12:57 PM EDT

Jim McGovern, D-MA 3rd

Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, I yield my remaining time of 1 1/2 minutes to the gentleman from California (Mr. George Miller).

12:58 PM EDT

George Miller, D-CA 7th

Mr. GEORGE MILLER of California. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me time, and I rise in strong support of this point of order.

Simply saying in the legislation that this is not an unfunded mandate does not make the fact that it is not an unfunded mandate. Failure to provide the resources by which the directed activity is required under the law is what makes it an unfunded mandate.

We have communities throughout California that have had environmental and economic havoc wreaked [Page: H2178]

upon them from the use of MTBE, in many instances, as the gentlewoman from California (Mrs. Capps) pointed out, after the knowledge was available and was continued to pursue the use of this compound as an additive to the fuels of our automobiles.

Those communities now are stuck with the costs of either cleaning up that drinking water supply, finding an alternative source and dealing with it, and they must do so. To suggest now that we are going to provide a safe harbor, that we are going to restrict the liability or prohibit the liability from those who knew of the dangers of this to our environment, to our drinking water supplies, to our citizens, and on the other hand, we are going to direct communities to clean this up when, in fact,

the resources will not be available to do that, they are not there at the local level, and they are not forthcoming from the United States.

MTBE is just another way in which this Congress, this Republican leadership, wants to corrupt the process by which these communities can be made whole. They want to corrupt the process by which these companies can be protected from the liability that they assumed when they knowingly did that. It is just a continued process of corruption of the process of this Congress that we cannot deal with this straight up.

[Time: 13:00]

12:59 PM EDT

Pete Sessions, R-TX 32nd

Mr. SESSIONS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time.

Mr. Speaker, we have already heard the chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce tell us how this trust fund, the LUST Trust Fund, has $2 billion that has been set aside, that is waiting for this issue, for cleanup of MTBE. We heard very clearly that some almost $1 billion more will be added to the bill to make sure that we address this issue.

MTBE is not a defective product. MTBE does a very good job at what it is supposed to do, and that is clean the air.

Today and tomorrow this House will be considering the energy bill. I think it is time for us to move forward. I urge each of my colleagues to vote ``yes,'' that we will continue the debate on the rule today.

Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.