H. Rept. 112-67 - 112th Congress (2011-2012)
May 02, 2011, As Reported by the Natural Resources Committee

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House Report 112-67 - PUTTING THE GULF OF MEXICO BACK TO WORK ACT




[House Report 112-67]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]


112th Congress                                             Rept. 112-67
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session                                                     Part 1

======================================================================



 
              PUTTING THE GULF OF MEXICO BACK TO WORK ACT

                                _______
                                

  May 2, 2011.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Hastings of Washington, from the Committee on Natural Resources, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                            DISSENTING VIEWS

                        [To accompany H.R. 1229]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Natural Resources, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 1229) to amend the Outer Continental Shelf Lands 
Act to facilitate the safe and timely production of American 
energy resources from the Gulf of Mexico, having considered the 
same, report favorably thereon with an amendment and recommend 
that the bill as amended do pass.
    The amendment is as follows:
  At the end of title I add the following:

SEC. 102. EXTENSION OF CERTAIN OUTER CONTINENTAL SHELF LEASES.

  (a) Definition of Covered Lease.--In this section, the term 
``covered lease'' means each oil and gas lease for the Gulf of 
Mexico outer Continental Shelf region issued under section 8 of 
the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1337) that--
          (1)(A) was not producing as of April 30, 2010; or
          (B) was suspended from operations, permit processing, 
        or consideration, in accordance with the moratorium set 
        forth in the Minerals Management Service Notice to 
        Lessees and Operators No. 2010-N04, dated May 30, 2010, 
        or the decision memorandum of the Secretary of the 
        Interior entitled ``Decision memorandum regarding the 
        suspension of certain offshore permitting and drilling 
        activities on the Outer Continental Shelf '' and dated 
        July 12, 2010; and
          (2) by its terms would expire on or before December 
        31, 2011.
  (b) Extension of Covered Leases.--The Secretary of the 
Interior shall extend the term of a covered lease by 1 year.
  (c) Effect on Suspensions of Operations or Production.--The 
extension of covered leases under this section is in addition 
to any suspension of operations or suspension of production 
granted by the Minerals Management Service or Bureau of Ocean 
Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement after May 1, 
2010.

                          Purpose of the Bill

    The purpose of H.R. 1229 is to amend the Outer Continental 
Shelf Lands Act to facilitate the safe and timely production of 
American energy resources from the Gulf of Mexico.

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    Following the Deepwater Horizon explosion, in May 2010 the 
Obama Administration placed a moratorium on all shallow-water 
and deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM). Despite 
officially lifting the moratorium in October 2010, the Obama 
Administration continued to slow-walk the permitting process, 
imposing a de facto moratorium, and keeping thousands of 
Americans out of work in the process.
    Prior to the Deepwater Horizon incident, there were 52 
approved and pending permits for drilling in the GOM. Since the 
time the Administration officially lifted the moratorium in 
October, there only 10 permits for deepwater drilling in the 
GOM had been issued by the middle of April 2011. Of these 10, 
only two were a permit for new deepwater exploration; seven 
permits were simply reissued for projects that had previously 
been approved prior to the Deepwater Horizon incident. This 
means that 10 months later, over 40 projects that were approved 
and underway remain stalled.
    Furthermore, prior to the Deepwater Horizon incident, there 
were 33 deepwater exploration rigs in the GOM. Since the 
Administration's actions in 2010, 12 rigs (seven deepwater, 
five shallow) have moved out of the GOM, bound for other 
regions, each taking with it hundreds, and potentially 
thousands, of jobs.
    In February 2011, Seahawk Drilling, which owned and 
operated 20 rigs in the GOM, declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy due 
to the Obama Administrations de facto moratorium. According to 
the company's president:

          The government's drastic slowdown in the issuance of 
        permits for shallow-water drilling operations--in which 
        companies work in familiar geological formations, 
        typically in less than 500 feet of water, mostly 
        seeking to produce natural gas--has all but crippled 
        the industry . . . Seahawk's bankruptcy risks the jobs 
        of more than 500 loyal employees, a number already 
        diminished 50 percent from pre-spill levels because of 
        attempts to save the company by cutting payrolls since 
        last April.

    According to the Obama Administration's own estimates, the 
six-month ``official moratorium'' (May-October 2010) on 
drilling cost up to 12,000 American jobs. However, the long-
term impacts of the de facto moratorium could be significantly 
higher. A study by Dr. Joseph Mason of Louisiana State 
University predicts that if the de facto moratorium were 
sustained for 18 months, there could be a loss of 36,137 jobs 
nationwide, with 24,532 jobs lost in the Gulf Coast region 
alone.
    According to the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas 
Association, each drilling platform averages 90-140 employees 
at any one time (two shifts per day), and 180-280 for two two-
week shifts. Additionally, each exploration and production job 
supports four other positions; therefore, 800-1,400 jobs per 
idle rig platform are at risk if production does not resume as 
soon as possible. Wages for those jobs average $1,804 weekly, 
making potential lost wages more than $5-10 million per month, 
per platform.
    The Obama Administration's glacial pace in issuing permits 
is crippling the offshore industry and causing thousands of 
Americans to remain out of work. The 30 and 60 day timelines in 
H.R. 1229 are absolutely necessary to prevent the 
Administration from continuing to slow-walk the permitting 
process and to prevent future de facto moratoria. The 
Administration's permitting pace has even been challenged in 
the courts. In February, a New Orleans judge gave the 
Administration 30 days to act on five GOM drilling permits, 
calling the delays ``increasingly inexcusable,'' and stating, 
``The government is under a duty to act by either granting or 
denying a permit application within a reasonable time . . . 
[N]ot acting at all is not a lawful option.''
    This legislation does not require the Administration to 
automatically reissue permits. Rather it simply requires the 
Secretary of the Interior to review existing and new permit 
applications in a timely manner. Prior to April 2010, the 
Administration typically approved permits, certifying that all 
environmental and safety applications had been demonstrated, in 
five to 15 days. Therefore, the up to 60 days provided in H.R. 
1229 to make a decision is sufficient and prevents the 
imposition of a de facto moratorium. The 60-day deadline 
ensures timely answers will be provided on permit 
applications--either yes or no. As requested by the 
Administration, Congress voted to increase the Department of 
the Interior's budget for Fiscal Year 2011 to ensure the agency 
has the resources to ensure a continuous, reliable permitting 
process.
    By writing two safety reforms into law, H.R. 1229 will make 
drilling safer and requires more rigorous oversight by amending 
the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to require, for the first 
time in law, that oil and gas lease holders receive an approved 
permit to drill before drilling an offshore well in all federal 
waters. Moreover, it specifically requires the Secretary of the 
Interior to conduct a ``safety review'' to ensure proposed 
drilling operations ``meet all critical safety system 
requirements, including blowout prevention, and oil spill 
response and containment requirements.''
    To prevent costly and time-consuming lawsuits from delaying 
progress in offshore energy production, the legislation 
provides for an expedited hearing process in the legal system. 
Legal rights are protected and any concerned citizen or group 
will be able to have his or her day in court. H.R. 1229 will 
simply expedite the legal process so that the issue can be 
resolved and offshore production, which is critical to keeping 
Americans employed and ensuring a reliable domestic supply of 
oil and natural gas, can steadily continue. It is important too 
that the Obama Administration's official and de facto moratoria 
are not replaced by never-ending lawsuits aimed at stalling or 
blocking American offshore energy production.
    As a result of an amendment adopted during Committee 
consideration of this bill, H.R. 1229 also extends the terms of 
leases expiring in 2011 by one additional year. This extension 
is in addition to any suspension of operations or production 
granted by the Secretary of the Interior after May 1, 2010. 
After the Obama Administration imposed the moratorium and would 
no longer issue permits, the Secretary should have directly 
suspended oil and gas leases already existing in the GOM. If no 
permits were to be issued for GOM leases, the lease terms 
should have been extended to ensure fair treatment and prevent 
companies from investing millions of dollars for no return. 
Furthermore, with the uncertainty of future lease sales, if 
these leases expire, it is unclear when, if ever, those areas 
will come back up for leasing. The Obama Administration has 
refused to give fair treatment to leaseholders whose production 
and permits were unilaterally and completed halted or blocked 
during the moratorium.

                            Committee Action

    H.R. 1229, the Putting the Gulf of Mexico Back to Work Act, 
was introduced on March 29, 2011, by Natural Resources 
Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (R-WA). The bill was referred 
primarily to the Committee on Natural Resources, and 
additionally to the Committee on the Judiciary. Within the 
Committee on Natural Resources, the bill was referred to the 
Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources. On April 6, 2011, 
that Subcommittee held a hearing on the bill. On April 13, 
2011, the Full Natural Resources Committee met to consider the 
bill. The Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources was 
discharged by unanimous consent. Congressman Rush Holt (D-NJ) 
offered amendment designated 003 to the bill; the amendment was 
not adopted by a roll call vote of 15-25, as follows:

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    Congressman Bill Flores (R-TX) offered amendment designated 
016, which was adopted by voice vote. Congressman John 
Garamendi (D-CA) offered amendment designated 004, which was 
not adopted by a roll call vote of 15 to 27, as follows:

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    Committee Ranking Member Edward J. Markey (D-MA) offered an 
amendment designated 002, which was not adopted by a roll call 
vote of 16 to 27, as follows:

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    Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA) offered and withdrew 
amendment designated 020. The bill was then favorably reported, 
as amended, to the House of Representatives, by a roll call 
vote of 27 to 16, as follows:

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            Committee Oversight Findings and Recommendations

    Regarding clause 2(b)(1) of rule X and clause 3(c)(1) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee on Natural Resources' oversight findings and 
recommendations are reflected in the body of this report.

                    Compliance With House Rule XIII

    1. Cost of Legislation. Clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives requires an estimate and 
a comparison by the Committee of the costs which would be 
incurred in carrying out this bill. However, clause 3(d)(2)(B) 
of that rule provides that this requirement does not apply when 
the Committee has included in its report a timely submitted 
cost estimate of the bill prepared by the Director of the 
Congressional Budget Office under section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974. Under clause 3(c)(3) of Rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and section 
403 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee has 
received the following cost estimate for this bill from the 
Director of the Congressional Budget Office:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                                Congessional Budget Office,
                                    Washington, DC, April 27, 2011.
Hon. Doc Hastings,
Chairman, Committee on Natural Resources,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 1229, the Putting 
the Gulf of Mexico Back to Work Act.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Kathleen 
Gramp.
            Sincerely,
                                              Douglas W. Elmendorf.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 1229--Putting the Gulf of Mexico Back to Work Act

    Summary: H.R. 1229 would modify the standards and 
procedures governing federal leases and permits for private 
companies to develop oil and gas resources on the Outer 
Continental Shelf (OCS). It would extend the duration of 
certain leases set to expire by December 31, 2011, as well as 
other leases affected by specified procedural matters. The bill 
also would establish deadlines for administrative actions on 
permit applications and establish procedural and other limits 
on judicial review of civil actions involving energy projects 
in the Gulf of Mexico.
    Pay-as-you-go procedures apply to H.R. 1229 because 
enacting the legislation would affect direct spending. CBO 
estimates that enacting this bill would reduce offsetting 
receipts from OCS leases by $10 million in 2013 (such 
reductions would have the effect of increasing direct 
spending). We estimate that enacting the bill would increase 
direct spending by $6 million over the 2012-2016 period but 
would have no significant net effect over the 2012-2021 period. 
Enacting H.R. 1229 would not affect revenues.
    H.R. 1229 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) 
and would impose no costs on state, local or tribal 
governments.
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary impact of H.R. 1229 is shown in the following table. 
The costs of this legislation fall within budget function 950 
(undistributed offsetting receipts).

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                       By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                             -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               2012   2013   2014   2015   2016   2017   2018   2019   2020   2021  2012-2016  2012-2021
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               CHANGES IN DIRECT SPENDING

Estimated Budget Authority..................................      0     10     -1     -1     -2     -2     -2     -2      0      0         6          0
Estimated Outlays...........................................      0     10     -1     -1     -2     -2     -2     -2      0      0         6          0
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Basis of estimate: For this estimate, CBO assumes that H.R. 
1229 will be enacted before the end of fiscal year 2011 and 
that the Department of the Interior (DOI) will conduct federal 
lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico according to the schedule 
included in the President's budget request for fiscal year 
2012. Bonus bids, rental fees, and royalty payments for OCS 
leases are recorded in the budget as offsetting receipts, which 
are an offset to direct spending.
    Under current law, OCS leases expire within a specified 
period of time unless the lessee has begun to produce oil or 
gas or has met certain production-related standards. After a 
lease expires, it is re-auctioned as part of the next lease 
sale. Typically, some of the expired leases are acquired in the 
subsequent sales; in recent years, the uptake rate for newly 
available leases has ranged from 13 percent to 46 percent. 
Thus, provisions extending the duration of certain OCS leases 
would affect the timing of projected bonus bids for those 
expired leases.
    Based on information from DOI, CBO estimates that H.R. 1229 
would extend the term of approximately 100 leases. Over half of 
those leases are in the Western and Eastern Gulf of Mexico that 
will expire by December 31, 2011, and be re-auctioned later in 
fiscal year 2012. Relative to CBO's baseline projections of OCS 
bonus bids, changes in existing lease terms would reduce 
offsetting receipts (an increase in direct spending) in 2013 by 
about $10 million. Such costs would be offset by higher sales 
proceeds in subsequent years, resulting in no significant net 
effect over the 2012-2021 period.
    Finally, based on information from DOI, CBO estimates that 
implementing the bill would have no significant effect on 
spending subject to appropriation.
    Pay-as-you-go considerations: The Statutory Pay-As-You-Go 
Act of 2010 establishes budget reporting and enforcement 
procedures for legislation affecting direct spending or 
revenues. The net changes in outlays that are subject to those 
pay-as-you-go procedures are shown in the following table.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                    By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                        2011   2012   2013   2014   2015   2016   2017   2018   2019   2020   2021  2011-2016  2011-2021
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                       NET INCREASE OR DECREASE (-) IN THE DEFICIT

Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Impact.......................      0      0     10      1     -1     -2     -2     -2     -2      0      0         6          0
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: H.R. 1229 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA and would impose no costs on state, local, or 
tribal governments.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: Kathleen Gramp; Impact 
on State, Local, and Tribal Governments: Melissa Merrell; 
Impact on the Private Sector: Amy Petz
    Estimate approved by: Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.
    2. Section 308(a) of Congressional Budget Act. As required 
by clause 3(c)(2) of Rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives and section 308(a) of the Congressional Budget 
Act of 1974, this bill does not contain any new budget 
authority, credit authority, or an increase or decrease in 
revenues or tax expenditures. According to the Congressional 
Budget Office, enactment of this bill would reduce offsetting 
receipts by $10 million in 2013 and such reductions would have 
the effect of increasing direct spending, in this case by $6 
million over the 2012-16 time period.
    3. General Performance Goals and Objectives. This bill does 
not authorize funding, and therefore clause 3(c)(4) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives does not 
apply.

                           Earmark Statement

    This bill does not contain any Congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined 
under clause 9(e), 9(f), and 9(g) of rule XXI of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives.

                    Compliance With Public Law 104-4

    This bill contains no unfunded mandates.

                Preemption of State, Local or Tribal Law

    This bill is not intended to preempt any State, local or 
tribal law.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italic, existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

OUTER CONTINENTAL SHELF LANDS ACT

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


  Sec. 11. Geological and Geophysical Explorations.--(a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  [(d) The Secretary may, by regulation, require any lessee 
operating under an approved exploration plan to obtain a permit 
prior to drilling any well in accordance with such plan.]
  (d) Drilling Permits.--
          (1) In general.--The Secretary shall by regulation 
        require that any lessee operating under an approved 
        exploration plan--
                  (A) must obtain a permit before drilling any 
                well in accordance with such plan; and
                  (B) must obtain a new permit before drilling 
                any well of a design that is significantly 
                different than the design for which an existing 
                permit was issued.
          (2) Safety review required.--The Secretary shall not 
        issue a permit under paragraph (1) without ensuring 
        that the proposed drilling operations meet all--
                  (A) critical safety system requirements, 
                including blowout prevention; and
                  (B) oil spill response and containment 
                requirements.
          (3) Timeline.--
                  (A) The Secretary shall decide whether to 
                issue a permit under paragraph (1) within 30 
                days after receiving an application for the 
                permit. The Secretary may extend such period 
                for up to two periods of 15 days each, if the 
                Secretary has given written notice of the delay 
                to the applicant. The notice shall be in the 
                form of a letter from the Secretary or a 
                designee of the Secretary, and shall include 
                the names and titles of the persons processing 
                the application, the specific reasons for the 
                delay, and a specific date a final decision on 
                the application is expected.
                  (B) If the application is denied, the 
                Secretary shall provide the applicant--
                          (i) in writing, clear and 
                        comprehensive reasons why the 
                        application was not accepted and 
                        detailed information concerning any 
                        deficiencies, and
                          (ii) an opportunity to remedy any 
                        deficiencies.
                  (C) If the Secretary has not made a decision 
                on the application by the end of the 60-day 
                period beginning on the date the application is 
                received by the Secretary, the application is 
                deemed approved.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

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                            DISSENTING VIEWS

    We oppose H.R. 1229 because it would impose artificial and 
arbitrary deadlines on the Department of the Interior to 
approve permits to drill. One year after the BP Deepwater 
Horizon spill, this legislation could actually make offshore 
drilling less, rather than more, safe by potentially limiting 
the review of drilling permits by the agency charged with 
overseeing the industry.
    On April 20, 2010, at about 10 p.m., an explosion occurred 
on the Deepwater Horizon oil drilling rig in the Gulf of 
Mexico. There were 126 people on board at the time. Fifteen 
people were injured and eleven workers were killed. The 
Deepwater Horizon, owned by Transocean Ltd., was under a 
contract with BP to drill an exploratory well. BP was the 
lessee of the area in which the rig was operating. At the time 
of the explosion, BP and Transocean were in the process of 
temporarily closing the well, in anticipation of future, 
commercial production. Halliburton had completed some cementing 
of casings in the well less than 24 hours prior to the 
accident.
    On April 22, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon rig sank and two 
days later, remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) found oil leaking 
from the broken riser pipe. Ultimately, oil would continue 
leaking from the Macondo well for 87 days before being capped 
on July 15, 2010. The government's Flow Rate Technical Group 
(FRTG) concluded that during that period, oil had been leaking 
into the Gulf of Mexico at a rate beginning at 62,000 barrels 
per day and ending at 53,000 barrels per day prior to the well 
being capped. According to the FRTG, a total of 4.1 million 
barrels of oil were spilled into the Gulf of Mexico, with an 
additional 800,000 barrels having been captured aboard 
containment ships responding to the crisis. The BP Deepwater 
Horizon oil spill ultimately became the largest offshore oil 
spill in the history of the United States.
    The majority has refused to consider legislation to 
implement the recommendations of the Independent National 
Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore 
Drilling or to improve the safety of offshore drilling. 
Representatives Markey, Holt, along with other House Democrats 
introduced H.R. 501, to implement the recommendations of the BP 
Commission, on January 26, 2011. The majority has also refused 
Ranking Member Markey's request to hold hearings with the 
companies involved in the spill--BP, Transocean, Halliburton 
and Cameron--or with the largest oil companies that are the 
industry leaders--ExxonMobil, BP, Shell, Chevron and 
ConocoPhillips.
    H.R. 1229 would require the Secretary of the Interior to 
act on a drilling permit request within 30 days. While the 
legislation would allow the Secretary to twice extend the time 
period for 15 days, the Secretary would have to provide written 
notice to the company, which would include ``the names and 
titles of the persons processing the application, the specific 
reasons for the delay, and a specific date a final decision on 
the application is expected.''
    More troubling, under the legislation, if the Secretary has 
not made a decision on a drilling permit within 60 days it 
would be ``deemed approved,'' whether or not safety or 
environmental review had been completed. As we learned with the 
BP Deepwater Horizon disaster, the oversight and regulation of 
offshore drilling needs to be more robust. Reducing the safety 
review done by the Interior Department prior to drilling, as 
the legislation could do, would make offshore drilling less 
safe and is the completely wrong legislative response in the 
wake of the BP spill. Moreover, the majority's legislation 
could result in more drilling permits being rejected, as the 
Interior Department may be forced to reject permits if the 
safety and environmental review has not been completed, rather 
than allowing them to be deemed approved.
    While this legislation contains some vague language on 
safety, requiring the Secretary to ensure that the proposed 
drilling operations ``meet all critical safety system 
requirements, including blowout prevention and oil spill 
response and containment requirements,'' it would not require 
anything more than what the Interior Department is already 
doing.
    In addition, the problem the majority purports to be 
addressing with this legislation--the speed of permitting in 
the Gulf--is one that does not even exist. Following the 
temporary pause on deepwater drilling last year, which 
Secretary Salazar lifted on October 12, 2010, the oil industry 
was not able to demonstrate that it possessed the capacity to 
contain a deepwater blowout until February 2011. Once oil 
companies demonstrated they had the capability to contain a 
blowout, the first deepwater drilling permit was issued 11 days 
later, on February 28, 2011. There have now been a total of 10 
deepwater drilling permits issued since that time. In addition, 
the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and 
Enforcement (BOEMRE) has also approved 39 shallow-water permits 
since last October, nearly matching the average from before the 
spill.
    This legislation also includes provisions that would limit 
judicial review of all energy projects in the Gulf of Mexico. 
Title II would require all litigation to be held in the 5th 
circuit court, require that any challenge be filed within 60 
days, and prohibit the awarding of any attorneys' fees, 
expenses or other court costs. These provisions represent a 
massive overreach by the majority on the Natural Resources 
Committee and are not even within the jurisdiction of the 
Committee.
    Democrats offered a number of amendments to this 
legislation designed to improve the safety of offshore 
drilling. Each amendment was rejected with all Republican 
Members of the Committee voting no. Representative Holt offered 
an amendment that would have struck the language in H.R. 1229 
deeming drilling permits approved after 60 days. This amendment 
would have improved the safety of offshore drilling by ensuring 
that permits are not issued without environmental review. 
Representative Garamendi offered an amendment that would have 
implemented a recommendation of the National Commission on the 
BP Deepwater Horizon Disaster and Offshore Drilling, that any 
industry safety organization be separate and apart from the 
American Petroleum Institute (API), which is the trade 
association that advocates for the oil industry.
    Finally, Ranking Member Markey offered an amendment that 
would have inserted specific safety requirements for blowout 
preventers, well design, casing and cementing. This amendment 
would have improved the safety requirements for offshore 
drilling based on what we have learned from the BP spill. 
Similar language passed the Energy and Commerce Committee in 
the last Congress in a unanimous, bipartisan vote of 48-0. 
However, all of the Majority members of the Natural Resources 
Committee voted against this same language.
    H.R. 1229 is the exactly wrong legislative response to the 
BP disaster. Rather than acting to make off-shore drilling 
safer and smarter, the Majority is moving to make drilling 
faster and looser. We oppose this effort.
                                   Edward J. Markey.
                                   Peter A. DeFazio.
                                   Betty Sutton.
                                   John P. Sarbanes.
                                   Raul M. Grijalva.
                                   Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan.
                                   Michael M. Honda.
                                   Eni F.H. Faleomavaega.
                                   Dale E. Kildee.
                                   Niki Tsongas.
                                   Ben Ray Lujan.
                                   Frank Pallone, Jr.
                                   Colleen W. Hanabusa.
                                   John Garamendi.
                                   Grace F. Napolitano.
                                   Rush D. Holt.