3:09 PM EDT

Peter Welch, D-VT

Mr. WELCH of Vermont. Mr. Chairman, at the outset I want to thank the dean of the House, Mr. Dingell. Last night I needed his help, and he gave it to me to help make this amendment in order. He told me a story, and it was a simple story: If you have a chance to help somebody, take it. And it is a good lesson to live by. Although, he didn't say he was for the amendment, I hope he finds the content of the amendment okay as well as being in order. And I want to thank his staff for the tremendous

work they have done.

This amendment is very simple, Mr. Chairman. It establishes or authorizes the Federal fund to support energy sustainability and energy efficiency projects on colleges and universities campuses through grants, authorizes but doesn't appropriate.

Public institutions are playing a major role in this energy debate. They lead by example. Giving them the possibility of having funds to actually implement programs would be a very good thing.

3:10 PM EDT

Sheila Jackson-Lee, D-TX 18th

Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas. Let me thank the gentleman from Vermont for his thoughtful amendment, and I thank Chairman Dingell as well for helping him, and the chairman of the subcommittee, Mr. Boucher, and all of our Members for dialoguing on this very crucial issue.

I happen to represent the University of Houston that has brought a wind research project to Houston, a $24 million project, and I know that Texas has enormous amount of commitment to wind.

This research grant program will help other universities look at issues such as fossil fuel and the efficiency of it, refineries and the efficiency of it, exploration and the efficiency of it in other places other than public lands. So I am here to support this amendment and as well to support the underlying energy bill, H.R. 3221.

I thank the gentleman, Mr. Welch. Universities around America will look forward to this grant program, including Texas Southern University and many other universities that we have in my district.

3:12 PM EDT

Joe Barton, R-TX 6th

Mr. BARTON of Texas. And I may not be in opposition. I want to ask the distinguished author: these grants that would be established if the program were to be established, would they be granted on a competitive basis?

3:13 PM EDT

Steve Pearce, R-NM 2nd

Mr. PEARCE. Mr. Chairman, I would yield to the desires of our ranking member on the amendment.

Mr. Chairman, the underlying bill of that amendment offers us clear choices on the environment. It lays before us the kind of choices, the kind of development we should support. My Republican colleagues and I believe that we should support and expand our domestic energy supply.

This picture is a picture of American energy. This offshore rig produces between 100,000 and 150,000 barrels of oil a day from America's Outer Continental Shelf. The production is clean, with a limited impact on the surrounding ocean. The impact it has causes the creation of a new column of ocean life on the legs of the platform.

During Katrina, these did not spill one drop of oil, not one drop, in one of the worst hurricanes in American history. I believe that this clean development is what we should produce more of. That is why I am going to vote for this bill.

Many of our friends see life differently. They are going to say that this is not the way to produce. To quote my friend from New York, ``Let us import as much energy as we possibly can.''

Now, I have traveled overseas and I have looked at oil production overseas. When they say, let's import as much as we can, some of that production comes from places like this, with absolutely no environmental standards. And we are going to export our problems, export the environmental contamination from this country to others, all in the guise of making ourselves energy independent.

Many in the majority of Congress is going to vote today, and I would recommend that we very carefully think about the problems that we are going to export and think about that tremendous energy industry that has developed here and is a model for the rest of the world.

I thank the ranking member for yielding time and thank the chairman, and appreciate the opportunity to speak.

[Time: 15:15]