Amendment Text: H.Amdt.361 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)

There is one version of the amendment.

Shown Here:
Amendment as Offered (09/07/2017)

This Amendment appears on page H7175 in the following article from the Congressional Record.

[Congressional Record Volume 163, Number 144 (Thursday, September 7, 2017)]
[Pages H7172-H7180]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




     DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, ENVIRONMENT, AND RELATED AGENCIES 
                        APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2018

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 504 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. 3354.
  Will the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Bergman) kindly resume the 
chair.

                              {time}  2224


                     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. 3354) making appropriations for the Department of the 
Interior, environment, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending 
September 30, 2018, and for other purposes, with Mr. Bergman (Acting 
Chair) in the chair.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The Acting CHAIR. When the Committee of the Whole rose earlier today, 
a request for a recorded vote on amendment No. 56 printed in House 
Report 115-297 offered by the gentleman from Alabama (Mr. Palmer) had 
been postponed.


                Amendment No. 57 Offered by Mr. Carbajal

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 57 
printed in House Report 115-297.
  Mr. CARBAJAL. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       At the end of division A (before the short title) insert 
     the following:
       Sec. __.  None of the funds made available by this Act may 
     be used to process any application under the Outer 
     Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1331 et seq.) for a 
     permit to drill or a permit to modify that would authorize 
     use of hydraulic fracturing or acid well stimulation 
     treatment in the Pacific Outer Continental Shelf.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 504, the gentleman 
from California (Mr. Carbajal) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from California.
  Mr. CARBAJAL. Mr. Chairman, I am offering my amendment on behalf of 
my constituents on the central coast of California. It simply prevents 
the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management from issuing any new permits that 
would allow companies to use hydraulic fracturing or acid well 
stimulation, otherwise known as fracking, in Federal waters off the 
West Coast. It will prohibit the use of fiscal year 2018 funds to 
process any new applications for this purpose. This would provide us 
more time to study whether offshore fracking is safe for the 
environment and public health.
  In 2013, we learned that offshore fracking had been occurring off 
California's coast for more than two decades. In the Santa Barbara 
Channel alone, there have been more than a dozen documented instances 
of offshore fracking, yet we know very little about the environmental 
and health impacts this has had on our communities.
  Already, the United States Geological Survey has concluded that the 
practice of injecting pressurized water into deep rock formations 
causes earthquakes. My constituents deserve to know the risks 
associated with offshore fracking on our environment, marine life, and 
public health.
  My constituents have seen the devastating impacts of some of the 
largest oil spills in California's history, like the 1969 Santa Barbara 
oil spill. My amendment echoes my constituents' concern surrounding the 
impacts of offshore fracking and prohibits the use of funds to process 
any new applications for this purpose.
  This is a commonsense measure that we should implement until we know 
all the facts and risks associated with this practice.
  Mr. Chair, I urge passage of my amendment, and I reserve the balance 
of my time.
  Mr. CALVERT. Mr. Chair, I rise in opposition to the amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from California is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. CALVERT. Mr. Chair, last year, May of 2016, in the previous 
administration, the Department of the Interior issued a finding of no 
significant impact with respect to these operations; thus followed a 
review of 23 oil and gas platforms currently operating offshore in the 
State of California. The review drew upon the best available science 
and reaffirms that these operations are operating safely, as they 
should.

[[Page H7173]]

  This amendment is nothing more than another attempt to restrict 
offshore development, and I oppose the amendment and encourage my 
colleagues to vote ``no.''
  Mr. Chair, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. CARBAJAL. Mr. Chairman, I will note that oil platforms off 
California's coast are already permitted to dump 9 billion gallons of 
wastewater, including fracking chemicals, into the ocean each year.
  Fracking increases air pollution and can expose coastal communities 
to air pollutants that cause cancer and other illnesses.
  Most offshore fracking jobs have occurred within 3 miles of the 
coast. Injecting fracking wastewater underground can induce 
earthquakes, and all of southern California's offshore injection wells 
are within 3 miles of an active fault.
  These are just a few reasons why it is important to pass this 
amendment.
  Mr. Chair, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. CALVERT. Mr. Chair, I oppose the amendment, and I yield back the 
balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from California (Mr. Carbajal).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the noes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. CARBAJAL. Mr. Chair, 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 California 
will be postponed.

                              {time}  2230


                 amendment no. 59 offered by mr. perry

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 59 
printed in House Report 115-297.
  Mr. PERRY. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       At the end of division A (before the short title), insert 
     the following:
       Sec. __.  None of the funds made available by this Act 
     shall be used to give formal notification under, or prepare, 
     propose, implement, administer, or enforce any rule or 
     recommendation pursuant to, section 115 of the Clean Air Act 
     (42 U.S.C. 7415).

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 504, the gentleman 
from Pennsylvania (Mr. Perry) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Pennsylvania.
  Mr. PERRY. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  This amendment would prevent funds from being used to expand EPA 
authority pursuant to section 115 of the Clean Air Act.
  Now, this isn't an amendment to assail the Clean Air Act, but there 
is a flaw with it, which is section 115. That section of the Clean Air 
Act allows the EPA to mandate State emissions levels to whatever amount 
the agency deems appropriate if they find two things. They have to find 
that U.S. emissions endanger a foreign nation; and the endangered 
nation has a reciprocal agreement to prevent or control emissions in 
their own nation.
  Now, it was previously argued that the Paris climate agreement met 
those requirements. When they wrote the Clean Air Act back in the 
1970s, they never foresaw the Paris Agreement. And the Paris Agreement 
is not a treaty. It is an agreement.
  Fortunately, President Trump's decision to withdraw from the 
agreement has alleviated those prior concerns. Whether you agree with 
this President or the last one or the future President is immaterial. 
The point is that this portion of the law shouldn't exist. That 
authority shouldn't exist at the executive level, especially when we 
don't do treaties anymore.
  Despite the temporary relief, the fact remains that section 115 of 
the Clean Air Act is just simply bad policy. Section 115 delegates an 
incredible amount of authority to the executive branch without any 
safeguards, without any oversight by the legislative branch.
  This amendment would block the use of section 115 to delegate this 
power over the energy sector, over our States, to the unelected, 
unaccountable bureaucrats at the EPA.
  In the future, such expansive authority at the EPA could be 
economically devastating and could threaten the reliability and 
viability of our Nation's energy sector without any checks and 
balances.
  Mr. Chair, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Ms. McCOLLUM. Mr. Chair, I claim time in opposition to the amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentlewoman from Minnesota is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Ms. McCOLLUM. So the gentleman was talking about the Paris climate 
agreement, which the Trump administration withdrew from?
  Mr. PERRY. Will the gentlewoman yield?
  Ms. McCOLLUM. I yield to the gentleman from Pennsylvania.
  Mr. PERRY. Yes, ma'am.
  Ms. McCOLLUM. And then you said you were worried about the 
administration using section 115 of the Clean Air Act to impose 
regulations.
  It has been my experience, from my point of view, representing my 
constituents, we were disappointed about the withdrawal from the Paris 
climate agreement, and we haven't seen this administration be 
aggressive on clean air.
  So could you please explain to me your concerns about the Trump 
administration and section 115 of the Clean Air Act? Because, if they 
are doing things that you are concerned about, maybe I need to take a 
fresher look at what the Trump administration is doing, because I have 
seen them do nothing but block, cut back, and deny the ability to move 
forward on the clean air agreement. So I am confused to the point of 
your amendment.
  The Obama administration is gone, and the Trump administration has 
removed almost everything I care passionately about with clean air.
  Mr. PERRY. If the gentlewoman will continue to yield, what I am 
concerned about is not necessarily the Trump administration or the 
Obama administration. Any administration with the unbridled power that 
section 115 gives the administration, without any checks or balances, 
to make an agreement with another nation and then enforce--have their 
agency enforce their regulations at whatever they deem appropriate on 
every single State in the United States, without any ability of 
Congress to intervene whatsoever.
  It is not particular to this administration, the last administration, 
or any future administration. It is particular to all of them. The 
authority, in my opinion, should not exist for them to do that without 
any checks and balances from the legislative branch.
  Ms. McCOLLUM. Reclaiming my time, the Perry amendment would only be 
in effect for 1 year because this is not a policy bill. This is an 
appropriations bill. So the gentleman's concerns about having long-term 
consequences of a future President in the future would not be addressed 
by this particular amendment.
  So I oppose the amendment. It is a long line of Republican amendments 
on the attack of the clean air and the EPA's authority. But I think 
this really makes it crystal clear the point that we shouldn't be doing 
deep policy that you want to discuss on an appropriations bill because 
it only lasts for a year.
  As far as I know, the Trump administration has nothing up its sleeve 
to improve air quality over the next year, so I urge my colleagues to 
oppose this amendment. And I urge my colleagues who care about these 
policy situations: You control the House, you control the Senate. 
Please go to the committees of jurisdiction.
  Mr. Chair, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. PERRY. Mr. Chair, I yield to the gentleman from California (Mr. 
Calvert).
  Mr. CALVERT. Mr. Chairman, this amendment was adopted on the floor 
last year. I believe it is a good amendment. I encourage my colleagues 
to support it.
  Mr. PERRY. Mr. Chair, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Perry).
  The amendment was agreed to.
  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 60 
printed in House Report 115-297.

[[Page H7174]]

  It is now in order to consider amendment No. 61 printed in House 
Report 115-297.


                 Amendment No. 62 Offered by Mr. Pearce

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 62 
printed in House Report 115-297.
  Mr. PEARCE. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       At the end of division A (before the short title) insert 
     the following:
       Sec. __.  None of the funds made available by this Act may 
     be used to finalize, implement, or enforce the rule submitted 
     by the Bureau of Land Management relating to ``Onshore Oil 
     and Gas Operations; Federal and Indian Oil and Gas Leases; 
     Site Security'', published at 81 Fed. Reg. 81356 (November 
     17, 2016).

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 504, the gentleman 
from New Mexico (Mr. Pearce) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from New Mexico.
  Mr. PEARCE. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I might 
consume.
  Onshore Order 3, put in place by the last administration, creates a 
number of unnecessary and duplicative burdens that cause energy 
production to be much more difficult.
  Now, many people visualize that oil wells are drilled into the ground 
and then they just produce oil on their own; that it flows to the 
surface magically, and it remains unabated through the life of the oil 
well. It is not true at all.
  What actually happens is that there is a pool of oil at the bottom of 
the well, and as it is produced, the production gets smaller each day 
until eventually the small production is classified as stripper well 
production.
  Now, the Saudi Arabians, about every 10 years, come in and kill the 
stripper wells because that would be approximately 2 to 3 billion 
barrels of oil a year they could produce that would be shut down here.
  In my home county of Lee County, New Mexico, we hunker down when we 
see these economic attacks coming, and we simply make it through; not 
because it is economic, not because it is productive, but because it is 
one of the few economic drivers of New Mexico. Oil and gas provides 
about 40 percent of our teachers' pay, 40 percent of police pay. So it 
is just our way of life.
  But the stripper wells are not extremely economic. So when this 
Onshore Order 3 came into place, it actually is assisting the Saudi 
Arabians to try to drive stripper wells out of existence because it is 
the small producers, it is the guys who will stay there and produce the 
wells when nobody has economic interest in them. They like sweeping up 
the crumbs off of the energy table.
  So Onshore Order 3 puts in processes that require monitoring that is 
already provided at the point of sale. So it is not as if somehow the 
government's being cheated. It just is trying to squeeze more out of 
these uneconomic wells.
  The estimates are that we have shut down a great number of those 
wells, affecting teachers' pay, affecting the economy of New Mexico, 
killing jobs.
  So my amendment is very simple. It would prevent funds from being 
used to fund the BLM Onshore Order Rule No. 3.
  Mr. Chair, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Ms. McCOLLUM. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentlewoman from Minnesota is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Ms. McCOLLUM. Mr. Chairman, once again, there might be some very 
legitimate points that can be worked on out of these stripper wells 
that are at the end of their life, and we might find some common ground 
on some of your issues, but this is the appropriations bills and this 
isn't the place to do it. It should be done in the Policy Committee.
  Mr. Chair, we should be going to the Policy Committee, and we should 
be asking the Policy Committee to take up and have hearings on these 
issues that are very important to some of the Members here in this 
House.
  So when I look at this amendment on an Appropriations Committee bill, 
what it says to me is that it is continuing the administration's agenda 
that favors oil and gas industry ahead of other uses of our public 
lands. It says to me that the administration has rolled back and 
abolished a lot of rules that have been made over many years that are 
contained and outlined in the Administrative Procedure Act, which 
includes a consideration of public and travel comments so you can go 
and register your comment and your concern on it.
  The whole point of the site security rule is to protect against the 
theft of oil and to make sure that the oil and gas production is 
properly accounted for.
  So this rule that we are talking about today also streamlines the 
process for companies to get new measurement technologies to make sure 
that they are using the most innovative technology. I think, after 25 
years, most businesses, most people who want to make sure that they are 
paying for product, want to make sure that it is being measured and 
accounted for right.
  This rule was also recommended by the GAO and the Department of the 
Interior's IG, the Royalty Policy Committee regarding the BLM's 
production of verification efforts. And those are things that, quite 
often, we do to safeguard and to protect to make sure that the 
taxpayer, when involved on public lands, is receiving fair value for 
the royalty.
  So there is a rulemaking process that is comprehensive. There is a 
rulemaking process that is transparent. And there is also a way to 
change the rule that is comprehensive, transparent, and allows the 
public to have their voice, and that is to address these issues in the 
Policy Committee.
  So the main reason--and I want to be really clear about this--for 
opposing many of these amendments is they are properly done in the 
Policy Committee, a committee which I served on when I first came here. 
Mr. Chair, I think that is where these amendments need to start being 
direct so that we can do the real work and make sure that when Members 
come to the floor, that they know that we have had a full vetting and 
full transparency.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.

                              {time}  2245

  Mr. PEARCE. Mr. Chairman, I yield 30 seconds to the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Calvert), the chairman of the committee and 
subcommittee.
  Mr. CALVERT. Mr. Chair, I rise in support of the amendment. I 
appreciate my colleague for bringing the Bureau of Land Management's 
Onshore Order No. 3 to the House's attention. Mr. Chair, I urge my 
colleagues to support the amendment.
  Ms. McCOLLUM. Mr. Chair, again, I appreciate what my chairman of the 
subcommittee is saying in helping Members here, but we have a lot of 
work to do just doing the oversight on how money is spent and 
appropriated to make sure that we are doing our due diligence when we 
appropriate funds, that they are used in the way that this Congress has 
asked for them to be used. There is a Policy Committee to look at what 
is happening with policy and to make sure that we move policy forward.
  Mr. Chair, sometimes when amendments like this come to the floor, I 
just think we are failing totally as a Congress to do our due diligence 
in the Policy Committee, and then there is so much time spent on policy 
in the Appropriations Committee, we fail to do our due diligence on 
what has to happen for oversight for the tax dollars that we do 
appropriate in these bills.
  It is my hope that the Policy Committee will step up, speak out, and 
start requesting that these bills be heard in the committee of 
jurisdiction and not just put on as riders on our bills.
  Mr. Chair, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. PEARCE. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Arkansas (Mr. Westerman).
  Mr. WESTERMAN. Mr. Speaker, I thank Mr. Pearce for his leadership on 
this issue.
  Mr. Chairman, this rule by the BLM is a classic example of agency 
overregulation at its finest. Should the new regulations take effect, 
lessees and operators will be forced to maintain original gas charts, 
measurement tickets, calibrations, verifications, prover

[[Page H7175]]

and configuration reports, pumper and gauger field logs, volume 
statements, event logs, seal records, and gas analysis.
  Most of these documents have nothing to do with determining the 
amount of production at a lease and will force businesses to hire more 
staff just to keep records.
  This will also likely result in more Federal employees to oversee the 
bureaucracy. This makes zero sense and is simply creating work and 
overregulation for no reason. I urge a ``yes'' vote.
  Mr. PEARCE. Mr. Chairman, I think it is clear that what is at stake 
is 2.6 billion barrels of oil a day made from wells that make maybe one 
or two barrels, three barrels a day. They are not extremely economic, 
but those businesses are located in New Mexico. Those businesses keep 
their headquarters there. They are just small mom-and-pop operators 
that care enough about the energy business to stay out there, and so 
when the government does things that says we are not going to let you 
operate, that we are going to shut you down, it accomplishes what the 
Saudi Arabians have never been able to accomplish, and that is defeat 
the spirit that says we can survive any attacks.
  Mr. Chair, again, I urge people to support this amendment and the 
underlying bill, H.R. 3354, and I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from New Mexico (Mr. Pearce).
  The amendment was agreed to.


                 Amendment No. 63 Offered by Mr. Pearce

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 63 
printed in House Report 115-297.
  Mr. PEARCE. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       At the end of division A (before the short title) insert 
     the following:
       Sec. __.  None of the funds made available by this Act may 
     be used to finalize, implement, or enforce the rule submitted 
     by the Bureau of Land Management relating to ``Waste 
     Prevention, Production Subject to Royalties, and Resource 
     Conservation'', published at 81 Fed. Reg. 83008 (November 18, 
     2016).

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 504, the gentleman 
from New Mexico (Mr. Pearce) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from New Mexico for 5 minutes.
  Mr. PEARCE. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Chairman, the venting and flaring rule was, again, put in place 
by the last administration, intending for BLM to regulate methane. 
Historically, that had been regulated by the EPA.
  Now, keep in mind that methane production from oil wells is down 21 
percent since 1990, while production is going up. Production is going 
up, methane production is down. So we wonder why the administration 
came at the last second to put this rule into place.
  Basically, the argument is exactly the same for opposing that venting 
and flaring rule that what is at stake are not the good wells. Those 
wells are going to produce in their economic with whatever burdens are 
placed on them. What is at stake are the stripper wells which, again, 
make up 2.6 billion barrels of production in the U.S. every day, 145 
million barrels of production in the State of New Mexico. So you can 
imagine the economic catastrophe if that 145 million barrels weren't 
available to the State to both tax and to provide jobs.
  Again, 40 percent of New Mexico's pay, roughly the teachers' pay, the 
police pay, roughly that much comes from oil and gas production. You 
can do the math and see how much New Mexico would be affected if this 
venting and flaring rule continues to place the burden on the well.
  The estimates are for each well that a cost of $60,000 is going to be 
required to come into compliance. Again, keep in mind that this rule 
comes after the methane is more carefully controlled today under 
greater production than it ever has been. The estimates are that we 
will lose thousands of wells if this venting and flaring rule 
continues.
  Again, it is the stripper wells which are most at harm. If we lose 
the 2.6 billion barrels of stripper well production every year because 
of the high cost of implementation of the venting and flaring rule, 
that is going to mean we are less energy independent, that we rely more 
on outside sources. It is going to drive the price of gasoline up. The 
people who can afford it least are the people at the bottom of the 
economic ladder. They will be the ones penalized most by rising prices 
of gasoline and decreasing supplies of oil.
  Mr. Chair, again, I would urge people to support this amendment, the 
underlying bill, and I reserve the balance of my time.
  Ms. McCOLLUM. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to this amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentlewoman from Minnesota is recognized for 2 
minutes.
  Ms. McCOLLUM. Mr. Chair, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
New Mexico (Ms. Michelle Lujan Grisham).
  Ms. MICHELLE LUJAN GRISHAM of New Mexico. Mr. Chair, I want to thank 
my colleague for yielding me time.
  Mr. Chair, yesterday the House passed a $7.9 billion downpayment to 
address the destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey, which is projected 
now to cost as much as $180 billion--by far, today, the costliest 
hurricane to hit the United States.
  Today, we are considering an amendment which would prohibit BLM from 
implementing a rule to address the wasteful venting, flaring, and 
leaking of methane, which is a climate change-causing emission 30 times 
more powerful than carbon dioxide.
  New Mexico is currently home to the largest methane hot spot in the 
world. Not only is methane a powerful greenhouse gas, but every cubic 
foot of gas that is wasted into the atmosphere cheats hardworking New 
Mexican taxpayers out of precious royalty and tax payments which go 
toward public education, infrastructure, and community development 
programs.
  Our State desperately needs these investments, and we cannot afford 
to let money disappear into thin air. BLM, in fact, should work with 
stakeholders, especially small independent producers who have low-
producing wells to make this workable. But taking a sledgehammer to our 
Nation's energy policy is a shortsighted and counterproductive effort.
  Mr. Chair, I urge my colleagues to oppose this amendment and to 
collaborate to make this rule effective for producers and taxpayers 
alike.
  Ms. McCOLLUM. Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. PEARCE. Mr. Chairman, I yield 30 seconds to the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Calvert), the chairman of the subcommittee.
  Mr. CALVERT. Mr. Chair, the House has spoken several times on the 
Bureau of Land Management's methane regulation in the past 2 years. I 
understand the administration is reviewing the regulation and that 
litigation is ongoing.
  In the meantime, I think action is needed, and so I support this 
amendment and urge my colleagues to do the same.
  Mr. PEARCE. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Arizona (Mr. Gosar).
  Mr. GOSAR. Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of this amendment. The BLM 
venting and flaring rule, or the BLM methane rule, represents one of 
the Obama administration's most egregious abuses of executive power 
designed to destroy responsible energy production on Federal land.
  BLM exceeded statutory authority by attempting to regulate air 
quality; authority that is vested solely with the EPA. Methane 
emissions from oil and natural gas have significantly declined in 
recent decades without duplicative Federal regulations in a time when 
oil and gas production in the U.S. has surged.
  It is frustrating that this rule is somehow cloaked under the idea 
that it will benefit taxpayers. It won't. It is an onerous rule with no 
connection to the reality of the physics and chemistry of energy 
production. It will reduce American energy production on Federal land 
and, therefore, reduce royalties due to the U.S. Treasury.

  This amendment brings accountability to executive rulemaking. I thank 
Congressman Pearce and applaud him, as well as Congressmen

[[Page H7176]]

Westerman and Cramer for their similar amendments crippling other Obama 
rules.
  Mr. Chair, I urge my colleagues to support this amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The time of the gentleman from New Mexico (Mr. 
Pearce) has expired.
  Ms. McCOLLUM. Mr. Chair, as I said, I rise in opposition to this 
amendment, as clearly this amendment would prohibit BLM from regulating 
flaring, venting, and leaking of methane from Federal onshore oil and 
gas operations.
  In 2016, the BLM finalized its rule which updated regulations that 
were almost over 30 years old. We have learned a lot about how we have 
to be more diligent about capturing energy and making America more 
energy secure, because this rule would prevent the waste of an 
estimated 65 billion cubic feet of natural gas a year and save 
taxpayers $330 million annually.
  BLM has a responsibility to the taxpayers, and that means capturing 
what is flared off, what is burnt off, which is potential energy. We 
have developed technologies in the past 30 years to capture this and 
make it work even more effectively for the taxpayers when we lease out 
these leases and royalties.
  Just for a fact, I share that the Bakken oil field, when it was at 
its height, flared more--I am from the Twin Cities--flared more and 
brighter than the metropolitan area in St. Paul and Minneapolis. That 
is how bright the flare was that the satellites captured at night. That 
was burning energy, energy consumption that should have been captured 
because we owe it to future generations to get it right when it comes 
to our energy production.
  Mr. Chairman, the amendment is bad for public health, it shortchanges 
the American taxpayers, and I urge my colleagues to oppose it. I don't 
think we are going to change each other's minds on this because the 
bottom line is, and I have been consistent with this, this belongs in 
the Policy Committee. This only would change something for a year. You 
would have to come back year after year after year. If there is 
something where we can find common ground on, we can find it in the 
Policy Committee. We can't find it on an Appropriations Committee where 
it expires every year.
  I ride the elevator with the gentleman, Mr. Chair, and I am sure he 
is going to enlighten me some more.
  Mr. Chair, I yield back the balance of my time.

                              {time}  2300

  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from New Mexico (Mr. Pearce).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the ayes 
appeared to have it.
  Ms. McCOLLUM. Mr. Chair, 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 New Mexico 
will be postponed.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Chair understands that amendment No. 64 will 
not be offered.


                Amendment No. 65 Offered by Mr. McEachin

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 65 
printed in House Report 115-297.
  Mr. McEACHIN. Mr. Chair, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       At the end of division A (before the short title), insert 
     the following:


  limitation on use of funds for developing a new 5-year-offshore-plan

       Sec. __. None of the funds made available by this Act may 
     be used to prepare a five-year offshore oil and gas leasing 
     program that would schedule any Outer Continental Shelf oil 
     and gas lease sale before 2022.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 504, the gentleman 
from Virginia (Mr. McEachin) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Virginia.
  Mr. McEACHIN. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may 
consume.
  Mr. Chairman, my amendment is simple. It would prevent the Department 
of the Interior from preparing a new 5-year offshore oil and gas 
leasing program that schedules leases before the year 2022.
  Mr. Chairman, offshore drilling carries real consequences, from the 
industrialization of our coasts to the inescapable risk of another BP 
Deepwater Horizon-like disaster. Those risks can not be eliminated.
  As Deepwater Horizon made clear, accidents can inflict damage of an 
almost unimaginable scale. BP has spent billions of dollars responding 
to that disaster.
  That figure reflects liabilities that arose from massive and 
irreparable damage to our environment, permanent harm to economically 
essential industries, and countless other impacts on the Gulf Coast 
residents' quality of life. We have to make sure that other regions are 
never exposed to those kind of harms. That is why my amendment is 
important.
  In the event of a drilling accident, thriving coastal economies could 
be decimated. Industries that rely upon a healthy marine environment--
everything from the tourist trade to our fisheries--could disappear 
overnight.
  If a spill were big enough--and we have seen that they can be 
enormous--the economic consequences would ripple throughout the 
national economy, hurting millions of Americans who live many miles 
from the sea. Again, we cannot afford such economic risks.
  It is equally foolish to risk the natural beauty, fragile habitats, 
and irreplaceable species for the benefit of a few massive oil and gas 
companies.
  Our coasts are home to some of our most iconic and unique wildlife. 
Healthy oceans are critical to traditional ways of life, having 
provided subsistence resources for many generations.
  Those places, those species, those customs are part of why we live in 
the greatest country on Earth. No other place could match the richness 
and diversity of the United States of America. We must not endanger the 
incredible heritage in a quest for dirty energy, especially the kind of 
fuels that can drive catastrophic changes to our climate, with grave 
and permanent consequences for our society.
  It is important to note that prohibiting the preparation of a new 
leasing program does not stop any of the currently scheduled lease 
sales until 2022 from happening. My amendment just puts us back on the 
regular schedule for writing the next plan.
  Prohibiting the preparation of a new leasing program, however, does 
ensure that millions of taxpayer dollars are not spent reworking a plan 
that was just completed this year.
  Restarting a new 5-year leasing process would throw away 2\1/2\ years 
and tens of millions of dollars of effort, ignore overwhelming 
bipartisan opposition from millions of people up and down our coasts, 
and eliminate the protections that President Obama provided for the 
fragile Arctic.
  Mr. Chairman, the risk of a new 5-year offshore oil and gas leasing 
program are simply too high and the consequences are too severe.
  Mr. Chairman, I urge my colleagues to support my amendment, and I 
reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. GRAVES of Louisiana. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to this 
amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. GRAVES of Louisiana. Mr. Chairman, I certainly sympathize with 
many of the comments that the sponsor of this amendment has brought up. 
Certainly, none of us have any intention of trashing the environment, 
of causing environmental degradation in any of our coastal areas in the 
United States.
  But the thing is that this amendment doesn't cut production. It would 
not result in any reduction in oil and gas exploration and production 
activities. And if it were to do that, then all that would happen is it 
would increase our dependence upon foreign imports of oil.
  The reality and statistics are very clear. You are less safe 
transporting energy than you are producing it. The statistics are very 
clear. Putting it into a ship is less safe. Putting it into a pipeline 
is less safe than actually producing it. So you are not doing anything 
to benefit the environment.
  The next thing is that, within approximately 1 month of the Obama 
administration's being sworn into office in 2009--as I recall, I 
believe it was on February 10--Secretary Salazar stood

[[Page H7177]]

up and said: We are rewriting the 5-year offshore leasing plan of the 
previous administration.
  They walked right in and said: We are throwing this out.
  Which the amendment's sponsor said was billions of dollars in 
implications and much planning.
  It is exactly what the Obama administration did. So if the Trump 
administration chooses to take a fresh look at these resources and 
these resources, then I want to quote the Obama administration saying 
that these are offshore energy resources that belong to all Americans.
  Mr. Chairman, I want to make one other note. If you read the 
amendment, it says that none of the funds made available in this act 
may be used to repair a 5-year offshore oil and gas leasing program 
that would schedule any Outer Continental Shelf oil and gas lease sale 
before 2022. This wouldn't just prohibit making changes to it, such as, 
perhaps, the idea of expanding it if public comments and other input 
found that that was the best thing to do, but it also would prevent 
slowing down the lease sale schedule.
  Mr. Chairman, I urge opposition to this amendment. While I certainly 
support the gentleman's intent to prevent any type of environmental 
harm and degradation, I just want to say in closing that I was the lead 
trustee for the State of Louisiana in the Deepwater Horizon spill.

  When you look at Outer Continental Shelf energy production, we had 
produced trillions of cubic feet of natural gas. We had produced 
billions of barrels of oil. What the courts found in the BP incident 
was that there was gross negligence and willful misconduct.
  They didn't find that there were problems with the rules and other 
things. That is why, as the gentleman correctly started, that they had 
to spend tens of billions of dollars paying for their gross negligence 
and willful misconduct, which is very different than the trillions of 
cubic feet of natural gas, and billions of barrels of oil that we have 
produced safely; we produced them in the United States; and we have not 
put them in pipelines and tankers in other less safe mechanisms of 
transportation.
  Mr. Chair, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. McEACHIN. Mr. Chairman, what is the balance of my time?
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Virginia has 1\1/2\ minutes 
remaining.
  Mr. McEACHIN. Mr. Chair, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. GRAVES of Louisiana. Mr. Chairman, I yield 30 seconds to the 
gentleman from California (Mr. Calvert), the distinguished chairman of 
the subcommittee.
  Mr. CALVERT. Mr. Chair, this amendment would prevent the Department 
of the Interior from performing a necessary and thorough review of the 
existing 5-year plan. Meanwhile, the committee encouraged a review of 
the 5-year plan in the 2017 omnibus, which we just enacted just a few 
months ago. For these reasons and others, I certainly urge a ``no'' 
vote on this amendment.
  Mr. GRAVES of Louisiana. Mr. Chairman, in closing, I just want to say 
that, once again, while I understand the gentleman's intent to prevent 
any type of environmental degradation--I think everyone shares that 
objective--the reality is that this amendment doesn't do anything to 
advance that objective. And potentially, should there be some type of 
emergent situation where you would want to slow down lease sales, this 
amendment would actually prohibit that from happening.
  We should take a fresh look with public input and with the best 
science to determine where we produce, how we produce, to maximize 
domestic energy production, to maximize or to reduce dependence upon 
foreign energy, to maximize economic opportunities and employment 
opportunities in the United States.
  Mr. Chair, I urge opposition to this amendment, and I yield back the 
balance of my time.
  Mr. McEACHIN. Mr. Chairman, just briefly, of course, I was not here 
at the time, but it was my understanding that this is nothing unlike 
what the other side of the aisle did during the Obama administration. 
So what this amendment seeks to do, in many cases, is not that unusual.
  And while the gentleman is correct, the size of the payments that BP 
had to make were because of a certain type of conduct: What we want to 
do is just freeze things where they are.
  While I acknowledge that there is a possibility that somehow someone 
wanted to slow down the process, I don't believe that this 
administration would do just that.
  Again, millions of dollars have been spent. Much time has been spent 
in developing this plan. I think we just need to leave it in place.
  Mr. Chair, I ask my colleagues to support the amendment, and I yield 
back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Virginia (Mr. McEachin).
  The amendment was rejected.


                amendment no. 66 offered by mr. grothman

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 66 
printed in House Report 115-297.
  Mr. GROTHMAN. Mr. Chair, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       At the end of division A (before the short title), insert 
     the following:
       Sec. __.  None of the funds made available by this Act may 
     be used to implement, administer, or enforce the rule 
     entitled ``National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Ozone'' 
     published by the Environmental Protection Agency in the 
     Federal Register on October 26, 2015 (80 Fed. Reg. 65292).

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 504, the gentleman 
from Wisconsin (Mr. Grothman) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Wisconsin.
  Mr. GROTHMAN. Mr. Chair, I rise in support of my amendment to H.R. 
3354. The purpose of my amendment is to prohibit use of funds made 
available by this act to implement, administer, and enforce the EPA's 
National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Ozone rule, which was 
originally published on October 26, 2015.
  This rule will make the standards more stringent in other places, in 
the State of Wisconsin, up and down Lake Michigan, including counties 
such as Sheboygan County. As you make these standards more stringent--
first of all, it makes no sense because they don't take in the fact 
that there are areas like mine in which the ozone is coming from 
outside my district.
  For example, Sheboygan County, whatever they do, I don't think they 
could ever meet those standards because there is so much ozone coming 
up from the Chicago area. But there is an effect to these standards as 
well.
  The standards make it more difficult for industry along Lake Michigan 
to operate, to comply with the standards, putting us at a competitive 
disadvantage not only with other parts around the country, but a 
competitive disadvantage compared to other areas around the world with 
much more pollution than we have. Right now our ozone is much less than 
it was when I was a child. Quite frankly, when I was a child, nobody 
complained anyway.
  Another thing about these ozone standards, it is something that 
people who are looking out for that not particularly wealthy people 
should pay attention to. When you aren't meeting the standards, it 
creates a situation in which your owners of automobiles have to have 
their cars tested every year. And sometimes these cars have to go 
through very expensive repairs to meet the standards.
  Now, there are people who are going to think that is no big deal 
because they are maybe wealthy Congressmen and they need to buy a car 
every 3 or 4 years and they don't have a problem. But if you are 
somebody who has a 10- or 15-year-old car, maybe you can only afford to 
spend $500, $1,000 on a car, and then once a year you have to get the 
car tested. You flunk the test and you have to put $1,000 or $1,500 
into it. No wonder we have some people in this country who can't get 
ahead as long as the environmental extremists are running the EPA.
  So, in any event, I think it would be good if we don't spend any more 
money implementing this new rule. Give the EPA more time to reconsider 
this rule and come up with something a little bit more reasonable.

[[Page H7178]]

  Mr. Chairman, I encourage my colleagues to support this amendment, 
and I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. CALVERT. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from California is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. CALVERT. Mr. Chairman, while I understand the gentleman's intent, 
I share his concern with the 2015 ozone standards, the bill's language 
in the amendment goes a little too far. It ties this new 
administration's hands with respect to reconsideration or flexibility 
efforts that they are trying to build in at the present time.
  Meanwhile, the ozone language in the underlying bill provides the 
necessary administrative relief for communities to comply with the 
overlapping 2008 and 2015 requirements. I think that this 
administration understands the complexities that are being imposed by 
this 2015 requirement. They are trying to deal with it. Mr. Pruitt has 
indicated that publicly.
  Mr. Chairman, I would urge my colleagues to oppose this amendment, 
and I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. Grothman).
  The amendment was rejected.

                              {time}  2315


                Amendment No. 67 Offered by Mr. Lamborn

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 67 
printed in House Report 115-297.
  Mr. LAMBORN. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       At the end of division A (before the short title), insert 
     the following:


                       limitation on use of funds

       Sec. __.  None of the funds made available by this Act may 
     be used to implement or enforce the threatened species or 
     endangered species listing of any plant or wildlife that has 
     not undergone a review as required by section 4(c)(2) of the 
     Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1533(c)(2)).

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 504, the gentleman 
from Colorado (Mr. Lamborn) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Colorado.
  Mr. LAMBORN. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Chairman, my amendment is straightforward. It simply ensures that 
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is following current law, 
specifically section 4(c)(2) of the Endangered Species Act, by 
conducting a review of all threatened and endangered plants and 
wildlife at least once every 5 years.
  Time after time, the Federal Government refuses to follow the 
original intent of the Endangered Species Act. The government 
designates land as critical habitat despite not meeting the ESA 
definition, and the government consistently refuses to remove plants 
and animals from threatened or endangered status even when these 
species are flourishing and are no longer in need of ESA protections.
  But you may ask yourself: How does the government know when the 
species should be removed from the endangered or threatened list? How 
does the government know if a species is recovering? The answer can be 
found in the ESA and its requirement that the Federal Government review 
all plants or species that are currently listed as endangered or 
threatened every 5 years.
  Under the act, the purpose of a 5-year review is to ensure that 
threatened or endangered species have the appropriate level of 
protection. The reviews assess each threatened and endangered species 
to determine whether its status has changed since the time of its 
listing or its last status review and whether its status should be 
changed or maintained.
  Because the act grants extensive protection to a species, including 
harsh penalties for landowners and other citizens, it makes sense to 
regularly verify if a plant or animal is being properly classified or 
should be delisted. Despite this commonsense requirement, the U.S. Fish 
and Wildlife Service has acknowledged that it has neglected its 
responsibility to conduct the required reviews for hundreds of listed 
species.
  By enforcing the 5-year review--which is in the law--my amendment 
will ensure that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is using the best 
available and most current scientific information in implementing its 
responsibilities under that act, including incorporating new 
information through public comment and assessing ongoing conservation 
efforts.
  Now, I am sure you will hear the ranking member say that the problem 
is that there is simply not enough money to comply with the law, but 
the reality is that megasettlements and overzealous regulators have 
caused the number of species listed under the endangered species list 
to balloon to unmanageable levels. For the recovery of a threatened or 
endangered species or plant to be successful, we must prioritize our 
limited resources to where they are most critically needed.
  I encourage my colleagues to join me in ensuring that the U.S. Fish 
and Wildlife Service complies with the ESA and that we do not provide 
money in this bill that would violate current law. This exact amendment 
was added to the fiscal year '16 Interior Appropriations bill by voice 
vote and was added to the fiscal year '17 bill by a bipartisan rollcall 
vote.
  Mr. Chairman, I ask Members to support this amendment for the third 
time, and I reserve the balance of my time.
  Ms. McCOLLUM. Mr. Chairman, I claim the time in opposition to this 
amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentlewoman from Minnesota is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Ms. McCOLLUM. Mr. Chairman, the gentleman from Colorado is right. We 
have had this conversation in this Chamber, Mr. Chair, before. The 
Service does attempt to comply with the statutory mandate and to review 
the status of listed species every 5 years to determine whether or not 
it is classified as threatened or endangered.
  It is correct. The Service has a backlog in reviews due to funding 
limitations. This year it is a 17 percent listing reduction contained 
in this bill so that they have been working on the backlog. But the 
Service still has only been able to complete 100 to 120 reviews per 
year, which is half of what is needed.
  So in this bill, you and I might agree that there are things that 
could happen and that money isn't always the solution to a problem, but 
in this bill you might be surprised to know that it has cut another 
$3.4 million, so that only builds up the backlog all the more.
  That is not necessarily the fault of the chairman of the 
subcommittee, Mr. Chair. It is just the fact that the allocation that 
our subcommittee had to work with, tough choices had to be made. I know 
that the chairman was trying to balance a lot of things.
  The gentleman talked about the court and the environment. I would 
love to have a conversation with the gentleman more about that, because 
it is my understanding--and I want to make sure I have it correct 
before we go into depth about it because, as the gentleman knows, we 
have a good relationship, and I want to make sure that I am correct 
when I say things--that actually some of the things that have been 
happening in court have actually helped to reduce some of the costs 
that the gentleman is thinking about because it is in place.
  I will get the information, Mr. Chair, and share it with the 
gentleman later.
  But the fact is that this amendment would not remove species without 
review from the list of species protected by the ESA so that the ESA's 
prohibition, again, would still remain, and it still would be the 
ability of citizens to sue or force compliance even with what the 
gentleman is proposing. So funding cannot be used to enforce the ESA 
for species with late reviews; it is going to leave the species 
unprotected.
  Proposed language would prohibit the Service from working with the 
agencies. It would prohibit working with developers and landowners to 
comply, compliance to section 7 consultations or section 10 permits for 
Federal and private projects that could potentially affect the species. 
So as you can see, the other thing it doesn't do is the proposed 
language would not affect the ability of third parties to sue those 
agencies or landowners.

[[Page H7179]]

  So I agree with the gentleman that we need to do a better job of 
making sure that these reviews are done in a timely fashion. I agree 
that, when a species has attained a classification where it is no 
longer threatened or it is no longer endangered, it should come off. So 
I think we have a lot in common.
  But I think that the challenge with this amendment is that, without 
the funding, in order for the Service to do the job that it has to do, 
it just kind of puts the Service in a box in which we are saying you 
are not doing a good job and, therefore, we are going to start changing 
the way in which we proceed.
  So I, right now, have to oppose this amendment. But as I said, in the 
policy committee I think that there is room for some of us to come 
together and to make improvement, but legislating this rider for 1 year 
at a time on this appropriations bill doesn't allow us to have the 
deep, transparent, and open discussion that we need to have to resolve 
your issue.
  So at this time I oppose the amendment, and I yield back the balance 
of my time.
  Mr. LAMBORN. Mr. Chairman, I yield such time as he may consume to the 
gentleman from California (Mr. Calvert).
  Mr. CALVERT. Mr. Chairman, I appreciate the gentlewoman's comments.
  If we get additional resources in the future, I would love to make 
sure that Fish and Wildlife has the resources to make sure they meet 
their mandates, and they should meet them now.
  One of the mandates they have is review the status of every listed 
species every 5 years and a corresponding change in the status if it is 
called for by those reviews. Instead of doing those reviews, in many 
cases, the Service chooses to spend the money to list more species.
  If the government isn't willing to shoulder the responsibilities that 
come with listing species under the ESA, perhaps it shouldn't be 
listing those species in the first place. So I think they need to meet 
their obligations under the law.
  I certainly support this amendment, and I encourage Members to 
support the amendment and vote for it.
  Mr. LAMBORN. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for that statement.
  I will say to the gentlewoman from Minnesota that I would love to 
work with her on this. I know that, in the Natural Resources Committee, 
we are going to be looking at some of the different facets of the 
Endangered Species Act, and I hope we can continue this dialogue.
  This amendment seeks to make the agency comply with the law. That 
provision is in there for a reason, so let's enforce what Congress, in 
its wisdom, put into the law many years ago.
  Mr. Chairman, I ask for support of the amendment, and I yield back 
the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Colorado (Mr. Lamborn).
  The amendment was agreed to.


                Amendment No. 68 Offered by Mr. Lamborn

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 68 
printed in House Report 115-297.
  Mr. LAMBORN. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       At the end of division A (before the short title), insert 
     the following:


                       limitation on use of funds

       Sec. __.  None of the funds made available by this Act may 
     be used to implement or enforce the threatened species 
     listing of the Preble's meadow jumping mouse under the 
     Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 504, the gentleman 
from Colorado (Mr. Lamborn) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Colorado.
  Mr. LAMBORN. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Chairman, the Preble's meadow jumping mouse is a tiny rodent with 
a body approximately 3 inches long, a 4-to 6-inch-long tail, and large 
hind feet adapted for jumping. This largely nocturnal mouse lives 
primarily in streamside ecosystems along the foothills of southeastern 
Wyoming south to Colorado Springs, in my district, along the eastern 
ridge of the Front Range of Colorado.
  To evade predators, the mouse can jump, like a miniature kangaroo, up 
to 18 inches high. In 1998, it leaped onto the Endangered Species list, 
a move that has hindered development from Colorado Springs, Colorado, 
to Wyoming.
  Among projects that have been affected: the Jeffco Parkway southeast 
of Rocky Flats, an expansion of Chatfield Reservoir, and housing 
developments in El Paso County along tributaries of Monument Creek. 
Builders, landowners, and local governments in affected areas have 
incurred hundreds of millions of dollars in added costs because of this 
mouse.
  Protecting the Preble's mouse has even been placed ahead of 
protecting human life and property.
  On September 11, 2013, Colorado experienced a major flood event that 
damaged or destroyed thousands of homes, important infrastructure, and 
public works projects. As a result of the Preble's mouse being listed 
as an endangered species, many restoration projects were delayed as 
Colorado sought a waiver. In fact, FEMA was so concerned that they sent 
out a notice that stated: ``Legally required review may cause some 
delay in projects undertaken in the Preble's mouse habitat.'' It went 
on to warn that ``local officials who proceed with projects without 
adhering to environmental laws risk fine and could lose Federal funding 
for their projects.''
  While a waiver was essentially granted, the scientific evidence 
simply does not justify these delays or the millions of dollars in 
taxpayer money that go toward protecting a mouse that is actually part 
of a larger group that roams throughout half of the North American 
continent.
  Scientific studies have concluded that the Preble's mouse does not 
warrant protection because it isn't a subspecies at all and is actually 
related to the Bear Lodge jumping mouse. Even the scientist that 
originally classified this mouse as a subspecies has since recanted his 
work and agrees that the Preble's mouse subspecies designation is no 
longer defensible.
  Moreover, the Preble's mouse has a low conservation parity score. 
What that means is that hundreds of millions of dollars have already 
been spent on protection efforts that could have and should have been 
spent on other more sensitive species.
  My amendment would correct this injustice that has been caused by the 
inaccurate listing of the Preble's meadow jumping mouse. It would 
refocus U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's efforts on species that have 
been thoroughly scientifically vetted and that should be managed by the 
Endangered Species Act.
  This exact amendment was added to the fiscal year '16 Interior 
Appropriations bill by voice vote and was added to the fiscal year '17 
bill by a bipartisan rollcall vote. Mr. Chairman, I urge my colleagues 
to support this amendment for a third time.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Ms. McCOLLUM. Mr. Chairman, I claim the time in opposition to this 
amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentlewoman from Minnesota is recognized for 5 
minutes.

                              {time}  2330

  Ms. McCOLLUM. Mr. Chairman, clearly, what this amendment does--and it 
is different from the other amendment--is prohibit the Fish and 
Wildlife Service from implementing or enforcing the threatened species 
listing of the Preble's meadow jumping mouse under the Endangered 
Species Act. It full-out restricts the Service from offering any 
critical protections to preserve the species.
  Once a species like this is listed under the Endangered Species Act, 
the role of the Fish and Wildlife Service is fairly permissive. They 
can help parties comply with the act as they carry out their other 
activities.
  The Service right now is reviewing and considering all the comments 
that they received during the public comment period, and a draft 
recovery plan is being worked through to develop a final recovery plan. 
But with this

[[Page H7180]]

amendment, the Service would not be able to continue to recover the 
species. All the Endangered Species Act prohibitions would still apply.
  So, in other words, we would stop them from moving forward, but they 
would still be under jurisdiction to comply. They wouldn't be able to 
comply by working with agencies and land developers and landowners to 
provide the ESA compliance.
  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service would be barred from issuing 
permits or from offering exemptions. That means landowners, industry, 
and other parties who might need to take the Preble's meadow jumping 
mouse incidental to otherwise lawful activities, such as urban 
development, are vulnerable to third-party lawsuits.
  Another limitation that the Service would have would be undertaking 
the required status reviews of subspecies or initiating any rulemaking 
or downlisting or delisting species.
  So now we are talking about deep dives into what the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife may or may not be impacted by doing or helping landowners or 
developers on an appropriations bill.
  Quite frankly, as I have been saying all night--and I understand 
people have the right to come here with these amendments--the Service 
has a responsibility to implement the Endangered Species Act. They are 
charged with fulfilling their legal requirements. When they don't 
fulfill their legal requirements, it makes them more vulnerable to 
lawsuits, which I know is not the goal of the author of this amendment, 
Mr. Chair. But when there are lawsuits incurred, it creates more costs 
for American taxpayers.
  The gentleman's amendment would just undermine the Service's ability 
to work collaboratively with States and local communities. It opens the 
Service up for lawsuits and it would create even more uncertainty for 
landowners and make them vulnerable, as I said, to lawsuits.
  I think we should be working to support the Fish and Wildlife 
efforts, not blocking the agency from doing its job and going back to 
what we discussed earlier, that is working through the committees of 
authorization, and then the authorizing committees having conversations 
with the Appropriations Committee on how they can achieve their goals, 
this being one of them.
  Because of those reasons, I do not support this amendment. I thank 
the gentleman for bringing this forward, but at this time I cannot 
support it.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. LAMBORN. Mr. Chairman, I yield 30 seconds to the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Calvert) to weigh in on this issue.
  Mr. CALVERT. Mr. Chairman, I wanted to jump up and support this 
amendment. Obviously, the agency has not leaped fast enough and 
problems persist. So I encourage my colleagues to vote ``yes'' on this 
amendment, and I know it will squeak by with a large margin.
  Mr. LAMBORN. Mr. Chairman, I will conclude by saying there is one 
other sort of a temporary element in this whole episode. And that is 
when you go from Colorado into Wyoming, the mouse is no longer 
threatened or endangered. There is a political boundary line between 
the two States.
  In its wisdom, the Fish and Wildlife Service says that if you go 
north far enough across the State line, it is no longer threatened or 
endangered. There is an element of arbitrariness that I think also 
calls into question why this was ever done in the first place.
  Mr. Chairman, I would ask support for this amendment, and I yield 
back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Colorado (Mr. Lamborn).
  The amendment was agreed to.
  Mr. CALVERT. Mr. Chairman, I move that the Committee do now rise.
  The motion was agreed to.
  Accordingly, the Committee rose; and the Speaker pro tempore (Mr. 
Lamborn) having assumed the chair, Mr. Bergman, 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. 3354) 
making appropriations for the Department of the Interior, environment, 
and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2018, and 
for other purposes, had come to no resolution thereon.

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