4:04 PM EST

Tom Reed, R-NY 23rd

Mr. REED. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment made in order under the rule.

The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.

The text of the amendment is as follows:

Page 4, after line 10, insert the following:


(a) Study.--The Comptroller General of the United States shall conduct a study examining the economic benefits of domestic shale oil and gas production resulting from the process of hydraulic fracturing. This study will include identification of--

(1) State and Federal revenue generated as a result of shale gas production;

(2) jobs created both directly and indirectly as a result of shale oil and gas production; and

(3) an estimate of potential energy prices without domestic shale oil and gas production.

(b) Report.--The Comptroller General shall submit a report on the findings of such study to the Committee on Natural Resources of the House of Representatives within 30 days after completion of the study.

The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 419, the gentleman from New York (Mr. Reed) and a Member opposed each will control 5 minutes.

The Chair recognizes the gentleman from New York.



4:04 PM EST

Bill Flores, R-TX 17th

Mr. FLORES. Mr. Chairman, I rise to offer a simple amendment today that makes technical and clarifying corrections to H.R. 2728. My amendment also calls on State regulators to provide their hydraulic fracturing and chemical disclosure requirement regulations to BLM for public disclosure.

States have the expertise in carefully crafting hydraulic fracturing regulations that meet the unique geologic and hydrologic needs of their States. This bottom-up regulatory relationship between the States and the Federal Government is one of the reasons that we are able to enjoy the vast economic benefits of the shale energy boom.

These changes will ensure that the cooperative and transparent State-driven regulatory approach to energy activity will continue. The energy shale boom is driving our economic recovery, and we need to keep the Federal Government from slowing down energy production on taxpayer owned Federal lands with duplicative regulations and unnecessary red tape.

4:05 PM EST

Doc Hastings, R-WA 4th

Mr. HASTINGS of Washington. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

Mr. Chairman, I think the gentleman's amendment goes right to the heart of what those who are opposed to this process are concerned with by disclosing the chemicals which is embodied in this amendment. This amendment does exactly what seems to be the opposition on the other side. I think it is a good amendment, and we are prepared to accept it.

4:06 PM EST

Jim Renacci, R-OH 16th

Mr. RENACCI. Mr. Chairman, I want to thank my colleague.

I rise today in support of the Flores amendment, which would make public States that have established efficient and regulatory programs that both encourage domestic development of our resources and protect the environment and health of our citizens.

My home State of Ohio has some of the most transparent and robust oil and gas regulations in the Nation, which in many cases far surpass Federal regulations. In fact, since 1953, over 80,000 wells have been hydraulically fractured in Ohio without a single case of groundwater contamination. At the same time, we are experiencing an energy renaissance that is estimated to bring more than 65,000 jobs and contribute nearly $5 billion to Ohio's economy by 2014. Ohio now has the potential to be a leader

in domestic energy production and would bring much needed high-paying jobs and economic growth to northeast Ohio.

It is clear that prudent and responsible development of our resources that creates jobs, enhances our national security and energy independence, and impacts long-term economic growth should not be a partisan issue.

I urge my friends on both sides of the aisle to support this amendment and the underlying bill. [Page: H7291]

4:07 PM EST

Bill Flores, R-TX 17th

Mr. FLORES. I thank Mr. Renacci for his comments.

Again, this is a simple amendment in response to feedback I received during the past few weeks.

Again, the American energy shale revolution is completely dependent on hydraulic fracturing. Without this evolving technology, job creation, growth in manufacturing, lower energy prices, and lower greenhouse gas emissions would all stop. All the benefits our Nation is experiencing today would stop.

I urge my colleagues to vote ``yes'' on the amendment and ``yes'' on the underlying legislation.

I reserve the balance of my time.

4:07 PM EST

Rush Holt, D-NJ 12th

Mr. HOLT. Mr. Chairman, I will not oppose this amendment because by itself it does not change anything, but it does underscore the problems with the bill itself. So I would like to speak on that for a moment.

I don't think there is anything wrong with making Interior a one-stop shopping place for State drilling regulations, although I don't know if there are any States that want to keep their regulations secret. So I don't know if that provision actually has any real impact.

Let me read a provision of the bill that this amendment strikes so that everyone understands what the amendment is trying to do. Subsection (b) of the bill says Interior shall defer to all State regulations for all activities related to any component of the hydraulic fracturing process. It then goes on to say ``regardless of whether those rules are duplicative, more or less restrictive, shall have different requirements, or do not feet Federal guidances.''

Apparently the majority, as well as the author of this amendment, recognize that the last sentence was a little excessive and now this amendment proposes to strike that. But it doesn't make any difference because in subsection (a), the bill reads that Interior cannot enforce any of its regulations or guidance for any component of the hydraulic fracturing process.

Subsection (a) strips Interior of their authority to enforce. This certainly has the same effect as the language in subsection (b) directing them to defer with respect to any regulations or requirements.

Even after this amendment is adopted--and we are prepared to accept it--the language in the bill will still require that Interior defer to the States, regardless of whether State rules are less restrictive or adequate or are inadequate or if they don't meet Federal guidelines. That is the problem with the bill. The bill remains the same.

This amendment is really superfluous. I will not oppose the amendment, but it does underscore the fundamental problem with the legislation that we are considering here today. It strips Interior of any authority to protect public health, public safety from drilling and fracking operations on public lands.

Although I will also accept the amendment, I will continue to oppose the underlying bill, and I yield back the balance of my time.

4:10 PM EST

Bill Flores, R-TX 17th

Mr. FLORES. I thank the gentleman for accepting the amendment, and I yield back the balance of my time.

The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Flores).

The amendment was agreed to.



The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 3 printed in part B of House Report 113-271.