GULF OF MEXICO ENERGY SECURITY ACT OF 2006--MOTION TO PROCEED; Congressional Record Vol. 152, No. 103
(Senate - July 31, 2006)

Text available as:

Formatting necessary for an accurate reading of this text may be shown by tags (e.g., <DELETED> or <BOLD>) or may be missing from this TXT display. For complete and accurate display of this text, see the PDF.


[Pages S8423-S8444]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




     GULF OF MEXICO ENERGY SECURITY ACT OF 2006--MOTION TO PROCEED

  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Under the previous order, the hour 
of 3 p.m. having arrived, the Senate will resume consideration of S. 
3711, which the clerk will report.
  The bill clerk read as follows:

       A bill (S. 3711) to enhance the energy independence and 
     security of the United States by providing for exploration, 
     development, and production activities for mineral resources 
     in the Gulf of Mexico, and for other purposes.

  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Under the previous order, the time 
until 5:30 p.m. shall be divided equally between the two managers or 
their designees.
  The Senator from Louisiana is recognized.
  Ms. LANDRIEU. Mr. President, before the Senator from Florida leaves 
the floor--and he may be staying through the debate--he has been 
extremely essential and instrumental and vital to the compromise that 
has come forward. I want to thank him for his leadership. As he alluded 
to, the five States in the gulf coast came together--the States of 
Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, and the State of the 
presiding officer, Texas, and he did an outstanding job as part of the 
coalition as well--with an arrangement that would have many mutual 
beneficial parts. One, it is going to provide oil and gas, and 
particularly natural gas. That is in such short supply. The Senator 
from Florida knows and all of our colleagues from Florida understand 
that natural gas is a raw material that is used to literally produce 
almost every product in America that you can think of, from rubber 
tires, to the automobiles themselves, to the products of ethanol, to 
fertilizers, chemicals--you name it, natural gas is used as a raw 
material.
  The prices are too high. They have to come down. The industry is 
doing a

[[Page S8424]]

very good job of conserving, but we must open domestic supply, as well 
as--unfortunately, because the demand is so high--import liquefied 
natural gas, now that the technology has presented itself. But before 
we establish another network of dependency, let's at least do our part 
and produce the natural gas we have here. So on this bill, the Gulf 
Coast States have come together to open up 8 million new acres, four 
times more than the original bill--in the compromise we provided, four 
times more than the original bill to open natural gas for the country.
  The other beneficial aspect of this bill is establishing a strong and 
reliable, trustworthy partnership between the Federal Government and 
the Gulf Coast States--the four producing States, of which Texas is 
one--and to say the infrastructure that we provide, basically allowing 
the Federal Government to access the land it owns--and there is no 
question that this land off the coast of the United States is owned by 
everybody, not just the States along the coast. But, frankly, as you 
know, without our highways and helicopter pads, and our sheds, and our 
boat launches, and our shipping facilities, and fabrication facilities, 
the Federal Government could not even access the minerals. So, 
basically, by providing the servitude and the services and the 
platform, if you will, to host this great industry, we are saying let 
us share in all future revenues--as you know, 37.5 percent. That is the 
second most important thing in my mind that has been established.
  For Louisiana's purposes, and according to the way the bill is 
currently structured for all of the Gulf Coast States, we will use that 
money to restore a great coastline, to secure and buffer America's only 
energy coast. We don't have to roll the reels back or rewind the tape 
of Katrina and Rita. We know what megastorms can mean for the gulf 
coast. We have all lived through them. We have watched our families 
struggle. We have watched our constituents struggle, having lost homes, 
churches, and schools, having seen the great infrastructure, the huge 
pipelines and facilities, drilling ships, and oil rigs and platforms 
bent by the great winds and waves. We know how important it is to take 
a little bit of that money we are paying in taxes and reinvest back 
into the gulf coast to strengthen the infrastructure, not just for the 
people who live there in the big towns such as New Orleans and Creole, 
LA, and midsize towns such as Beaumont and Galveston, and Gulfport, and 
Pass Christian, but for the whole Nation, because the Nation needs the 
gulf coast to be strong and secure in these storms.
  So using this money to restore the great wetlands, which our 
scientists know we can do--but, frankly, we have not had the money to 
do it. People say, Senator, get a plan. I could almost fill up this 
Chamber with plans our people have had--or I can say dreams our people 
have had.
  We have dreamed all we can dream. We have thought all we can think 
about this. We need money to turn the dirt and restore the wetlands. 
The technology is there to do it.
  That is another great reason that we can have industry and the 
environmental community support this bill shoulder to shoulder, because 
the uses of the revenue sharing are going to be of such benefits to our 
communities.
  Besides the drilling and the additional revenues for the gulf coast 
and the additional gas for the Nation, we also have the benefit of 
directing these revenues to a great purpose, which is the restoration 
of these wetlands.
  Just a little more on that subject that might bring this home to 
those who are listening. When Katrina and Rita hit--and we are just 
about a month away from the anniversary, August 29 for Katrina and 
about 7 weeks away from the anniversary of Rita--we lost an area the 
size of the District of Columbia to open water, 100 square miles. The 
District isn't 100 square miles today, as you know, Mr. President, 
because a portion was given back to Virginia, but about 70 square miles 
is the District of Columbia now. We lost in a matter of a few days that 
amount of expanse. It went from marsh to open water because of the 
catastrophic loss of this great wetland. At that rate, all of our 
communities along the gulf coast will eventually be threatened.
  I laugh at my colleagues from Arkansas because the reason they are 
very supportive of this bill is because they told me privately: 
Senator, we don't want to be a coastal State; we like Arkansas the way 
it is.
  I know that is a little bit of an exaggeration, but, Mr. President, 
you have been down to east Texas, to Padre Island, to Galveston and 
coastal communities in Texas. You understand the wetland losses that 
are occurring. Ours in Louisiana are exacerbated because we are the 
mouth of the Mississippi River. We are truly a delta, not just a 
coastal wetland, which you find all over our coast from the east to the 
west. But the delta, the mouth of the river system, is strong, yet 
fragile, and these wetlands are leaving us in extraordinary numbers. 
This money, this sharing of revenues we are going to get from this 
bill, will go a long way to build on the science and technology that is 
there to restore these wetlands. We know we can do it.
  Mr. President, 37.5 percent will go to the gulf coast producing 
States for these purposes; 12.5 percent will establish a great stream 
of revenue for the Land and Water Conservation Fund that benefits the 
whole Nation.
  I see the Democratic whip on the floor. I will wrap up my remarks in 
just a moment. I think I am scheduled later to speak.
  I am very grateful to particularly Senator Salazar and others who 
stepped up--Senator Alexander--and said: Senator Landrieu, why don't we 
try, with Senator Domenici's leadership, to see if we can restore the 
real purpose of the Land and Water Conservation Fund when it was 
created in 1965.
  I wish I could take credit for creating it. I didn't, but I have been 
determined since I got here to help fund it so we can live up to a 
promise we made to America's Governors a long time ago: If you want to 
build parks, we will help you. If you want to build recreational 
opportunities for your community, we will help you. The Federal 
Government said that and then backtracked year after year until today 
we are spending less than $40 million a year nationally. I would say 
that is a disgrace, $40 million nationally. The program is authorized 
at $450 million. At $450 million, it is still not enough, but at least 
it gives a few million dollars to each State to match private 
donations, to match faith-based donations, to match literally the 
pennies children collect for the planting of a tree in a park or the 
expansion of a bike path that means a lot to them. We can at least do 
our part in Congress, and this bill will do that.
  Then finally, 50 percent will go to the Federal Treasury. So as those 
revenues come in, we can help reduce the deficit, help encourage 
drilling where people will accept it. Maybe they won't accept it 
everywhere. We have made a lot of mistakes in Louisiana, we admit it. 
We have learned from our mistakes. We have perfected the technology, 
and we believe we can minimize the environmental footprint and maximize 
the benefit to the Federal Treasury. There are many benefits.
  I yield the time to those scheduled to speak as well. I have some 
time reserved later in the day. I yield back the remainder of my time.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The assistant Democratic leader.
  Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to speak as in 
morning business.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Without objection, it is so 
ordered.
  Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, first let me acknowledge my colleague from 
the State of Louisiana. No person has worked harder than Senator Mary 
Landrieu for a State devastated by Hurricane Katrina and the city of 
New Orleans, which is still in recovery. My colleague, Senator Obama, 
visited there 2 weeks ago and came back and told me personally of 
traveling for long periods of time within the city of New Orleans and 
seeing very few homes that have not been devastated by Hurricane 
Katrina and were still barely inhabitable, some virtually 
uninhabitable. It is hard to imagine in the United States of America, 
almost a year after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, that great 
city is still reeling from all the damage done.
  I know Senator Landrieu feels as strongly as anyone--maybe more

[[Page S8425]]

strongly because of her personal experience--that the State of 
Louisiana needs a helping hand. I want to do my best to try to be on 
her side as she continues this battle. I thank her for her leadership 
on this issue.
  (The remarks of Mr. Durbin pertaining to the introduction of S. 3765 
are printed in today's Record under ``Statements on Introduced Bills 
and Joint Resolutions.'')
  Mr. WARNER. Mr. President, when the matter of the pending Gulf of 
Mexico Energy Bill was first brought to my attention, and every day 
thereafter, I repeatedly spoke to the distinguished managers of this 
legislation about the need for States other than those specifically 
cared for in this legislation--namely, the Gulf States--the other 
coastal States to be permitted to amend this bill such that coastal 
States could begin the long process of asserting our rights as coastal 
States to those energy resources that, in all probability, are on the 
Outer Continental Shelf. Therefore, I readied an amendment that I send 
to the desk, and I ask unanimous consent that it be printed in the 
Record following my statement.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Bond). Without objection, it is so 
ordered.
  (See exhibit 1.)
  Mr. WARNER. My amendment represents a unique opportunity for this 
Senate, and indeed the entire Nation as a whole, to seek to determine 
if we cannot, as several coastal States, help our Nation in this dire 
need for additional sources of natural gas, and possibly, in some 
instances, States might elect to include oil, to meet the ever-looming 
resource crisis.
  I remember when the Energy bill which is now law was passed by the 
Senate. I stood at this very desk and I had an amendment very similar 
to the one which I am speaking about today. When that amendment was 
pushed to one side, I said I would stand here again, and here I am 
again today. But I understand--this is the 28th year I have been in the 
Senate--there are parliamentary means under the rules of the Senate to 
preclude Senators from offering amendments, and as such, I am being 
denied that opportunity.
  The bill before us today represents a step in the right direction--
and I commend those who have worked on it--to open access to more 
natural gas and oil in the Gulf of Mexico. However, I, like many others 
in this body, believe that more must be done because there is such a 
time lag between the potential passage of my amendment and the actual 
recovery of gas and oil from any of these moratorium states. We have to 
begin, and I had hoped on this bill I could mark that beginning.
  I worked with many of my colleagues on a proposal to address this 
supply issue by giving opportunities to the individual States to open 
up areas in the Outer Continental Shelf waters for the future potential 
exploration of gas and oil; thus, the coastal States. The amendment I 
crafted would address the current moratorium on energy and exploration 
in most of America's Outer Continental Shelf and is the evolution of 
various amendments and bills I have offered since the debate on last 
year's Energy Policy Act. It would give States the authority to extend 
the current moratorium prohibiting oil and gas development in most of 
the Nation's offshore waters or petition for waivers on their own terms 
to contribute to the Nation's energy supply. The facts, as I understand 
them, are as follows:
  U.S. demand for natural gas will grow by 40 percent in this country 
in the next decade to decade and a half. The demand for oil in the 
United States will grow by 31 percent over the same period of time. At 
current rates, domestic production will only meet one-third--I repeat--
one-third of our demand growth, leaving us increasingly dependent on 
politically unstable regions. I shall not recount all of them because 
they are growing by day. Regrettably, it looks as if Venezuela, from 
which we receive a good deal of our energy supplies, could be placed in 
the column of ``politically unstable.'' Indeed, many parts of Africa 
have become unstable, and we all know at this very moment the tragic 
situation that is unfolding in the Middle East.
  We must also be aware of the virtually exponential growth and demand 
in the developing nations, all competing in the world market for this 
fungible good named ``energy.'' China's energy consumption has grown by 
over 100 percent in the past 20 years. It is expected to double again 
in the next 20 years. Mexico's natural gas demand is expected to double 
by 2025. Energy consumption in India is expected to more than double in 
the next 20 years.
  We are too dependent indeed on overseas supplies, so we turn to our 
continental limits. Indeed, the question at hand is about the Gulf of 
Mexico. The bill authored by Chairman Domenici does increase our 
supplies, and I am very hopeful the Senate will act in passing this 
important piece of legislation. I propose to support it.
  I want to make clear that more must be done outside the Gulf of 
Mexico. With 20 percent to 25 percent of our domestic oil and gas 
production located in the Gulf of Mexico, we simply have to diversify 
our geographic supply.
  The Gulf of Mexico is subject to natural disasters. It is a tragic 
situation, but history records it. As a result of last year's 
hurricanes alone, we will lose 30 percent of our oil and 21 percent of 
our projected annual natural gas from in the Gulf of Mexico. This is 
all because of the extended closure of a significant number of 
platforms. In fact, a report issued last month by the Department of 
Interior states that 12 percent of U.S. oil production in the Gulf of 
Mexico remains shut in almost a year after last summer's events. 
Hopefully, that production will eventually return to normal levels, but 
it shows a certain degree of fragility in that area of the United 
States upon which we rely for such a high percentage of our energy 
requirements.
  The bill Chairman Domenici has brought to the floor will open up more 
than 8 million acres of oil and gas production. The amendment I propose 
would not directly open any areas or mandate any production. However, 
depending on the will of the individual States--and that is a 
combination of, depending on the State, the Governor, the legislature, 
and indeed the people themselves--my proposal would provide the 
opportunity for up to 350 million acres--mind you, 8 million acres 
under this bill pending--350 million acres to be considered for 
development. That is the coastal area around the United States.

  Now, I fully recognize the concerns of the environmentalists, and 
many times I have tried to work on this, but we have to strike a 
balance. We must do that. We have an obligation to our citizens. Modern 
technology has enabled the drillers to put down pipes and other devices 
to extract the oil and gas which, if subjected to a natural disaster or 
other problem, seal up quickly and do not spew forth into the pristine 
ocean and on to the shores the pollution we have witnessed in other 
catastrophic situations usually involving the transportation of oil 
from overseas. The Minerals Management Service reports that since 1980, 
4.7 billion barrels of oil have been produced offshore with a spill 
rate of less than one-thousandth of one percent. Technology has 
progressed and it must be accepted that production of and protection of 
our natural resources are not mutually exclusive opportunities.
  Based upon preliminary resource estimates, my amendment could provide 
more than $2 billion in new Federal revenues and over $1 billion to 
States and their citizens that are willing to accept whatever risks 
still remain, who authorize production in Federal waters off their 
shores over the next 10 years.
  Many of my colleagues have expressed concerns about the Gulf of 
Mexico bill, and they stem from what is in the House bill. They said 
they do not want to lift the moratorium as the House bill would do. 
Well, I am not going to inject myself into the conference. I will leave 
that to the able leadership of others. However, I will say that my 
amendment would not lift one square inch of the current Federal 
moratorium. Instead, it would establish a process by which the States 
can petition the Secretary of Interior, subject to their own 
specifications, for a waiver from the moratorium on natural gas or oil 
production in most of the Outer Continental Shelf. If a State would 
rather continue the moratorium beyond 2012, the amendment establishes a 
process that would authorize the extension of that moratorium for up to 
10 additional years. The principle of my amendment is simply to enable

[[Page S8426]]

the individual States to have more control over the waters off their 
coasts than they do today and more control than they would under the 
recently passed House bill.
  I support the effort to open up areas of the Gulf of Mexico to 
enhanced energy production. However, it is my sincere hope that the 
Members of this body do not believe that this alone will solve our oil 
and gas supply problem. More must be done in conservation and more must 
be done in the area of American production.
  The time has come for the Senate to act on the issue of American 
production of natural gas and oil. Energy Security is National Security 
and for the people of America to be dependent upon foreign sources of 
energy is dangerous to our economy and our way of life.
  I have offered a balanced approach to address supply needs and 
environmental concerns. This is the way for all States to have a say in 
the policy. The current moratorium expires in 2012 and without 
legislation like that which I propose, these States would have no 
guarantee of protection.
  Mr. President, I see a number of our colleagues waiting here. But I 
will return to this floor time and time again, as long as I can draw 
breath, to fight for the rights of the individual coastal States to 
decide for themselves--not to be mandated by the Federal Government but 
to decide for themselves whether they want to step up and help America 
reach its energy needs.
  Now, I have talked to the managers of this bill--and at some point, 
maybe I can have a colloquy put into the Record today--but some 
assurances are being given to Senators who, like myself, represent the 
coastal States to see whether the legislation along the lines of the 
bill I have introduced today, a copy of which is appended to this 
statement, can, once again, be brought before this Chamber.

                               Exhibit 1

       Beginning on page 17, strike line 19 and all that follows 
     through page 18, line 17 and insert the following:
       (f) Limitations on Amount of Distributed Qualified Outer 
     Continental Shelf Revenues and Covered Revenues.--
       (1) In general.--Subject to paragraph (2), the total amount 
     of qualified outer Continental Shelf revenues and covered 
     revenues made available under subsection (a)(2) and section 
     6(j)(1)(B) shall not exceed $500,000,000 for each of fiscal 
     years 2016 through 2055.
       (2) Expenditures.--For the purpose of paragraph (1), for 
     each of fiscal years 2016 through 2055, expenditures under 
     subsection (a)(2) and section 6(j)(1)(B) shall be net of 
     receipts from that fiscal year from any area in the 181 Area 
     in the Eastern Planning Area, the 181 South Area, or any area 
     off the coastline of a covered State.
       (3) Pro rata reductions.--If paragraph (1) limits the 
     amount of qualified outer Continental Shelf revenue or 
     covered revenues that would be paid under subparagraphs (A) 
     and (B) of subsection (a)(2) or clauses (i) and (ii) of 
     section 6(j)(1)(B)--
       (A) the Secretary shall reduce the amount of qualified 
     outer Continental Shelf revenue and covered revenue provided 
     to each recipient on a pro rata basis; and
       (B) any remainder of the qualified outer Continental Shelf 
     revenues and covered revenues shall revert to the general 
     fund of the Treasury.

     SEC. 6. OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS LEASING IN AREAS OUTSIDE THE 
                   GULF OF MEXICO.

       (a) Definitions.--In this section:
       (1) Adjacent zone.--The term ``Adjacent Zone'' means the 
     Adjacent Zone of each State, as defined by the lines 
     extending seaward and defining the adjacent Zone of each 
     State indicated on the maps for each outer Continental Shelf 
     region entitled--
       (A) ``Alaska OCS Region State Adjacent Zone and OCS 
     Planning Areas'';
       (B) ``Pacific OCS Region State Adjacent Zones and OCS 
     Planning Areas''; and
       (C) ``Atlantic OCS Region State Adjacent Zones and OCS 
     Planning Areas'';
     all of which are dated September 2005 and on file in the 
     Office of the Director, Minerals Management Service.
       (2) Covered revenues.--
       (A) In general.--The term ``covered revenues'' means all 
     rentals, royalties, bonus bids, and other sums due and 
     payable to the United States from leases entered into on or 
     after the date of enactment of this Act in a moratorium area.
       (B) Exclusions.--The term ``covered revenues'' does not 
     include--
       (i) revenues from the forfeiture of a bond or other surety 
     securing obligations other than royalties, civil penalties, 
     or royalties taken by the Secretary in-kind and not sold; or
       (ii) revenues generated from leases subject to section 8(g) 
     of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1337(g)).
       (3) Covered state.--The term ``covered State'' means--
       (A) a State for which--
       (i) the Governor of the State requests the Secretary to 
     allow natural gas or oil or natural gas leasing in a 
     moratorium area; and
       (ii) the Secretary allows the leasing; and
       (B) effective for fiscal year 2017 and each fiscal year 
     thereafter, a State--
       (i) off which oil and gas activities on the outer 
     Continental Shelf are conducted under a lease entered into on 
     or after the date of enactment of this Act;
       (ii) that is offshore of any State that is not a Gulf 
     producing State; and
       (iii) that does not have an area described in section 
     2(6)(B)(i) off the coast of the State, as determined on the 
     basis of the administrative lines established by the 
     Secretary under the notice published on January 3, 2006 (71 
     Fed. Reg. 127).
       (4) Lease.--The term ``lease'' includes a natural gas lease 
     under section 8(q) of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act 
     (43 U.S.C. 1337(q)).
       (5) Moratorium area.--The term ``moratorium area'' means--
       (A) any area withdrawn from disposition by leasing in the 
     Atlantic OCS Region or the Pacific OCS Region Planning Area 
     under the ``Memorandum on Withdrawal of Certain Areas of the 
     United States Outer Continental Shelf from Leasing 
     Disposition'', from 34 Weekly Comp. Pres. Doc. 1111, dated 
     June 12, 1998; and
       (B) any area of the outer Continental Shelf (other than an 
     area in the Gulf of Mexico) as to which Congress has denied 
     the use of appropriated funds or other means for preleasing, 
     leasing, or related activities.
       (b) Prohibition Against Leasing.--Except as otherwise 
     provided in this section, prior to June 30, 2012, the 
     Secretary shall not offer a lease for oil and gas, or natural 
     gas, in a moratorium area.
       (c) Option to Petition for Extension of Withdrawal From 
     Leasing.--
       (1) Option to petition.--
       (A) In general.--The Governor of a State may submit to the 
     Secretary a petition requesting that the Secretary extend for 
     a period of time described in subparagraph (B) the withdrawal 
     from leasing in a moratorium area for all or part of any area 
     within the Adjacent Zone of the State within 125 miles of the 
     coastline of the State.
       (B) Length of extension.--
       (i) In general.--The period of time requested in a petition 
     submitted under subparagraph (A) shall not exceed 5 years for 
     each petition.
       (ii) Limitation.--The Secretary shall not grant a petition 
     submitted under subparagraph (A) that extends the remaining 
     period of a withdrawal of an area from leasing for a total of 
     more than 10 years.
       (C) Multiple petitions.--A State may petition multiple 
     times for a particular area, but not more than once per 
     calendar year for any particular area.
       (D) Contents of petition.--A petition submitted under 
     subparagraph (A) may--
       (i) apply to either oil and gas leasing or natural gas 
     leasing, or both; and
       (ii) request some areas to be withdrawn from all leasing 
     and some areas only withdrawn from 1 type of leasing.
       (2) Action by secretary.--Not later than 90 days after 
     receipt of a petition submitted according to the guidelines 
     described in paragraph (1), the Secretary shall approve the 
     petition.
       (3) Failure to act.--If the Secretary fails to approve a 
     petition in accordance with paragraph (2), the petition shall 
     be considered to be approved 90 days after the date on which 
     the Secretary received the petition.
       (d) Resource Estimates.--
       (1) Requests.--At any time, the Governor of an affected 
     State (acting on behalf of the State) may request the 
     Secretary to provide a current estimate of proven and 
     potential gas, or oil and gas, resources that may result, and 
     resulting State revenues, in any moratorium area (or any part 
     of the moratorium area the Governor identifies) adjacent to, 
     or lying seaward of the coastline of, that State.
       (2) Response of secretary.--Not later than 45 days after 
     the date on which the Governor of a State requests an 
     estimate under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall provide--
       (A) a current estimate of proven and potential gas, or oil 
     and gas, resources in any moratorium areas off the shore of a 
     State;
       (B) an estimate of potential revenues that could be shared 
     under this Act if resources were developed and produced; and
       (C) an explanation of the planning processes that could 
     lead to the leasing, exploration, development, and production 
     of the gas, or oil and gas, resources within the area 
     identified.
       (e) Availability of Certain Areas for Leasing.--
       (1) Petition.--
       (A) In general.--On consideration of the information 
     received from the Secretary, the Governor (acting on behalf 
     of the State of the Governor) may submit to the Secretary a 
     petition requesting that the Secretary make available for 
     leasing any portion of a moratorium area in the Adjacent Zone 
     of the State.
       (B) Contents.--In a petition under subparagraph (A), a 
     Governor may request that an area described in subparagraph 
     (A) be made available for leasing under subsection (b) or 
     (q), or both, of section 8 of the Outer Continental Shelf 
     Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1337).
       (2) Action by secretary.--Not later than 90 days after the 
     date of receipt of a petition under paragraph (1), the 
     Secretary shall approve the petition unless the Secretary 
     determines that leasing in the affected area presents a 
     significant likelihood of incidents

[[Page S8427]]

     associated with the development of resources that would cause 
     serious harm or damage to the marine resources of the area or 
     of an adjacent State.
       (3) Failure to act.--If the Secretary fails to approve or 
     deny a petition in accordance with paragraph (2), the 
     petition shall be considered to be approved as of the date 
     that is 90 days after the date of receipt of the petition.
       (4) Treatment.--Notwithstanding any other provision of law, 
     not later than 180 days after the date on which a petition is 
     approved, or considered to be approved, under paragraph (2) 
     or (3), the Secretary shall--
       (A) treat the petition of the Governor under paragraph (1) 
     as a proposed revision to a leasing program under section 18 
     of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1344); 
     and
       (B) except as provided in paragraph (5), expedite the 
     revision of the 5-year outer Continental Shelf oil and gas 
     leasing program in effect as of that date to include any 
     lease sale for any area covered by the petition.
       (5) Inclusion in subsequent plans.--
       (A) In general.--If there are less than 18 months remaining 
     in the 5-year outer Continental Shelf oil and gas leasing 
     program described in paragraph (4)(B), the Secretary, without 
     consultation with any State, shall include the areas covered 
     by the petition in lease sales under the subsequent 5-year 
     outer Continental Shelf oil and gas leasing program.
       (B) Environmental assessment.--Before modifying a 5-year 
     outer Continental Shelf oil and gas leasing program under 
     subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall complete an 
     environmental assessment that describes any anticipated 
     environmental effect of leasing in the area covered by the 
     petition.
       (6) Spending limitations.--Any Federal spending limitation 
     with respect to preleasing, leasing, or a related activity in 
     an area made available for leasing under this subsection 
     shall terminate as of the date on which the petition of the 
     Governor relating to the area is approved, or considered to 
     be approved, under paragraph (2) or (3).
       (7) Application.--This subsection shall not apply to--
       (A) any area designated as a national marine sanctuary or a 
     national wildlife refuge;
       (B) any area not included in the outer Continental Shelf; 
     or
       (C) the Great Lakes (as defined in section 118(a)(3) of the 
     Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1268(a)(3)).
       (8) Great lakes.--The Great Lakes (as defined in section 
     118(a)(3) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 
     U.S.C. 1268(a)(3)))--
       (A) shall not be considered part of the outer Continental 
     Shelf under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 
     1331 et seq.); and
       (B) shall not be subject to production.
       (f) Neighboring State Concurrence.--
       (1) Notice.--The Secretary shall provide notice to a 
     neighboring State of any proposed lease of oil or natural gas 
     in a moratorium area if the lease would be located within 20 
     miles of the nearest point on the coastline of the State.
       (2) Objection.--Not later than 30 days after receiving the 
     notice, the Governor of the State may object to the issuance 
     of the lease on grounds that the lease presents a significant 
     risk to environmental and economic resources of the State.
       (3) Secretary review.--If the Secretary, after review of 
     the objection and consultation with the adjacent State, 
     concurs that the lease presents a significant risk described 
     in paragraph (2), and that the risk cannot be reasonably 
     mitigated, the Secretary shall not approve an exploration 
     plan for the lease.
       (4) Nonapplicability.--This subsection does not apply to a 
     State covered by subsection (h).
       (g) Natural Gas Leases.--
       (1) In general.--Beginning with the 5-year outer 
     Continental Shelf oil and gas leasing program for 2007 
     through 2012, the Secretary may issue a lease under this 
     section that authorizes development and production of gas and 
     associated condensate and other hydrocarbon liquids in a 
     moratorium area in accordance with regulations issued under 
     paragraph (2).
       (2) Regulations.--Not later than October 1, 2006, the 
     Secretary shall issue regulations that, for purposes of this 
     subsection--
       (A) define the term ``natural gas'' in a manner that 
     includes--
       (i) hydrocarbons and other substances in a gaseous state at 
     atmospheric pressure and a temperature of 60 degrees 
     Fahrenheit;
       (ii) liquids that condense (gas liquids) from natural gas 
     in the process of treatment, dehydration, decompression, or 
     compression prior to the point for measuring volume and 
     quality of the production established by the Secretary, 
     acting through the Minerals Management Service;
       (iii) other associated hydrocarbon liquids if the 
     predominant component is natural gas and gas liquids; and
       (iv) natural gas liquefied for transportation;
       (B) provide that natural gas leases shall contain the same 
     rights and obligations as oil and gas leases;
       (C) provide that, in reviewing the adequacy of bids for 
     natural gas leases, the Secretary, acting through the 
     Minerals Management Service, shall exclude the value of any 
     crude oil estimated to be discovered within the boundaries of 
     the leasing area;
       (D) provide for cancellation of a natural gas lease, with 
     payment of the fair value of the lease rights canceled, if 
     the Secretary determines that hydrocarbons other than natural 
     gas and natural gas liquids will be the predominant 
     production from the lease; and
       (E) provide that, at the request and with the consent of 
     the Governor of the State adjacent to the lease area, and 
     with the consent of the lessee, an existing natural gas lease 
     may be converted, without an increase in the rental royalty 
     rate and without further payment in the nature of a lease 
     bonus, to a lease under section 8(b) of the Outer Continental 
     Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1337(b)), in accordance with a 
     process, to be established by the Secretary, that requires--
       (i) consultation by the Secretary with the Governor of the 
     State and the lessee with respect to the operating conditions 
     of the lease, taking into consideration environmental 
     resource conservation and recovery, economic factors, and 
     other factors, as the Secretary determines to be relevant; 
     and
       (ii) compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act 
     of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.).
       (3) Effect of other laws.--Any Federal law (including 
     regulations) that applies to an oil and gas lease on the 
     outer Continental Shelf shall apply to a natural gas lease 
     issued under this subsection.
       (h) Exchange of Leases for Areas Located Within 100 Miles 
     Off States Imposing a Moratorium.--
       (1) In general.--Effective beginning on the date that is 
     180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the lessee 
     of an oil and gas lease in existence on the date of enactment 
     of this Act for an area located completely within 100 miles 
     of the coastline and within the Adjacent Zones of States that 
     have extended a moratorium under subsection (c) shall have 
     the option, without compensation, of exchanging the lease for 
     a new oil and gas lease having a primary term of 5 years.
       (2) Tracts.--For the area subject to the new lease, the 
     lessee may select any unleased tract--
       (A) at least part of which is located within the area 
     between 100 and 125 miles from the coastline; and
       (B) that is located--
       (i) completely beyond 125 miles from the coastline; and
       (ii) within the same Adjacent Zone of the adjacent State as 
     the lease being exchanged.
       (3) Administrative process.--
       (A) In general.--The Secretary shall establish a reasonable 
     administrative process through which a lessee may exercise 
     the option of the lessee to exchange an oil and gas lease for 
     a new oil and gas lease in accordance with this subsection.
       (B) Relationship to other laws.--An exchange of leases 
     conducted in accordance with this subsection (including the 
     issuance of a new lease)--
       (i) shall not be considered to be a major Federal action 
     for purposes of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 
     (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.); and
       (ii) shall be considered in compliance with the Outer 
     Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1331 et seq.).
       (C) Withdrawal.--The Secretary shall issue a new lease in 
     exchange for the lease being exchanged notwithstanding that 
     the area that will be subject to the lease may be withdrawn 
     from leasing under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 
     U.S.C. 1331 et seq.) or otherwise unavailable for leasing 
     under any other law.
       (4) Priority.--
       (A) Bonus bid.--The Secretary shall give priority in the 
     lease exchange process under this subsection based on the 
     amount of the original bonus bid paid for the issuance of 
     each lease to be exchanged.
       (B) Exchange of partial tracts for full tracts.--The 
     Secretary shall allow leases covering partial tracts to be 
     exchanged for leases covering full tracts under this 
     subsection conditioned on payment of additional bonus bids on 
     a per-acre basis, as determined based on the average per acre 
     of the original bonus bid per acre for the partial tract 
     being exchanged.
       (5) Cancellation of lease.--As part of the lease exchange 
     process under this subsection, the Secretary shall cancel a 
     lease that is exchanged under this subsection.
       (6) Conditions for lease exchange.--For a lease to be 
     cancelled and exchanged under this subsection--
       (A) each lessee holding an interest in the lease must 
     consent to cancellation of the leasehold interest of the 
     lessee;
       (B) each lessee must waive any rights to bring any 
     litigation against the United States related to the 
     transaction; and
       (C) the plugging and abandonment requirements for any well 
     located on any lease to be cancelled and exchanged under this 
     subsection must be complied with by the lessees prior to the 
     cancellation and exchange.
       (i) Operating Restrictions.--A new lease issued under this 
     section shall be subject to such national defense operating 
     restrictions on the outer Continental Shelf tract covered by 
     the new lease as apply on the date of issuance of the new 
     lease.
       (j) Disposition of Covered Revenues From Moratorium 
     Areas.--
       (1) In general.--Notwithstanding section 9 of the Outer 
     Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1338) and subject to 
     the other provisions of this subsection, for each applicable 
     fiscal year, the Secretary of the Treasury shall deposit--
       (A) 50 percent of covered revenues in the general fund of 
     the Treasury; and

[[Page S8428]]

       (B) 50 percent of covered revenues in a special account in 
     the Treasury from which the Secretary shall disburse--
       (i) 75 percent to covered States in accordance with 
     paragraph (2); and
       (ii) 25 percent to provide financial assistance to States 
     in accordance with section 6 of the Land and Water 
     Conservation Fund Act of 1965 (16 U.S.C. 460l-8), which shall 
     be considered income to the Land and Water Conservation Fund 
     for purposes of section 2 of that Act (16 U.S.C. 460l-5).
       (2) Allocation among covered states and coastal political 
     subdivisions.--
       (A) Allocation among covered states for fiscal year 2007 
     and thereafter.--
       (i) In general.--Subject to clause (ii), effective for 
     fiscal year 2007 and each fiscal year thereafter, the amount 
     made available under paragraph (1)(B)(i) shall be allocated 
     to each covered State in amounts (based on a formula 
     established by the Secretary by regulation) that are 
     inversely proportional to the respective distances between 
     the point on the coastline of each covered State that is 
     closest to the geographic center of the applicable leased 
     tract and the geographic center of the leased tract.
       (ii) Minimum allocation.--The amount allocated to a covered 
     State each fiscal year under clause (i) shall be at least 10 
     percent of the amounts available under paragraph (1)(B)(i).
       (B) Payments to coastal political subdivisions.--
       (i) In general.--The Secretary shall pay 20 percent of the 
     allocable share of each covered State, as determined under 
     subparagraph (A), to the coastal political subdivisions of 
     the covered State.
       (ii) Allocation.--The amount paid by the Secretary to 
     coastal political subdivisions shall be allocated to each 
     coastal political subdivision in accordance with 
     subparagraphs (B), (C), (D), and (E) of section 31(b)(4) of 
     the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 
     1356a(b)(4)).
       (3) Timing.--The amounts required to be deposited under 
     paragraph (1)(B) for the applicable fiscal year shall be made 
     available in accordance with that paragraph during the fiscal 
     year immediately following the applicable fiscal year.
       (4) Authorized uses.--
       (A) In general.--Subject to subparagraph (B), each covered 
     State and coastal political subdivision shall use all amounts 
     received under paragraph (2) in accordance with all 
     applicable Federal and State laws, only for 1 or more of the 
     following purposes:
       (i) Projects and activities for the purposes of coastal 
     protection, including conservation, coastal restoration, 
     hurricane protection, and infrastructure directly affected by 
     coastal wetland losses.
       (ii) Mitigation of damage to fish, wildlife, or natural 
     resources.
       (iii) Implementation of a federally-approved marine, 
     coastal, or comprehensive conservation management plan.
       (iv) Mitigation of the impact of outer Continental Shelf 
     activities through the funding of onshore infrastructure 
     projects.
       (v) Planning assistance and the administrative costs of 
     complying with this section.
       (B) Limitation.--Not more than 3 percent of amounts 
     received by a covered State or coastal political subdivision 
     under paragraph (1)(B) may be used for the purposes described 
     in subparagraph (A)(v).
       (5) Administration.--Amounts made available under paragraph 
     (1)(B) shall--
       (A) be made available, without further appropriation, in 
     accordance with this subsection;
       (B) remain available until expended; and
       (C) be in addition to any amounts appropriated under--
       (i) the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1331 
     et seq.);
       (ii) the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act of 1965 (16 
     U.S.C. 460l-4 et seq.); or
       (iii) any other provision of law.
       (k) Repeal of Requirement to Conduct Comprehensive 
     Inventory of OCS Oil and Natural Gas Resources.--Section 357 
     of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (42 U.S.C. 15912) is 
     repealed.

  I yield the floor.
  Ms. LANDRIEU. Mr. President, will the Senator yield for a question?
  Mr. WARNER. I am happy to do so.
  Ms. LANDRIEU. I thank the Senator. I know our colleague from 
Massachusetts is here to speak on another subject, but I would just ask 
a question of the distinguished Senator from Virginia.
  First of all, I would like to thank him for the bill he has 
introduced. I know in the form of an amendment it won't be appropriate 
in this debate, but I thank him for that.
  Would the Senator just explain briefly for maybe a minute or so the 
feelings of people in Virginia--your legislature has done a lot of good 
work--about the possibilities of opening additional drilling, perhaps 
at a later date, and how that might affect the neighbors of Maryland, 
Delaware even, and perhaps even the Carolinas? Could the Senator just 
comment for a minute about how those negotiations are potentially 
moving forward, if not for this bill, then maybe at a later time?
  Mr. WARNER. Mr. President, I thank my distinguished colleague from 
Louisiana. Indeed, in two consecutive sessions of the General Assembly 
of Virginia, this subject has been on the agenda and bills have been 
passed by the House of Delegates and State Senate to send bills to the 
Governor. For whatever reason, Governor Warner--I am not here to 
criticize, but he saw fit not to let the bill become legislation, and 
Governor Kaine likewise disapproved of the language this past 
legislative session encouraging offshore development. I think progress 
has been made in our legislature as evidenced by the overwhelming votes 
of more than 75 percent of the State Senate and House of Delegates on 
this year's bill, and clearly the legislature is speaking for the 
people of Virginia, and they are ready to take on this challenge and to 
accept the consequences, whatever they may be. But I repeat: I think 
technology has gotten to the point where that risk is minimal, in my 
judgment. How it would affect adjoining States, that is subject to 
debate. If there were a mishap off the shore of Virginia and depending 
on the winds, the drift, the seas, and other things, if there were an 
accident which did emit some pollution, I am not sure anyone could 
write that into law as to what happens. It is important to note that my 
amendment includes provisions requiring the concurrence of neighboring 
states that would be within twenty miles of any production and, as I 
have said before, modern technology has made these risks very minimal.
  But it is an important aspect worth consideration--any legislation of 
the type I have offered. But it would seem to me collectively the 
coastal States should look to this as a possible increase in their 
energy and financial resources. As a matter of fact, my bill allows the 
citizens of any coastal State authorizing such production to retain a 
significant part of the proceeds from such drilling. I thank you for 
asking the question.
  Ms. LANDRIEU. I thank the Senator for his comments.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who seeks time?
  Mr. WARNER. Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent the order for the 
quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered. Who 
yields time?
  Mr. KENNEDY. I ask the Chair, how much time remains?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. There is 51 minutes remaining on the minority 
side.
  Mr. KENNEDY. I would like to yield myself 15 minutes.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Massachusetts is recognized.
  (The remarks of Mr. Kennedy are printed in today's Record under 
``Morning Business.'')
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who yields time?
  Ms. SNOWE. Mr. President, I yield myself 15 minutes under the 
previous time agreement.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Maine is recognized.
  Mr. DORGAN. Mr. President, if my colleague will yield for a unanimous 
consent request, my colleague from Maine and I wish to speak in 15-
minute increments, taking the time from each side in the debate. I ask 
unanimous consent to follow my colleague from Maine.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The Senator from Maine.
  Ms. SNOWE. Thank you, Mr. President. I thank my colleague, Senator 
Dorgan.
  I rise today, along with my colleague, Senator Dorgan, to address the 
amendment before the Senate based on legislation that Senator Dorgan 
and I introduced regarding drug importation.
  First and foremost, I thank my colleague, Senator Dorgan, for his 
relentless and dedicated leadership on this very important question 
which we hopefully can address once and for all here in the Senate and 
in the overall Congress because it certainly is an issue that deserves 
consideration. But more importantly, it deserves to become law because 
it is so important to the interests of the American people.

[[Page S8429]]

  We have been joined on this legislation by a broad coalition of 30 of 
our colleagues and many of the leaders of the importation effort, along 
with Senators Grassley, Kennedy, McCain, and Stabenow unified with us 
in advancing this bipartisan legislation. Our voice has echoed those 7 
out of 10 Americans who have called for the lifting of the ban on 
prescription drug importation. We have worked together to see that this 
legislation is considered in the Senate, and we have had 10 related 
hearings on this very matter in the Senate since 2004.
  When we recently considered the Homeland Security appropriations 
bill, over two-thirds of the Senate responded to the increase in 
seizures of medications from Canadian pharmacies earlier this year by 
voting to stop impeding safe access to affordable medications.
  Today, we must do more to respond to this issue. We must pass the 
legislation we have introduced which will ensure Americans have a safe 
and effective system to provide access to affordable medications. Our 
constituents are suffering as the cost of health care is rising rapidly 
in America, and prescription drug costs have led to that increase.
  In response to a request of Senator Wyden and myself to track the 
price of medications most used by seniors, the GAO has repeatedly 
reported that the cost of these medications has increased at two to 
three times the rate of inflation as indicated by this chart. In fact, 
AARP reported recently that the fact is this the highest third-quarter 
increase in the cost of brand drugs since they began these studies. We 
can see here two to three times the rate of inflation in the cost of 
medications.
  As a nation, we are growing older, and as we do we use more 
prescription drugs. At the same time, relentless price increases have 
made access to lifesaving drugs more and more unaffordable for 
Americans. The problem of affordability is shared by everyone. If you 
have prescription drug coverage, rapid price increases drive up your 
premiums. If you are one of the millions without drug coverage, the 
situation is far worse. You bear the full cost of the world's highest 
prices for medications.
  Today, even with the new Medicare prescription drug benefit in place, 
over 46 million Americans are saddled with the burden of exorbitantly 
priced medications. A drug can be safe and effective, but what good is 
it if you can't afford to take it? That is why we simply cannot afford 
to postpone action any longer on this legislation. We have acted before 
repeatedly in the Senate and in the overall Congress. It has been law 
since 2000, when Congress last acted to allow importation.
  We have also required certification by the Department of Health and 
Human Services, that the HHS Secretary must certify the safety of 
importation. Unfortunately, that has been the caveat and a disguise for 
blocking the importation measure. It has denied access to importation. 
The Department of Health and Human Services has not taken steps to 
ensure that we can allow Americans to import drugs safely from other 
countries--and in particular Canada. While the FDA was unable to point 
to any single individual harmed by Canadian drugs, they have actually 
denied importation from Canada. In Europe, in over 30 years of parallel 
trading of pharmaceuticals, no death or injury has ever been documented 
because they know it is safe.
  While our constituents have found importation offers them access to 
lifesaving drugs, we have repeatedly heard from FDA how the practice 
threatens health. Opponents claim importation will cause harm, but they 
fail to note that the greatest prescription drug threat to the safety 
of Americans--that is, the inability to take drugs that are 
prescribed--exacts a toll of thousands of American lives every year. As 
Dr. Peter Rost--a former Pfizer executive up until a few months ago--
who joined Senator Dorgan and I and others in a press conference, 
observed, ``Holding up a vote on reimportation, stopping good 
reimportation bills has a high cost, not just in money but in American 
lives.'' He is a former executive of Pfizer who actually had the 
courage to make that statement.
  Today, thanks to the intensive reporting of health professionals, we 
are seeing more evidence of the cost of unaffordable medications. In my 
own State of Maine, one of our physicians reported hospitalizing two 
patients in a single month--one of them in the intensive care unit with 
a dangerous heart arrhythmia simply because they could not afford to 
refill a prescription.
  But Americans recognize the value of prescription drugs, and they 
have turned to affordable sources of these medications so they can 
preserve and protect their health. Many of my Maine constituents have 
used Canadian pharmacies and found both savings and safety. But dangers 
do exist. There are certainly those who would exploit consumers with 
dangerous or counterfeit medications. It is imperative that we work 
proactively to ensure that the importation of prescription drugs is 
safe.
  That is why Senator Dorgan and I, along with our colleagues, have 
comprehensively addressed the various concerns that have been raised 
over the months and years about drug importation--so that we can get 
something done. But certifying safety isn't the answer; any measure 
should actually make it safe. And there are two key issues we must 
address as we consider importation legislation. First and foremost, is 
it safe? Second, will the legislation be effective in delivering real 
savings for consumers? Our legislation which is incorporated in the 
amendment before us today does both.

  Our constituents have taken action to purchase the drugs they could 
afford--mostly in Canada--and have demonstrated that importation can be 
safe. In Europe, with over 30 years of parallel trading of 
pharmaceuticals, no death or injury has ever been documented. They know 
it is safe.
  Dr. Rost, as I said, who was a Pfizer executive up until several 
months ago, stated from his own firsthand experience in Europe--and I 
quote:

       I think it is outright derogatory to claim that Americans 
     would not be able to handle reimportation of drugs when the 
     rest of the educated world can do this.

  And I agree. Under our legislation, Americans will receive imported 
drugs from 30 countries. In most cases, Americans will purchase 
imported prescription drugs from their local pharmacy. The pharmacist 
will receive those drugs from a U.S. wholesaler which imports them. 
These wholesalers will be registered, inspected, and monitored by the 
FDA. This higher level of safety is also a first step in establishing a 
higher standard for the handling of all medications in the United 
States.
  Our legislation also allows individuals to directly order medications 
from outside the United States when using an FDA registered and 
approved Canadian pharmacy. Again, just as with wholesalers handling 
prescription drugs, the FDA will examine, register, and inspect these 
facilities on a frequent basis. The FDA will assure the highest 
standards for such essential functions as recording medical history, 
verifying prescriptions, and tracking shipments. But regardless of 
whether one purchases imported drugs from the local pharmacist or uses 
a Canadian pharmacy, we assure that a legitimate prescription and a 
qualified pharmacist will be vital ingredients in ensuring safety.
  Toward that end, we have also worked with Senator Feinstein to 
incorporate provisions of the Ryan Haight Act to assure that as we 
provide safety in an importation system we do not ignore the need to 
assure safety and integrity in domestic internet pharmacies. These 
provisions will assure that properly licensed pharmacies and 
pharmacists are behind Web sites offering prescription drugs and that 
we no longer see prescriptions issued based on a submitted form or a 
telephone conversation. There must be integrity and a proper 
professional relationship between medical professionals and patients.
  For those who say the consumers could unwittingly purchase an 
unapproved or suspect drug, our legislation assures that the drug 
received will always be FDA approved. If any difference exists in a 
foreign drug, even the most minute, our legislation assures FDA will 
evaluate the product and determine its acceptability.
  We provide a process to assure imported drugs are the same FDA-
approved product, and if a minor difference exists, such as a coloring 
or inactive ingredient is different, and has no effect on the efficacy 
of the drug,

[[Page S8430]]

our legislation assures that it will be tested and labeled so that 
differences are known. So there will not be motivation for a 
manufacturer to game the system by making a minor change in order to 
make a product unapproved and thus unimportable.
  For those who say that counterfeiting is a threat, our legislation 
requires the use of anticounterfeiting technologies to protect drugs. 
The fact is, we can employ technologies like the one now used on the 
new $20 bill. We can do the same with prescription drugs. Moreover, 
this bill supports the development of future anticounterfeiting and 
track-and-trace technologies which we hope will be used to protect all 
prescription drugs.
  For those who say consumers won't know who has handled an imported 
prescription drug, our bill requires that a chain of custody--a 
``pedigree''--be maintained and inspected to help ensure the integrity 
of the imported prescription drugs. A pedigree for medications was 
mandated by law, believe it or not, back in 1988--that is correct, in 
1988--and we still await its implementation by the FDA. Almost 20 years 
later, the FDA has yet to implement that requirement to establish a 
pedigree for medications to ensure that we have a chain of custody so 
we understand how they have been handled from the initial process of 
manufacturing.
  Some even attempt to alarm Americans about the countries from which 
we import drugs, citing Latvia, Estonia, and Slovakia, members of the 
European Union. Another member is Ireland, where Lipitor is made.
  I call your attention to this chart on which the European Union and 
other countries from which we would import is in blue. These countries 
meet or exceed our standards. In contrast, we have in red many 
additional countries in which the FDA inspects pharmaceutical 
manufacturing plants. These include China, India, Bulgaria, Jordan, and 
others with lower standards.
  For those who say importation isn't safe, we show that it will be, 
and this legislation sets a model of improving safety in the handling 
of all prescription drugs. The safety has been attested to by none 
other than the former FDA Commissioner, Dr. David Kessler. He said our 
legislation `` . . . provides a sound framework for assuring that 
imported drugs are safe and effective. Most notably, it provides 
additional resources to the agency to run such a program, oversight by 
FDA of the chain of custody of imported drugs back to FDA-inspected 
plants, a mechanism to review imported drugs to ensure that they met 
FDA's approval standards, and the registration and oversight of 
importers and exporters to assure that imported drugs meet those 
standards and are not counterfeit. Some say the consumers will not see 
significant savings, but drugs imported under this program will be 
labeled as imports, and consumers will be able to compare the side-by-
side savings. With increasing consumer awareness of foreign prices and 
competition between importing wholesalers, we are confident of consumer 
savings.

  Let me say in conclusion, I hope the Senate will give due 
consideration to this legislation. In the final analysis, it 
incorporates every issue regarding safety concerns, every measure, 
every standard that could be put in place to ensure we can have safe 
drug importation and accomplish the ultimate goal, ensuring affordable 
medications to the American people. They deserve it.
  Mr. DORGAN. I yield myself 15 minutes from the time on our side.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from North Dakota is recognized.
  Mr. DORGAN. I thank my colleague from Maine, Senator Snowe, who has 
spoken at some length about the piece of legislation we have offered 
dealing with prescription drugs and the price of prescription drugs in 
this country.
  Thirty-two Senators have cosponsored a piece of legislation. It is a 
bipartisan group, including Senator Snowe, myself, Senator Kennedy, 
Senator McCain, Senator Grassley and Senator Stabenow. A wide range of 
Senators have cosponsored a piece of carefully crafted legislation that 
allows the American people to import FDA-approved prescription drugs 
that are, in almost all cases, sold for a much lower price in other 
countries.
  I will not go over all of the issues that have been raised by my 
colleague, Senator Snowe, because she has done an excellent job of 
laying out the issue. The issue, very simply, is this: The 
pharmaceutical industry prices FDA-approved prescription drugs in this 
country with the highest prices in the world. The American consumer is 
required to pay the highest prices for prescription drugs in the world. 
That is unfair.
  This chart shows United States versus Canada. But the chart could 
show the United States versus Italy, the United States versus Germany, 
the United States versus Spain, and it would show the same result.
  I ask unanimous consent to show in the Senate two bottles of Lipitor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Martinez). Without objection, it is so 
ordered.
  Mr. DORGAN. The two bottles of Lipitor are identical bottles: same 
company, same pill, made in the same manufacturing plant, sent to 
different places. One is sent to the United States to be purchased by a 
United States consumer, and the other is sent to Canada to be purchased 
by a Canadian consumer. What is the difference? This is 40 percent less 
expensive than this one. The American consumer is charged more than the 
Canadian consumer.
  Why is the American consumer not able to get that 40 percent discount 
or pay a price that is 40 percent less? The answer is, the 
pharmaceutical industry stops the reimportation of prescription drugs 
except for the small use by those who can go back and forth physically 
across the border. They do that because that enforces their pricing 
mechanism which requires the highest prices be paid by the American 
consumer.
  Prevacid, 50 percent savings in Canada versus the United States--same 
pill, same bottle, made by the same company, shipped to two different 
places, and one is a dramatically lower price. Zocor, 46 percent 
difference; Celebrex, a 55-percent difference--and the list goes on. 
The American consumer is charged the highest prices in the world for 
these prescription drugs.
  I, personally, think it is unfair. The way to deal with that is to 
allow the American consumer access, as others have access, to an 
international trading system; to say if you can purchase an FDA-
approved drug from Canada, you are welcome to import it into this 
country. The pharmaceutical industry says there are safety issues with 
that. There are no safety issues with that, not if it is an FDA-
approved drug produced in FDA-approved plants.
  The Europeans have been doing something called parallel trading for a 
couple of decades. If you are in Germany and want to buy a prescription 
drug from Spain, no problem. You can do that. If you are in Italy and 
want to buy a prescription drug from France, no problem. Under a system 
called parallel trading, they are able to import and reimport 
prescription drugs to find the best price. Only in the United States 
are we prevented from doing that.
  We put together a piece of legislation. We worked very hard on the 
legislation. Thirty-two Senators, Republicans and Democrats, have 
worked to accomplish this legislation.
  On March 11, 2004, over 2 years ago now, at midnight in the Senate, I 
lifted a hold I had on a nominee in exchange for what I thought was a 
commitment by the majority leader to bring drug importation legislation 
to the Senate. I thought it was a commitment. He says he didn't think 
it was a commitment. I am not going to try to question his integrity 
but, nonetheless, we still wait 2 years later and are not able to have 
a vote on this legislation.
  In July of 2005, my colleague, Senator Vitter from Louisiana, said he 
received a commitment from the majority leader to bring this very issue 
to the Senate if the Senate achieved a 60-vote demonstration of support 
for reimportation. The Senate met that hurdle when it adopted the 
Vitter-Nelson amendment on a 68-to-32 vote. On July 14, I and my 
colleagues--three Democrats and three Republicans--wrote to the 
majority leader saying: We have now waited for a long while, and we 
hope that you will decide to do what you had assured us you would do; 
that is, give us an opportunity in the Senate to pass this legislation.

  The U.S. House has already passed legislation on this. The Senate 
clearly has the votes to pass it if the attempts to block it are ceased 
and we would be

[[Page S8431]]

able to pass legislation that, according to the Congressional Budget 
Office, will save consumers $50 billion over 10 years, $5 billion a 
year. That is not an insignificant savings.
  It seems to me this is an issue that ought not be very controversial 
except, as I understand, to the prescription drug industry. Let me 
hasten to say there are some good people working in that industry. 
Those companies produce some miracle lifesaving drugs. But there are no 
miracles from miracle drugs if you cannot afford to take them. That is 
why I believe the pricing of those prescription drugs to the U.S. 
consumer, charging the highest prices in the world, is fundamentally 
unfair. It is why I and many others are attempting to remove a 
restriction in law that prohibits the reimportation of FDA-approved 
prescription drugs. In many cases, these drugs are actually made in the 
United States and then exported to be sold for a much lower price in 
other countries. Then the U.S. consumer is prevented from accessing 
those same lower priced drugs despite the fact they were made in this 
country.
  We passed a prescription drug benefit in Medicare recently, and it 
has now been implemented. That had a provision in it that prevents the 
negotiation for lower prices--just as the VA and others have done. This 
actually prevents Medicare from negotiating lower prices. I cannot 
think of anything that makes less sense than a prohibition of the 
Federal Government from negotiating lower prices. But that is what has 
happened.
  Since the prescription drug benefit in Medicare has taken effect, in 
the first quarter of 2006, we see while the inflation increased at 1.1 
percent, we can see the increase in the price of prescription drugs on 
this chart. I have developed several of them--Ambien, Proscar, Atrovent 
inhaler, Lexapro--and the price on average has run triple the rate of 
inflation in the first quarter. This is like hooking a hose to the tank 
and sucking it dry.
  It will break the bank from two standpoints: One, the cost of this 
program to the Federal Government; and No. 2, the ability of consumers 
to be able to access the same FDA-approved drug for lower prices from 
Canada and other countries just makes great sense. It is why 32 Members 
of the Senate have cosponsored the legislation before the Senate.
  As I said when I started, the majority leader has indicated he fully 
expected legislation such as this to be in the Senate and to be 
considered. He said: But we will take it up in the committee of 
jurisdiction first. That happened last year, in April of last year. 
They had a hearing. We expected then, and they all said then: We will 
report legislation out and have time in the Senate to deal with it. But 
the fact is, it has not happened.
  On behalf of the American people, who deserve to have the opportunity 
to have fair prices on their prescription drugs, this Congress, this 
Senate, ought to take up this legislation and pass it.
  The legislation that is before the Senate is an authorization bill. 
We are now on the legislation. It is open for amendment. The amendment 
that I will ask to be considered is not an amendment that falls by the 
rules. It is an amendment that is perfectly appropriate under the 
rules. My understanding is that the bill on the floor of the Senate has 
been amended. I think we have a first-degree amendment and a second-
degree amendment. What has been done, as they say in legislative terms, 
the tree has been filled so that no other amendments are in order.
  So in order to offer an amendment, which is proper, you have to ask 
that the current amendment be set aside, which is the last second-
degree amendment that was offered.
  My expectation is, and I am told this request will be objected to, 
but let me say, even if it is objected to, I hope the majority leader 
will work with us. We have limited time. Representations have been made 
to a number of Members, including Senator Vitter, myself, and others, 
that we would have an opportunity in this Congress to deal with this 
issue.
  The U.S. House of Representatives has done so; the Senate has not. My 
hope is the Senate would allow consideration of a very carefully 
developed bipartisan piece of legislation that nearly one-third of the 
Senate has embraced as cosponsors.
  With that, I ask unanimous consent the pending amendment be set 
aside, that the Senate immediately consider the Dorgan-Snowe amendment 
number 4742 to make drug importation legal and safe.
  Mr. ALLEN. On behalf of the leader, I object.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The objection is heard.
  Ms. SNOWE. Will the Senator yield?
  Mr. DORGAN. I am happy to yield.
  Ms. SNOWE. Mr. President, I appreciate all of the Senator's 
leadership on this issue, but would the Senator agree it is so 
important for our colleagues to recognize the savings that would be 
realized for our American consumers? Their counterparts in other 
countries pay 35 to 55 percent less, so this is an enormous savings 
both in terms of the U.S. Government and the $50 billion the Senator 
has mentioned, but also more than $6 billion in direct savings to the 
Federal Government and to the U.S. budget. Not only do we save $50 
billion, with $6.1 billion of that in savings to the U.S. budget 
according to the CBO, but we begin to address the fact that the 
American consumers are paying $87 billion more than counterparts in 
other countries.
  This is an enormous savings in all respects. Would the Senator not 
agree this also would advance those savings to American consumers but, 
as well, to our Government?
  Mr. DORGAN. Mr. President, the large bipartisan group of Senators 
that has worked to put this bill together and endorsed the bill through 
cosponsorship has done so believing, first of all, that there is no 
safety issue. These are FDA-approved drugs that would be allowed to be 
imported, No. 1. And, No. 2, very substantial savings would exist. The 
Congressional Budget Office has said that it would be $50 billion over 
10 years, $5 billion a year. There would be additional savings to the 
Federal Government itself.
  At a time when we are up to our necks in debt, it is very important 
to do the right thing not only on behalf of the American consumers but 
also on behalf of our Government's fiscal policy. The right thing is 
allowing this to be an opportunity to access the identical FDA-approved 
drugs at the much lower price that they are being sold in virtually 
every other country of the world.
  I yield the floor.
  Mr. ALLEN. Mr. President, I rise this afternoon in strong support of 
the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act. This is commonsense 
legislation. It will have a powerful and positive impact on one of the 
truly most important challenges facing our country today: we need to 
reduce the price of gas. We need to reduce our dependence on foreign 
sources of energy. It needs to be reduced for our competitiveness. We 
need to reduce the dependence on energy for our national security, 
especially the amount of foreign oil we get from the Middle East.
  American households, families, and businesses are paying high prices 
for gasoline. They are paying high prices for natural gas as well as 
diesel. Our country, the United States of America, is far too dependent 
on a single source of energy which is primarily located in a hostile, 
unstable region of the world, 8,000 miles away.
  This dependence that we have on the Middle East needs to be reduced. 
We have paid a very high price for our energy dependence, not just in 
the actual cost of energy--which has skyrocketed in the last year, 
harming individuals, harming families, harming manufacturing jobs, 
having an adverse impact on our farmers and small businesses--we have 
also, as Americans, paid a high price in terms of our national security 
since our economy is becoming increasingly vulnerable to the whims of 
some Iranian mullah or some dictator in Venezuela.
  Moreover, there is increasing demand around the world. Every barrel 
of oil produced in Saudi Arabia or Iran or anywhere else is in 
competition with the growing economies in Central Europe, and the very 
large growing economies in India and China--all competing for that same 
barrel of oil.
  This dependence on foreign oil is a serious problem, a serious 
challenge which requires and demands a serious long-term solution. The 
old brain-dead energy policies of the past are not

[[Page S8432]]

going to work in today's innovative and expanding global economy. We 
need to adopt a comprehensive, 21st century energy program that will 
increase energy affordability, energy reliability, and, above all, our 
mission of energy independence.
  The best way to strengthen our energy independence is through more 
American energy diversity. We need to adopt a flexible, diverse 
portfolio of energy options. That, also, of course, first and foremost, 
must include increased domestic energy production, including American 
oil and natural gas. As to clean coal, American coal, we are the 
``Saudi Arabia'' of the world in coal, and we ought to be using clean 
coal technology for electricity generation as well as gasifying coal or 
making it into a diesel-like fuel. We also ought to be using American 
advanced nuclear power for electricity generation.
  We need to increase our refinery capacity. Right now, refineries are 
going at 100 percent capacity. When they shift from one formulary to 
another, there is disruption, increased prices, some shortages, and not 
just at the refineries but also in the pipelines. So we need more 
refineries in this country.
  We need, as Americans, to conserve and become more efficient and 
smart in the use of our energy and our methods and even the engines of 
propulsion. We also need to unleash the power to free, creative minds 
and free markets right here in America. We have to unleash the best 
scientists, the best engineers, and the best technicians in the world. 
It is time to put them to work to develop a 21st century energy 
program.
  Fuel cells can be part of it. Hybrids, clean-burning natural gas, the 
use of biofuels, whether that is soy diesel or ethanol, are part of the 
innovative ideas. Also, with advancements in nanotechnology, materials 
can be lighter and stronger, needing less energy to propel that 
particular vehicle. Nanotechnology is also making solar photovoltaics 
much more of a part of our options. Lithium-ion batteries are moving 
forward, and that is another method of propulsion for the future.
  We have to adopt, we have to be determined, and we have to move 
forward with a comprehensive 21st century energy independence policy 
focused on energy production, innovation, and diversity. When we do 
that, we will see lower gas prices for American consumers. We will see 
more jobs for American workers and a stronger, more competitive and 
safer America in the world.
  I believe that the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act, which is 
designed to expand deepwater exploration in the Gulf of Mexico, is an 
important first step toward a long-term energy solution. Although, I 
know there is much more to be done--and I will be offering an amendment 
to allow other States to have the same options as well--but this is a 
bipartisan measure, a bill crafted by Chairman Domenici and Senator 
Bingaman, with the support of Senators from, expectedly, Louisiana, 
Mississippi, and Alabama, and also breakthrough leadership from the 
Senators--including the Presiding Officer, Senator Martinez--from 
Florida.
  This measure is going to permit energy exploration of 1.7 million 
acres in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, otherwise known as lease sale 181. 
It would also lift the production moratorium or ban for 6.3 million 
acres south of that area. Experts estimate that by permitting 
exploration of this area, we will eventually extract 1.26 billion 
barrels of oil and 5.8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
  This home-produced American energy can run our cars, heat our homes, 
power our factories. And, best of all, the money stays right here in 
America instead of being sent outside of America. This will have a big 
impact on jobs.
  People wonder: Why does it matter for jobs? Well, the natural gas 
aspect of this is very important. Our manufacturers of chemicals and 
fertilizers--which affects so many of us, particularly the farmers, but 
everything we use--those manufacturing jobs could be anywhere in the 
world, whether it is for chemicals, whether it is for fertilizers, 
manufacturing tires in Danville, VA, at the Goodyear plant. Those tires 
could be manufactured anywhere. And the cost of natural gas, the 
affordability, the reliability of it matters a great deal.
  Plastics can be manufactured everywhere. But plastic manufacturers 
rely a great deal on petroleum-based products as well as natural gas. 
Forestry products for paper, cardboard, and lumber use natural gas. 
Again, it is very important we have affordable natural gas to keep 
those jobs in America rather than going overseas.
  Now, as a former Governor, I believe a large portion of the royalties 
from the new deepwater exploration should be shared with the adjacent 
States. That is why I am supporting the revenue-sharing portion of this 
legislation, notwithstanding opposition from the White House. In this 
legislation, as much as 37.5 percent of the available revenues will go 
to the Gulf Coast States, many of which were severely damaged by 
Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
  Now, these revenues will free up money for worthy projects, such as 
education, transportation, and coastal shoreline erosion remediation. 
This is an outstanding bill. It will increase jobs and income, 
obviously, in the Gulf Coast States. It will help Alabama, Mississippi, 
and Louisiana, and Florida, but also the whole country. What is most 
important is that for the whole country this will increase the 
affordability of energy. It will increase our reliability of having 
energy in every State in our Union.
  This bill will not harm our environment. I would remind my colleagues 
that hundreds of deepwater oil rigs were in the paths of Hurricane 
Katrina and Rita, and although these rigs were shut down and disabled 
by the roaring winds and the rising seas, not one of them released oil 
into the Gulf of Mexico. So this is a good record of performance that 
should alleviate any concerns about environmental safety.

  I believe so strongly in this measure and this program that I want my 
own Commonwealth of Virginia to participate in it. This is why I am 
offering an amendment. And I will continue in the months and years 
ahead to allow not only the Gulf of Mexico States to share in revenues, 
and to permit those folks to have the deepwater exploration, but I want 
to permit and allow the people of Virginia to explore for oil and/or 
natural gas 50 miles off of our coastline and no closer than 25 miles 
from any neighboring State.
  It would be a completely voluntary arrangement. My amendment allows 
deepwater exploration if that is the will of the people of Virginia. It 
simply gives the people an option. It gives the people a choice. And I 
sincerely believe the people of Virginia will choose to allow deepwater 
exploration once they are conversant with the facts and the 
opportunities. In fact, the General Assembly of Virginia, 2 years in a 
row, has passed legislation, with bipartisan support, to allow 
deepwater Outer Continental Shelf exploration far off the coast of 
Virginia.
  Here are the facts. In the far part of the eastern seaboard, 45 miles 
off of our coast, Cuba is exploring for natural gas. Then in Canada, 
off the Grand Banks and the Maritime Provinces, they are exploring for 
oil and natural gas.
  Now, for the U.S. area, and near Virginia, according to the Minerals 
Management Service, there are 1.23 billion barrels of oil and 11.68 
trillion cubic feet of natural gas along the Mid-Atlantic Outer 
Continental Shelf. This remarkable, significant amount of energy is 
just sitting there, waiting for us to use it. Yet Federal law prevents 
the people of Virginia and America from using it.
  Now, the gasoline prices are surging at over $3 per gallon. It is, to 
me, unbelievable and irresponsible to continue this obstructionist, 
detrimental restriction and regulation on Virginia and other States.
  In my amendment, I have ensured that the people of Virginia are able 
to reap the benefits of any successful deepwater exploration far off 
our Virginia coast. Using Senator Domenici's legislation as a model, I 
have established that 37.5 percent of revenues would be allocated to 
Virginia. I recommend that half of these revenues would go to much 
needed transportation projects in Virginia. It could be for the third 
crossing down in Hampton Roads or for the widening of a variety of 
interstates across our Commonwealth. That would get half of the 
revenue.

[[Page S8433]]

  A quarter of the revenue would go to reducing instate tuition at our 
Virginia colleges, and another quarter of the revenues would go to the 
coastal communities which are the counties on the eastern shore of 
Northampton and Accomack and to Virginia Beach, which they may want to 
use for shoreline or beach, sand replenishment.
  Now, how much money are we talking here? Experts estimate that it 
could be nearly $3 billion over a period of time. That's right, $3 
billion--all paid into Virginia's treasury, benefiting all Virginians, 
whether it is in education, whether it is for the shoreline, or 
improving our transportation.
  Now, if Senators from other States think to themselves: I wouldn't 
want to have those jobs and those billions of dollars for my State, I 
would only say to them: Fine. That is your choice. I respect that 
choice. But please allow us in Virginia to make a choice as well, a 
choice that helps us and does not hurt any of the other States at all.
  We did not get into this energy dependence challenge and predicament 
overnight, and we are not going to get out of it overnight. This 
legislation is a vitally important aspect of bolstering our energy 
security for generations to come. I support it, and I strongly advocate 
its swift passage because it is a long stride forward toward our 
ultimate American goal of America's energy independence. And for the 
future, I encourage my colleagues to support what I consider to be my 
fair, commonsense approach to empower the people of Virginia to explore 
for oil and/or natural gas in the deep water off our Outer Continental 
Shelf, if they so choose to do so.
  This expanded proposal is consistent with the principles of 
federalism and free choice, and it respects the will of the people. It 
is a win-win situation for jobs, competitiveness, and, most 
importantly, it will incentivize and encourage the people of the States 
to join in with our national mission of energy independence.
  I hope the underlying bill passes, of course. And I look forward--I 
see the chairman is here. I commend him for his outstanding work in a 
bipartisan manner. And I see Senator Landrieu here from Louisiana as 
well. This is a long stride forward. But please understand, Mr. 
Chairman, that I am going to continue fighting for Virginia. It is good 
for Virginia. It is also good for America because we need to have 
America independent from foreign sources of energy, particularly that 
from the Middle East. I say to the Senator, thank you for your 
leadership.
  Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  Mr. LEVIN. Mr. President, I intend to support cloture on S. 3711, the 
Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006, and will vote for final 
passage. I am voting for cloture and for final passage because I 
believe we need to move forward to open up more areas for natural gas 
exploration to address the increasingly tight natural gas supply in the 
U.S. and its resulting high prices, but to do so in a way that protects 
our environment.
  Over the past 6 years, the tight natural gas supply and increasing 
costs of natural gas has had a significant impact on consumers and 
particularly on the U.S. manufacturing sector, which depends on natural 
gas as both a fuel source and a feedstock and raw material. With U.S. 
natural gas prices the highest in the industrialized world, many 
companies have made decisions to move their manufacturing operations 
offshore. More than 2 million manufacturing jobs have been lost to 
overseas operations in the last 5 years, and I believe we need to take 
reasonable efforts to bring down the cost of natural gas in the U.S.
  I agree with many of my colleagues that this compromise on offshore 
oil and gas exploration represents what is achievable in the Senate, 
and I urge the leadership on both sides to resist strongly any efforts 
by the House to broaden the scope of this legislation. If the bill 
comes back from conference with the House of Representatives without 
the Senate limits and environmental protections, I will not support the 
final product worked out by the conferees. Senator Reid's letter to 
Senator Nelson is very reassuring in that regard.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who yields time?
  The Senator from New Mexico.
  Mr. DOMENICI. Mr. President, I believe I have 15 minutes at this 
point.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator is recognized. There is no time 
limit.
  Mr. DOMENICI. Mr. President, let me say, before the distinguished 
Senator from Virginia leaves the floor, here is how I see the situation 
in terms of coastal waters and the tremendous resources that are along 
the coast today, including the Senator's State. I see us on the verge 
of making the first breakthrough in 25 years. If this breakthrough 
occurs and this bill passes and this bill gets signed, the breakthrough 
is that your State and your people--openly and bright--might want it, 
too. In fact, you have been talking about that.

  The point I am making is, we are doing this right. Let us get this 
one done, as you have said, and you certainly have not said we should 
not. I don't imply that. But the right thing for the country, in fact, 
of these prolonged moratoria is to pass 181 before us because it is 
big. It is real. It is right. It is now. It will happen and it will 
hurt no one. Besides, you will see bids to open with short periods of 
time saying: We will drill. You will see companies announcing what they 
are going to do. That will be the stimulus. I am not a football expert, 
but it is sort of like if the goal is to maximize, eventually, over 
time, the coastal production of America from a venue of stagnation, if 
that is the goal--and I am not there yet, but if that is the goal--what 
you do is you make the first 10 yards right now. This is the first 10 
yards. This is the breakthrough.
  Now you are going to see it, and you can say: Man, we can make it. 
Then your State will come, and other States will come. So I am very 
pleased we chose to limit it to the four States plus Florida and to 
this big piece called 181, plus 181 south, which you have lauded here 
today.
  I will close by telling you something that you can now tell your 
people when this bill passes. On the day of the vote, for those who 
don't think this is a good bill, I want to remind them, and you can 
remind them, that it was just announced that natural gas had its 
biggest gain this year. Bloomberg announced that natural gas rallied to 
its biggest gain this year in the U.S. on a record-breaking heat wave, 
and the prices went up. So right now we are celebrating something very 
negative, that the supply is not sufficient. And with the excess heat, 
the price went up. What we want to tell them is, pass this bill. Start 
using these resources. Put them in our inventory, right? Get our 
businesspeople out there investing to drill, and we will have natural 
gas coming from 181, this big piece of real estate, energy laden, 6 
trillion cubic feet on this one piece, enough for 6 million homes for 
15 years, 1.2 billion barrels of oil on just this one piece. Get 
started, right? That is why we are going to do it.
  I think we have the votes. But if you know anybody who is not for it, 
I say to the Senator, you tell them we celebrated the wrong thing today 
because we have been doing things wrong. It is time to do it right. 
That is what I think, and that is what this bill is. You are on the 
right track, and I commend you. This bill will get us started. I hope 
you understand that.
  Mr. ALLEN. I am certain.
  Mr. DOMENICI. We can't do it all at once. I am so pleased we picked 
the right one. And with the help of that man sitting in the chair, the 
Presiding Officer today--we call him ``President'' today, but he is 
actually a Senator--with his help, because he had a little guts, he 
decided to talk to his people instead of echoing. He went out there and 
talked and said: Let's do something. They agreed to this, after years 
of dilly-dallying, right? We are doing something for the country. The 
Presiding Officer, Mel Martinez, the junior Senator, is part of this 
three or four or five people who led this actual attack on this 
moratorium. Moratorium has something to do with death. That is what the 
moratorium was, death for us, this crazy idea that these resources 
should be locked up when you could drill for them and not hurt anybody. 
It is finally going out the window, little by little, with this bill. 
Two windows going out. We will see how it works. The public is going to 
say: Boy, it works. And then some more windows will go out later. And 
that is what you are talking about.

[[Page S8434]]

  Thank you so much.
  Mr. ALLEN. If I may, Mr. President----
  Mr. DOMENICI. I yield to the Senator. I have the floor.
  Mr. ALLEN. Will the Senator yield?
  Mr. DOMENICI. Yes.
  Mr. ALLEN. I would say to the chairman of the Energy Committee, I 
wanted to get on that committee in this session because I really do 
believe energy independence, energy security is the most important 
issue facing our country. The Senator has provided great leadership, 
working with a variety of different forces, and getting things done on 
a bipartisan basis. I agree that Senator Martinez was absolutely 
crucial in this bipartisan effort. I would hope, though, that you 
recognize that while I am introducing this amendment, I know my 
colleague, Senator Warner, has a different sort of amendment, trying to 
get to the same point. I hope I can count on you, and I hope the 
American people can count on you to work in a bipartisan fashion in the 
future, whether this year or future years, to allow the people of 
Virginia, if they so desire, to explore off our coasts and use this as 
a model in sharing revenues with the States because I think sharing of 
revenues with the States will be an incentive for States to help the 
national mission of energy independence and not allow that good energy 
to stay there fallow in deep water off our Outer Continental Shelves.
  Mr. DOMENICI. I thank the Senator.
  In response to what the junior Senator from Virginia just said, 
obviously, this bill sets not only the precedent of getting rid of the 
moratorium for deep water drilling off the coast of Florida, but it 
also sets a precedent of revenue sharing with the coastal States that 
surround the activity. That is what the Senator is talking about. 
Obviously, the Senator from New Mexico favors that. I don't have to 
answer his question specifically. I favor that. I took a gamble and 
said: I am one to do that. I started off saying, I think I can get it 
done. I think we can get it done without it. That is where I started, 
right, I ask the Senator from Louisiana? I reported a bill out, found 
out we probably would get nothing. I am not sure of that, but probably 
the country would get nothing, the coastal States would get nothing, 
the Treasury would get nothing, the coastal repair would get nothing. 
And we would be right back here telling the public: We can't do 
anything.
  So when the coastal States and the Senator from Florida started 
negotiating with us about the coastal States and about Florida's linear 
protections, distance protections, I had to move from no coastal 
revenues. I am very pleased with the way it turned out because I 
believe over the long run we have by at least 10, maybe 20 years, 
accelerated the timeframe for coastal exploration. I am not saying 
forever because I think sooner or later reality had to set in. I think 
we are just pushing reality here and pushing hard, saying: OK, we are 
going to share, but we are going to get the resources.
  We might be ready soon to have hearings in the committee, have other 
bills, move in other directions. But for right now, this is the best 
bill to clear the Senate.

  We have this terrible 60-vote threshold in this place. You are aware 
of that. It is no longer a majoritarian place. There are 60 votes for 
everything. You ask for a motion for a pin to drop, and somebody says: 
I am going to filibuster. Right? You have to have 60 votes. Appointment 
of conferees is filibustered now. Somebody like Senator Byrd will say: 
Senator Domenici, don't think that is new. That was around forever. Of 
course, it was. But it wasn't used very much.
  But you know that is being used now. A motion to appoint conferees on 
a bill is now an acceptable measure on which to have a filibuster. The 
point is, this is no turkey shoot, passing a bill in the Senate. You 
don't just have to sharpen up and hit one; you have to get 60 votes. 
That is why it is so important you know how to put it together. That is 
why we did this. That is why some people, looking down on this bill, 
wondering how far can you go--you know where that is coming from--how 
far we can go and still get something passed--have to understand, the 
60-vote threshold probably, if we make it tonight, and even if we break 
it, the point is, it is fragile. You fool around with it and change it 
and you could go back down to 59, 58, and be dead again.
  So if you want some energy for America, not big time, not like a 
whole new country has been invented, we still have a lot of coast left, 
a lot of other places left, but this is a big one. If you want this, 
you have to remember, you have to get 60 votes. We have got to get 60 
votes here tonight. We have got to get 60 votes later on. And we better 
not be thinking too far ahead of our nose or we will find out we don't 
have the votes.
  So I want to close by reminding everybody that the price of natural 
gas increased by a record amount. The public can note that. They might 
be thinking: Why didn't you do something about it? We want to tell them 
we are trying tonight to do something about it. We have a ways to go, 
right? We have to get it passed, and we have to get it past the House. 
But we are trying to do something about this report that says the price 
went up the highest amount. We are trying to do something about it. We 
don't guarantee anything, but we guarantee you that we are going to 
help if we add 6 trillion cubic feet of natural gas to the inventory of 
natural gas for Americans from this piece of real estate off the coast 
of Florida, off the coast of Louisiana that belongs to the people, that 
had a moratorium on it, that had a death wish on it: You can't do 
anything with it.
  We are taking that off, and that is why it is important.
  It is also important that everybody knows it is not easy to do 
because in the Senate you need 60 votes. No, you don't, people told me 
the other day. What is the matter with you, Senator? Fifty-one votes 
will do that.
  I said: Well, we changed business in the Senate. Almost everything is 
a filibuster. I just explained that to you. This bill was filibustered. 
No question. So we have this fancy-named thing called cloture. That 
means a request that the filibuster be restrained. We are going to vote 
on that. Do you want to throw out the filibuster tonight? That is what 
the vote is going to be about. But that is the 60 votes. People should 
know that, and they should know that about our bill, whomever it is. 
This is tough sledding. Don't be thinking that we could change it 
helter-skelter. And if they are wondering why we have been tough on 
amendments, just remember with us, who knows what amendments would do 
to this bill.
  It is a good bill like it is. Sorry to fellow Senators who want to 
offer amendments for a week. I am sorry. I wish you could preside, Mr. 
President, over wonderful debates, about 20 amendments or 30 on this 
bill. I hope we don't have to because I hope we close it up with the 
cloture vote, a couple of hours after that, maybe tomorrow, vote on 
final passage, send this bill to conference, and then take a little 
while with the House and have this same message to them: 60-vote 
problem in the Senate. Can't send them any old thing or we will get 
nothing.
  I think my friend from Louisiana knows that. She is here. She knows 
what I am going through. I mean, she can comment on that. She does. It 
is not easy to get this through, if you are worrying about adding 
things to it or changing it.
  I see the Senator would like to speak.
  Ms. LANDRIEU. Will the Senator yield for a question?
  Mr. DOMENICI. Of course.
  Ms. LANDRIEU. The Senator is absolutely correct.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator has used 15 minutes.
  Ms. LANDRIEU. I ask unanimous consent for 1 more minute for the 
chairman.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Ms. LANDRIEU. The Senator is on to a very excellent point. I was 
wondering if he could remind those listening, getting ready for the 
vote, one of the reasons the debate was restricted is so that we could 
move on this very important piece of legislation. But if the Senator 
would remind those of the good things that were done in last year's 
Energy bill on conservation so that we didn't need a broad debate, we 
did so many good things, as the Senator will recall, in the last Energy 
bill to conserve, promote renewables. The Senator is well aware of the 
many things since he led that fight.
  Mr. DOMENICI. The Senator is absolutely correct. I have been 
referring to

[[Page S8435]]

the Chair and the Presiding Officer in one way because it was the 
Senator from Florida, talking to him as the Senator from Florida. He 
has taken a seat as a Senator. Another Senator from the committee, 
Senator Lamar Alexander, has taken the Presiding Officer's seat.
  (Mr. ALEXANDER assumed the Chair.)
  Mr. DOMENICI. The question fits right in with all four. Lamar 
Alexander is on the Committee of Energy and Natural Resources, as is 
the Senator from Florida. A big participant is the Senator from 
Tennessee. I am looking at the Senator who took on the issue of natural 
gas, the Senator from Tennessee. We knew we could not do this on that 
bill, so we put it off. We did 10 or 15 major things that are still 
having an impact on America--everything from seeing to it that all 
possibilities for the alternative of shale being turned into oil be 
given a chance. It might happen. We promoted coal to gas, coal to 
liquid. The only thing keeping that from happening is the uncertainty 
of investment because the price of $70 is not certain. If we can 
address that issue, we will fix that, too. Ethanol came out of that 
bill. The whole idea of hybrid automobiles came out of that bill. 
Scores of that are in the area of conservation, which were promoted 
even before I was chairman; they are on that bill and are done. So this 
is a followup for some supply. That is why it is important that we get 
it done.
  I thank the Senator for the question. There are many other things we 
could list. I thank the Senate for yielding me additional time.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Louisiana is recognized.
  Ms. LANDRIEU. Mr. President, I think we are going to vote around 
5:30. I may need 10 minutes to speak, and others may follow suit. I 
wanted to follow up on what Chairman Domenici said, as a member of the 
Energy Committee--and, Mr. President, you serve so ably on that 
committee, as does the Senator from Florida--to say exactly that point.
  Some people have been critical of this debate, questioning why it is 
so limited. The answer is because almost everything was included in 
last year's Energy bill, which we debated for 10 years--a lot of 
debate, over weeks and months, over a 10-year period. This part was the 
part that was left out--actually increasing the supply of gas. As the 
Senator from New Mexico said earlier, today is probably a propitious 
day to be debating this because the price went up over a dollar.
  Earlier today, the manufacturing association, the agricultural 
interests, and the paper and pulp industry shared a press conference. 
The equivalent price of gas to oil, when gas went up earlier to $15--it 
is now today at $8, yesterday at $7. But at $15, which is what our 
industry folks pay, and residents pay as well--that high price of gas--
it was the equivalent of a $7-per-gallon price of gasoline at the pump. 
So if you are thinking, because all of us know when we fill our tank up 
how expensive that $2.89 or $3.10 or $3.25 is--can you imagine the 
shock of going to the pump and having it say $7.50 a gallon? Imagine 
that. That is how high the price of gas got this year in the United 
States of America.
  So the reason our farmers are supporting this bill, the reason rural 
communities are supporting this bill, the reason the manufacturing 
industries are supporting this bill, the reason the chemical 
association is supporting this bill, and many environmental groups as 
well, is because we must find more domestic supply to reduce the price 
of natural gas.
  We are going to also have to import, unfortunately, more liquefied 
natural gas. I say ``unfortunately,'' although my State benefits from 
those imports. I can honestly say that I really belong to the group of 
Senators who believe we can be energy independent, and we should. This 
bill is the piece that didn't get done in the last energy bill, and it 
must get done before we begin writing another comprehensive energy 
bill, which we can and will do because there is always room for 
improvement.
  I wanted to answer the critics about why just focus on this. It 
wasn't done in the last bill, so it needs to get done today. Why the 
gulf coast? Because the gulf coast Senators came together, working with 
Senator Domenici, and figured out our neighborhood. We live in the 
neighborhood of the gulf coast. Five States share the gulf; four of us 
drill and one doesn't. Maybe that one will one day, but who knows? That 
is for the State of Florida to decide. We will defer that debate. 
Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama came together and decided we 
wanted to stay in the business despite the fact that there have been 
difficulties to our coast. We believe in drilling and strengthening 
America's domestic reserves. We want to continue to serve the coast, 
but we can and will not any longer do it for free.
  My critics say: Well, Senator, you are not thinking about all the 
jobs you get and about the taxes. I am thinking about the jobs created, 
and we are grateful. I am thinking about the taxes we get from onshore 
drilling. But I am also thinking about the $150 billion in royalties 
that have been paid by the offshore industry to the Federal Government, 
of which Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama got zero.
  When I think about our beaches, our coasts, our marshes, our great 
fishing places, and our beautiful marshland, it is compelling that we 
would enter into a smarter partnership for the future than the one we 
failed, for many reasons, to enter into in the past. So I am proud to 
have argued and helped with our gulf coast Senators to negotiate a good 
deal, a square deal for the gulf coast, and a good deal for the Federal 
Government.
  I also repeat that the country needs the gas now. The gulf coast 
needs the revenues now, the country needs the jobs now, and the 
companies in the industry need the competitive edge now. Today, again, 
at that press conference earlier, it was shocking to see how many 
manufacturing jobs have been lost. When the price of natural gas for 
our manufacturing sector exceeds the price of labor, we have a serious 
problem. That problem is getting addressed at 5:30 today when the 
Senate votes to open, for the first time, almost 8.3 million new acres 
of rich natural gas and send a positive signal to the markets and to 
the industry that we are serious again about finding resources right 
here.
  Fifth, the companies in these industries need to gain a competitive 
edge. The States will get a reliable partner in conservation. Mr. 
President, you have done more to spearhead that debate since you came 
to the Senate. You did it as Governor of Tennessee, as a Secretary for 
our country. You have been a leader in conservation. I have spoken many 
times about the coast and wetlands. I am not quite as passionate or 
articulate as you, but I share your enthusiasm for the fact that this 
Nation is a great nation of the outdoors. It separates America from our 
European neighbors. It sets us apart from places like Japan. We have 
great open spaces. It is the character of America, as I have heard you 
say many times.
  If we don't work harder to preserve those open spaces, they will not 
be there because they just don't happen; they are dreamed about, 
nurtured, and created, and not by words, not by wishes, but by money 
that buys and sets aside land. I know we cannot do it in every place 
and for the Federal part, but for the States, for our 50 Governors who 
are looking to the Federal Government to be a good partner and want to 
work with nonprofit organizations to expand conservation, I say to my 
colleagues that this bill finds balance.
  We tried to do this in 1965 when some great Senators, such as Scoop 
Jackson from Washington and others, created the Land and Water 
Conservation Fund--the first time ever that the Federal Government 
said: Let's create a fund to help the States. It wasn't much of one. 
You could barely see this little dot. It was probably $10 million for 
all the States. That is just pennies. But it was a beginning. We went 
up to $75 million and back down to $50 million, and we kept trying, 
through the budgets, to get a little bit of money set aside for our 
parks and bike paths and soccer fields where our kids play. I am not 
just talking about suburban areas, I am talking about urban areas, such 
as small city parks in New Orleans or the large Central Park in New 
York. We did a pretty good job over time, and we have fallen off the 
wagon, if you will. It is time to get back up in the saddle and fund 
the Land and Water Conservation. That is what this bill does.

[[Page S8436]]

  To some undecided Democrats who are thinking: What should I do, 
please consider that the country needs the gas, manufacturing needs 
their competitive edge back, the gulf coast could certainly use the 
revenues, the country needs the jobs, and the States need a reliable, 
steady stream of revenue for the Land and Water Conservation Fund that 
our Governors, legislators, mayors, county commissioners, and parish 
officials in Louisiana can certainly count on to help. It is down to 
$40 million, one of the lowest levels it has been.
  Under this bill, it will go up $450 million a year. Not right away, 
but over time it will go up to its full authorized funding. We are 
going to do what we can between now and the time the bill gets to the 
House to make these adjustments in these early years to get these 
numbers up. We will see. We cannot make any promises because there is a 
lot to be done. The idea is to pass this bill today and get something 
to the President's desk that he can sign.
  I thank the administration for supporting the framework of the Senate 
bill, for Secretary Kempthorne's visit to Louisiana and Mississippi, to 
the gulf coast. I thank all Senators who have come down--almost all of 
them now have come before the anniversary of Katrina--and seen 
firsthand the great needs America's only energy coast has.
  I want to show a final picture of the gulf coast because this is what 
I have shown so many times when I have come to the Senate floor. This 
is America's only energy coast. I am not making this up. This is a USGS 
satellite view of the Gulf of Mexico. You see the great boot of 
Louisiana, the mouth of the Mississippi River here, Mobile Bay, 
Galveston, and the great expanse of the Texas coast. This is America's 
energy coast. All of these are pipelines that are out into the gulf. 
There is no way to get oil and gas from this part of the gulf unless 
you connect it to someplace on land. Whether it is Port Fourchon, 
Venice, Buras, Gulfport, Pass Christian, Morgan City, Beaumont, 
Cameron--all of these towns and communities support this industry.
  When I see people come to the Chamber and say this doesn't belong to 
the States, this belongs to the Federal Government, I am not even 
making the argument; I know this belongs to the Federal Government. 
What I am saying is the Federal Government could not access what it 
owns without a right-of-way through the States of Alabama, Mississippi, 
Louisiana, and Texas. It is as simple as that. You can own all the 
valuable land you want; if you cannot access it, it is as if you don't 
own it. That is what we are talking about, sharing these revenues to 
protect this great coastline. We most certainly need every penny we can 
get to build these levees to protect these people so we can keep the 
lights on in the Chamber.

  I ask unanimous consent that Senator Alexander and Senator Hagel be 
added as cosponsors to S. 3711.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Ms. LANDRIEU. Mr. President, I yield back the time in the event there 
are any other Senators wishing to speak for or against the measure.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum and ask that it be equally divided 
between the two sides.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered. The clerk 
will call the roll.
  The bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. BINGAMAN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. BINGAMAN. Mr. President, in a few minutes we will be voting on S. 
3711, which is the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006. I urge 
all Senators to oppose cloture on this bill which is the vote that will 
occur at 5:30. Last week, I outlined my reasons for my strong 
opposition to the bill. The bill is not good energy policy and, in my 
view, it is even worse fiscal policy.
  Turning first to Energy, S. 3711 actually expands areas that are 
under moratorium off the coast of Florida. It also sets a precedent for 
imposing a new long-term congressional moratorium. The chart behind me 
has been referred to by many on both sides of this debate. This chart 
depicts the area, which is in yellow, that will be locked up under S. 
3711 until the year 2022. For the first time, as I can determine, 
Congress will be enacting a multiple-year moratorium--not a moratorium 
for just 1 year, which we have done many times in the past but, rather, 
a moratorium until 2022.
  In addition, Congress will be placing parts of this area under 
moratorium that have never been under a moratorium before.
  The bottom line is that in return for access to an additional 2.76 
trillion cubic feet of natural gas, the bill puts almost 10 times as 
much natural gas--that is 21.83 trillion cubic feet--off limits until 
2022. Again, that is all of the area colored in yellow.
  This is certainly not my idea of how we should be addressing our 
Nation's energy needs.
  In addition, the claims of the natural gas that will be produced 
under the bill are exaggerated. The sponsors of the bill claim that 
5.83 trillion cubic feet of natural gas will be produced. However, over 
half of that natural gas will be leased next year and produced anyway 
under the Department of the Interior's proposed plan. The actual amount 
of additional natural gas made available because of this bill is 2.76 
trillion cubic feet.
  Last year, the Congress enacted the far-reaching Energy Policy Act of 
2005. The legislation addressed energy efficiency and energy 
production, nuclear energy, renewable energy, energy technologies, and 
energy taxes. We made progress, but there is much more work to be done. 
That is why I am deeply disappointed that the only energy legislation 
that the Senate is likely to consider this year is S. 3711, which I do 
not believe takes us in the right direction.
  I am also disappointed that the right of Senators to offer amendments 
addressing other important aspects of energy policy will be cut off if 
cloture is invoked. There were amendments to S. 3711 filed by my 
colleagues that address important unfinished business on the topic of 
energy policy. Prominent among these are amendments to improve 
efficiency in our use of oil and gas. But there are also other 
meritorious energy amendments which my colleagues will not be able to 
offer if cloture is invoked today.
  I turn now to the enormous adverse fiscal impacts of S. 3711. The 
bill would divert from the Federal Treasury 37.5 percent of revenues 
from the new sale areas to the four States--Texas, Louisiana, 
Mississippi, and Alabama. Starting in 2017, this percentage is applied 
to new leases in existing areas of the Gulf of Mexico that are open to 
production.
  To put it simply, we are not talking about diverting revenues from 
the new lease sale area. Ultimately, S. 3711, by its language, would 
divert revenues from the entire Gulf of Mexico.
  This is chart No. 2. The area that is highlighted is the area in the 
western gulf and the middle gulf which are open to production, and the 
revenue from new production in those areas would begin to be diverted 
to the four States I mentioned beginning in 2017.
  As any Senator can see, this includes the entire western and central 
Gulf of Mexico and also, of course, the newly opened lease sale 181 and 
lease sale 181 south areas.
  Even with S. 3711's so-called cap on revenues paid to the States for 
the period from 2016 to 2055, the amount flowing to the four Gulf 
States that would otherwise go to the Federal Treasury would be 
somewhere between $28.5 billion and $30.5 billion. Estimated losses to 
the Treasury balloon beginning at that later date of 2056, with annual 
losses between $12.5 billion and $15 billion starting that year.
  There is no policy justification for diverting these Outer 
Continental Shelf revenues to the coastal States. The resources of the 
Outer Continental Shelf belong to the entire Nation. The Supreme Court 
ruled that offshore lands were and always have been owned by the United 
States as a feature of national sovereignty. In 1953, Congress passed 
the Submerged Lands Act which granted coastal States title to submerged 
lands to within 3 miles of their coast. This action by Congress several 
decades ago settled any issue of State equities.
  Finally, there has been much discussion as to whether passage of S. 
3711

[[Page S8437]]

will lead us to a conference on the House-passed bill, which is H.R. 
4761. I understand that the minority leader has made a commitment that 
we will not accept any version of this legislation other than that 
which is before the Senate today. In my view, he is right to take that 
stance because the House-passed bill would take us down a road to even 
greater fiscal irresponsibility. The administration has warned that the 
House-passed bill would cost hundreds of billions of dollars.
  In addition, the House bill contains many other far-reaching and 
extreme provisions that do not lead to the type of balanced energy 
policy that is in the best interest of our Nation.
  For these reasons, Mr. President, I again urge my colleagues to 
oppose the motion to invoke cloture.
  I yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, the clerk will call the 
roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. DOMENICI. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


                             Cloture Motion

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. By unanimous consent, pursuant to rule XXII, 
the Chair lays before the Senate the pending cloture motion, which the 
clerk will state.
  The bill clerk read as follows:

                             Cloture Motion

       We the undersigned Senators, in accordance with the 
     provisions of rule XXII of the Standing Rules of the Senate, 
     do hereby move to bring to a close debate on Calendar No. 
     529, S. 3711: a bill to enhance the energy independence and 
     security of the United States by providing for exploration, 
     development, and production activities for mineral resources 
     in the Gulf of Mexico, and for other purposes.
         Bill Frist, Pete Domenici, Richard G. Lugar, Mitch 
           McConnell, Kay Bailey Hutchison, Jim Bunning, Trent 
           Lott, Christopher S. Bond, Tom Coburn, Wayne Allard, 
           David Vitter, Mel Martinez, Thad Cochran, Jim DeMint, 
           John Cornyn, Lindsey Graham, Jeff Sessions.

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. By unanimous consent, the mandatory quorum 
call has been waived.
  The question is, Is it the sense of the Senate that debate on S. 
3711, a bill to enhance the energy independence and security of the 
United States by providing for exploration, development, and production 
activities for mineral resources in the Gulf of Mexico, and for other 
purposes, shall be brought to a close?
  The yeas and nays are mandatory under the rule. The clerk will call 
the roll.
  The legislative clerk called the roll.
  Mr. McCONNELL. The following Senators were necessarily absent: the 
Senator from Kentucky (Mr. Bunning) and the Senator from Arizona (Mr. 
McCain).
  Further, if present and voting, the Senator from Kentucky (Mr. 
Bunning) would have voted ``yea.''
  Mr. DURBIN. I announce that the Senator from Massachusetts (Mr. 
Kerry), the Senator from New Jersey (Mr. Lautenberg), and the Senator 
from Connecticut (Mr. Lieberman) are necessarily absent.
  I further announce that, if present and voting, the Senator from New 
Jersey (Mr. Lautenberg) would vote ``no.''
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any other Senators in the Chamber 
desiring to vote?
  The result was announced--yeas 72, nays 23, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 218 Leg.]

                                YEAS--72

     Alexander
     Allard
     Allen
     Baucus
     Bennett
     Bond
     Brownback
     Burns
     Burr
     Byrd
     Carper
     Chafee
     Chambliss
     Clinton
     Coburn
     Cochran
     Coleman
     Collins
     Conrad
     Cornyn
     Craig
     Crapo
     DeMint
     DeWine
     Dole
     Domenici
     Dorgan
     Ensign
     Enzi
     Frist
     Graham
     Grassley
     Gregg
     Hagel
     Hatch
     Hutchison
     Inhofe
     Inouye
     Isakson
     Johnson
     Kohl
     Kyl
     Landrieu
     Levin
     Lincoln
     Lott
     Lugar
     Martinez
     McConnell
     Murkowski
     Nelson (FL)
     Nelson (NE)
     Pryor
     Reid
     Roberts
     Rockefeller
     Salazar
     Santorum
     Schumer
     Sessions
     Shelby
     Smith
     Specter
     Stabenow
     Stevens
     Sununu
     Talent
     Thomas
     Thune
     Vitter
     Voinovich
     Warner

                                NAYS--23

     Akaka
     Bayh
     Biden
     Bingaman
     Boxer
     Cantwell
     Dayton
     Dodd
     Durbin
     Feingold
     Feinstein
     Harkin
     Jeffords
     Kennedy
     Leahy
     Menendez
     Mikulski
     Murray
     Obama
     Reed
     Sarbanes
     Snowe
     Wyden

                             NOT VOTING--5

     Bunning
     Kerry
     Lautenberg
     Lieberman
     McCain
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Burr). On this vote, the nays are 23, the 
yeas are 72. Three-fifths of the Senators chosen and duly sworn having 
voted in the affirmative, the motion is agreed to.
  Mr. FRIST. Mr. President, I move to reconsider the vote, and I move 
to lay that motion on the table.
  The motion to lay on the table was agreed to.
  Mr. FRIST. Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mrs. BOXER. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be dispensed with.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mrs. BOXER. Mr. President, thank you so much for your courtesy--and 
my colleagues. I wanted to be heard on this bill. I haven't spoken on 
it. It is a bill that I call a drilling bill; I don't call it an energy 
bill. I rise to speak against it, and I am against it for three very 
simple reasons.
  First, I have no assurances--nor does Senator Feinstein--that the 
California coast will continue to be protected from new offshore oil 
and gas drilling. That protection is crucial to my State, to my State's 
economy, and, of course, it is crucial to the promise that we made to 
our children and our grandchildren--that this coast will be forever 
protected. It is one of God's greatest gifts to our State. Every 
history book that writes about California talks about the beauty of our 
State--and it starts with the ocean. We know if we lose that beauty it 
is irreplaceable.
  I also wanted to make a point to my friends that in our State, 
offshore oil drilling is an issue that unites the vast majority of 
Republicans and Democrats. They do not want to see it happen, whether 
it is our Governor or our Democratic candidate for Governor. They are 
in full agreement. This is an issue that unites California.
  Clearly, we know that our economy is heavily reliant on tourism. It 
is reliant on fisheries. And offshore oil drilling threatens both of 
those economic engines.
  Second, this bill will drain billions of dollars from the Federal 
Treasury. That is indisputable. And it does nothing to help us meet the 
critical goal of reducing America's dependence on oil. As a matter of 
fact, this bill deepens our dependence on oil.
  Achieving real energy independence must be more than just a slogan. 
In this unbalanced bill, we admit our addiction to oil. As a matter of 
fact, I heard many colleagues say we need more oil, that we need this 
oil. But with this bill, we continue to feed this habit.
  I personally believe there are places in this country where you can 
drill off the coast. I respect Senator Landrieu very much, and I don't 
have a problem if there is unanimity that there ought to be drilling 
off her state's coast. And I support her efforts to have some 
conservation fund to restore the area. But what are we getting on the 
other side? We are getting drilling, we are feeding the addiction to 
oil. It seems to me we are getting nothing because we are not allowed 
to amend this bill with some forward-thinking amendments. We are 
getting, for sure, a greater and greater deficit and a greater and 
greater debt.
  How would we better balance this bill? We should promote vehicle 
technologies that get better gas mileage. We can develop and 
incentivize the use of alternative fuels. We can encourage energy 
conservation.
  We have seen countries such as Brazil just within a 10-year timeframe 
become independent of foreign oil--become energy independent. But guess 
what. Because the Republican leadership won't allow it, we cannot offer 
any amendments to alter this bill. It is either drilling and giving 
four States a ton of money to reward them for that, causing the Federal 
deficit to swell, or it is nothing.

[[Page S8438]]

  It is sad because this is a great country. It is a country of great 
ideas. Yet the ideas on both sides of the aisle take a back seat to the 
same old, same old, drill, drill, drill.
  We can't drill our way out of this problem. As tempting as the mirage 
of a quick fix might be, we must not endanger the California coast with 
new drilling. And that is what will happen if this bill is merged with 
the House drilling bill.
  If the House would take the Senate bill, then I would breathe a sigh 
of relief for my State--and the west coast and the east coast can also 
breathe a sigh of relief. But we don't have any assurances that the 
Pombo bill, which will open up the door to drilling in the most 
beautiful areas, will not become part of this bill.
  Let me tell you that Californians--again, across party lines--
rejected coastal drilling long ago. Even in the days when our State was 
a red State, we rejected offshore oil drilling across party lines.
  It was because we had a devastating Santa Barbara rig blowout that 
contaminated our ocean waters and beaches almost 40 years ago. The 
memories of that are still ever present. The memories of that also 
became a warning sign that we want to preserve our precious coast.
  The people of California decided that the potential benefits of 
future offshore oil and gas development were not worth the risk of 
destroying our priceless coastal treasures and our most important 
tourist industry that draws millions and millions to our coast.
  I ask anyone listening to this debate: Is there a time when you visit 
California that you don't go to the coast? Everyone comes to our coast. 
What you do there is observe the wonder of an unspoiled coastline. 
There are certain areas where we do have drilling. But for many years 
we have kept the moratorium in place. When you go to our coastline, 
from the very far north of the State, down to the south, what you see 
is God's beauty. When you come to our State and you stay in our 
beautiful hotels and our bed and breakfasts and go to our restaurants, 
often having a view of our ocean, you can't help but come away in awe 
that this is a gift that has been given to us, and a gift that we must 
preserve. It brings dollars to our State.
  This is one of those times when it is the right thing to do 
economically to keep that coast beautiful. It is the right thing to do 
spiritually. And, it is the right thing to do environmentally. The 
California State legislature understands it. In 1994 they passed a law 
that permanently prohibits oil and gas exploration in our State's 
waters. I thank them for that. We learned the lesson that drilling is 
dangerous. We learned it the hard way.

  The Senate bill, if it is merged with the House bill, could be 
disastrous for the California environment and economy. We know it is 
disastrous for the Federal Treasury. By the year 2017, four States in 
our Nation would be entitled to $590 million per year; by 2022, $1.2 
billion per year. These States will get part of the Federal Treasury. 
We cannot afford this kind of imbalanced fiscal policy at a time when 
the Federal deficit is expected to be $300 billion this year and the 
national debt is over $8.4 trillion and growing.
  I think back to the year that President Clinton left office. The 
budget projections were that we were going to be debt free. Since my 
friends on the other side have taken control, deficits are back in full 
bloom. The debt is back and this bill adds to the debt and the deficit. 
How could we possibly do that today? Sadly, we are not only doing it 
with the energy bill, we are doing it in another bill I will talk about 
in a minute.
  How about this? No amendments allowed to this bill. What is the other 
side afraid of? We might have an amendment that will pass? We might 
have an amendment that increases fuel economy for our automobiles? We 
might have an amendment that makes sure we have flex-fuel vehicles? We 
might have an amendment pass that invests in cellulosic ethanol so we 
can have more farmers get into this act and produce ethanol from 
products other than corn? That would not use up as much energy to 
produce.
  Americans are paying $3 per gallon at the pump. By the way, in my 
State, in San Diego, I saw gas at over $4 for full serve. Talk about 
sticker shock, picture that one. There is not one thing in this bill 
about going after the gougers. What are they afraid of on the other 
side of the aisle? That we will go after the people who are essentially 
holding us up at the pump every single day?
  They say the gas prices are going through the roof because of unrest 
in the Middle East and Nigeria and companies are simply passing along 
higher costs. If that were true, it would be one thing. It isn't true. 
How do we know?
  While the American people are suffering, the oil companies are raking 
in record profits. If this were simply about passing along higher 
costs, the oil companies' profits would be flat.
  I used to be an economics major. It is pretty basic. If you are 
passing along costs, your profits are flat. But if you are passing 
along costs plus a huge increase in profit, your profits are up.
  Yes, Senator Cantwell, who had a great provision to go after the 
gougers, was not allowed to offer it as an amendment.
  Oil executives prosper. We have seen them, by the way, come before 
our committee. Senator Cantwell and I tried to swear them in. The 
Republican chairman would not allow us to swear in the oil company 
executives. I found that to be a bit disgraceful. So they were not 
under oath. By the way, they did not tell the truth, either. The fact 
is, transportation fuel costs for families have doubled since the Bush 
administration has taken office. Yet we cannot offer an amendment to go 
after the oil companies because the Republicans, who run the House, who 
run the Senate, and run the White House, do not want the oil companies 
to face the music. Pretty simple.
  I thought we were a country of, ``by and for the people.'' It turns 
out we are a country of, ``by and for the oil companies.'' You do not 
learn that in your textbooks.
  We have to do better. Democrats have written a bill called the Clean 
EDGE Act that would require increases in flex-fuel vehicle production, 
that would make price gouging a Federal crime, would provide incentives 
for manufacturing hybrid cars, and would set minimum fuel economy 
standards for tires.
  Why do you need standards for tires? Efficient tires on cars and 
keeping them inflated to the proper pressure improve mileage and would 
cut oil consumption by 160 million barrels per year. But we cannot 
offer an amendment. No, we cannot offer an amendment. They are 
protecting the oil companies. Why are we surprised? The President is an 
oil man. The Vice President is an oil man.
  My Democratic colleagues and I have worked with Republicans to raise 
CAFE standards. That is the corporate average fuel economy. That is 
what CAFE is. The Ten-in-Ten Fuel Economy Act would raise CAFE 
standards for all vehicles, including SUVs, from 25 miles per gallon to 
35 by 2017. This is a bill written by my colleagues, Senator Feinstein 
and Senator Snowe, but they cannot offer their amendment. Why? Because 
the Republicans want to protect the oil companies as the price for gas 
goes up.
  By closing the SUV loophole, we could save the equivalent of one 
Alaska National Wildlife Refuge every 7 years. We do not have to drill 
our way out of this crisis in the God-given wild places. We just need 
to be a little smarter. We can do it.
  I had amendments I would have offered that would have said the 
Federal Government has to purchase the most fuel-efficient vehicles 
available. It is kind of a no-brainer, but I cannot offer it. The 
President could issue an Executive Order today requiring that. He won't 
do that because he supports the oil companies, folks. Follow it, all of 
it; it leads back to that one point.
  The average fuel economy of the Federal fleet was an abysmal 21.4 
miles per gallon. I have had, for many years, a hybrid car. The new 
model, if it is driven properly, gets over 50 miles per gallon. Surely, 
we can do better than 21.4 miles a gallon.
  I would have offered an amendment to promote research for cellulosic 
ethanol, a type of fuel produced by agricultural waste. Promoting this 
innovative fuel will reduce our dependence on oil and provide our 
Nation's farmers with new income sources. No, I could not offer it 
because they are protecting the oil companies. It all comes back to 
that.

[[Page S8439]]

  With no amendments, we have a narrow drilling bill that busts the 
budget. We had an opportunity to work together across the aisle and 
come up with a comprehensive energy bill. But instead, we are going to 
protect the oil companies.
  So we have more of the same failed policies that, in the end, could, 
in fact, endanger all of our coasts.
  Once again, we call on the Republican leadership to start standing up 
for an energy policy for this country; not a narrow drilling bill that 
busts the Federal budget but an energy policy that will save the budget 
of the American people and help our economy by being on the cutting 
edge of these technologies.
  If a country such as Brazil can do it, aren't we a little embarrassed 
that we can't? We are so far behind, it is extraordinary. I guess when 
you run the Senate for the oil companies, that is what you get at the 
end of the day.
  I find it incredible that this Republican Congress that is supposed 
to care about fiscal responsibility has thrown fiscal responsibility 
out the window.
  You have this bill that will drain the Treasury of over $1 billion a 
year over time. Then we have this grand compromise in the House headed 
our way that is going to make changes in the tax laws that impact the 
top 8,200 wealthiest families in America. It will cut their taxes and, 
again, rob the Treasury of billions of dollars. Guess what they say. 
They didn't care too much about that.
  Let me tell the truth about what is headed our way, folks. The 
moderates on the House side went over to the leadership and said--these 
are the Republicans--we need to vote on the minimum wage because we may 
lose our seats. We are looking crass and cold because we have never had 
the ability to vote for the minimum wage because you never let us get 
it through. So we need to pass a minimum wage increase.
  The leadership said: We have not done that in 10 years. We are not 
about to do it now. But maybe we could figure out a way to twist that 
around and cut back on that minimum wage increase and let those people 
at the bottom of the ladder struggle a bit longer while we give tax 
breaks to the wealthiest 8,200 families. But we will send it over to 
the Senate, and if they vote no because they decide they do not want to 
bust the budget, they will look bad because they have been calling for 
an increase in the minimum wage.
  A long time ago when I was a girl, there was a great man who went up 
against Senator Joe McCarthy. He said to him: Have you no shame? We 
ought to bring out those words again. I say to my friends, have you no 
shame? People who work at the minimum wage have not had a raise in 
almost 10 years. You, Senators, have had a raise almost every year. How 
about tens of thousands of dollars of raises?
  Finally, because you are caught between a rock and a hard place, you 
decide to pass an increase in the minimum wage, but you do it over 3 
years. I never heard any Senator say: I will take my raise over 3 
years. Never, and we get thousands of dollars in 1 year. I never had a 
colleague come over from the other side of the aisle against raising 
the minimum wage, saying: We will take our raise in 3 years. We will 
wait 3 years for another increase. No, we get our cost-of-living 
adjustment, while minimum wage workers are going to wait 3 years.
  By the way, for some the House bill will be a pay cut. Some States, 
such as my State, where employers cannot reduce the state minimum wage 
paid just because a worker receives tips, will now be allowed to cut 
that worker's wages.
  Have you no shame? Anyone in this Senate live on $10,000 or $11,000 a 
year? Do you think if you work your fingers to the bone you should be 
stuck at that level for 10 long years, while people at the top, like 
us--and, by the way, we are not at the very top, but we are at the top 
1 percent or so--we get our cost-of-living adjustments every single 
year.
  I have so much respect for working people. I have tried every year 
since I have been here to give them a pay raise. I want to give them a 
pay raise where they can hold their head high and support their 
families, not tell them they have to wait 3 years to get their full 
increase after being held to $5.15 an hour for 10 years.
  By the way, there are many Republicans who do not believe in any 
minimum wage. There are some I have heard who have been here 20 years 
and have voted against it every time. So if they had their way the 
minimum wage would be $2.25 an hour. I am waiting for the Republicans 
to come up and tell me they want to take their cost-of-living 
adjustment over 3 years. Then I am waiting for them to say, if they 
have a spouse who works: If my spouse gets a little extra money, I will 
give back some of my raise--as they have done with their tip policy.
  I say to those at the very top of the income ladder, the billionaires 
out there: You are not asking for this. The truth is, many of us here 
are very willing to say, on the estate tax, that the exemption should 
be lifted. We have said that. I am on an amendment to do that. Because 
it is true that the price of houses has gone up, and we do not want to 
have this estate tax be an onerous burden to anyone--not to a family, 
not to a farmer--and we can work it out. But what is coming to us in 
this ``minimum wage train'' is a lot more than an increase in the 
minimum wage. It is a cruel hoax because it does not give minimum wage 
workers that raise in a year--after they have waited for 10 years.
  And for those workers that receive tips, it may actually decrease 
their wages if they live in one of six states, including California, 
that doesn't reduce the minimum wage employers must pay because they 
get tips. And, of course, it is coupled with this big gift to the 
richest families of America, which means, at the end of the day, 
millions--hundreds of millions--and eventually billions of dollars will 
be drained from the Federal Treasury. And the very people who claim to 
be fiscally responsible are at it again, adding to the deficit, adding 
to the debt.
  This is really a time for people to stand up and be counted. This is 
really a time to speak the truth. This is a tough time in the world. 
All of us are heartsick about what is going on in the world, and we all 
pray for an end to the fighting, not only in Lebanon and in Israel but 
in Iraq where things are deteriorating every single day. Hard times. In 
the middle of these hard times, is this the time to say to the 
wealthiest 8,200 families: ``We are worried about you''?
  And we will have less money for our troops and we will have less 
money for our kids. This Senate and this Congress has underfunded the 
No Child Left Behind Act. Oh, everyone said this was the greatest thing 
since sliced bread. And I voted for it. I really thought George Bush 
and my Republican friends would fully fund it. I wrote the afterschool 
section there. We have a million kids on waiting lists. We cannot take 
them. Funding for that program has been frozen for years now. This 
President signed the largest increase in student loan costs ever and 
the biggest cuts in education ever, but they are going to give a big 
tax break to the richest 8,200 families. I do not get it. I do not 
think the American people get it. We are going to find out pretty soon.
  We have an energy bill that Leader Frist would not let us amend. He 
is not letting us offer any amendments to slow our oil addiction, to go 
after the oil companies, to create a bold, new energy policy, get us on 
the path of energy independence. And then, with Democrats calling for 
an increase in the minimum wage for 10 years, they give it to us over a 
3-year period, when they take their raises to the bank. It is an 
outrage. Have they no shame? Have they no shame? I do not know. I do 
not know.
  I always say here, sometimes I feel like Alice in Wonderland, and I 
feel that way today. But my voice will be raised on these issues. And 
the American people will be the judge if these are the kinds of 
priorities they want: a drilling bill, no energy independence, no 
antigouging legislation; a minimum wage increase, long overdue, that 
takes away money from some minimum wage earners; and two budget-busting 
bills--this one and the one that has the estate tax cut--that are going 
to add billions and billions to our debt. By the way, in closing, we 
should know who carries that debt: foreign countries, folks. They pick 
up the bonds. If they decide to take their money and go home, we are 
left in a mess.

[[Page S8440]]

  So I hope the American people are listening in on these debates. I 
look forward to discussing these matters as they come up before the 
Senate.
  I thank my colleague very much for his patience.
  Mrs. FEINSTEIN. Mr. President, I rise today to oppose S. 3711, which 
will allow drilling in the gulf and create a new revenue-sharing scheme 
to provide additional resources for the Gulf States.
  Let me first say that I am not opposed to drilling in the gulf. In 
fact, in 2001, I voted to open a portion of the gulf, known as lease 
sale 181, to drilling. That vote was a codification of the agreement 
between former President Clinton and the former Governor of Florida, 
Lawton Chiles. Yet the agreement was repudiated after President Bush 
came into office and reduced the amount of acreage that could be 
drilled in the Gulf of Mexico at the request of Florida's Governor Jeb 
Bush.
  In fact, I rise today in opposition to this bill not because it opens 
up areas of the Gulf to drilling, but because it protects the west 
coast of Florida from drilling until 2022--10 years beyond the current 
Presidential moratorium, while providing no additional protections for 
California's coast.
  California should be accorded the same protection as Florida gets in 
this bill.
  An oilspill would scar our coastline, costing billions of dollars and 
destroying vulnerable marine ecosystems.
  In addition, a healthy coast is vital to California's economy and our 
quality of life. Our State's Ocean-dependent industries are estimated 
to generate $17 billion of revenue each year.
  That is why Californians continue to be nearly united in their 
opposition to drilling off the coast. Today, 64 percent of Californians 
oppose drilling, and the number of Californians opposing drilling off 
our coast has only grown.
  The opposition to drilling off of California's coast dates back more 
than 30 years. In 1972, California voters passed a citizen-initiated 
proposition which created the California Coastal Zone Conservation 
Commission, charged with developing a statewide plan for protecting the 
State's coastal resources. In the years that have followed, 17 cities 
and 9 counties have passed voter-approved ordinances opposing oil 
drilling.
  In 1994, the California Legislature passed a bill that prohibited the 
extraction of oil and gas in State waters. Every year since the passage 
of this law, the State legislature has passed joint resolutions 
opposing oil drilling off the California coast.
  The Governor, the California Resources Secretary, the Secretary of 
California Environmental Protection Agency, and the Lieutenant 
Governor, have all been on record supporting the moratorium on offshore 
oil and gas leasing activities off the coast of California.
  Resources Secretary Mike Chrisman, who is also the chairman of the 
California Ocean Protection Council, has in fact stated:

       Any pending federal legislation regarding Outer Continental 
     Shelf (OCS) oil and gas leasing must retain all protections 
     from the Congressional leasing moratorium and should seek to 
     make these protections permanent.

  Governor Schwarzenegger has sent a letter to every Senator expressing 
his ``opposition to any measure that would weaken the national oil and 
gas leasing moratorium that has been protecting the California coast 
for the last 25 years.''
  I will ask that the Governor's letter be printed in the Record.
  This bill cannot be viewed in a vacuum. Last month, the House of 
Representatives passed a bill that would lift the current moratoria 
that exists for the Pacific and Atlantic coasts.
  Congressman Pombo, a key sponsor of the House bill, has said that the 
House will not accept the Senate bill. Congressman Barton, chairman of 
the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said on Wednesday, July 26, 
that ``we would certainly encourage--the Senate--to go broader'' than 
allowing drilling in the gulf.
  Without a concrete commitment from the House leaders that they will 
take up the Senate bill and pass it without amendment, I cannot support 
this bill.
  I would also like to express my disappointment that we have been 
denied an opportunity to offer amendments to this bill.
  First, I believe we need a vote on an amendment I have cosponsored, 
authored by Senator Menendez, which would extend the moratoria for the 
Pacific and Atlantic coasts through 2022. For California, this would 
extend the Federal moratorium by 10 years as it is set to expire in 
2012.
  This amendment would provide the same protections to California as 
the underlying bill does for Florida. In so doing, the amendment would 
reliably protect the California coast by enacting a long-term 
legislative moratorium.
  But we will not be allowed to consider this, or any other amendments 
that would promote energy efficiency and new energy technologies.
  With oil prices at $75 per barrel, and natural gas almost $7 per 
million Btus, we need real fixes to our energy problems.
  Unfortunately, the underlying bill is not going to fix this nation's 
energy problems.
  I have also filed an amendment, with the bipartisan support of 
Senators Snowe, Durbin, Chafee, Inouye, Collins, Cantwell, Lautenberg, 
Boxer, Menendez, Lieberman, and Reed to increase fuel economy standards 
by 10 miles per gallon in 10 years.
  Not only is this technologically feasible to do today, the proposal 
would also save more oil in just over 1 year than the underlying bill 
will generate.
  Specifically, this amendment would save 2.5 million barrels of oil 
per day by 2025, the same amount of oil we currently import from the 
Persian Gulf every day.
  That translates into 912.5 million barrels of oil per year, or just 
less than the 1.25 billion barrels that the underlying bill would 
generate.
  Increasing fuel economy standards would also prevent 420 million 
metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere, or the 
equivalent of taking 90 million cars--or 75 million cars and light 
trucks--off the road in 1 year.
  Perhaps most importantly, though, the bill would save consumers as 
much as $2,500 over the life of a vehicle.
  So if we are serious about bringing down the cost of gasoline at the 
pump, this amendment would be considered and adopted by the Senate.
  And if we want to have a real impact on natural gas prices, we would 
be promoting energy efficiency.
  California has proven that energy efficiency works--through the most 
aggressive energy efficiency policies in the Nation, the State has kept 
its per capita energy use flat while the rest of the Nation's energy 
use has increased by 50 percent.
  That is why Senator Snowe and I wanted to offer an amendment on tax 
incentives for consumers to install the most energy efficient 
technologies in both residential and commercial buildings.
  While proponents of the underlying bill say that lease sale 181 and 
181 south will provide 5.83 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, our 
amendment would save 7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. In other 
words, we can save more natural gas through the Snowe-Feinstein energy 
efficiency tax incentive package than from lease sale 181 and 181 south 
combined.
  I also have significant fiscal concerns with the underlying bill.
  While I commend Senator Landrieu for shepherding a proposal through 
the Senate that will generously benefit her State, I have concerns 
about the cost of the proposal.
  According to estimates, the bill will cost the Treasury approximately 
$20 billion from fiscal year 2007 through fiscal year 2055.
  This bill creates a new permanent Federal entitlement for just four 
States that could cost the Federal Treasury $12-15 billion per year in 
2056 and every year thereafter.
  At a time this Nation is facing a mounting national debt of $8.4 
trillion and a crushing Federal deficit of $300 billion, we should not 
be creating a new entitlement program for four States that could cost 
us hundreds of billions of dollars over the next century.
  We are already struggling to meet our long-term commitments and face 
a looming entitlement crisis as baby boomers retire, straining the 
already overextended Social Security and Medicare systems.
  For all these reasons, I am going to vote no on cloture and no on the 
bill.

[[Page S8441]]

  Before I close, though, Mr. President, I would like to say that 
Senator Landrieu has been a tireless advocate for her constituents. I 
had hoped to support her in her efforts to restore coastal Louisiana.
  Unfortunately, though, given the potential for a bill to come back 
that would threaten California's coast, I must vote against this bill.
  I ask unanimous consent that the Governors letter to which I referred 
be printed in the Record.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

                               Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger,

                                                    July 12, 2006.
     Hon. Dianne Feinstein,
     Senate Office Building,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Senator Feinstein: I am writing each member of the 
     United States Senate to express my extreme disappointment 
     about the recent action taken by the House of Representatives 
     to approve the Deep Ocean Energy Resources Act (DOER).
       I have repeatedly expressed my opposition to any measure 
     that would weaken the national oil and gas leasing moratorium 
     that has been protecting the California coast for the last 25 
     years. When I ran for Governor, I promised the people of 
     California that I would do everything in my power to oppose 
     efforts to weaken federal protections against offshore oil 
     drilling. The DOER would be the beginning of the end of these 
     protections that we have enjoyed for the last 25 years. In 
     fulfilling my promise to all Californians I continue to 
     oppose this bill in the strongest terms.
       I have been asked to consider new amendments to the bill, 
     but I can tell you that certain things are not negotiable. 
     Our coast is not for sale and no amount of promises of money 
     or other ``incentives'' will alter my position on that. 
     California has the most aggressive energy-efficiency measures 
     in the nation. Because of our efforts, California's per 
     capita energy use has remained nearly flat, while nationwide 
     energy use has increased by nearly 50 percent.
       Let us change this debate and start talking about a 
     comprehensive energy policy that incorporates the full range 
     of energy efficiency measures and alternative energy sources 
     that can keep this nation running strong now and for 
     generations to come.
       I urge you to oppose the Deep Ocean Energy Resources Act 
     and to also oppose any amendments intended to make this bill 
     appear acceptable to the American people. Absent an amendment 
     that would uphold the current moratorium in perpetuity this 
     bill is an unacceptable approach and no amount of tinkering 
     will fix it.
           Sincerely,
                                            Arnold Schwarzenegger.


                    land and water conservation fund

  Mr. ALEXANDER. Mr. President, I commend the chairman of the Committee 
on Energy and Natural Resources for his leadership in moving this bill 
to the floor. Is it his understanding that the conservation and outdoor 
recreation royalty established by his legislation has tremendous value 
for the stateside program of the Land and Water Conservation Fund over 
the long term?
  Mr. DOMENICI. Yes, the Senator from Tennessee is correct. Those who 
want to make sure our citizens have access to the great American 
outdoors have long advocated the principle that some of the funds from 
offshore oil and gas drilling should become a royalty for conservation 
and outdoor recreation, providing a reliable and permanent stream of 
funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund. This basic concept 
was proposed in 1962 by the Outdoor Recreation Resources Review 
Commission--also known as the Rockefeller Commission--and it was also a 
primary recommendation of President Reagan's Commission on Americans 
Outdoors in 1986. This legislation is an important first step in the 
right direction, one that has been 40 years in the making.
  Mr. SALAZAR. I join the Senator from Tennessee in expressing my 
appreciation for Chairman Domenici's leadership, and I wish to thank 
both of my colleagues for working with me on providing this permanent 
funding stream for the LWCF stateside grant program. This program 
supports the state and local parks and recreation projects that improve 
the quality of all Americans' lives, and enables American families to 
enjoy our precious natural resource of open spaces.
  Mr. ALEXANDER. Would the Senator from New Mexico clarify whether this 
conservation and outdoor recreation royalty would prevent additional 
appropriations for the Land and Water Conservation Fund stateside 
program?
  Mr. DOMENICI. No, it would not. The LWCF stateside program will 
continue to be eligible to receive funding in the appropriations 
process just as it is currently. The mandatory funding stream 
established under this bill would not replace appropriated funding, and 
does nothing to disadvantage the program in the appropriations process.
  Mr. SALAZAR. The Senator from New Mexico makes a critical point. The 
projected revenues for the LWCF stateside program under this bill are 
important, but they are not sufficient to keep that program, which has 
contributed to the improvement of 98 percent of the counties in the 
United States since 1964, strong and vital. And I know that all of us 
aim to bolster the LWCF stateside grant program, and to achieve the 
level of support envisioned by Congress's authorization. So we must 
supplement the revenues directed to LWCF under this bill with 
meaningful annual appropriations. I have spoken to the majority leader 
about this issue as well, and he has assured me that he shares my 
concerns. I look forward to working with him and with all of my 
colleagues on this issue in the years ahead.
  Mr. ALEXANDER. Would the Senator from New Mexico support an 
appropriation of $100 million in fiscal year 2007 for stateside LWCF?
  Mr. DOMENICI. I was pleased that the Senate Committee on 
Appropriations included $30 million for the stateside program in the 
fiscal year 2007 Interior and Related Agencies appropriations bill. 
This was a significant improvement over the President's budget request 
and the House Interior bill, both of which zeroed out stateside for the 
second straight year. Still, there is room for improvement. I would 
share the Senator's interest in adding to the stateside funding in the 
Senate committee mark if appropriate offsets can be found. In fiscal 
year 2007, zero revenues will be allocated to stateside LWCF from this 
conservation royalty because it will take time for the new areas to be 
brought on line and begin producing. So we will need to appropriate 
funding in fiscal year 2007 to fill that gap.
  Mr. SALAZAR. That would certainly be in the interest of all 
Americans. Of course, we commit to working together to support LWCF 
with supplementary appropriations beyond the next fiscal year as well. 
Only constant vigilance and steady support will ensure that the 
provision providing a permanent stream of funding for LWCF in the bill 
before us acts as it was intended--as a strong and growing core, but 
not the totality, of support for this vital program.
  Mr. ALEXANDER. I thank the Senator from New Mexico, and look forward 
to working with him to ensure adequate funding for the Land and Water 
Conservation Fund.
  Ms. COLLINS. I would also like to thank Chairman Domenici, as well as 
Senators Alexander and Salazar, for confirming that the LWCF funds 
provided by this legislation are intended as additional funds to 
supplement the program, not a replacement for full funding through the 
normal appropriations process. I would also note that over 50 senators 
signed the Collins-Salazar-Alexander letter in support of $100 million 
in funding for LWCF-stateside in fiscal year 2007. As evidenced by this 
support, this program is absolutely vital to communities throughout the 
Nation. Almost every county in the Nation has taken advantage of this 
program to conserve open spaces or build playgrounds, ballparks, and 
trails. I sincerely hope the Senate will restore this historic level of 
funding through the appropriations process, in addition to those funds 
that will be made available under this bill.
  Mr. ALEXANDER. I thank the Senator from Maine.


                       Securing Our Energy Future

  Mr. COLEMAN. Mr. President, I rise today to speak about America's 
energy crisis, and I am glad to see that my friend, Majority Leader 
Frist, is on the floor to discuss this issue with me.
  High natural gas prices continue to be a terrible burden for 
Minnesota's families and businesses. High natural gas prices had a 
severe impact on Minnesotans last winter--I am sure many of my 
colleagues remember the push that I, along with Senators Snowe and 
Collins, made early this year for emergency LIHEAP assistance--
assistance the majority leader helped us deliver. Moreover, I don't 
need to remind my farm State colleagues of the severe

[[Page S8442]]

impact high natural gas prices have had on their input costs, straining 
even the most efficient farms.
  Whether high natural gas prices or $3 gas at the pump, high energy 
costs take a toll on all Americans, which is why I will vote in favor 
of the Gulf of Mexico energy bill that will provide 1.26 billion 
barrels of oil and 5.8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Yet I 
believe this bill is only a piece of the larger energy mission America 
must accept.
  Clearly, Americans feel the strain of high energy costs at home, in 
the car, and at work, but all must realize our foreign oil dependence 
threatens our very economy and national security.
  I would like to ask the majority leader about the importance of fuel 
independence to our national and economic security and the need to 
build upon the Gulf of Mexico energy bill by considering, on this 
floor, additional energy proposals that will help to secure our energy 
future.
  Mr. FRIST. I thank my friend, the Senator from Minnesota, for his 
question because I truly believe energy security is one of the great 
challenges this Congress must continue to address.
  As we all know, America is dangerously dependent on foreign sources 
of energy--much of it coming from countries with unstable governments 
or with interests contrary to those of the United States. And this 
disparity will only increase if we do not take action to increase the 
amount of American energy that we use here in America. The bill before 
us today, the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act, will do just that. As 
my friend from Minnesota mentioned, it will reduce our dependence on 
foreign oil and natural gas by opening more than 8 million acres in the 
Gulf of Mexico to domestic exploration. The area opened up under this 
bill is estimated to contain 1.26 billion barrels of oil and 5.8 
trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
  However, as I said on the floor last week, while this bill is a 
critical step toward addressing the energy challenges we face, it is 
only a first step. There is more that we can--and must--do to break 
what the President called our ``addiction'' to oil. We must diversify 
our energy resources, increase the use of renewables and alternative 
sources such as ethanol and biodiesel, clean coal technology, and 
nuclear power, and we must take steps to reduce consumption by 
consumers. Finally, we must do more to encourage the development of the 
innovative new technologies that will wean us off of foreign oil in the 
future.
  Mr. COLEMAN. Mr. Leader, I appreciate those comments. Some people 
dismiss such an ambitious goal as reducing our growing dependence on 
foreign oil, but I recall a time when the Moon was also once out of 
reach. We all know the power of America's innovative, relentless spirit 
when called to an objective, no matter how formative.
  I am particularly pleased the majority leader supports an aggressive, 
multifaceted energy strategy that includes renewable fuels and energy 
conservation. As a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, I know we 
cannot afford to rely on oil imports that are subject to the whims of 
Hugo Chavez in Venezuela or the political stability of Nigeria. The 
fact is that countries rated by Freedom House as ``not free'' produce 
more than two-thirds of the world's oil and have nearly 80 percent of 
the proven reserves.
  I believe the imperative is clear: America must free itself from its 
oil dependence, and I believe the solution is also clear: renewable 
energy and energy conservation. The Vehicle Fuel Choices for American 
Security Act that I have coauthored and now has 27 cosponsors lays out 
an ambitious plan for saving 2.5 million barrels of oil per day in 10 
years, roughly the amount of oil we currently import from the Middle 
East, through renewables and energy conservation. Further, the bill 
will promote E85 fueling infrastructure and speed the development of 
cellulosic ethanol, while investing in the development of efficient 
vehicle technologies and assisting auto manufacturers' transition to 
fuel-efficient vehicle production.
  Last week, chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources committee, 
and my good friend, Pete Domenici expressed on the floor his affinity 
for the ideas in this bill, and a portion of the bill has already 
received a hearing in the Energy Committee. Mr. Leader, will you work 
with me to develop an energy package that boosts our renewable fuel 
production and energy conservation?
  Mr. FRIST. I will tell my good friend from Minnesota that I do not 
consider the Gulf of Mexico energy bill to be the last word on energy 
policy this year. I am well aware of your proposals promoting 
renewables and energy conservation, and I look forward to working with 
the Senator and Chairman Domenici on many of these important ideas in 
the months ahead.
  Mr. COLEMAN. Mr. President, I thank the Senator for his support and 
leadership on energy issues. I believe America faces a great threat in 
foreign oil dependence, but more importantly, I believe in Americans' 
ability to accomplish the impossible. I know if Congress will put forth 
a vision and provide the tools to accomplish that vision, Americans can 
break our addition to foreign oil.
  I yield the floor, and I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. SPECTER. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. SPECTER. Mr. President, I think there is no doubt, given the 
energy situation in the world and in the United States, that there is a 
need for the United States to work toward energy independence and to 
have additional exploration, development, and production activities 
where they can be done in an environmentally safe way.
  I believe that, all factors considered, S. 3711 is, on balance, at a 
close question, worthy of enactment. But I think it would have been 
vastly preferable had the leader not filled the tree so as to prevent 
further amendments so that the Senate could have undertaken a broader 
examination of energy issues, done more than just authorize further 
exploration but instead taken positive steps on other important lines.
  For example, I filed an amendment numbered 4741, which would have 
made very significant changes in the antitrust laws in the United 
States, which would have had a significant impact on reducing our 
dependence on OPEC oil and would have promoted competition in the oil 
industry by taking a firm stand against anticompetitive mergers.
  The oil and gas industry has seen over 2,600 mergers since the 1990s, 
including transactions involving the largest oil companies in the 
nation, like Conoco's merger with Phillips, Chevron's merger with and 
Texaco, Exxon's merger with Mobil, Ultramar Diamond Shamrock's merger 
with Valero, and many others which will be specified in a statement I 
will append at the conclusion of these extemporaneous remarks.
  My amendment would have required the Government Accountability Office 
to study whether remedies ordered by the antitrust enforcement agencies 
to ensure that mergers do not substantially lessen competition have 
been adequate. Once the study was completed, the antitrust enforcement 
agencies would then be required to consider whether any additional 
remedies are necessary.
  The amendment would have required the Federal Trade Commission and 
the Justice Department to consider whether current merger laws are 
adequate, given the particular problems that exist in the oil and gas 
markets. The thrust is to determine whether we need to change the 
Clayton Act to make it tougher to get massive mergers in these markets 
approved.
  I know there are those who contend that the mergers provide 
efficiencies. But I think it is virtually incontrovertible that these 
mergers lessen competition. When you have Exxon and Mobil and the other 
oil companies merging, there simply is less competition. This amendment 
stops short of amending the Clayton Act, but does require a study to 
see if the Clayton Act ought to be changed.
  This provision was included in S. 2557, the Oil and Gas Industry 
Antitrust Act of 2006, which was taken up by the Judiciary Committee, 
which I chair. We had two hearings and a markup and the Committee 
reported it to the floor. So, this was an ideal occasion to consider 
this legislation--as

[[Page S8443]]

part of the debate over an overall energy policy aimed at lessening 
dependence upon foreign oil.
  A second part of S. 2557 provided that OPEC would be subject to our 
antitrust laws. It is obvious that OPEC is a cartel that fixes output 
and prices for oil, an arrangement that would violate our antitrust 
laws. However, they are currently exempt. By statute, we could bring 
them under our antitrust laws. It would have made a lot of sense to do 
that, especially at a time when we are considering the legislation now 
pending, S. 3711.
  In addition, I believe it would have been very beneficial to our 
national energy policy to have considered an amendment offered by 
Senator Bingaman, No. 4692, which provides for oil conservation. 
Senator Bingaman and I have cosponsored legislation in the past which 
would have lessened the amount of oil projected to be consumed in the 
United States under an oil conservation system. When we are considering 
S. 3711 and we are considering the basic issues as to how to achieve 
energy independence for the United States, and provide security for the 
United States, there are other avenues that this legislation should 
have explored. However, we were prevented from doing so by the 
procedures adopted by the Republican leadership, which precluded 
additional amendments. I think that is contrary to the public interest, 
and I expressed that view to the leadership.
  I thought we ought to have an opportunity to consider additional ways 
of achieving energy independence. Once the so-called tree is filled, 
you cannot offer any further amendments, so that I could not offer 
amendment No. 4741, which is the legislation reported out of the 
Judiciary Committee under the caption S. 2557, the Oil and Gas Industry 
Antitrust Act of 2006, nor could we take up the amendment offered by 
Senator Bingaman on oil conservation. I think that is most unfortunate. 
Once the tree is filled and these amendments cannot be offered, there 
is no alternative but to move for cloture, move to complete action on 
the bill so that we can take up other important matters to come before 
the Senate which are awaiting action on the docket.
  I ask unanimous consent that the full text of my remarks be printed 
in the Record
  There being no objection, the statement was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

Floor Statment Offering S. 2557, the Oil and Gas Industry Antitrust Act 
of 2006 as an Amendment to S. 3711, the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security 
                              Act of 2006

       Mr. President, I seek recognition to speak on my amendment 
     that I have filed to S. 3711, The Gulf of Mexico Energy 
     Security Act of 2006. My amendment was reported by the 
     Judiciary Committee earlier this year as a stand-alone bill, 
     S. 2557, The Oil and Gas Industry Antitrust Act of 2006. My 
     amendment fits in well with the goals of S. 3711 because it 
     is aimed at ensuring that the oil and gas industry is 
     responding to the forces of supply and demand, not market 
     manipulation.
       Over the years, the oil and gas industry in the United 
     States has become significantly more concentrated. Over 2,600 
     mergers have occurred in the industry since the 1990s, 
     including transactions involving the largest oil and gas 
     companies in the nation.
       As recently as March, the Department of Justice approved 
     Conoco-Phillips' acquisition of Burlington Resources, a 
     merger that created the Nation's largest natural gas company 
     and the third largest oil company.
       The Federal Trade Commission also recently approved 
     Occidental's acquisition of Vintage Petroleum, a transaction 
     that would create the fifth largest U.S. oil company.
       Last summer, the FTC approved Chevron's acquisition of 
     Unocoal and Valero's acquisition of Premcor. The latter 
     transaction created the Nation's largest refiner.
       In 2002, Valero acquired Ultramar Diamond Shamrock and 
     Phillips merged with Conoco.
       In 2001, Chevron bought Texaco and Ultramar Diamond 
     Shamrock acquired Total.
       The year 2000 saw the merger of British petroleum and ARCO.
       The largest transaction occurred in 1999 when Exxon merged 
     with Mobil.
       Other transactions have included British petroleum's 
     acquisition of Amoco, Marathon's joint venture with Ashland 
     Petroleum and another joint venture that combined the 
     refining assets of Shell and Texaco.
       As an industry becomes more concentrated, the remaining 
     competitors are able to exercise market power and prices 
     inevitably rise. Market power is a particular problem in the 
     petroleum industry because consumers are generally unable to 
     respond to rising prices. While some conservation is 
     possible, consumers still must get to work and, as prices 
     rise, homeowners generally do not stop heating their homes. 
     As a result, even moderate increases in concentration can 
     provide oil and gas companies with substantial market power.
       The Judiciary Committee held two hearings on the issue of 
     concentration in the oil and gas industry earlier this year. 
     The Committee heard considerable testimony indicating that 
     concentration and market power could impact prices. At one of 
     the hearings, Joseph Alioto, an attorney who is currently 
     challenging the Shell/Texaco transaction that I just 
     mentioned, testified that after the transaction, Shell and 
     Texaco increased the price of Texaco gasoline, which had 
     traditionally been lower than the price for Shell gasoline. 
     Later, the companies raised prices for both brands of 
     gasoline--by 50 to 70 percent in some areas. In another 
     example, an FTC investigation uncovered internal 
     communications indicating that one major oil company had 
     exported Alaskan oil to East Asia in an effort to reduce 
     supply and raise prices on the West Coast. That company 
     clearly knew that it had the ability to exercise market power 
     in West Coast markets.
       My amendment would require the Government Accountability 
     Office to study whether remedies ordered by the antitrust 
     enforcement agencies to ensure that mergers do not 
     substantially lessen competition have been adequate. Once the 
     study is complete, the antitrust enforcement agencies must 
     consider whether any additional remedies are necessary. My 
     amendment also requires the FTC and Justice Department to 
     consider whether current merger laws are adequate given the 
     particular problems that exist in oil and gas markets.
       During its hearings, the Judiciary Committee also heard 
     testimony from the oil companies. They argued that the market 
     for crude oil is a ``world market'' and they could not 
     possibly affect the price. This contention may be true. 
     Pretty much everyone knows that the ``big boys'' in the world 
     oil market are the members of OPEC. They openly exercise 
     their market power in the world market for oil. OPEC is a 
     cartel engaged in limiting the supply, and in doing that, 
     fixing the price of oil. Cartels violate U.S. antitrust laws. 
     They violate Section 1 of the Sherman Act, which prohibits 
     agreements in restraint of trade.
       Since OPEC members sell their product to the United States, 
     they would normally be subject to U.S. antitrust laws. 
     However, certain judge-made laws prevent the Justice 
     Department from prosecuting OPEC members for fixing the price 
     of oil. My amendment would eliminate those laws and allow the 
     Justice Department to pursue price fixing by OPEC members. As 
     I said at the outset, my amendment ensures that petroleum 
     markets are responding to the laws of the supply and demand, 
     not the manipulation of a few countries, or a few companies, 
     or a few corporate executives.
       While the U.S. companies may not control the world market 
     for crude oil, the market for refined products is different. 
     At the level of production where crude oil is turned into 
     gasoline and heating oil and other refined products, the 
     major U.S. oil companies do exercise market power. At the 
     Judiciary Committee's hearing, Severin Borenstein, who is a 
     Professor of Business and Public Policy at Berkeley and holds 
     a Ph.D. in economics from M.I.T., testified that ``market 
     power in the refining industry is becoming a serious 
     problem.''
       Significant anecdotal evidence exists that the major oil 
     companies exercise market power in refined product markets. 
     For example, during an investigation involving gasoline 
     price spikes in the Midwest, the FTC concluded that at 
     least one firm had excess supplies--and capacity to 
     produce even more--but had limited the amount that it sold 
     in order to keep prices high. My amendment would address 
     some of this conduct by clarifying that it is unlawful for 
     oil and gas companies to divert, export or refuse to sell 
     existing supplies with the intention of raising prices or 
     creating a shortage.
       Increased concentration not only conveys market power, it 
     makes conspiracy easier. At the hearings conducted by the 
     Judiciary Committee, David Boies, the antitrust litigator 
     that prosecuted Microsoft for the Justice Department, 
     testified about evidence that British Petroleum and Exxon 
     have conspired to limit the supply of Alaskan natural gas 
     that is sold. Boies testified that Exxon and British 
     Petroleum had ``decided between themselves that they would 
     prefer to withhold this gas and maintain artificially high 
     natural gas prices throughout the U.S.''
       Current antitrust laws prohibit such conduct, but collusion 
     is not always so straightforward. Simply put, if there are 
     few enough competitors in a market, each competitor knows 
     that if it lowers its prices, other competitors will notice 
     and lower theirs. As a result, a competitor does not have the 
     normal incentive to sell more by lowering its prices. Such 
     conduct frequently results when competitors can easily share 
     information with each other. In other words, actual 
     conspiracy may not be needed. As Tom Greene, the Senior 
     Assistant Attorney General for California testified, ``[T]he 
     more concentrated the industry, the less explicit the 
     communications that are required to organize prices and limit 
     production.''
       U.S. oil companies appear to have several mechanisms by 
     which they are able to share market information. The 
     Judiciary Committee came to no conclusions as to whether the 
     sharing of information among U.S. oil companies is truly a 
     problem, so my amendment directs the Federal Trade Commission 
     to study the Issue.

[[Page S8444]]

       As I have said, my amendment will help ensure that the oil 
     and gas industry is responding to the forces of supply and 
     demand, not market manipulation. I understand that we are not 
     able to vote on amendments to S. 3711, but I urge my 
     colleagues to suppose the Oil and Gas Industry Antitrust Act 
     of 2006 at such time as it receives a vote.

  Mr. SPECTER. Mr. President, in the absence of any other Senator 
seeking recognition, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. SPECTER. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. SPECTER. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that at 5 p.m. on 
Tuesday, August 1, the two pending amendments be withdrawn, S. 3711 
then be read the third time, and the Senate proceed to a vote on 
passage of the bill, with no intervening action or debate; provided 
further that no motions to proceed be in order during Tuesday's session 
of the Senate.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

                          ____________________