4:22 PM EST

Doc Hastings, R-WA 4th

Mr. HASTINGS of Washington. Mr. Chairman, let me be very clear that I do oppose this amendment.

This amendment is costly and wasteful. The amendment would redirect $10 billion away from Federal permitting streamlining, which we know would help lower costs and produce more energy, and instead funnel the money to another fruitless study of the unfounded position of somehow market speculation is impacting energy prices.

Mr. Chairman, earlier this year, researchers Christopher Knittel and Robert S. Pindyck from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sloan School of Management, MIT, found that speculation wasn't driving up energy prices. I will quote them, Mr. Chairman.

Back to those pesky speculators for a moment: surely, their bets on oil have had at least some effect on prices?

According to our latest research, the answer is: not really. In our recent paper, we explore the link between speculation and inventory changes. We calculate a series of speculation-free prices by creating a stable inventory of oil, providing us with a picture of what the market might look like in the absence of speculation. We focus on inventory for a simple reason: if oil prices are changing because of speculators, then there would have to be commensurate changes to inventories--a buildup when

prices are increasing and a drawdown when prices are falling.

But when the economy was strong and oil prices were increasing, we didn't see large increases in inventories. In fact, they fell somewhat. This means that peak prices would have actually been higher if you take away any effects of speculation.

And let me repeat that final part:

But when the economy was strong and oil prices were increasing, we didn't see large increases in inventories. In fact, they fell somewhat. This means that peak prices would have actually been higher if you take away any effects of speculation.

Time and time again, we have heard from those opposed to oil and gas drilling that it is the shady Wall Street speculator, the man behind the curtain who is driving up energy prices. The truth is that the best way to fight speculators, or foreign cartels, is simply to outproduce them, and that should be our solution here today.

We should be working to figure out how to use more than just 2 percent of our Federal lands for energy development. We should find a way to have Federal lands keep pace with private lands in the revolution of energy production as currently taking place in the United States. Yet the Congressional Research Service tells us:

All of the increase from fiscal year 2007 to fiscal year 2012 took place on non-Federal lands, and the Federal share of total U.S. crude oil production fell by about 7 percentage points.

Yet, instead of reversing this trend, streamlining permitting, the author of this amendment wants to siphon off money for studies.

The legislation before us today is designed to streamline and produce more onshore energy production. This will create jobs and reduce our dependence on foreign imports. It demands an all-of-the-above energy agenda, and I would like to think that the folks on the other side could at least embrace that part of it.

I urge my colleagues to reject this amendment and support the underlying bill, and I reserve the balance of my time.

4:26 PM EST

Maxine Waters, D-CA 43rd

Ms. WATERS. Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of the gentleman's amendment today, which helps ensure that our derivatives regulator can protect our financial markets and economy. This amendment improves the funding situation of the CFTC by giving back $10 million that my Republican colleagues proposed to cut earlier this year.

Many Americans are unaware that the CFTC is charged with enforcing laws designed to thwart Wall Street from manipulating the cost of commodities, which affects the price at the pump and the cost of food on our plates. Just as importantly, the CFTC has been tasked with writing and enforcing rules reforming the financial markets and participants like AIG that contributed to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

For these reforms to have teeth, we need a cop with the resources and staff to hold the financial industry accountable. And yet, despite the overwhelming need, House Republicans want to cut the CFTC's budget, deciding this year to provide the CFTC a funding level that is 40 percent below the President's request. This funding level is in addition to sequester cuts, which have caused temporary staff layoffs as well as the agency-wide closure for 2 weeks during the Republican shutdown.

Mr. Chairman, we are witnessing a multifaceted effort by the Republican majority to undercut laws and regulations with which Republicans and certain special interests disagree, halting Dodd-Frank rulemaking through litigation and legislation, while simultaneously depriving our market cops of resources.

The DeFazio amendment is a first step towards countering this offensive, by funding Wall Street's cop, at a minimum, with the same resources as last year.

I thank my thoughtful friend from Oregon and urge adoption of this amendment.

4:28 PM EST

Peter A. DeFazio, D-OR 4th

Mr. DeFAZIO. Mr. Chairman, according to MIT, then, the head of Exxon Mobil perjured himself under oath at the Senate and the Federal Reserve Bank in St. Louis is wrong because they have an in-depth study not paid for by the industry that says, indeed, speculation is a major factor.

Here is over 1 month where you see the price vary by up to $11 per day.Now, you tell me that the supply changed by $11 worth in a day and then, whoops, the next day it is back down? Then, Ben Bernanke said he saw a further decline coming and the industry tanked oil futures by $6.

This is pure speculation. Don't defend it. Support the amendment and give the American people real relief from high gas prices that are unnecessary.