Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. Mr. Chairman, I reserve a point of order on the gentlewoman's amendment.
The Acting CHAIR. A point of order is reserved.
Pursuant to the order of the House of today, the gentlewoman from California (Ms. Eshoo) and a Member opposed each will control 5 minutes.
The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from California.
Mr. FLORES. Mr. Chairman, I rise to offer my amendment, which would address another restrictive and misguided Federal regulation. Section 526 of the Energy Independence and Security Act prevents Federal agencies from entering into contracts for the procurement of an alternative fuel unless its ``lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions'' are less than or equal to emissions from conventional fuel produced from conventional petroleum resources. Simply put, my amendment would stop the government from
enforcing this ban on Federal agencies funded by the Energy and Water appropriations bill.
The initial purpose of section 526 was to stifle the Defense Department's plan to buy and develop coal-based or coal-to-liquids jet fuels, based on the opinion of environmentalists that coal-based jet fuel produces more greenhouse gas emissions than traditional petroleum. I recently offered similar amendments to the MilCon-VA, Ag, and DOD appropriations bills, and each time those amendments passed this House by voice votes. My friend Mr. Conaway also had language added to the Defense
authorization bill to exempt the Defense Department from this burdensome regulation. But section 526's ban on fuel choice applies to all Federal agencies, not just the Defense Department. That is why I am offering it again today.
Federal agencies should not be burdened with wasting their time studying fuel emissions when there is a simple fix, and that is not restricting their fuel choices based on extreme environmental views, policies, and regulations like section 526. With increasing competition from other countries for energy and fuel resources, and the continued volatility and instability in the Middle East, it is more important than ever for our country to become more energy independent and to further develop and
produce our domestic energy resources. Placing restrictions on Federal agencies' fuel choices is an unacceptable precedent to set with regard to America's energy independence and its energy policy.
Section 526 makes our Nation more dependent on Middle East oil. Stopping the impact of section 526 will help American energy, improve the American economy, and create American jobs. I urge my colleagues to support passage of this commonsense amendment.
I reserve the balance of my time.
Mr. VISCLOSKY. Mr. Chair, I rise in opposition to the gentleman's amendment.
The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Indiana is recognized for 5 minutes.
Mr. VISCLOSKY. Mr. Chairman, section 526, I believe, is a commonsense provision that stops Federal agencies from wasting taxpayer dollars on new, alternative fuels that are dirtier and more polluting than the fuels we use today. The section simply bars agencies from entering into contracts to purchase alternative and unconventional fuels that emit more carbon pollution than conventional fuels on a lifecycle basis. I think that is just a rational, commonsense requirement.
The effect of this provision that has been in place is to spur development of advanced biofuels. These fuels are being successfully tested and proven today on U.S. Navy planes at supersonic speeds. And I believe it is a testament to American ingenuity.
I think the path that the gentleman wants to pursue is the wrong one. It is unsustainable in the longer term, and it will not lead us to energy security. Therefore, I am opposed to his amendment.
I reserve the balance of my time.
Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. I am prepared to accept the amendment offered by the gentleman from Texas. His amendment strengthens national security by allowing the Federal Government more alternatives to imported petroleum fuels.
More than half of the oil the Nation consumes each year is imported, as we know, and today the price of gasoline is hovering around the $4-a-gallon mark. By declaring some new fuel options to be off limits, section 526 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 limits our Nation's ability to reduce its dependence on oil imports.
His amendment puts all alternatives back on the table, which I think is needed, so the Nation can begin to develop and use fuels that are made with resources from here in the United States. Energy self-sufficiency is a national security issue, and this amendment takes us in the right direction. I am pleased to support the gentleman's amendment.
I yield back the balance of my time.
Mr. DICKS. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words.
The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Washington is recognized for 5 minutes.