5:00 PM EDT

John E. Peterson, R-PA 5th

Mr. PETERSON of Pennsylvania. Mr. Speaker, Americans are concerned, and they should be. We had $79 oil this week, $7 natural gas, the highest prices in the world, especially for natural gas. Oil prices are predicted to go to $100 this year with what's going on in the world.

America needs to use its resources. Canada, Great Britain, Norway, Sweden, Holland, Belgium, Ireland, New Zealand and Australia use their resources on the Outer Continental Shelf. This bill opens it up from 100 on out. It's the safest place, the least imprint. It's the safest place to produce energy in the world.

Everybody in the country laughs at us when I talk to them about why we don't produce there. If we want to have a petrochemical business left in America, a polymer, plastics, fertilizer, steel, aluminum, bricks and glass, if we want jobs for our working people, we need affordable oil. We need affordable natural gas.

We have to stop being 2 percent more dependent every year. Every year we're gaining 2 percent in dependence on foreign oil. This has to stop.

We need to open up the Outer Continental Shelf.

5:02 PM EDT

Joe Barton, R-TX 6th

Mr. BARTON of Texas. That is correct.

In the brief time I have, I want to make one correction. I said the OCS provision was for natural gas drilling outside of 100 miles. I have been informed it would also include oil. Again, in the interest of informed consent, it would allow drilling for both natural gas and oil outside the 100-mile limit.

This is the real energy security bill. It's the energy bill that actually has a supply package in it. We're consuming more energy. I know we need to conserve. The current bill before us does have some conservation measures that are worthy of support. This also has a supply package that's worthy of support.

Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.

5:03 PM EDT

Steny Hoyer, D-MD 5th

Mr. HOYER. Mr. Speaker, I know how concerned you all have been that you haven't gotten sufficient time to consider legislation that's put before you. We have had this for 6 or 7 minutes, and, of course, we have read it page to page. Reading it page to page, we have concluded that we ought not to support it.

5:05 PM EDT

Steny Hoyer, D-MD 5th

Mr. HOYER. I understand that. But I just got it, and we just got it on the desk as to what you were going to add.

Ladies and gentlemen of the House, the distinguished ranking member has outlined what's in this bill. It is emblematic of the problem we have seen [Page: H9913]

for 12 years where we have ignored conservation, where we have ignored alternative energy sources, where we have ignored reaching out with the understanding that petroleum is going to run out from wherever we seek it and that we therefore need to move in a new direction and adopt a new policy and to adopt

a policy on the future, not on the present, adopt a policy that looks to our children and grandchildren's future as well as the future of ourselves.

Ladies and gentlemen, this motion puts together a complete substitute with three key differences from our bill. It includes refinery streamlining, provisions that were rejected, rejected in the 2005 Energy Conference Committee, rejected. We were not in charge. That's in this bill. These provisions override environmental law, reduce public participation, and do so for no real benefit.

The provisions in the 2005 law have never been used, and the provisions in this substitute is a solution in search of a problem. The substitute also includes Arctic refuge drilling, as the gentleman has made clear.

We repeatedly rejected that proposition. It could have been offered in a separate amendment. It was not, but it's not hidden in this bill, and we ought to know that. It does not produce oil for more than a decade, while conservation has immediate opportunities.

Finally, the substitute also includes alternative fuel standards; H.R. 3221 does not. We decided to let the committee of jurisdiction work that matter. It is in the Senate bill. I have said repeatedly over the months that standard will be in a bill that we send to the President of the United States.

But the Energy Committee is going to be working on that, the Senate has worked on that, and we will work our will.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is an extraordinary bill. We said when we ran for office that we would provide a new direction for energy independence for America, for security reasons, for security reasons, for economic reasons, and for environmental reasons. We are meeting our promise today.

Reject this substitute, which you have not possibly had the time to read, and enact one of the most far-reaching, new-direction, future-oriented energy bills that this House will have ever passed. Reject the substitute. Vote for this bill. Let us move so the American public can have confidence in a better America.