Mr. HASTINGS of Washington. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
Mr. Chairman, in light of the recent flooding in the gentleman's home State of Colorado, I can appreciate his concern about this issue. However, this amendment contains no restrictions on the scope and breadth of this study, and it seems to be endless. In fact, the study is not focused on the tragic flooding in Colorado, and it is so expansive it can include all flooding anywhere, and the term ``oil and gas'' facilities is undefined. That is what the amendment says.
``Oil and gas'' facilities could be interpreted to mean many things, much of which is outside of the jurisdiction of this committee. This could include corner gasoline stations or private gas meters. And ``leaking and spills from tanks, wells, and pipelines'' does not have to be associated with natural gas. It can be anything, such as a septic or water or sewer tanks and pipelines.
Further, this amendment does not specify that the study be conducted in conjunction with production on Federal land, which of course is what this legislation specifically deals with. The result is a nationwide study that can touch a variety of sources, right down to private homes, the results of which will have nothing to do with the energy production process that this legislation seeks to streamline.
This study, undoubtedly at the expense of taxpayer dollars, will have no impact on energy production; and, frankly, it has no clear goal.
Finally, the proper place to examine the effects of flooding in Colorado is in Colorado. In testing done by the Colorado State Department of Public Health and the Environment, they found pollutants from oil and gas in the aftermath of the spills at 29 specific sites, but no pollutants in Colorado's waterways. However, the incidence of E. coli and raw sewage was measurable and did have an impact on public health, which is not limited to one industry and is not even covered by this study.
Mr. Chairman, for a variety of reasons, and I think I have tried to touch on the major ones that I just enunciated, I urge rejection of this amendment.
I reserve the balance of my time.
Mr. POLIS. Mr. Chairman, again, regarding the language of the amendment, of course it is not designed to apply narrowly to Colorado. That would be considered an earmark, prohibited under the rules of the House. In addition, it is not designed just to serve the needs of my district.
This amendment is designed to learn from this so other areas of the country don't go through the same damage from flooding to our oil and gas infrastructure that occurred in my district.
The language is very limiting with regard to the report to Congress, very boilerplate language that we have used for other studies which have been successfully accomplished by the Academy of Sciences, reporting to Congress ``on the effect of flooding on oil and gas facilities, and the resulting instances of leaking and spills from tanks, wells, and pipelines,'' precisely what has occurred as a result of the flooding in Colorado and could, of course, occur as a result of flooding in other areas
of the country that have a significant presence of the extraction industry.
I hope that my colleagues will support this measure that Mr. Huffman and I have brought forward. I think it would be a commonsense report that would be of great value to this Congress in protecting our infrastructure and our environment from the impact of flooding.
I reserve the balance of my time.
Mr. LAMBORN. Mr. Chairman, I thank the full committee chairman for yielding me this time.
I want to applaud and commend my colleague from Colorado for his concern and thoughtfulness to the people impacted in Colorado, many of which were in his and Representative Cory Gardner's district, some even further south in my district where there was, unfortunately, some loss of life also. So we all share that same concern.
To put things in perspective, though, when we look at the oil and gas impact of the flooding, there was no hydraulic fracturing going on during the flooding, and the spillage that was later determined to have taken place was relatively minor. There were about 1,000 barrels of oil and gas spilled, with about 400 barrels of production water. That is about 1,500 barrels, which is about 62,000 gallons. To put that in perspective, this was considered a 1 trillion-gallon rainfall in a period of 7 days
or so. That would amount to more than that every second. Every single second would have 67,000 barrels of river flow. So 1 second's worth of oil and gas in the entire horrific rainfall, I think, puts things in perspective.
So I ask for a ``no'' vote on this amendment. It is a lot broader than just the Federal lands that this legislation talks about, and so it goes beyond the scope of the legislation and I don't think it is really called for.
The Acting CHAIR. The time of the gentleman has expired.
Mr. LAMBORN. Just to conclude, when you put things in perspective, I think that there were a lot more serious issues with the flooding, some of which continue to today and will continue far into the future. Those are the issues we should really concentrate on.
For that reason, I ask for a ``no'' vote on this amendment.
Mr. POLIS. Mr. Chairman, I do want to again elaborate a little bit. The gentleman from Washington brought up germaneness and jurisdictional issues.
This amendment has been advanced to the floor by the Rules Committee with the necessary waivers granted, so it does not need to go through any other committee. It is here for the full House to consider. I appreciate it being included in the rule. I encourage Members to make the decision on the merits. It has been granted the necessary waivers to be considered on the House floor. Again, I do think this study would be of value to Congress, if, in fact, the 43,000 gallons of oil don't represent
any kind of danger or risk that will be included in the report.
The National Academy of Sciences will have access to the information that we as policymakers will need and my State will need for future planning and other States that have an extraction industry will benefit from in the event of a flood. This can save the health of people, it can save lives, and it can save costly infrastructure in the oil and gas industry. It is a commonsense measure, a useful study.
I encourage my colleagues to vote ``yes,'' and I yield back the balance of my time.