts from oil 
and gas drilling--drilling that is on publicly owned land.

                              {time}  2000

  Those royalties come into the government, and that's what we use to 
fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund, but this would eliminate 
that program. This amendment represents a complete elimination of a 
bipartisan program that has existed for 45 years. This proposal 
prevents revenues deposited in the Land and Water Conservation account 
from being used for their authorized purposes. These funds were a 
promise made to the American people in 1964. This Congress should not 
be breaking that longstanding commitment. I, obviously, oppose the 
amendment.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. SIMPSON. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.
  The Acting CHAIR (Mr. Hurt). The gentleman from Idaho is recognized 
for 5 minutes.
  Mr. SIMPSON. First, let me apologize to the gentleman from Virginia 
for the last amendment.
  We both had some concerns, that he expressed very well, about taking 
$20 million out of the Secretary's office and the impact that that 
could have. As we discussed during his debate, I think both of us are 
concerned about the underfunding of the Land and Water Conservation 
Fund and would like to see that fund increased. During his debate in 
opposition to the amendment, we decided to accept the $20 million in 
the amendment from the gentleman from New Hampshire and the

[[Page H5549]]

gentleman from Connecticut's amendment.
  So I apologize for the confusion in the middle of all that. The 
gentleman's issues that he raised about the Secretary's budget and the 
impact that could have are real. We will have to address those in 
conference, and I want to work with you to do that.
  Let me rise in opposition to this amendment. I have concerns that 
this is eliminating all of the funds, especially since we just 
increased them by $20 million. When we had this limited allocation, we 
had to make some tough decisions. The Secretary wanted it fully funded 
at $900 million as did the Obama administration. We simply did not have 
that kind of money, and to put more money into it, given our 
allocation, we would have had to take the money out of some other 
programs that are very important to other people. What we did do is put 
enough money in it to keep the programs and the purchases and the deals 
that had been made with citizens to acquire land that were already in 
progress so that those could be completed. We didn't put additional 
money in there.
  I happen to be a fan of the Land and Water Conservation Fund. I think 
it has done some great things. I've seen it do things in Idaho and I've 
seen it do things in other States, things that are very important. 
Westerners, though, have a different view of the Land and Water 
Conservation Fund, and let me tell you where it comes from.
  It's that most of the money that's put into the Land and Water 
Conservation Fund, at least a large percentage of it, is used to buy 
land in States in the West. Those are States that are already highly 
leveraged by the Federal Government. In Idaho, 64 percent of the land 
is owned by the Federal Government. So a lot of westerners say, Listen, 
if you want to put money in the Land and Water Conservation Fund, if 
you want to buy the whole east coast, we don't care; but what we want 
in Idaho and what we want in Western States is some private land to be 
able to pay the taxes to support our education system and other 
services that are necessary.
  I have one county in Idaho that is 96 percent Federal land--96 
percent Federal land. It's bigger than the State of Rhode Island. That 
means 4 percent of the property is paying property taxes to deliver the 
services to these people. Several years ago, a mountain climber, not 
from Idaho but from somewhere else, came out and was climbing the 
mountains of Mount Borah. He died. It took their entire search and 
rescue budget for the year for that county to retrieve that one body 
off Mount Borah. That means everybody else who recreated in that county 
did not have that backup, did not have that search and rescue 
available, because they had no funds, because they had no private land 
to pay the taxes to fund those services.
  That's the problem that westerners who are in States that are highly 
owned by the Federal Government have with the Land and Water 
Conservation Fund, but I'll be the first to admit that it does some 
wonderful things. If you float down the South Fork of the Snake River, 
you will see one of the most beautiful canyons and one of the best 
fishing rivers in the country; and if the gentleman from Washington 
wants to come out, I'll float him down it. It is an incredibly 
beautiful place, and it has been done through the Land and Water 
Conservation Fund.
  So I believe in the importance of this program. I apologize to the 
gentleman from Virginia as to our previous confusion on that; but I 
oppose this amendment, and I would encourage Members to oppose it.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. GARAMENDI. I move to strike the last word.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from California is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. GARAMENDI. I was just listening to the debate here, saying: What 
are they thinking? What is the rationale? What is the purpose for the 
legislation that we have before us, more pointedly, the amendment that 
was just offered?
  This is an incredible country. This is a country that very recently 
took great pride in cleaning its rivers, in protecting its citizens 
from toxins and pollutants and chemicals and poisons. This is a country 
that took great pride in creating the first-ever in this world national 
park and then expanded it over time to create the most awesome National 
Park System in the entire world. This is a country that took great 
pride in the Snake River and the use of the Land and Water Conservation 
Fund.
  An argument was made a moment ago that there is not enough money. Yet 
not more than a month ago, an effort to increase the royalties from our 
oil that is pumped from our land, the land of the people and of the 
United States--and in fact even to get a royalty--was rejected by our 
Republican colleagues. So money was available if we simply had gone for 
the royalties that should be there under any case. This legislation, 
however, goes far beyond that, and over time will destroy the pride 
that we have taken in creating our national parks, in setting aside for 
future generations the great vistas of America, protecting our air, our 
land and our water.
  You look at this bill. You look at the details of this bill, and you 
go, Oh, my. How could they? How could they put in legislation that 
would block the effort of the EPA to eliminate mercury poison in our 
air and water? How could they allow a bill that would create more soot 
in our atmosphere, put 34,000 lives at risk, and exempt the oil 
companies from air pollution standards in offshore drilling, which in 
California is a big deal because the air blows, the wind blows onto the 
land? How could they threaten the health of millions of Americans by 
jeopardizing the EPA's critical air, land and water regulations? Then 
our children. They block the EPA from limiting dangerous air pollution. 
How could they put together a bill that potentially could contaminate 
117 million Americans' water?
  How could you do that? Have you no pride in this country? Do you not 
care about the basic things that we have done to create a country that 
cares about clean water? You talk about jobs. Yet, in this bill, you 
eliminate the funding for the Clean Water Act, which is really building 
sanitation facilities in our community.
  I remember in the 1960s the great pride that the 500 people in my 
community of Mokelumne Hill took when they got that money from the 
Federal Government and actually built the first sanitation system in 
that small town. How could you deny Americans the opportunity for 
that--and the drinking water and the jobs that go with it?
  That's what this bill does. Take pride in what you're doing, 
gentlemen, because at the end of the day, the American public will not 
take pride in what you're doing to this piece of legislation.
  I yield back the balance of my time.


                    Announcement by the Acting Chair

  The Acting CHAIR. Members are reminded to address their remarks to 
the Chair.
  The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from 
Colorado (Mr. Lamborn).
  The amendment was rejected.


                    Amendment Offered by Mr. Tipton

  Mr. TIPTON. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk, and I ask 
unanimous consent to waive the reading.
  The Acting CHAIR. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman 
from Colorado?
  There was no objection.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Page 4, line 6, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(increased by $2,500,000)''.
       Page 65, line 19, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(decreased by $5,000,000)''.
       Page 78, line 1, after the dollar amount, insert 
     ``(increased by $2,500,000)''.

  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Colorado is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. TIPTON. My amendment is going to apply funds directed towards 
much needed conservation programs which are used to be able to provide 
access for the American people to our public lands and to help support 
jobs in the recreational and sportsmen industry.
  Our public lands are a treasured resource for all Americans to be 
able to use and enjoy responsibly. I support a balanced approach to 
public lands use, respecting the environment that we all deeply value 
while making the best use of our natural resources on public lands. 
Recreation, preservation, access,

[[Page H5550]]

and job creation are all important aspects of the multiple-use 
management for which these lands are truly intended.
  This funding would be used for projects that clearly and specifically 
improve access for hunting, fishing and other forms of outdoor 
recreation on these Federal public lands. Of the directed funds, $5 
million would be redirected to make public lands public and provide 
much needed support for recreational access.
  I yield back the balance of my time.

                              {time}  2010

  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Colorado (Mr. Tipton).
  The amendment was agreed to.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will read.
  The Clerk read as follows.

                   oregon and california grant lands

       For expenses necessary for management, protection, and 
     development of resources and for construction, operation, and 
     maintenance of access roads, reforestation, and other 
     improvements on the revested Oregon and California Railroad 
     grant lands, on other Federal lands in the Oregon and 
     California land-grant counties of Oregon, and on adjacent 
     rights-of-way; and acquisition of lands or interests therein, 
     including existing connecting roads on or adjacent to such 
     grant lands; $112,043,000, to remain available until 
     expended: Provided, That 25 percent of the aggregate of all 
     receipts during the current fiscal year from the revested 
     Oregon and California Railroad grant lands is hereby made a 
     charge against the Oregon and California land-grant fund and 
     shall be transferred to the General Fund in the Treasury in 
     accordance with the second paragraph of subsection (b) of 
     title II of the Act of August 28, 1937 (50 Stat. 876).

                           range improvements

       For rehabilitation, protection, and acquisition of lands 
     and interests therein, and improvement of Federal rangelands 
     pursuant to section 401 of the Federal Land Policy and 
     Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1751), notwithstanding any 
     other Act, sums equal to 50 percent of all moneys received 
     during the prior fiscal year under sections 3 and 15 of the 
     Taylor Grazing Act (43 U.S.C. 315 et seq.) and the amount 
     designated for range improvements from grazing fees and 
     mineral leasing receipts from Bankhead-Jones lands 
     transferred to the Department of the Interior pursuant to 
     law, but not less than $10,000,000, to remain available until 
     expended: Provided, That not to exceed $600,000 shall be 
     available for administrative expenses.

               service charges, deposits, and forfeitures

       For administrative expenses and other costs related to 
     processing application documents and other authorizations for 
     use and disposal of public lands and resources, for costs of 
     providing copies of official public land documents, for 
     monitoring construction, operation, and termination of 
     facilities in conjunction with use authorizations, and for 
     rehabilitation of damaged property, such amounts as may be 
     collected under Public Law 94-579, as amended, and Public Law 
     93-153, to remain available until expended: Provided, That, 
     notwithstanding any provision to the contrary of section 
     305(a) of Public Law 94-579 (43 U.S.C. 1735(a)), any moneys 
     that have been or will be received pursuant to that 
     subsection, whether as a result of forfeiture, compromise, or 
     settlement, if not appropriate for refund pursuant to section 
     305(c) of that Act (43 U.S.C. 1735(c)), shall be available 
     and may be expended under the authority of this Act by the 
     Secretary to improve, protect, or rehabilitate any public 
     lands administered through the Bureau of Land Management 
     which have been damaged by the action of a resource 
     developer, purchaser, permittee, or any unauthorized person, 
     without regard to whether all moneys collected from each such 
     action are used on the exact lands damaged which led to the 
     action: Provided further, That any such moneys that are in 
     excess of amounts needed to repair damage to the exact land 
     for which funds were collected may be used to repair other 
     damaged public lands.

                       miscellaneous trust funds

       In addition to amounts authorized to be expended under 
     existing laws, there is hereby appropriated such amounts as 
     may be contributed under section 307 of the Act of October 
     21, 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1737), and such amounts as may be 
     advanced for administrative costs, surveys, appraisals, and 
     costs of making conveyances of omitted lands under section 
     211(b) of that Act, to remain available until expended.

                       administrative provisions

       The Bureau of Land Management may carry out the operations 
     funded under this Act by direct expenditure, contracts, 
     grants, cooperative agreements and reimbursable agreements 
     with public and private entities, including with States. 
     Appropriations for the Bureau shall be available for 
     purchase, erection, and dismantlement of temporary 
     structures, and alteration and maintenance of necessary 
     buildings and appurtenant facilities to which the United 
     States has title; up to $100,000 for payments, at the 
     discretion of the Secretary, for information or evidence 
     concerning violations of laws administered by the Bureau; 
     miscellaneous and emergency expenses of enforcement 
     activities authorized or approved by the Secretary and to be 
     accounted for solely on the Secretary's certificate, not to 
     exceed $10,000: Provided, That notwithstanding Public Law 90-
     620 (44 U.S.C. 501), the Bureau may, under cooperative cost-
     sharing and partnership arrangements authorized by law, 
     procure printing services from cooperators in connection with 
     jointly produced publications for which the cooperators share 
     the cost of printing either in cash or in services, and the 
     Bureau determines the cooperator is capable of meeting 
     accepted quality standards: Provided further, That projects 
     to be funded pursuant to a written commitment by a State 
     government to provide an identified amount of money in 
     support of the project may be carried out by the Bureau on a 
     reimbursable basis. Appropriations herein made shall not be 
     available for the destruction of healthy, unadopted, wild 
     horses and burros in the care of the Bureau or its 
     contractors or for the sale of wild horses and burros that 
     results in their destruction for processing into commercial 
     products.

                United States Fish and Wildlife Service

                          resource management

       For necessary expenses of the United States Fish and 
     Wildlife Service, as authorized by law, and for scientific 
     and economic studies, general administration, and the 
     performance of other authorized functions related to such 
     resources, $1,099,055,000, to remain available until 
     September 30, 2013 except as otherwise provided herein: 
     Provided, That none of the funds shall be used for 
     implementing subsections (a), (b), (c), and (e) of section 4 
     of the Endangered Species Act, (except for processing 
     petitions, developing and issuing proposed and final 
     regulations, and taking any other steps to implement actions 
     described in subsection (c)(2)(A), (c)(2)(B)(i), or 
     (c)(2)(B)(ii) of such section): Provided further, That of the 
     amount available for law enforcement, up to $400,000, to 
     remain available until expended, may at the discretion of the 
     Secretary of the Interior be used for payment for 
     information, rewards, or evidence concerning violations of 
     laws administered by the Service, and miscellaneous and 
     emergency expenses of enforcement activity, authorized or 
     approved by the Secretary and to be accounted for solely on 
     the Secretary's certificate: Provided further, That of the 
     amount provided for environmental contaminants, up to 
     $1,000,000 may remain available until expended for 
     contaminant sample analyses.


                     amendment offered by mr. dicks

  Mr. DICKS. I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.
  The Clerk read as follows:

       Under the heading ``UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE 
     SERVICE-RESOURCE MANAGEMENT'', strike the first proviso (Page 
     8, line 19, to page 9, line 1), relating to implementation of 
     subsections (a), (b), (c), and (e) of section 4 of the 
     Endangered Species Act.

  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Washington is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  (Mr. DICKS asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. DICKS. I rise to offer an amendment that would strip a dangerous 
rider from this bill, a rider that would seriously compromise the 
effectiveness of the Endangered Species Act. This is a bipartisan 
amendment, I might add.
  I'm offering it with the support of Congressman Thompson and 
Congressman Fitzpatrick and Congresswoman Hanabusa.
  The fiscal year 2012 Interior and Environment bill passed by the full 
committee a few weeks ago contains a direct attack on the ESA. I 
offered an amendment at that time to strike the provision, but the full 
committee rejected it.
  The provision would block the Fish and Wildlife Service from listing 
candidate species as either threatened or endangered as well as the 
designation of the critical habitat necessary for species recovery. 
These listing activities are preliminary steps that the Fish and 
Wildlife Service must take in order to begin the recovery process. 
After those steps are taken, then the hard work begins. Without these 
important preliminary steps of listing and critical habitat 
designation, it would be impossible to develop a scientifically valid 
and legally defensible recovery plan for declining species.
  This funding limitation aimed at the heart of the ESA is simply 
postponing the day of reckoning. It is important to note that the bill 
does provide funding for the Fish and Wildlife Service to downgrade the 
protections offered to species under the ESA. After all, the goal of 
the ESA is to eventually delist recovered species. Delisting is the 
reward after all the hard work recovering these species. But we can't 
get to the

[[Page H5551]]

point of delisting species without listing them first.
  My amendment would remove these restrictions on listing and up-
listing and the designation of critical habitat.
  Many critics of the ESA argue the law simply does not work. I would 
argue that the recovery leading to the delisting of the bald eagle and 
the American alligator under the ESA is a strong success. In the last 
few months, the gray wolf in the northern Rockies has been delisted in 
two States and the Fish and Wildlife Service recently announced the 
intention to delist the gray wolf in the western Great Lakes.
  Other animals that are still listed under the ESA but have made 
tremendous recoveries include the whooping crane, the black footed 
ferret, and the California condor. In the Pacific Northwest, I'm glad 
to report that we are seeing signs of healthy recovery for the ESA-
listed salmon, although it will be awhile before delisting could occur.
  Clearly these examples show us the success of the ESA, a law, by the 
way, that the American people overwhelmingly support.
  As for species listed under the ESA, they still are struggling. It is 
naive to think that a quick turnaround is easy when it took decades, if 
not centuries, for a species to decline. Also, it takes more time to 
recover long-lived species.
  Here is a situation that the Fish and Wildlife Service faces in the 
administration of the ESA.
  Currently, there are about 260 species that have been identified as 
potential candidates for ESA protection. Of that total, there are just 
under 30 species that are poised for listing in the near future. The 
spending provisions in this bill would block further activity to 
protect these declining species. And remember, if you delay listing too 
long, a species will go extinct, thus making a recovery impossible. And 
that is why some people call this the ``extinction rider.''
  The Endangered Species Act is one of the most effective environmental 
laws ever written. Recovering species is hard, often long, work; but it 
is a responsibility that cannot be dismissed like this Interior 
appropriation bill attempts to do.
  I know that many of my colleagues would like to drastically reform 
the ESA, but it would be a sounder path to do such a reform through the 
authorization process rather than accomplishing the goal with a few 
lines in the appropriation bill. And I see that the distinguished 
chairman of the Natural Resources Committee is here, and he has pledged 
to get to work on this important endeavor.
  In closing, I will point out that this amendment is supported by 
former directors of the Fish and Wildlife Service who served under 
Presidents Nixon, Ford, Carter, the first President Bush, and Bill 
Clinton. It is also supported by several hook-and-bullet groups 
including the Izaak Walton League and Trout Unlimited.
  I urge support for this amendment.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. SIMPSON. I move to strike the last word in opposition.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Idaho is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. SIMPSON. I rise in opposition to the amendment by my good friend 
from Washington (Mr. Dicks).
  I respect where my friend is trying to go; but not only does this 
amendment not get us there, it's downright dangerous. Let me explain 
why.
  Since the Clinton administration and response to lawsuits and court 
orders that were crippling the agency's budget, there has been a 
statutory cap on how much the agency is permitted to spend on ESA 
listings. There's been a statutory cap in place since the Clinton 
administration. A cap on critical habitat spending was added in 2002.
  The Obama administration requested new caps for petitions and foreign 
species listed in 2012.
  In short, support for ESA funding caps has had bipartisan support in 
Congress and in the White House and was in place when the gentleman 
from Washington wrote the Interior bill and when the gentleman from 
Virginia wrote the Interior bill. Those spending caps were in place.
  This amendment proposes to do away with funding caps altogether and 
gives the green light to those who have made a living suing the Fish 
and Wildlife Service. As a result, the litigants will act, the courts 
will all act, and the Fish and Wildlife Service's entire operating 
budget will be at risk of being raided in order to fund court-ordered 
mandates to list species and designate critical habitat.

                              {time}  2020

  This service will have no choice but to raid other funds from its 
resource management account, which is already decreased by $146 
million, or 12 percent, in this budget. Having said that, the heart of 
the issue isn't about funding. It's about the fact that the Endangered 
Species Act is broken and is badly in need of review, revision, and 
reauthorization by the Natural Resources Committee. As I have said 
before, there's been about 2,000 species listed and 21 recovered.
  Unfortunately, the Endangered Species Act has become not so much 
about saving species as it has been about controlling land and water. 
I'll give you an example. We all talk about the fuzzy and warm animals 
that we all like and all want to save. Nobody talks about the slickspot 
peppergrass, endangered. Nobody really cares about the slickspot 
peppergrass, except that it's listed. And you know what it does? It 
prevents cattle grazing on public lands and is used to prevent cattle 
grazing on public lands and move cattle producers off of public lands. 
That's the only reason that the slickspot peppergrass is really listed. 
That's unfortunate.
  When you start using what was an act that was bipartisan and almost 
had unanimous agreement in the House and Senate, was a good Act--the 
intent of the Endangered Species Act is right, and we need to do it. We 
need to protect species that are endangered. Unfortunately, that's not 
what it's being used for today, and you can't get the stakeholders to 
the table to do a reauthorization bill because there are groups that 
like it the way it is. They want to control land and water by using the 
Endangered Species Act. How do we get the message out to them that we 
need to do a reauthorization? The only way I can think of is to say, 
You know what? This has been unauthorized for 20 years.
  Now, you talk about policy riders in this bill that you don't like. 
This is a policy rider that you're attempting to add. It's an 
unauthorized program. Just because we have continued to fund it for 20 
years, that's not the answer; that's the problem. And we need 
stakeholders to come to the table, sit down with the Natural Resources 
Committee and write a reauthorization. That's what this is all about. 
It is a shot across the bow.
  I believe there are 56 or 58 programs in this bill that the 
authorization has expired. Somehow we need to send a message that we 
have a process around here. It's authorization, then appropriation. Not 
authorization, expired appropriation, and appropriation and 
appropriation and appropriation. It's the only way those things keep 
going on. We are trying to send a message.
  You will find that I am supportive of reauthorization of the 
Endangered Species Act, and I am supportive of the Endangered Species 
Act as it was originally intended. But I would urge my colleagues to 
vote against this dangerous amendment which would undermine the Fish 
and Wildlife Service's budget because it would lift the caps that have 
been in place since the Clinton administration, and Fish and Wildlife 
Service would have no other alternative but to raid their accounts in 
order to fund court orders, suits, and other things that would come 
along.
  I urge my colleagues to vote ``no'' on this amendment.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. MORAN. I move to strike the last word.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Virginia is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. MORAN. I was going to wait until other speakers spoke, but I felt 
it appropriate to engage in a discussion here with the chairman and to 
remind him that this bill includes funding for a multitude of expired 
authorizations.
  The Bureau of Land Management isn't authorized. But you are funding 
the Bureau of Land Management because you like the Bureau of Land 
Management. The grazing program isn't authorized. Oil and gas isn't 
authorized.
  Mr. SIMPSON. Will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. MORAN. I yield to the gentleman from Idaho.

[[Page H5552]]

  Mr. SIMPSON. The gentleman brings up the point I tried to make. This 
is a shot across the bow. All of these programs need to be 
reauthorized. We had to start somewhere.
  Mr. DICKS. Can you start with another bow?
  Mr. MORAN. Well, that's it.
  Reclaiming my time, the shot across the bow goes right into the heart 
of the Endangered Species Act. So you are picking winners and losers. 
You could have picked any number of programs, but you like those. In 
fact, some of them you've increased--funding for grazing subsidies, 
funding for oil and gas subsidies. But the Endangered Species Act, the 
poor species who are in danger of extinction who can't speak up for 
themselves, they get targeted. They're the ones you are going to make 
an example of.
  You know, not allowing listings of the designation of even the 
critical habitat that will protect endangered species doesn't change 
the fact that so many plant and animal species are at risk of 
extinction. There are 260 species that are in danger of extinction, but 
we're not going to protect them.
  The lack of critical habitat designations not only hurts those 
species at risk, but it leaves in limbo landowners and businesses that 
need decisions made in order to make plans. We hear so much about 
uncertainty and how bad uncertainty is. This creates uncertainty.
  The twist of irony: The bill allows funding to be used to delist 
species or reclassify them from endangered to threatened, to delist 
them or down-list them, but no funds can be used for listings or to 
reclassify them from threatened to endangered. Even if they become 
endangered, we can't classify them as endangered. We can only down-list 
them. It's a one-way street, a one-way street to less protection.
  I too would like to see the Endangered Species Act authorized. Maybe 
we'll hear from the chairman of the authorizing committee why it's not 
being reauthorized. But this is not the way to deauthorize it. The fact 
is that this is legislating on an appropriations bill, basically. I 
thought we were not supposed to be doing that. But we make these poor 
endangered species that are at risk of extinction bear the cost of 
Congress' failure to reauthorize the Endangered Species Act.
  Of course I support the Dicks amendment. Not only do we have 260 
species at risk of extinction, but we don't even know the entire scope 
of the species whose very existence is at risk, and we don't know 
either the role they play in the ecology of our planet. There are so 
many species that we're only now learning--for example, there are many 
that catch insects or mosquitoes or whatever--that maintain the 
population of other species.
  I do believe that every species has some role to play in the 
sustainability and the ecology of this planet. We don't know 
necessarily what that role is, but I do think we have some idea that 
they're there for a purpose. And while they're there for a purpose, it 
seems to me we have a purpose, a responsibility for enabling that 
species to be sustained on this fragile planet. And to say that we 
can't outperform our responsibility, we can't act responsibly toward 
these species, is irresponsible. It really is an embarrassment to this 
Congress.
  So I very strongly support the Dicks amendment. I would hope that we 
would give species a break. Get this language out of this bill.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. HASTINGS of Washington. I move to strike the last word.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. HASTINGS of Washington. Mr. Chairman, let me make one point: This 
debate is not about the Endangered Species Act; it is not about the 
Endangered Species Act.
  I have to rise in opposition to the amendment offered by my good 
friend from Washington State. I think that Chairman Simpson has brought 
to the House floor a bill that prioritizes funding to ensure that the 
core responsibilities and environmental protections are met in a 
broader sense.
  When it comes to the Endangered Species Act, this bill focuses on 
funding the actual recovery of species. It does this by, one, 
continuing funds for recovery activities and doing that despite the 
fact that this bill, the ESA, has not been reauthorized for 23 years--
not 20 years; 23 years--and, two, by limiting funds for lawsuit-driven 
new listings and habitat designations.
  This bill sends a clear message, as the gentleman from Idaho said, 
that the Endangered Species Act needs to be updated and improved. It 
needs to be reauthorized. As I mentioned, it's been 23 years since this 
bill was reauthorized by Congress. A person can be born and graduate 
from college in the amount of time that has passed since Congress last 
acted to make serious responsible improvements to this law.

                              {time}  2030

  Now, the gentleman from Washington acknowledged me on the floor 
earlier, and I will tell him, as the chairman of the Natural Resources 
Committee, which has jurisdiction on the Endangered Species Act, I can 
inform the House that this committee will be conducting robust 
oversight of the need to update this law in the coming months. The 
current law is failing to truly recover species while it frequently 
hamstrings jobs and economic prosperity, like the gentleman from Idaho 
mentioned. And we will also examine legislative priorities.
  In my view--and this is important about this debate--in my view, the 
real obstacle to improving ESA is the fact that a number of groups are 
heavily invested in litigation mindset, a litigation mindset that 
prefers lawsuits against the government over improving the act and 
improving the recovery of species. These groups have filed lawsuits by 
the one hundreds against Fish and Wildlife and the National Marine 
Fisheries.
  This bill, under Chairman Simpson's leadership, effectively halts 
these lawsuits. By limiting any spending on new listings or habit 
designations, this bill will allow the biologists to get back to work 
recovering species, rather than responding to court cases. Both funding 
and personnel will be able to focus on the real work of bringing 
species back from the brink.
  By striking this provision, the Dicks amendment would reopen the 
litigation process. The same activist groups, Mr. Chairman, that filed 
these lawsuits endorse this amendment. As we speak, they are waging an 
expensive paid advertising campaign on behalf of this amendment. 
Because they profit from these lawsuits, to me, it appears they are 
more concerned about the ability to go to court, get a settlement and 
get paid than they are about recovering species.
  So I urge my colleagues to oppose the amendment. This bill strikes 
the right balance by directing funding to actual recovery of species. 
And it strikes the right balance by bringing a halt to litigation over 
new listings and habitat designations.
  This bill will create an opportunity where Congress can do its job to 
update and modernize the ESA. It's time that we take a thoughtful 
analysis of the inadequacies of this current law, inadequacies that 
allow the ESA to be abused through lawsuits, rather than serving as a 
true conduit for species recovery.
  Let me go on to say that, as the chairman, I think, said very well in 
his remarks, there is no incentive for the stakeholders to come and try 
to work out the differences or update this law if Congress keeps 
kicking the can ahead. That's what the issue is all about.
  I can't imagine, for example, that people really believe that this 
bill should be in place, yet, when there is a major construction 
project here in the Washington, DC, area, like the Woodrow Wilson 
bridge, they waive the act. Does that make sense? Of course it doesn't 
make sense.
  And we don't get an opportunity, those of us that are impacted by 
this act, get a chance to waive it. So it just seems to me that there 
has to be an update of this. The act has not been updated for 23 years. 
It's time to do it. And as the chairman of the committee that has 
jurisdiction on that, I'm glad to work with the chairman of the 
Appropriations Committee on this. In fact, I'll work with anybody on 
this because I too believe that the species are very important, as the 
gentleman from Virginia said. But let's do it in a way that protects 
species and does not harm those people that make a living from the land 
and/or the water.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. SIMPSON. Mr. Chairman, I move that the Committee do now rise.

[[Page H5553]]

  The motion was agreed to.
  Accordingly, the Committee rose; and the Speaker pro tempore (Mr. 
Fitzpatrick) having assumed the chair, Mr. Hurt, Acting Chair of the 
Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union, reported that 
that Committee, having had under consideration the bill (H.R. 2584) 
making appropriations for the Department of the Interior, environment, 
and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2012, and 
for other purposes, had come to no resolution thereon.

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