ENERGY; Congressional Record Vol. 159, No. 107
(House of Representatives - July 24, 2013)

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[Page H4984]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                                 ENERGY

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from 
Pennsylvania (Mr. Thompson) for 5 minutes.
  Mr. THOMPSON of Pennsylvania. Mr. Speaker, it's been a tough week for 
American consumers. Yesterday, it was reported that under the Federal 
Bureau of Land Management's new proposed onshore hydraulic fracturing 
regulations, businesses will suffer--as will the rate of production in 
developing our Nation's plentiful natural gas. Yes, a clean and 
affordable resource.
  Reuters News reports:

       The Obama administration hopes the rules on public lands 
     will serve as a model for State oversight of drilling on 
     private lands.

  This plan is no secret. U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said as 
much in her testimony before the House Natural Resources Committee in 
July. Make no mistake: these Federal regulations are being developed as 
a model to be used across the country.
  The development of our Nation's domestic energy resources has been 
one of the few bright spots in a struggling economy. It's very clear 
how and why this era of growth and innovation came to be. Take a look 
at the production rates on State and private lands versus Federal lands 
and you will see why. Production is up on the former and way down on 
the latter. Unfortunately, the administration wants to close this gap 
by putting the Federal Government in control and imposing costly new 
mandates everywhere that production is taking place.

                              {time}  1030

  It's bad for business, Mr. Speaker. What's worse, it's bad for 
consumers by making the cost of heating their homes that much more 
expensive.
  And it doesn't stop with natural gas. Coal is also in the 
administration's crosshairs. Only with coal, the White House has a hair 
trigger, a scope, and a silencer. Case in point: a sweeping new coal 
regulation quietly being put forward by the administration known as the 
Stream Buffer Zone Rule.
  Yesterday, Joseph Pizarchik, Director of the Federal Office of 
Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement at the U.S. Department of 
the Interior, testified before the House Natural Resources Committee on 
the new rule. The Interior Department has largely stonewalled the 
Committee's investigation into the rewrite of the coal regulation and 
failed to comply with multiple subpoenas.
  Similar to the Director's testimony, the entire rulemaking process 
for this new regulation has lacked transparency. What we do know is 
that the administration has failed to even consider the new rule's 
economic impact on local economies, such as those in my home State of 
Pennsylvania.
  Unfortunately, the conduct of OSM is emblematic of the Obama 
administration's complete disregard for the health of our economy. As 
many as 220,000 jobs are at risk in the Appalachia region alone as a 
consequence of the proposed rule. Thousands more are at stake 
nationally.
  DOI regulations require that OSM collaborate ``to the fullest extent 
possible'' with the States developing this rule. DOI regulations also 
require that OSM collaborate with States ``at the earliest possible 
time'' so that all stakeholders can evaluate the rule and consider 
possible alternatives.
  Yesterday, when asked whether or not States have been provided with 
information regarding the new rule and related changes, the OSM 
Director stated he does not believe that there have been any contacts 
during the last year with the impacted States. When further pressed as 
to whether his office had made any contact with States and other 
cooperating agencies, the Director stated that he was unaware of any 
such communications.
  Mr. Speaker, this White House will stop at no end to assault the 
fossil fuels industry along with the millions of jobs it supports and 
the low energy costs that it provides.
  Mr. Speaker, protecting the environment and developing our abundant 
natural resources, such as coal and natural gas, are not mutually 
exclusive, but this is not something that this administration would 
like to admit.
  This week, the administration continued to move ahead with policies 
that will cost more jobs and further harm family budgets through higher 
electricity rates. This week, the administration continued to grossly 
underestimate the cumulative impact of their regulatory actions. And 
this week was another tough week for the American consumer.

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