PROVIDING FOR CONSIDERATION OF H.R. 6515, DRILL RESPONSIBLY IN LEASED LANDS ACT OF 2008
(House of Representatives - July 17, 2008)

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[Pages H6688-H6697]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




 PROVIDING FOR CONSIDERATION OF H.R. 6515, DRILL RESPONSIBLY IN LEASED 
                           LANDS ACT OF 2008

  Mr. WELCH of Vermont. Mr. Speaker, by direction of the Committee on 
Rules, I call up House Resolution 1350 and ask for its immediate 
consideration.
  The Clerk read the resolution, as follows:

                              H. Res. 1350

       Resolved, That it shall be in order at any time on the 
     legislative day of Thursday, July 17, 2008, for the Speaker 
     to entertain motions that the House suspend the rules 
     relating to a measure concerning the domestic production of 
     oil and natural gas.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Vermont is recognized for 
1 hour.
  Mr. WELCH of Vermont. Mr. Speaker, for the purpose of debate only, I 
yield the customary 30 minutes to the gentleman from Texas (Mr. 
Sessions). All time yielded during consideration of the rule is for 
debate only.


                             General Leave

  Mr. WELCH of Vermont. I ask unanimous consent that all Members have 5 
legislative days within which to revise and extend their remarks and to 
insert extraneous material into the Record.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Vermont?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. WELCH of Vermont. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may 
consume.
  Mr. Speaker, House Res. 1350 provides that it shall be in order on 
the legislative day of Thursday, July 17, 2008, for the Speaker to 
entertain motions to suspend the rules relating to a measure concerning 
the domestic production of oil and natural gas.
  The energy crisis that we face is real. It requires immediate 
attention and short and long-term action. As a Nation, we have in our 
reserves less than 2 percent of the proven oil and gas reserves in the 
world. But with 4 percent of the population, we consume nearly 25 
percent of the world's oil. That's not sustainable over the long term.
  We must take this opportunity now to provide relief immediately to 
people paying over $4 at the pump, $5 for home heating oil, and we need 
a commitment to a new energy future focused on creating clear and clean 
domestic alternatives.
  Under suspension of the House rules, this body will take up later the 
Drill Responsibly in Leased Lands bill. The bill promotes the 
responsible domestic production of oil and natural gas on the 20 
million acres that make up the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska. 
That would provide an estimated 10.4 billion barrels of oil, a higher 
estimate than the consensus estimate of oil that is available in ANWR.
  The DRILL Act, as it is called, will increase oil production and do 
it sooner than other alternative proposals. It will facilitate also the 
construction of existing pipelines within 5 miles of where they already 
are located. So its environmental footprint will be minimal, and 
engineering challenges also minimal. This will help move oil and 
natural gas to the market.
  I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting this important piece of 
legislation.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. SESSIONS. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the gentleman for yielding 
me the customary 30 minutes and I yield myself such time as I may 
consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to this rule which is a 
cynical attempt to provide political cover for Members of this body who 
have chosen to elevate partisanship and politics above American 
consumers and our economy.
  Today, both everyday consumers and our national economy are 
suffering. Mr. Speaker, we are suffering because of this Democrat 
majority's mind-boggling unwillingness to increase the supply of 
domestically produced oil to reduce prices at the pump. That's why we 
are suffering. We are suffering because the policy here in this body in 
Washington, D.C., and you can read about it in articles in virtually 
every single paper across the country, and that is the leadership of 
this House of Representatives does not want to get the right thing done 
so consumers can have more energy and oil at the pump.
  For weeks now, Republicans have been unified in a commonsense and 
comprehensive approach to bringing down the price of gasoline for 
consumers, only to have every single one of those plans and votes on 
the floor of this House of Representatives ignored by the Democrat 
majority in favor of an agenda that prioritizes legislation like naming 
historical trails and gaming the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act to prevent 
the development of increased energy production in New England alone.

                              {time}  1145

  They are going out of their way to make sure that commonsense 
legislation that will help the free market and the energy companies, 
who should be our friends, to provide what consumers need and to 
produce a better economy.
  These priorities completely ignore the wishes of the American people 
and will do absolutely nothing to bring relief to millions of Americans 
who are really suffering as a result of high energy prices. I think 
that if the American people knew that the plan, or part of the plan, 
was to sue OPEC, they would laugh just like Members of this body have 
done.
  Rather than taking this opportunity to work in a constructive, 
bipartisan way, to address these domestic energy supply issues that 
have led to sky-high energy prices for consumers, today we are being 
asked outside of regular order, and with no opportunity for Members to 
offer their own good ideas to bring down the price of gasoline, to 
spend a whopping 40 minutes debating a fig-leaf legislation that wasn't 
even released to Republicans until late last night.
  Republicans have already put forth a number of smart, innovative 
ideas to bring down gas prices like H.R. 3089, the No More Excuses 
Energy Act of 2007, which would reduce the price of oil by opening new 
American refineries, investing in clean energy sources such as wind, 
nuclear, and captured carbon dioxide, and making available more 
American energy through environmentally sensitive exploration of the 
Arctic energy slope and America's deep sea reserves.
  But, of course, we know we can't get close to that. We also have H.R. 
2279, the Expand American Refining Capacity on Closed Military 
Installations Act, which would reduce the price of oil by streamlining 
the refinery application process and by requiring the President to open 
at least three closed military installations for the purpose of setting 
new and reliable American refineries in place.

[[Page H6689]]

  H.R. 5656, which would reduce the price of oil by allowing the entire 
Federal Government, not just the Department of Defense, NASA and our 
intelligence community, to procure advanced alternative fuels derived 
from diverse sources such as oil shale, tar sands and coal-to-liquid 
technology.
  H.R. 2208, the Coal-to-Liquid Fuel Act, which would reduce the price 
of oil by encouraging the use of clean coal-to-liquid technology by 
authorizing the Secretary of Energy to engage and enter into loan 
agreements with coal-to-liquid projects that produce innovative 
transportation and fuel; and, H.R. 2493, the Fuel Mandate Reduction 
Act, which would reduce the price of oil by removing fuel-blend 
requirements and onerous government mandates that contribute to 
unaffordable gasoline. In other words, red tape.
  Speaker Pelosi and the Democratic leadership have the ability to 
bring each and every one of these already developed commonsense 
solutions up for a vote at any time, but they have chosen to ignore the 
American public in favor of a radical environmentalist agenda, and each 
one of these bills is also the subject of a discharge petition that 
would force their consideration. Every single Member of this body, even 
though they may agree or disagree with Speaker Pelosi on whatever her 
agenda might be, can take a commonsense approach and come down and sign 
a discharge petition that would bring this legislation to the floor of 
the House of Representatives.
  I encourage every single Member of this body who agrees that this 
country needs to increase its supply of safe and reliable American 
energy to force this Democrat leadership to finally act by joining me 
in signing each and every one of these.
  It's simple, by the way, for the new Members, as you hear this, all 
you have to do is walk down to the very front, sign these discharge 
petitions, and we could, this afternoon, be debating and voting on 
commonsense ideas to bring down the price of gasoline.
  Instead, this Democrat majority, led by Speaker  Nancy Pelosi, has 
chosen to bring up redundant legislation that has been overtaken by 
events before it can even be considered. The Bush administration has 
already announced that a new round of leases will be held for the 
National Petroleum Reserve, making today's restatement of current 
policy as useless as the restatement of the current ``use it or lose 
it,'' or, said another way, making energy companies drill dry holes. 
So, what we need is commonsense activities that would bring commonsense 
prices down for the American public.
  Perhaps the most galling of all is the inclusion of section 5 of 
today's legislation, which forces cumbersome requirements and 
restrictions on the construction of any new pipeline from Alaska to the 
rest of the United States simply on behalf of big labor bosses. While 
the inclusion of this requirement is no surprise coming from the 
Democrat majority that wants to take away a worker's right to a private 
ballot so that big labor bosses can more easily manipulate the 
outcomes, it is disappointing that this Democrat majority would 
blatantly include this requirement at a time when we can see that it 
should be addressed to make life easier for bringing down the cost of 
gasoline for all Americans.
  Today's bill is being brought forth by the Democrat leadership in a 
weak attempt and effort that does nothing more than restate current law 
and restate existing requirements that oil production on lands be 
developed while adding new restrictions to pipeline construction for 
the benefit of big labor bosses. I challenge anyone on either side of 
this aisle to produce a study other than the partisan and logically 
challenged report developed by the Democrat staff of the Natural 
Resources Committee that reapplying the so-called ``use it or lose it'' 
provision to the National Petroleum Reserve will create even one 
additional barrel of oil. This is a supply-side problem. This is a 
problem that the new Democrat majority has made happen, and this is a 
problem that the American people are asking each of us to solve.
  So, the Republican Party is here on the floor of the House of 
Representatives on behalf of the American people asking all the Members 
of this body to please understand what we are doing. I think it's a 
cynical rule that we are debating now, as well as the underlying 
legislation. We need real legislation. We need to put the American 
people first. We are not just some country, we are America, and we can 
win.
  Mr. Speaker, we reserve the balance of our time.
  Mr. WELCH. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume to 
make a brief remark.
  The number of bills that were referred to by my friend from Texas, 
none of those, not a single one of those bills, will get supply out of 
the ground and into the gas tank in the foreseeable future. The 
legislation that we are going to be considering today is about getting 
supply as quickly as possible by taking advantage of something that's 
available and ready to be leased next to a pipeline.
  Mr. Speaker, I would yield 3 minutes to my colleague the gentleman 
from New Hampshire (Mr. Hodes).
  Mr. HODES. I thank my distinguished colleague from Vermont (Mr. 
Welch) for yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, I am not shocked but disappointed to hear the callous 
and cynical suggestions from my colleagues on the other side of the 
aisle that Democrats are responsible for the inflation in gas prices 
that so many Americans are suffering from today, that somehow, in the 
past 2 years, it is the Democratic energy policy that has caused the 
inflation in the price of oil and gas. Let us remember that we have two 
oilmen in the White House and $4 a gallon gas today. Let us remember 
that we have an energy policy that was made in secret by the Vice 
President, by the oil companies, for the oil companies and of the oil 
companies and, today, we are reaping the benefits of that secret energy 
policy on which we have been stonewalled time and time again.
  We have 68 million acres of land available on and offshore, on which 
the oil companies could drill. We have the National Petroleum Reserve 
in Alaska on which the oil companies can drill. Eighty-one percent of 
all known oil reserves are available to drill on right now. The 
estimates are that there is a 14-year supply just waiting for Big Oil 
to put metal to the ground, put metal to the ground and drill.
  That's why I rise in support of this bill. All the oil companies have 
to do is to start drilling on available land, and they could help 
increase supply and help consumers. Calls from the White House and 
their allies on the other side of the aisle who somehow claim that we 
should open ANWR and offshore areas to drilling, which in 20 to 30 
years might start producing, are cynical attempts to deflect us from 
the real challenges that Americans face today and that we face as a 
Nation in going forward to a new energy policy.
  It's estimated that the average American would spend about $57,800 
before the first drop of oil could be produced from ANWR. So what's the 
point to deflect us from the pain that Americans are feeling now to try 
to point fingers and to set us aside from changing our energy policy?
  What part of ``drill now'' don't the oil companies understand? What 
part of ``drill now'' don't my colleagues understand? No one is 
stopping the oil companies from drilling. It's time to drill now, help 
the American people with gas prices, heating oil costs.
  This bill says ``drill now.''
  Mr. SESSIONS. Mr. Speaker, I think it's interesting, he says ``drill 
now,'' but we can't drill where the oil is. ANWR is 19 million acres. 
We need less acreage than is the size of one-ninth of Dallas-Ft. Worth 
International Airport. We don't need the 19 million acres. We need one-
ninth the size of DFW International Airport, or only 2,000 acres.
  Oil companies would go drill in all these places, except they are dry 
holes. They want to drill where the oil is, and that's where the 
Republicans want to give them that opportunity.
  Mr. Speaker, how much time is left on both sides?
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Texas has 20 minutes 
remaining. The gentleman from Vermont has 24 minutes remaining.
  Mr. SESSIONS. Mr. Speaker, at this time I would like to yield for 
such time as he may consume to the gentleman from California from the 
Rules Committee, our ranking member, Mr. Dreier.
  (Mr. DREIER asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)

[[Page H6690]]

  Mr. DREIER. I thank my friend from Big D for yielding me time and for 
accurately pointing out the size that we are looking at exploring in an 
environmentally sound way in Alaska is the size of the Dallas-Ft. Worth 
International Airport. I have often said the Dulles International 
Airport. It's a pretty small area, and I think we need to do that.
  I just don't get it. I have enjoyed listening to a load of our newly 
elected friends from the other side of the aisle over the past hour and 
a half as we have debated the motion to instruct conferees come to the 
floor and talk about the need for us to increase exploration. Obviously 
these newly elected Members have been hearing from their constituents 
just like virtually everyone has.
  I appreciate the fact that they have had their ear to the ground, and 
they have heard the hue and cry from the American people that we need 
to do everything we can to address this problem.
  The thing is, this bill, as was correctly stated by my friend from 
Dallas, is nothing but a reaffirmation of current law, and it is called 
the DRILL Act. The thing that is very perplexing about this is that we 
are trying to have an all-of-the-above solution, which does include 
drilling in an environmentally sound way, and yet this bill, which was 
introduced late last night, just provided to members in the minority 
again very, very late last night, was cobbled together. We had a Rules 
Committee meeting yesterday, and no one knew what it was.
  We offered, at that juncture, a bipartisan, and I stress a 
bipartisan, package of legislation which has been introduced, 
considered. A number of those measures are right here in the well with 
discharge petitions, and these measures are provided, having gone 
through an airing by Members of this body, and, yet, we are not given a 
chance to do that, to have a vote on it.
  Now, again, this is called the DRILL Act, but fact of the matter is, 
the structure around which we are considering this measure should be we 
are afraid to vote on the potential for drilling act, is really what it 
is.

                              {time}  1200

  Why?
  Because we know full well that this procedure, known as suspension of 
the rules, is really building on what is taking place in our House 
Appropriations Committee right now and virtually every other committee 
in this Congress; and that is, we are afraid to have any kind of 
debate, discussion or debate or vote on the issue of drilling.
  Now, I am one who believes, as our colleagues on both sides of the 
aisle have said, that we need to pursue alternative energy sources, 
renewable energy, we need to do everything we can to encourage 
conservation, and we have a lot of very interesting proposals out there 
to do that.
  But I think common sense says that, for the next few decades, even 
though we need to do everything we can to wean ourselves off of our 
reliance on fossil fuels, we have no choice. And so that is why, when I 
listen to my colleagues say that we should pursue the petroleum reserve 
and get 10 billion barrels, why don't we also look at ANWR to go for 10 
billion barrels?
  Again, I believe that the American people want us to come together to 
address this. As we listen to the horror stories of what has happened, 
one of the most telling came to me from a grandparent who said that, in 
one of our town hall meetings, they can't afford to pay for the 
gasoline to drive to visit their grandchildren from the San Gabriel 
Valley of California down to Long Beach. And the notion that this 
dramatic increase in gasoline prices is literally dividing families is 
something that I think we, as Democrats and Republicans, should come 
together to address.
  Now, as we listen to our need to expand drilling and to encourage big 
oil to do that, I think we need to look at the fact that, for at least 
a decade and a half plus, we have been trying to encourage things like 
exploration in ANWR. And what has happened? Well, in the other body we 
had members of the Democratic Party filibuster this measure.
  I also have to say that in 1995, 13 years ago, we all know that we 
were able to get through both Houses of Congress, through both Houses 
of Congress, a measure that would allow us to, in an environmentally 
sound way, explore that tiny area in Alaska. And what has happened as a 
by-product of that? Well, unfortunately, then-President Clinton chose 
to veto that measure.
  USA Today, which is hardly a Republican publication, had an editorial 
just a few weeks ago in which they said that if that measure had been 
signed, rather than vetoed by President Clinton, we wouldn't be 
standing here having this discussion that we are now.
  And so that is why we have come forward, and Mr. Sessions is going to 
move to defeat the previous question so that we will have an 
opportunity to make in order legislation like the very thoughtful 
proposal from our Democratic colleague, Mr. Boucher, the gentleman from 
Virginia, who has, as a hardworking member of the Energy and Commerce 
Committee, come up with a way in which we could proceed on this. A lot 
of thought has gone into this, a lot of work. And this was introduced a 
while back.
  There are five other bills, along with Mr. Boucher's, that have been 
introduced. And all we are saying is, why don't we have a debate on 
those and have an up-or-down vote, so that we can, again, pursue what 
we describe as our all-of-the-above solution to what is obviously a 
very serious problem that is having a ripple effect across our entire 
economy, and, in fact, as we all know, across the global economy.
  And so, Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to vote ``no'' on this rule 
so that we can come forward with a measure that will allow us to do 
what it is the American people want us to do; work together, Democrats 
and Republicans alike, for a solution to this very, very pressing 
problem.
  Mr. WELCH of Vermont. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the 
gentlewoman from Ohio, my colleague on the Rules Committee, 
Congresswoman Sutton.
  Ms. SUTTON. I thank the gentleman for the time and for his leadership 
on this extraordinarily important issue.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of the DRILL Act, a real 
solution for the hardships facing our families and a real answer to the 
mistruths being spread to the American people.
  The truth is that there are millions upon millions of onshore and 
offshore acres available for drilling, but the oil companies are only 
using a fraction of them.
  The truth is that the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska, also 
known as the NPR, is home to 20 million acres that could produce 10.6 
billion barrels of oil. This area, Mr. Speaker, has been set aside for 
oil and gas exploration since the 1920s, but not a single oil company 
is producing there.
  Mr. Speaker, the cry by those on the other side of the aisle and Big 
Oil, that the problem is that the oil companies don't have access to 
drill, is false. And it is an effort to deflect the American people 
from holding the two oilmen in the White House accountable, as well as 
their friends, for an energy policy that has given Big Oil record 
profits, and the American people $4 a gallon gas.
  Mr. Speaker, the American people deserve to know why we need to open 
up ANWR when we have this huge, untapped resource right next to the 
existing oil infrastructure in Alaska known as the NPR.
  The DRILL Act will accelerate the development of the NPR by requiring 
the Bureau of Land Management to offer annual lease sales of the land.
  Our bill also calls for the President to facilitate the completion of 
oil pipelines into the NPR, and to speed construction of a natural gas 
pipeline to the Continental United States to move the product to the 
market. When this natural gas pipeline gets built, NPR will be even 
more important, as it holds over 60 trillion cubic feet of gas, nearly 
16 times what ANWR holds.
  And Mr. Speaker, the DRILL Act also incorporates important use it or 
lose it legislation which requires oil producers to drill on the leases 
they already have before asking us for new ones.
  Again, the truth is that Big Oil holds leases on 68 million acres in 
the U.S. that they could drill on but they are not doing so.
  And lastly, this bill also reinstitutes the ban on the export of 
Alaskan oil so that American oil is used right here at

[[Page H6691]]

home in the United States. Can you imagine, at this time of crisis, the 
same oil companies who are telling the American people that they want 
to be part of the solution, are sending the oil that they are drilling 
to other parts of the world, when we need that oil right here.
  Mr. Speaker, the DRILL Act is a solution to the energy costs that our 
constituents are facing today.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Blumenauer). The time of the gentlewoman 
from Ohio has expired.
  Mr. WELCH of Vermont. I yield the gentlewoman an additional 30 
seconds.
  Ms. SUTTON. Let me also remind my colleagues that we have also passed 
landmark energy legislation, price gouging prevention legislation, 
legislation to take action against OPEC, and legislation to crack down 
on manipulation and speculation activities that have been driving up 
the oil prices.
  Mr. Speaker, this is an important bill. It offers immediate relief. 
It is part of the solution, and I urge its passage.
  Mr. SESSIONS. Mr. Speaker, at this time I would like to yield 3 
minutes to the favorite son of the Volunteer State, Mr. Duncan.
  Mr. DUNCAN. Mr. Speaker, I rise to join my friend and colleague, the 
gentleman from Texas (Mr. Sessions), in his opposition to this rule. 
Mr. Speaker, let me read just one thing to you. Charles Krauthammer is 
one of our most respected syndicated columnists and television 
commentators. A little over 3 weeks ago he wrote this: ``Gas is $4 a 
gallon. Oil is $135 a barrel and rising. We import two-thirds of our 
oil, sending hundreds of billions of dollars to the likes of Russia, 
Venezuela and Saudi Arabia, and yet we voluntarily prohibit ourselves 
from even exploring huge resources, huge domestic reserves of petroleum 
and natural gas. At a time when U.S. crude oil production has fallen 40 
percent in the past 25 years, 75 billion barrels of oil have been 
declared off limits according to the U.S. Energy Information 
Administration.''
  Still quoting Mr. Krauthammer: ``That would be enough to replace 
every barrel of non-North American imports for 22 years. That is nearly 
a quarter century of energy independence.''
  Mr. Krauthammer ended by saying: ``The situation is absurd.'' Robert 
Samuelson, a couple of months ago in The Washington Post, and he is 
another syndicated columnist, but not a conservative or a Republican by 
any stretch of the imagination. He wrote this. He said, ``The truth is 
that we are almost powerless to influence today's prices. We are 
because we didn't take sensible actions 10 or 20 years ago. If we 
persist, we will be even worse off in a decade or two.''
  The first thing to do, Mr. Samuelson said: ``Start drilling.''
  And George Will pointed out in a recent column that when we were able 
to pass drilling in ANWR, 12\1/2\ years ago, President Clinton vetoed 
it. If he hadn't vetoed it, that would have been 27 million barrels of 
oil, 20 million barrels of gasoline and 7 million barrels of diesel 
fuel coming down to this country, coming down here every day, and would 
have had a great, great effect on this problem. And we are certainly in 
a problem.
  A couple of months ago we heard in the Highways and Transit 
Subcommittee that 935 trucking companies had gone out of business in 
the first quarter of this year. And that survey only counted trucking 
companies with five trucks or more.
  A couple of weeks ago, in the Aviation Subcommittee we heard that 
eight airlines had gone out of business in the last year and a half. 
And this is a needless crisis.
  The Minerals Management Service estimates that the quantity of 
undiscovered, technically recoverable resources ranges from 66 to 115 
billion barrels of oil.
  One of our leaders has described this DRILL Act as a hoax of a bill, 
and it is a hoax because it still leaves 85 percent, or 611 million 
acres of our Outer Continental Shelf off limits for oil production.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman from Tennessee has 
expired.
  Mr. SESSIONS. I yield the gentleman an additional 30 seconds.
  Mr. DUNCAN. Mr. Speaker, let me close just simply by saying this. I 
have noticed over the years that almost all of these environmental 
radicals come from very wealthy or very upper income families, and 
perhaps they can afford 5 or $6 a gallon gasoline. But many hardworking 
and average Americans cannot afford this. We are sending this country 
into a needless economic crisis.
  We need to start drilling in an environmentally safe way where there 
is oil, as the gentleman from Texas has pointed out, and not pass a 
hoax of a bill such as this.
  Mr. WELCH of Vermont. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman 
from Colorado (Mr. Perlmutter).
  Mr. PERLMUTTER. Mr. Speaker, Today we are going to take up the DRILL 
Act; Drill Responsibly In Leased Lands. We recognize, on the Democratic 
side of the aisle, that part of our energy portfolio is oil and gas. We 
have 68 million acres that the oil and gas companies have under lease 
today that they could drill that they are not drilling. That is 14 
years worth of supply to the United States.
  But what we have, instead, is we have an addiction to foreign oil. 
And we have a picture here of the President and the King of Saudi 
Arabia.
  We have to break that addiction. So we need to drill here in the 
United States. And under this particular bill, we require the oil 
companies to either use it or lose it. Drill on those 68 million acres. 
68 million acres is the size of New England. Drilling locations, all 
across the United States and in the Outer Continental Shelf. Use it or 
lose it.
  We cannot be tied to foreign oil forever. We have learned that 
lesson. It is time we have to have domestic drilling, and that is what 
the DRILL Act is. And even more so, it is time to switch to energy 
efficiency and renewable energy sources. If we are addicted to one 
commodity, we are going to be in trouble because we depend upon 8 oil 
countries and 5 oil companies and we are in real trouble.
  Now, there is 68 million acres here is depicted. You can see, the 
size of New England, twice the size of Pennsylvania, bigger than 
Colorado. Huge amount of property.
  Now, one of the things that we have done is there is another 23 
million acres available in Alaska to drill, where there is a pipeline 
nearby.

                              {time}  1215

  The oil companies can drill there. Further, we can release some of 
the amount of oil we have in our Strategic Petroleum Reserve. And we 
have a chart here that shows that when we took oil from the Strategic 
Petroleum Reserve in 1991, there was a 33 percent drop in the price of 
oil immediately; 2000, 18 percent, 2005, 9 percent That's what we're 
asking the President to do.
  We need immediate relief, and then we have to switch and get off the 
addiction to oil by pursuing renewable energy and energy efficiency.
  Mr. SESSIONS. Mr. Speaker, it seems like the Democrat Party has an 
argument with themselves on this one. They're arguing with themselves.
  Mr. Speaker, at this time I would like to yield 3 minutes to the 
distinguished second baseman from the Republican championship baseball 
team, the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Kingston).
  Mr. KINGSTON. I certainly thank the third base coach for yielding the 
time.
  I do think that there is a healthy thing that's going on here, and 
that is the Democrats are beginning to hear from their constituents 
that we've got to do something about foreign oil, and we've got to use 
our American resources. I think that's good.
  I think this bill will probably pass. I don't actually know why we're 
debating it. It's pretty much a restatement of current law. I heard one 
Democrat say it's a ``drill now'' bill. You know, that's what they are 
doing right now. They're exploring these leases. These leases are very 
expensive. They don't buy them to sit on them and for the U.S. Congress 
to think. This is really ridiculous that they're sitting on land where 
there are great reserves of oil, but for some reason, they're not 
drilling there.
  Come on, guys. This is a capitalist system. These companies are money 
hungry. They run after profit. If there were oil in these places, 
certainly they

[[Page H6692]]

would be working on it. If you want to give them a nudge, I'm all for 
it.
  I plan to support the bill. I think it ought to be voice voted out on 
suspension. It's no big deal. It's a rhetoric bill. It's not a 
realistic bill.
  What we do know is that 65 percent of our land resources are tied up 
and off-limits. We do know that, for example, the Arctic National 
Wildlife Reserve is the size of South Carolina in a State twice as big 
as Texas. And in this massive amount of land the size of South 
Carolina, there is a tundra area of about 2,000 acres which we believe 
would increase our domestic American oil supply 10 percent. It was 
vetoed by Democrat liberal President Bill Clinton 10 years ago. If it 
hadn't been vetoed by the Democrat liberal, special-interest President, 
we would have that oil today. It's too bad.
  And then we hear so often from the Democrats, well, you know, if you 
open up ANWR and all of these places, it will be 10 years before we get 
the oil. Well, where are these electric cars? Where are these battery-
operated cars? I mean, all of this alternative energy, which I 
certainly support and have been funding from the appropriations side, 
working very diligently on, that's going to be 10 and 15 years down the 
road as well.
  We've got to do three things on our energy crisis: we have to have 
conservation, we have to have innovation, and we have to have 
exploration. It's that simple. But you have got to explore where their 
actually is oil. I concur with the gentleman from Texas. This is good 
because the Democrats are admitting that we have to open up more lands.
  So we're going to pass this bill. Nothing is going to happen to the 
price at the pump. It's not going to be affected by this because it's 
basically current law, but I'm glad that you guys are slowly, 
reluctantly entering into the debate of drilling because we believe 
that in an environmentally safe fashion, you can drill in Alaska, and 
you can drill offshore.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman from Georgia has 
expired.
  Mr. SESSIONS. I yield the gentleman an additional minute.
  Mr. KINGSTON. I just want to say 108 oil platforms were damaged in 
the Gulf of Mexico during Katrina, and there was no pollution. All of 
the problems in the gulf, pollution wasn't one of them because now we 
have environmentally safe ways to extract oil from the bottom of the 
ocean or from land.
  I want to say this. You know, we tied up the offshore in the day of 
the 8-track tape player. That was when you had an 8-track tape player 
in your GTO and you were the cool, edgy, high-tech guy. Today in the 
world of iPods and BlackBerrys and cell phones and everything else, 
technology has moved past the good old 8-track tape player. And the 
same thing has happened in medicine, the same thing has entered in 
entertainment, the same thing has happened in oil drilling. We have new 
technology, modern technology that will extract oil in an 
environmentally safe fashion.
  I want to close with this. What is so sacred about protecting the 
American global environment but not the foreign global environment? The 
Democrats are fine if you are drilling offshore in your country or 
drilling on the land in your country, but not in America.
  Mr. WELCH of Vermont. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the 
gentlewoman from Arizona, a leader in solar energy, alternative energy, 
Congresswoman Giffords.
  Ms. GIFFORDS. I thank the gentleman from Vermont.
  The high costs of fuel are being felt throughout my southern Arizona 
district, and people are really hurting out there right now.
  To bring down the cost of oil--this is pretty common sense--what 
we're going to have to do is force those big oil and gas companies to 
increase their production. That means drilling on the 68 million acres 
of Federal land that is already under control from these big oil 
companies.
  Today, we're going to vote on H.R. 6515, the Drill Responsibly in 
Leased Lands, or Drill Act. This bill is going to require both oil and 
gas companies to start using their Federal leases both onshore and 
offshore, and if they don't use it, they should lose it.
  It will also accelerate the leasing process in the National Petroleum 
Reserve in Alaska, and that's an additional 20 million acres. We have 
to be realistic, and I don't think the American people are being 
fooled. It's going to take 5 to 7 years before we benefit from 
increased drilling.
  That's why we're also calling on the President to immediately release 
a small amount of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The 
hardworking taxpayers of my district have paid for that reserve supply 
to be used in a time of crisis. And when I talk to my constituents 
across the over 9,000 square miles of my district, we know because they 
agree that $4 to $5 a gallon is a crisis.
  So I urge the President to take action on the SPR, and I also ask my 
colleagues to join with me in passing H.R. 6515. We have to address 
this energy challenge, stabilize our economy immediately, but then look 
to the future in terms of renewable energy. And in Arizona, solar 
energy is certainly the key to that.
  Mr. SESSIONS. Mr. Speaker, at this time I would like to let the 
gentleman from Vermont know that our time allocation is out of balance 
now, and I would appreciate if the gentleman would use up that time and 
make it more equitable between us.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. WELCH of Vermont. I am always here to accommodate my friend from 
Texas.
  Mr. Speaker, I would yield at this time 2 minutes to the gentleman 
from Wisconsin (Mr. Kagen).
  Mr. KAGEN. Thank you, Mr. Welch. Thank you for the hard work that 
you're doing.
  Mr. Speaker, it's a very good thing that the American people can see 
today that we're working together, not just working together but we're 
beginning to join hands to begin to solve this energy crisis that we're 
all facing.
  I think we can all agree that we have to drill for new oil right here 
in America and guarantee that the oil that comes from our hands stays 
within our boundaries and is sold to American citizens first. We can 
all agree that we have to invest in every single form of renewable 
energy--biomass, wind, solar--and indeed we have to look into the newer 
and modern techniques and nuclear energy in finding a way towards 
becoming an energy-independent nation.
  Thirdly, we have to prevent any price manipulation in the market 
price not just here in the United States but also throughout the world. 
We have to guarantee that there really is a free marketplace in oil 
where places like OPEC don't control the supply and determine the 
price. We need a competitive and open marketplace, and we've done that 
here in this Congress moving the ball forward.
  But it's not just about drilling. It's not just about investing. It's 
not just about preventing things. The people I represent, that I have 
the honor of representing in northeast Wisconsin, they need help now. I 
mean, their fingernails are not long enough to hang on to what is 
coming. They need help now.
  So in the long term, drilling brings oil 10 years from now, investing 
5, 10, 15 years from now, but preventing price manipulation in the 
marketplace, that can have an immediate effect. So I would urge the 
CFTC to do its job and provide the oversight to guarantee that we don't 
have to pay more than the price ought to be.
  Finally, the President did accommodate us. We sent letters to him 
asking him to stop purchasing oil and putting it into our SPR, our 
Strategic Petroleum Reserve. And he accommodated. And that was put in 
effect July 1. Now he should listen to us again. He should begin to 
release 5 to 6 days' worth of our Strategic Petroleum Oil Reserve. Why? 
Because it will immediately drop the price of oil.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman from Wisconsin has 
expired.
  Mr. WELCH of Vermont. I yield the gentleman an additional 30 seconds.
  Mr. KAGEN. Our Strategic Petroleum Reserve has about 703 million 
barrels of oil. If we release 5 to 6 days' worth, it would immediately 
drop the price at the pump by putting immediate supplies onto the 
marketplace. These are things that the President can do right here and 
right now. Our constituents need help today as we begin to invest and 
plan for the future.
  But first and foremost, let's understand that this crisis we're in 
was absolutely and totally predictable since

[[Page H6693]]

1973. And our government on both sides of the aisle has failed in the 
past. Let's not fail again. Let's work together.
  Mr. SESSIONS. Mr. Speaker, we have one additional speaker, and I 
believe that the gentleman from Vermont has about twice as much time as 
we have. So I would like to inquire about his opportunity to utilize 
more of his speakers or to ask where he is in this process.
  Mr. WELCH of Vermont. Mr. Speaker, can you tell us the time 
allocation at this time?
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Texas has 6 minutes. The 
gentleman from Vermont has 13 minutes remaining.
  Mr. SESSIONS. We reserve our time.
  Mr. WELCH of Vermont. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman 
from Oregon, a member of the Committee on Natural Resources, Mr. 
DeFazio.
  Mr. DeFAZIO. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  There are a lot of reasons we're in this pickle we are today. But 
let's just remember one. George Bush elected 2000; Dick Cheney's secret 
meetings with the oil and gas industry. They formulated an energy 
policy. That energy policy was adopted by the Republican House, the 
Republican Senate, and signed by the Republican President. That was in 
2005. Many of us said it was shortsighted, it would make us more 
dependent upon imported oil, and it has.
  When George Bush was elected, 52 percent of our oil was imported. 
Today it's 58 percent. Many of us said it would drive up the price. It 
has. When George Bush was elected, it was $1.46 a gallon. Today it's 
$4.39 a gallon in my district.
  So they're saying now suddenly, Whoa. It's the Democrats' fault. No. 
We're living under the failures of the Republican oil industry energy 
policy. There's actually 164,968,695 reasons why we're living under 
that. That's the amount of money the Republican Party has received from 
the oil industry in the last 18 years, $164 million in political 
contributions. Now, that's a pretty big motivation.
  There's another thing going on here. Since George Bush took office, 
the profits of the oil industry have been $511 billion in this country. 
That's $511 billion out of Americans' pockets and into the oil 
industry's pockets. They made more money under 7 years of George Bush 
than they made in the entire quarter century preceding his presidency. 
Yeah. There's something a little bit rotten here.
  They talk about drilling offshore and all of that stuff. Well, let's 
talk about short-term relief.
  There's three ways to get short-term relief. One is release our oil. 
Release our oil. We have paid to put oil in the Strategic Reserve for 
emergencies. This is an emergency. It's been done three times: 1991, 
the price went down 33 percent; 2000, it went down 18 percent; 2005, it 
went down 9 percent.

                              {time}  1230

  That would give relief today at the pump, and there's another thing 
that we could do, but they're against this, too.
  The gentleman from Texas talked about, oh, they want to file a 
complaint against OPEC. Well, you know, we probably do, but George Bush 
isn't going to do that, that's for sure. Here's George Bush holding 
hands with King Faisal of Saudi Arabia when he was over there begging 
them to increase production.
  OPEC's production, with a doubling in the price of oil, is down 2\1/
2\ percent. They have colluded to drive up the price of oil and limit 
the supply, and we have a legal option, which the President refuses to 
use. He refuses to file a complaint in the World Trade Organization for 
a clear violation of the rules of the General Agreement on Trade and 
Tariffs, article 11, by the OPEC countries.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman from Oregon has 
expired.
  Mr. WELCH of Vermont. I yield the gentleman an additional minute.
  Mr. DeFAZIO. That would have an immediate impact for the American 
people. And then there's the speculators.
  Today, the largest holder of oil resources in the United States of 
America is not ExxonMobil, not Shell, not Conoco, name all of our oil 
companies. No, it's Morgan Stanley on Wall Street, through their 
speculative activity, followed by Goldman Sachs and followed by others 
who are speculating and driving up the price of this market.
  We have credible testimony from Wall Street experts, if we reined in 
the speculation which was created by the Enron loophole--remember 
Enron? Texas corporation, Ken Boy Lay, the President's best friend. 
He's dead. Enron's bankrupt. He would have gone to jail for fraud. But 
the loophole lives on, and we're all paying at the pump. An estimated 
50 percent, according to Wall Street experts, is going into speculative 
activities, but they don't want to take on speculative activities. They 
just want to talk about one thing, and that is, they want to drill in 
ANWR.
  Well, guess what, ANWR was made a national wildlife refuge in 1950. 
The Naval Petroleum Reserve was made a petroleum reserve by Warren 
Harding. Now, why was this a natural preserve and this an oil preserve? 
Because they know there's more than 10 billion barrels of oil under 
here. Republicans change it from a naval reserve to a national reserve, 
and Bill Clinton actually leased it. And yesterday, George Bush 
announced he's going to lease more of it.
  There's 10 billion barrels of oil under this. That's our Saudi 
Arabia. They've drilled 25 wells, but they haven't tried to connect to 
the Alaska pipeline. They've capped the wells and they're sitting on 
them. And why are they sitting on them? Because they think if they keep 
manipulating the market they can make as much money as possible today 
and even more down the road. They are sitting on supplies of oil, and 
they are failing to develop what they could.
  Mr. SESSIONS. We reserve our time.
  Mr. WELCH of Vermont. I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
Kentucky (Mr. Yarmuth).
  Mr. YARMUTH. I thank the gentleman from Vermont for yielding.
  And, you know, we have a wonderful situation in here. We have a very 
interesting and productive dialogue, I believe, about something we all 
want to do, and that's to solve our energy crisis to take the pressure 
off the American consumers whose lives are being terribly affected, 
adversely affected, by these high gas prices and the economy as well.
  I call back to the words of a very smart person who once said the 
significant problems that we have today cannot be solved by the same 
level of thinking that created them. And unfortunately, this idea that 
we are going to drill our way out of the problem, both the short term 
and the long term, is the same level of thinking that got us into this 
problem. The man who said that was Albert Einstein. He was a pretty 
smart guy.
  What we are proposing, and you have heard many instances of it and 
suggestions of it today, is that we have the ability, we have the 
resources right now to have an impact, a downward impact on prices. All 
we have to do is free our own oil, free America's oil. It's in the 
Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
  As my colleague from Oregon just pointed out, we have been able to 
reduce the price three separate times over the last 17 years by 
releasing that oil. We can do it again and we should do it again. But 
more importantly than that is the entire attitude we take toward what's 
down the road, no pun intend.
  My colleague from Tennessee on the other side of the aisle just 
mentioned a few minutes ago, he asked where are the electric cars, 
where are these hybrid cars? Well, actually, they're very close on the 
horizon. We met with Ford executives just a few weeks ago in my 
hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. They are on the verge of some 
significant breakthroughs. They have a plug-in hybrid that uses 
hydrogen power, as well as electricity. They're working on a battery 
car. They have several versions of alternative power sources they're 
working on.
  General Motors has promised to have a battery-powered car on the road 
in 2010. We know in California there's a new manufacturer that's 
developed a battery-powered car.
  These are the technologies that will be our future. We need to be 
investing in them, because as President Bush said the other day, what 
we are trying to do with this long-term approach is change the 
psychology of the market, change the psychology of the speculators, so 
that if they see down the

[[Page H6694]]

road that there's not going to be that much need for oil, the price 
will come down. I agree with him totally.
  But wouldn't the effect be that much more dramatic if the speculators 
said not only is there going to be a reduced demand for oil in 2020 or 
2030, there's going to be virtually no demand for oil in 2020 or 2030? 
That would really scare the speculators out of this market and drop the 
price. That's where we need to be investing our attention, our 
resources.
  We can take tax breaks way from the oil companies--we have tried to 
do it a number of times already--and invest it in these technologies 
because they're not that far away. They are actually closer than the 
policies that will bring us relief at the gas pump maybe in 2030.
  Mr. SESSIONS. Mr. Speaker, English economist John Maynard Keynes 
said, ``When the facts change, sir, I change my mind. What do you do?''
  Well, it's obvious today that the facts have changed, and our friends 
in the new majority don't change their thoughts or ideas to adjust to 
the facts of the case.
  Mr. Speaker, at this time, I'd like to yield 2\1/2\ minutes to the 
gentlewoman from Oklahoma (Ms. Fallin).
  Ms. FALLIN. Mr. Speaker, you know, the only way to produce more 
energy for America is to produce more energy. It's not taxing the 
energy. It's not releasing more reserve from the Strategic Reserve. If 
we released what is being proposed today from the Strategic Reserve, it 
would be a 3-day supply. But yet when President Bush earlier announced 
that he was going to lift the offshore ban on drilling, the price of a 
barrel of oil dropped $9, and the markets responded.
  The way you change the energy and the cost to America is to introduce 
more energy to the marketplace. And one of the ways we can do that is 
to make it easier for oil and gas companies to be able to drill.
  I have introduced a piece of legislation, H.R. 6379, the Federal 
Exploration and Production Reform Act, that would allow oil companies 
and gas companies to be able to get their permits processed in a timely 
manner from the Bureau of Land Management and would help us be able to 
put that production online in immediate form. Right now, it takes an 
average of 213 days to get a permit processed through the Bureau of 
Land Management. That's not acceptable. They even have a huge backlog 
of permits.
  And we've heard all the debate here today that over 65 percent or so 
of our energy comes from foreign countries. We have over $700 billion 
of our money going to other countries, many who are hostile to America. 
We're making those countries rich by buying their energy.
  I am convinced that we can produce our own energy here in America, 
whatever form it might be, whether it's oil, gas, clean coal 
technology. There's wind, solar, nuclear, biofuels. All those things 
are possible. I know they're possible because America's a great Nation. 
We have smart people. We have innovation. We have creativity. We can do 
whatever we want to do if we put our heads to it, if we put our minds 
to it, and allow it to happen.
  But this Congress has stopped it from happening. We've had lawsuits, 
we've had rules and regulations, we've had bureaucratic red tape that 
has tied up the industry from making the innovations, producing the 
energy that would fuel our Nation, and we can no longer afford to do 
that. The American people are suffering. Businesses are suffering, and 
now it's time for this Nation to generate our own energy.
  Let's get rid of the Federal bureaucratic red tape, the time delays. 
Let's put Americans to work. Let's quit transferring our wealth to 
other foreign countries and risking our national security and our 
economic security.
  We can invest that money here in America. We can generate revenue 
that could go to transportation, education, health care, go to our 
infrastructure in our Nation. Let's put Americans to work. Let's invest 
here and let's produce energy.
  Mr. WELCH of Vermont. I reserve my time.
  Mr. SESSIONS. Mr. Speaker, I will take from those words that the 
gentleman from Vermont has no further speakers and would be interested 
in me closing at this time.
  Mr. Speaker, since taking control of Congress in 2007, this Democrat 
Congress has totally neglected its responsibilities to do constructive 
things to address the domestic supply issues that have created today's 
skyrocketing gas prices, diesel prices, and energy costs that the 
American families are facing. And today, once again, they are proving 
to Americans that they have a failure of leadership and vision.
  Mr. Speaker, we'll see what happens when the August break comes 
around and our friends in the new Democrat majority head home to find 
out how much home fuel prices are going to spike with home heating 
fuel, and we will find out what happens in September when we come back 
from the break.
  So to avoid that, Mr. Speaker, today, I urge my colleagues to vote 
with me to defeat the previous question so this House can finally 
consider in July, as opposed to September, real solutions to the rising 
energy costs. If the previous question is defeated, I will move to 
amend the rule to allow for this House's consideration of H.R. 5984, 
H.R. 2208, H.R. 3089, H.R. 2493, H.R. 5656, and H.R. 2279.
  Mr. Speaker, these may not be household understood names of bills, 
but in September, the new Democrat majority, after spending August at 
break, is going to find out they should have done something, rather 
than doing nothing.
  Yesterday afternoon in the Rules Committee, hours before Republicans 
were even given a copy of today's legislation, the same amendment was 
defeated by the Democrat majority by a party-line vote.
  While I do not have a great deal of hope that this Democrat majority 
will provide a better outcome than the one provided by my Democrat 
Rules Committee colleagues, the vote on this previous question will 
allow every single Member of this body, especially those Members of the 
much- and often-reported bipartisan working group on drilling, to stand 
up for real solutions to this energy crisis--it's easier to do it in 
July than it will be in September--not just ineffective restatements of 
current policy that do absolutely nothing to increase the production of 
American energy for consumers.
  I encourage everyone that believes that a comprehensive solution to 
solving this energy crisis and achieving energy independence includes 
increasing the supply of American energy to join me and to defeat this 
rule and the previous question.
  Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent to place this motion and 
extraneous material in the Record immediately prior to the vote on the 
previous question.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Texas?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. SESSIONS. I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. WELCH of Vermont. Mr. Speaker, I thank my friend from Texas.
  First of all, there is common agreement here. You don't have to be a 
rocket scientist to know this. People are suffering. They cannot afford 
spending more than $4 a gallon for gas, and folks in my part of the 
country, the cold weather region, are living with enormous anxiety 
about how they're going to pay $5 a gallon for home heating fuel. So 
the problem that we face is real and it is urgent.
  I disagree with one of the authors of the energy policy that got us 
here, and that is the former senator from Texas, Phil Gramm, who is 
advising their Presidential candidate. And he recently announced that 
we really don't have a problem. He said, ``You've heard of mental 
depression; this is a mental recession.'' And he's saying that America 
is a nation of whiners.
  You know what, people have a right to complain about an energy policy 
where they can't afford to fill up their gas tank. They're living in 
enormous anxiety when the fuel truck shows up to heat their home, and 
they have to make decisions between food and fuel, between medicine 
that they need and the fuel that's required to keep their home warm.

                              {time}  1245

  This is about rejecting the energy policy that has failed us and has 
brought us here.
  You know, my friend from Texas made a statement that I agree with. He 
said the oil companies should be our

[[Page H6695]]

friends. That is right. Oil companies have been very good at what they 
do--exploring for oil, finding oil, refining oil, producing oil, and 
getting it to the market. But the policies that we've had in place 
since President Bush became the leader of this country have enriched 
the oil companies. But the oil companies, in turn, with over $500 
billion in profits, have not reinvested that money into either 
producing where they can or moving to an alternative energy policy.
  You know, one of the folks raised the question as to whether or not 
this is a ``fig leaf'' bill, whether there's rhetoric in this bill 
because we're talking about 20 million new acres that has a proven 
capacity of at least 10 billion barrels of oil. Is it a question of 
Congress not making lands available for drilling onshore and offshore 
when we know already there are 68 million acres onshore and offshore 
available, and this bill makes it clear we want to make 20 million 
acres more available? Is it a question of lands where there is oil 
available being denied access? Or is it a failure on the part of the 
oil companies to invest?
  You know, ExxonMobil, in one quarter, made about $40 billion in 
profit; for 1 year, $40 billion in profit. Did they put that profit 
into new drilling technology, into exploiting some of the leases that 
they have, into getting oil out of the ground and into the market? No. 
They spent $32 billion buying back their own stock.
  Basically what you're seeing is that the oil companies that have been 
doing extraordinarily well under this energy policy that's got us to 
this crisis have not been reinvesting their money, but they've put 
their capital on strike. They've been buying back shares and 
maintaining the value of their stock at the expense of exploiting the 
oil fields that they have immediate access to.
  Well, I want to go through some of the arguments that my friend from 
Texas made. He accused the Democratic Congress of a mind-boggling 
refusal to increase production. That's just flat out wrong. You've got 
the 68 million acres where the oil companies right now have the legal 
right to go in and drill, and they haven't done it. That's not an act 
of Congress, that's a corporate decision made by the major oil 
companies.
  Second, he said that the energy companies don't go there because they 
are ``dry holes.'' That's just flat out wrong. I mentioned earlier I 
actually do think the energy companies are good at what they do. They 
don't waste their money or their stockholder money. And when they 
decide to spend their money on purchasing a lease, it's because they've 
come to their own independent conclusion that it's worth that 
investment, that there is oil in the ground or under the sea.
  So those oil companies have access to it. Why don't they drill? And 
also, why aren't there drills available, the drilling rigs for offshore 
drilling and drilling rigs on land? There's two reasons: one, the oil 
companies are doing great sitting on these leases; the longer that they 
wait, the more they make. If they bought a lease when oil was at $30 a 
barrel and then it goes to $75 a barrel and up to $130 or $140 a 
barrel, that's money in the bank. The longer they wait, the more they 
make.
  A second reason is, they aren't willing to risk the profits in 
increasing production. As long as there is a shortage of supply, the 
price stays up. And their profits are exploding as we speak. So there 
is an enormous amount of responsibility that we have and expect from 
the oil companies.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Mr. WELCH of Vermont. Mr. Speaker, I urge a ``yes'' vote on the 
previous question and the resolution.
  The material previously referred to by Mr. Sessions is as follows:

       Amendment to H. Res. 1350 Offered by Mr. Sessions of Texas

       Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
     following:
       That it shall be in order at any time on the legislative 
     day of Thursday, July 17, 2008, for the Speaker to entertain 
     motions that the House suspend the rules relating to the 
     following measures: (1) The bill (H.R. 5984) to amend the 
     Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide for the limited 
     continuation of clean energy production incentives and 
     incentives to improve energy efficiency in order to prevent a 
     downturn in these sectors that would result from a lapse in 
     the tax law. (2) The bill (H.R. 2208) to provide for a 
     standby loan program for certain coal-to-liquid projects. (3) 
     The bill (H.R. 3089) to secure unrestricted reliable energy 
     for American consumption and transmission. (4) The bill (H.R. 
     2493) to amend the Clean Air Act to provide for a reduction 
     in the number of boutique fuels. (5) The bill (H.R. 5656) to 
     repeal a requirement with respect to the procurement and 
     acquisition of alternative fuels. (6) The bill (H.R. 2279) to 
     expedite the construction of new refining capacity on closed 
     military installations in the United States.
                                  ____

       (The information contained herein was provided by 
     Democratic Minority on multiple occasions throughout the 
     109th Congress.)

        The Vote on the Previous Question: What It Really Means

       This vote, the vote on whether to order the previous 
     question on a special rule, is not merely a procedural vote. 
     A vote against ordering the previous question is a vote 
     against the Democratic majority agenda and a vote to allow 
     the opposition, at least for the moment, to offer an 
     alternative plan. It is a vote about what the House should be 
     debating.
       Mr. Clarence Cannon's Precedents of the House of 
     Representatives, (VI, 308-311) describes the vote on the 
     previous question on the rule as ``a motion to direct or 
     control the consideration of the subject before the House 
     being made by the Member in charge.'' To defeat the previous 
     question is to give the opposition a chance to decide the 
     subject before the House. Cannon cites the Speaker's ruling 
     of January 13, 1920, to the effect that ``the refusal of the 
     House to sustain the demand for the previous question passes 
     the control of the resolution to the opposition'' in order to 
     offer an amendment. On March 15, 1909, a member of the 
     majority party offered a rule resolution. The House defeated 
     the previous question and a member of the opposition rose to 
     a parliamentary inquiry, asking who was entitled to 
     recognition. Speaker Joseph G. Cannon (R-Illinois) said: 
     ``The previous question having been refused, the gentleman 
     from New York, Mr. Fitzgerald, who had asked the gentleman to 
     yield to him for an amendment, is entitled to the first 
     recognition.''
       Because the vote today may look bad for the Democratic 
     majority they will say ``the vote on the previous question is 
     simply a vote on whether to proceed to an immediate vote on 
     adopting the resolution . . . [and] has no substantive 
     legislative or policy implications whatsoever.'' But that is 
     not what they have always said. Listen to the definition of 
     the previous question used in the Floor Procedures Manual 
     published by the Rules Committee in the 109th Congress, (page 
     56). Here's how the Rules Committee described the rule using 
     information from Congressional Quarterly's ``American 
     Congressional Dictionary'': ``If the previous question is 
     defeated, control of debate shifts to the leading opposition 
     member (usually the minority Floor Manager) who then manages 
     an hour of debate and may offer a germane amendment to the 
     pending business.''
       Deschler's Procedure in the U.S. House of Representatives, 
     the subchapter titled ``Amending Special Rules'' states: ``a 
     refusal to order the previous question on such a rule [a 
     special rule reported from the Committee on Rules] opens the 
     resolution to amendment and further debate.'' (Chapter 21, 
     section 21.2) Section 21.3 continues: Upon rejection of the 
     motion for the previous question on a resolution reported 
     from the Committee on Rules, control shifts to the Member 
     leading the opposition to the previous question, who may 
     offer a proper amendment or motion and who controls the time 
     for debate thereon.''
       Clearly, the vote on the previous question on a rule does 
     have substantive policy implications. It is one of the only 
     available tools for those who oppose the Democratic 
     majority's agenda and allows those with alternative views the 
     opportunity to offer an alternative plan.

  Mr. WELCH of Vermont. I move the previous question on the resolution.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on ordering the previous 
question.
  The question was taken; and the Speaker pro tempore announced that 
the noes appeared to have it.
  Mr. WELCH of Vermont. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and 
nays.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 9 of rule XX, the Chair 
will reduce to 5 minutes the minimum time for any electronic vote on 
the question of adoption.
  The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--yeas 228, 
nays 188, not voting 18, as follows:

                             [Roll No. 509]

                               YEAS--228

     Abercrombie
     Ackerman
     Allen
     Altmire
     Arcuri
     Baca
     Baird
     Baldwin
     Barrow
     Bean
     Becerra
     Berkley
     Berman
     Berry
     Bishop (GA)
     Bishop (NY)
     Blumenauer
     Boren
     Boucher
     Boyd (FL)
     Boyda (KS)
     Brady (PA)
     Braley (IA)
     Brown, Corrine
     Butterfield
     Capps
     Capuano
     Cardoza
     Carnahan
     Carney
     Carson
     Castor
     Chandler
     Clarke
     Clay
     Cleaver
     Clyburn
     Cohen
     Conyers

[[Page H6696]]


     Costa
     Costello
     Courtney
     Cramer
     Crowley
     Cuellar
     Cummings
     Davis (AL)
     Davis (CA)
     Davis (IL)
     Davis, Lincoln
     DeFazio
     DeGette
     Delahunt
     DeLauro
     Dicks
     Dingell
     Doggett
     Donnelly
     Doyle
     Edwards (MD)
     Edwards (TX)
     Ellison
     Ellsworth
     Emanuel
     Engel
     Eshoo
     Etheridge
     Farr
     Fattah
     Filner
     Foster
     Giffords
     Gillibrand
     Gonzalez
     Gordon
     Green, Al
     Green, Gene
     Grijalva
     Gutierrez
     Hall (NY)
     Hare
     Harman
     Hastings (FL)
     Herseth Sandlin
     Higgins
     Hill
     Hinchey
     Hinojosa
     Hirono
     Hodes
     Holden
     Holt
     Honda
     Hooley
     Hoyer
     Israel
     Jackson (IL)
     Jackson-Lee (TX)
     Jefferson
     Johnson (GA)
     Johnson, E. B.
     Jones (OH)
     Kagen
     Kanjorski
     Kaptur
     Kennedy
     Kildee
     Kilpatrick
     Kind
     Klein (FL)
     Kucinich
     Lampson
     Langevin
     Larsen (WA)
     Larson (CT)
     Lee
     Levin
     Lewis (GA)
     Lipinski
     Loebsack
     Lofgren, Zoe
     Lowey
     Lynch
     Mahoney (FL)
     Maloney (NY)
     Markey
     Marshall
     Matheson
     Matsui
     McCarthy (NY)
     McCollum (MN)
     McDermott
     McGovern
     McIntyre
     McNerney
     McNulty
     Meek (FL)
     Meeks (NY)
     Melancon
     Michaud
     Miller (NC)
     Miller, George
     Mitchell
     Mollohan
     Moore (KS)
     Moore (WI)
     Moran (VA)
     Murphy (CT)
     Murphy, Patrick
     Murtha
     Nadler
     Napolitano
     Neal (MA)
     Oberstar
     Obey
     Olver
     Ortiz
     Pallone
     Pascrell
     Pastor
     Payne
     Perlmutter
     Peterson (MN)
     Pomeroy
     Price (NC)
     Rahall
     Rangel
     Reichert
     Reyes
     Richardson
     Rodriguez
     Ros-Lehtinen
     Ross
     Rothman
     Roybal-Allard
     Ryan (OH)
     Salazar
     Sanchez, Linda T.
     Sanchez, Loretta
     Sarbanes
     Schakowsky
     Schiff
     Schwartz
     Scott (GA)
     Scott (VA)
     Serrano
     Sestak
     Shea-Porter
     Sherman
     Shuler
     Sires
     Skelton
     Slaughter
     Smith (WA)
     Snyder
     Solis
     Space
     Speier
     Spratt
     Stark
     Stupak
     Sutton
     Tanner
     Tauscher
     Taylor
     Thompson (CA)
     Thompson (MS)
     Tierney
     Towns
     Tsongas
     Udall (CO)
     Udall (NM)
     Van Hollen
     Velazquez
     Visclosky
     Walz (MN)
     Wasserman Schultz
     Waters
     Watson
     Watt
     Waxman
     Weiner
     Welch (VT)
     Wexler
     Wilson (OH)
     Woolsey
     Wu
     Yarmuth

                               NAYS--188

     Aderholt
     Akin
     Alexander
     Bachmann
     Bachus
     Barrett (SC)
     Bartlett (MD)
     Barton (TX)
     Biggert
     Bilbray
     Bilirakis
     Bishop (UT)
     Blackburn
     Blunt
     Boehner
     Bonner
     Bono Mack
     Boozman
     Boustany
     Brady (TX)
     Broun (GA)
     Brown (SC)
     Brown-Waite, Ginny
     Buchanan
     Burgess
     Burton (IN)
     Buyer
     Calvert
     Camp (MI)
     Campbell (CA)
     Cannon
     Cantor
     Capito
     Carter
     Castle
     Cazayoux
     Chabot
     Childers
     Coble
     Cole (OK)
     Conaway
     Crenshaw
     Culberson
     Davis (KY)
     Davis, David
     Davis, Tom
     Deal (GA)
     Dent
     Diaz-Balart, L.
     Diaz-Balart, M.
     Drake
     Dreier
     Duncan
     Ehlers
     Emerson
     English (PA)
     Everett
     Fallin
     Feeney
     Ferguson
     Flake
     Forbes
     Fortenberry
     Fossella
     Foxx
     Franks (AZ)
     Frelinghuysen
     Gallegly
     Garrett (NJ)
     Gerlach
     Gingrey
     Gohmert
     Goode
     Goodlatte
     Granger
     Graves
     Hall (TX)
     Hastings (WA)
     Hayes
     Heller
     Hensarling
     Hobson
     Hoekstra
     Hulshof
     Inglis (SC)
     Issa
     Johnson (IL)
     Johnson, Sam
     Jones (NC)
     Jordan
     Keller
     King (IA)
     King (NY)
     Kingston
     Kirk
     Kline (MN)
     Knollenberg
     Kuhl (NY)
     LaHood
     Lamborn
     Latham
     LaTourette
     Latta
     Lewis (CA)
     Lewis (KY)
     Linder
     LoBiondo
     Lungren, Daniel E.
     Mack
     Manzullo
     Marchant
     McCarthy (CA)
     McCaul (TX)
     McCotter
     McCrery
     McHenry
     McHugh
     McKeon
     McMorris Rodgers
     Mica
     Miller (FL)
     Miller (MI)
     Moran (KS)
     Murphy, Tim
     Musgrave
     Myrick
     Neugebauer
     Nunes
     Pearce
     Pence
     Peterson (PA)
     Petri
     Pitts
     Platts
     Poe
     Porter
     Price (GA)
     Pryce (OH)
     Putnam
     Radanovich
     Ramstad
     Regula
     Rehberg
     Renzi
     Reynolds
     Rogers (AL)
     Rogers (KY)
     Rogers (MI)
     Rohrabacher
     Roskam
     Royce
     Ryan (WI)
     Sali
     Saxton
     Scalise
     Schmidt
     Sensenbrenner
     Sessions
     Shadegg
     Shays
     Shimkus
     Shuster
     Simpson
     Smith (NE)
     Smith (NJ)
     Smith (TX)
     Souder
     Stearns
     Sullivan
     Tancredo
     Thornberry
     Tiahrt
     Tiberi
     Turner
     Upton
     Walberg
     Walden (OR)
     Walsh (NY)
     Wamp
     Weldon (FL)
     Weller
     Westmoreland
     Whitfield (KY)
     Wilson (NM)
     Wilson (SC)
     Wittman (VA)
     Wolf
     Young (FL)

                             NOT VOTING--18

     Andrews
     Boswell
     Cooper
     Cubin
     Doolittle
     Frank (MA)
     Gilchrest
     Herger
     Hunter
     Inslee
     Lucas
     Miller, Gary
     Paul
     Pickering
     Ruppersberger
     Rush
     Terry
     Young (AK)

                              {time}  1311

  Mr. RYAN of Wisconsin changed his vote from ``yea'' to ``nay.''
  Ms. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ, Ms. HOOLEY, and Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN changed their 
vote from ``nay'' to ``yea.''
  So the previous question was ordered.
  The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.
  Stated for:
  Mr. RUPPERSBERGER. Mr. Speaker, on rollcall No. 509, unfortunately, I 
am getting a medical procedure done and cannot vote. Had I been 
present, I would have voted ``yea.''
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the resolution.
  The question was taken; and the Speaker pro tempore announced that 
the noes appeared to have it.


                             Recorded Vote

  Mr. WELCH of Vermont. Mr. Speaker, I demand a recorded vote.
  A recorded vote was ordered.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. This will be a 5-minute vote.
  The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--ayes 222, 
noes 194, not voting 18, as follows:

                             [Roll No. 510]

                               AYES--222

     Abercrombie
     Ackerman
     Allen
     Altmire
     Arcuri
     Baca
     Baird
     Baldwin
     Barrow
     Bean
     Becerra
     Berkley
     Berman
     Berry
     Bishop (GA)
     Bishop (NY)
     Blumenauer
     Boren
     Boucher
     Boyd (FL)
     Boyda (KS)
     Brady (PA)
     Braley (IA)
     Brown, Corrine
     Butterfield
     Capps
     Capuano
     Cardoza
     Carnahan
     Carney
     Carson
     Castor
     Chandler
     Clarke
     Clay
     Cleaver
     Clyburn
     Cohen
     Conyers
     Costa
     Costello
     Courtney
     Cramer
     Crowley
     Cuellar
     Cummings
     Davis (AL)
     Davis (CA)
     Davis (IL)
     Davis, Lincoln
     DeFazio
     DeGette
     Delahunt
     DeLauro
     Dicks
     Dingell
     Doggett
     Donnelly
     Doyle
     Edwards (MD)
     Edwards (TX)
     Ellison
     Ellsworth
     Emanuel
     Engel
     Eshoo
     Etheridge
     Farr
     Fattah
     Filner
     Foster
     Frank (MA)
     Giffords
     Gillibrand
     Gonzalez
     Gordon
     Green, Al
     Green, Gene
     Grijalva
     Gutierrez
     Hall (NY)
     Hare
     Harman
     Hastings (FL)
     Herseth Sandlin
     Higgins
     Hill
     Hinchey
     Hinojosa
     Hirono
     Hodes
     Holden
     Holt
     Honda
     Hooley
     Hoyer
     Inslee
     Israel
     Jackson (IL)
     Jackson-Lee (TX)
     Jefferson
     Johnson (GA)
     Johnson, E. B.
     Jones (OH)
     Kagen
     Kanjorski
     Kaptur
     Kennedy
     Kildee
     Kilpatrick
     Kind
     Klein (FL)
     Kucinich
     Langevin
     Larsen (WA)
     Lee
     Levin
     Lewis (GA)
     Lipinski
     Lofgren, Zoe
     Lowey
     Lynch
     Mahoney (FL)
     Maloney (NY)
     Markey
     Marshall
     Matheson
     Matsui
     McCarthy (NY)
     McCollum (MN)
     McDermott
     McGovern
     McIntyre
     McNerney
     McNulty
     Meek (FL)
     Meeks (NY)
     Melancon
     Michaud
     Miller (NC)
     Miller, George
     Mitchell
     Mollohan
     Moore (KS)
     Moore (WI)
     Moran (VA)
     Murphy (CT)
     Murphy, Patrick
     Murtha
     Nadler
     Napolitano
     Neal (MA)
     Oberstar
     Obey
     Olver
     Ortiz
     Pallone
     Pascrell
     Pastor
     Payne
     Perlmutter
     Peterson (MN)
     Pomeroy
     Price (NC)
     Rahall
     Rangel
     Reyes
     Richardson
     Rodriguez
     Ross
     Rothman
     Roybal-Allard
     Ryan (OH)
     Salazar
     Sanchez, Linda T.
     Sanchez, Loretta
     Sarbanes
     Schakowsky
     Schiff
     Schwartz
     Scott (GA)
     Scott (VA)
     Serrano
     Sestak
     Shea-Porter
     Sherman
     Sires
     Skelton
     Slaughter
     Snyder
     Solis
     Space
     Speier
     Spratt
     Stark
     Stupak
     Sutton
     Tanner
     Tauscher
     Taylor
     Thompson (CA)
     Thompson (MS)
     Towns
     Tsongas
     Udall (CO)
     Udall (NM)
     Van Hollen
     Velazquez
     Visclosky
     Walz (MN)
     Wasserman Schultz
     Waters
     Watson
     Watt
     Waxman
     Weiner
     Welch (VT)
     Wexler
     Wilson (OH)
     Woolsey
     Wu
     Yarmuth

                               NOES--194

     Aderholt
     Akin
     Alexander
     Bachmann
     Bachus
     Barrett (SC)
     Bartlett (MD)
     Barton (TX)
     Biggert
     Bilbray
     Bilirakis
     Bishop (UT)
     Blackburn
     Blunt
     Boehner
     Bonner
     Bono Mack
     Boozman
     Boustany
     Brady (TX)
     Broun (GA)
     Brown (SC)
     Brown-Waite, Ginny
     Buchanan
     Burgess
     Burton (IN)
     Buyer
     Calvert
     Camp (MI)
     Campbell (CA)
     Cannon
     Cantor
     Capito
     Carter
     Castle
     Cazayoux
     Chabot
     Childers
     Coble
     Cole (OK)
     Conaway
     Crenshaw
     Culberson
     Davis (KY)
     Davis, David
     Davis, Tom
     Deal (GA)
     Dent
     Diaz-Balart, L.
     Diaz-Balart, M.
     Drake
     Dreier
     Duncan
     Ehlers
     Emerson
     English (PA)
     Everett
     Fallin
     Feeney
     Ferguson
     Flake
     Forbes
     Fortenberry
     Fossella
     Foxx
     Franks (AZ)
     Frelinghuysen
     Gallegly
     Garrett (NJ)
     Gerlach
     Gingrey
     Gohmert
     Goode
     Goodlatte
     Granger
     Graves
     Hall (TX)
     Hastings (WA)
     Hayes
     Heller
     Hensarling
     Hobson
     Hoekstra
     Hulshof
     Inglis (SC)
     Issa
     Johnson (IL)
     Johnson, Sam
     Jones (NC)
     Jordan
     Keller
     King (IA)
     King (NY)
     Kingston
     Kirk
     Kline (MN)
     Knollenberg
     Kuhl (NY)
     LaHood
     Lamborn
     Lampson
     Latham
     LaTourette
     Latta
     Lewis (CA)
     Lewis (KY)
     Linder
     LoBiondo
     Lungren, Daniel E.
     Mack
     Manzullo
     Marchant
     McCarthy (CA)
     McCaul (TX)
     McCotter
     McCrery
     McHenry
     McHugh

[[Page H6697]]


     McKeon
     McMorris Rodgers
     Mica
     Miller (FL)
     Miller (MI)
     Moran (KS)
     Murphy, Tim
     Musgrave
     Myrick
     Neugebauer
     Nunes
     Pearce
     Pence
     Peterson (PA)
     Petri
     Pickering
     Pitts
     Platts
     Poe
     Porter
     Price (GA)
     Pryce (OH)
     Putnam
     Radanovich
     Ramstad
     Regula
     Rehberg
     Reichert
     Renzi
     Reynolds
     Rogers (AL)
     Rogers (KY)
     Rogers (MI)
     Rohrabacher
     Ros-Lehtinen
     Roskam
     Royce
     Ryan (WI)
     Sali
     Saxton
     Scalise
     Schmidt
     Sensenbrenner
     Sessions
     Shadegg
     Shays
     Shimkus
     Shuler
     Shuster
     Simpson
     Smith (NE)
     Smith (NJ)
     Smith (TX)
     Souder
     Stearns
     Sullivan
     Tancredo
     Terry
     Thornberry
     Tiahrt
     Tiberi
     Turner
     Upton
     Walberg
     Walden (OR)
     Walsh (NY)
     Wamp
     Weldon (FL)
     Weller
     Westmoreland
     Whitfield (KY)
     Wilson (NM)
     Wilson (SC)
     Wittman (VA)
     Wolf
     Young (FL)

                             NOT VOTING--18

     Andrews
     Boswell
     Cooper
     Cubin
     Doolittle
     Gilchrest
     Herger
     Hunter
     Larson (CT)
     Loebsack
     Lucas
     Miller, Gary
     Paul
     Ruppersberger
     Rush
     Smith (WA)
     Tierney
     Young (AK)


                Announcement by the Speaker Pro Tempore

  The SPEAKER pro tempore (during the vote). Members are advised there 
are 2 minutes remaining in this vote.

                              {time}  1320

  So the resolution was agreed to.
  The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.
  A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.
  Stated for:
  Mr. RUPPERSBERGER. Mr. Speaker, on rollcall No. 510, if I were 
present I would have voted ``yea.'' Unfortunately, I am getting a 
medical procedure done and cannot vote today.

                          ____________________