(Senate - October 13, 2011)

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[Pages S6496-S6497]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []


  Mr. INHOFE. Madam President, I heard a report today from Senator 
Murkowski. Apparently, the Energy Committee had a hearing on the 90-day 
shale gas report. I think this is very significant. I am sure she will 
come down and talk about it in detail. I didn't even know about it 
until noon today when she gave her report and I happened to be there, 
but it is something that is very significant.
  In this country we talk about energy and the fact that we have enough 
energy we can produce domestically in the United States of America to 
run this country for 100 years in terms of gas, with present 
consumption, and 50 years as far as oil is concerned, and we are 
dependent upon oil, gas, and coal to run this country, and those are 
something--a lot of people are saying we have to do away with fossil 
fuels. Every time I hear people say that, it is kind of laughable, when 
they say we have to do something about our dependence on foreign oil by 
doing away with our own production in this country.
  Our problem is not that we do not have the amount of coal, oil, and 
gas that we need to be totally independent from anybody. We do. But, 
politically, we have obstacles. There is not one other country in the 
world where the politicians will not let that country develop its own 
resources except for the United States of America.
  It is kind of interesting. It was not too long ago when President 
Obama, who is very much in line with some of the far-left 
environmentalists who want to do away with fossil fuels, was realizing 
people were catching on, and people knew that with all the shale 
deposits that are out there--and every week that goes by, we find 
another great big opportunity for shale; this is both oil and gas--and 
the President said gas is plentiful, and we need to use more gas, and 
all that. But at the end of his speech, he said: We have to do 
something about that procedure called hydraulic fracturing.
  Anyone who understands energy knows that to get at all of these 
deposits--these shale deposits of gas or oil--you have to use a 
procedure called hydraulic fracturing. It happens we know something 
about it in my State of Oklahoma because in 1948 the first well was 
cracked, and we have not had one documented case in 60 years of ground 
water contamination as a result of hydraulic fracturing. So it is 
something that does work.
  But those individuals who want to make people think they are wanting 

[[Page S6497]]

to develop our own resources then turn around and say we are going to 
stop or have the Federal Government regulate hydraulic fracturing. It 
is totally inconsistent, and I think it is a direct effort to misinform 
the people.
  So in this meeting today, Senator Murkowski did a handout, and I am 
going to read a couple of the quotes from some of the people who had 
previously testified before the committee. Keep in mind, this is after 
a 90-day shale gas report. They talked about hydraulic fracturing and 
all of that.
  One quote is from Dr. Daniel Yergin, who is chairman of IHS Cambridge 
Energy Research Associates, and he is a bestselling author. He said:

       There's a gap in perception--this idea that oil and gas is 
     not regulated. We were all impressed by the quality and the 
     focus, the long experience of the states in regulating oil 
     and gas. . . . There's a strong backbone to it and that is 
     not as well recognized in some circles. So I think there is a 
     very strong fabric here.

  Here is a quote. This is from Kathleen McGinty. I remember her from 
when she was an aide to Al Gore. She was chair of the Council on 
Environmental Quality during the Clinton administration. She said:

       We didn't come up with any conclusion--

  This is the 90-day shale report--

     that the deck chairs need to be shuffled around. . . . There 
     was nothing in the testimony that we heard or in the 
     substance that we focused on or in the ``what'' needed to be 
     done that led to a glaring conclusion that there was an actor 
     missing from the scene.

  Well, this is someone who comes from, completely, the other side. So 
I think it is very important. The more times you look at this thing, 
the more there is an awareness of the people--that is heightened almost 
on a daily basis--that we have all this opportunity, and we are not 
doing it just because of the political obstacles.
  Dr. Stephen Holditch is the petroleum engineering department head, 
Samuel Roberts Noble chair, and professor of petroleum engineering at 
Texas A University. He said:

       Local control, local understanding of best practices is 
     really the best way to go. . . . There's nothing broken with 
     the system now.

  My State of Oklahoma is an oil State. A lot of our stuff is pretty 
shallow. On the other hand, in the Anadarko Basin, we have some of the 
more deep things. But if you look, for 60 years the States have 
regulated hydraulic fracturing, and it has worked very well. It is not 
one of these one-size-fits-all because in some States--when you get in 
New York and Pennsylvania, now, and the Marcellus Shale, the stuff is 
pretty deep, but it is abundant. Well, the regulation there would be 
different than it would be in my State of Oklahoma or in Louisiana or 
in New Mexico or any of the other oil States.
  I was really glad to see this come out, and I am glad Senator 
Murkowski is now letting people become aware of it because we have 
enough oil, gas, and coal to be totally independent, if we can just get 
the obstacles out of the way. One of the techniques used in being able 
to recover this, of course, is hydraulic fracturing. So that is why a 
lot of the people who are trying to shut down fossil fuels are trying 
to shut down that process.
  I had an experience--I wish I could remember the name of the company, 
but it was in Broken Arrow, OK--during the recess, where I was calling 
on different people, and there was a young man who started a company. 
He had been with a larger one. He is making platforms for hydraulic 
fracturing. Now, a platform is about one-fourth of the size of this 
Chamber I am speaking in right now. It is a very large thing. On the 
platform, so they can hydraulically fracture these wells, they have a 
very large diesel engine. A regulation came through--I was not even 
aware of this until I sat down with him; this is less than 1 month 
ago--he said the regulation was that you can no longer build platforms 
and use them for hydraulic fracturing unless you have a tier 4 engine.
  Well, we went to check, and he was right. There is no tier 4 engine. 
It is on the drawing boards, but it is not available commercially now. 
So that is just another way through regulation they are trying to do 
away with hydraulic fracturing.
  So we have to be on our toes, and we have to have a wake-up call for 
the American people. If we want to have good, clean, abundant, cheap 
energy, we have it right here in the United States of America, and we 
need to knock down the political obstacles and develop our own 
resources like everybody else does.
  With that, I yield the floor.
  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. KERRY. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.