Mr. LOWENTHAL. Mr. Speaker, this is the final amendment to the bill, which will not kill the bill or send it back to committee. If adopted, the bill will immediately proceed to final passage, as amended.
Mr. Speaker, transparency and public disclosure are critical ingredients to successful public policy and, I would dare say so, to successful democracy. My amendment would provide just that--transparency and public disclosure of the hydraulic fracturing operations that are now prolific in so many States.
Right now, our communities do not have access to reliable or complete information about fracking operations. Colleagues, our communities have a right to know.
If the public has a right to know what ingredients are in their food, don't our communities have a right to know what chemicals the oil and gas industry is going to pump past their drinking water?
If the public has a right to know where Superfund pollution sites are, don't our communities have a right to know where the oil and gas industry is going to store these millions of gallons of unknown chemicals and contaminated slurry?
If the public has a right to know about major land-use changes, don't our communities have a right to know when the oil and gas industry is going to start a fracking operation next-door--with its accompanying air emissions? its truck traffic? its noise? and its derricks?
I would hope that encouraging transparency and public disclosure would be a bipartisan issue. I certainly hear about transparency from the majority when this Chamber is talking about other Federal programs. We should be consistent and make sure the people in our communities also have a right to know about fracking chemicals injected below their backyards, their schools, their farms, and their parks.
And to those who would resist providing the community a right to know about fracking operations, I would warn that you prevent transparency at the oil and gas industry's own peril.
To develop our resources responsibly and to harness the benefits of the shale gas boom, we need the public's trust, and industry will not earn it if they hide the facts. When the oil and gas industry refuses to disclose the facts, it is natural for the public to ask then: Why won't industry tell us what chemicals they are using? What are they hiding?
When the oil and gas industry hides the facts, it erodes the public's trust and breeds suspicion.
Hiding the facts prevents first responders and health workers from understanding how to appropriately treat exposed individuals after a fracking accident.
Hiding the facts prevents emergency officials from understanding how to properly contain and clean up a chemical spill after a fracking accident.
Hiding the facts prevents the public from knowing which chemicals to test for in their drinking water before, during, and after fracking.
Hiding the facts prevents researchers who conduct chemical transport studies from understanding the prevalence, the movement, and the longevity of fracking chemicals in the subsurface environment.
Hiding the facts prevents the public from verifying the oil and gas industry's assertion that hydraulic fracturing is safe.
Don't hide the facts. Our communities have a right to know. Vote ``yes'' on the motion to recommit.
I yield back the balance of my time.
Mr. FLORES. Mr. Speaker, this should be pretty easy.
In my earlier amendment that was approved by voice vote today, we addressed the concerns raised by the gentleman from California, so let's move on down the road and vote for American jobs and American energy.
A vote today for H.R. 2728 is a vote to regain our Nation's position as the world's leading energy producer, a product of the shale energy boom.
Thanks to shale energy, middle class manufacturing jobs are returning to the U.S. after generations of decline. Thanks to shale energy, our Nation's production is a huge blow to unstable and unfriendly areas like Russia and the Middle East, who previously dictated the world supply of energy.
Just last year, shale energy supported 2.1 million jobs. Turning our backs on the shale energy boom now would cause the Federal Government to lose up to $1.6 trillion in revenues over the next decade and a half.
I would repeat: the issue that was raised in the motion to recommit was already in my amendment that was passed by voice vote earlier today.
Mr. Speaker, lower energy costs for American families, a cleaner environment, an increase in American manufacturing jobs, and domestic energy security would all be lost without the underlying bill.
I urge my colleagues to oppose this motion to recommit and to support abundant, safe, and clean energy through the Protecting States' Rights to Promote American Energy Security Act. Vote ``yes'' for American jobs.
I yield back the balance of my time.