4:18 PM EST
Peter A. DeFazio, D-OR 4th

Mr. DeFAZIO. Mr. Chairman, this is an amendment that I think will help deliver on some of the promises being made here today. This would say that natural gas produced on Federal lands, on Federal lands only, would not be allowed to be exported from the United States.

Now, the principal argument we are hearing on the Republican side is that, by adopting their standard, which they say is the states' rights standards--I have already raised concerns about that on fracking--that it will encourage yet more development on Federal lands, increase our domestic energy supply, and free us from the OPEC cartel. Okay. But that won't work if we produce energy on Federal lands and then we export it to other countries like China or Japan or elsewhere.

The Energy Information Administration has done a study. They say there will be a tipping point in the export of liquefied natural gas where we will create a world market; we will be subject to the world price. That means that there would be a dramatic increase in gas prices here in the United States both for residential, factory use, and as an input for manufacturing fertilizer or other sorts of manufacturing.

So, suddenly, we would see an advantage which we have only very, very recently developed. We have manufacturing companies bringing production back to the U.S. because of our plentiful natural gas and saying it is to our advantage, our energy is cheaper here, our feed stocks are cheaper here. This is a tremendous advantage for us, and they are producing here and exporting finished goods.

If we begin to export in great volume the raw material, the feed stock, the natural gas through a liquefied process, then suddenly it will be we are in the international market. It means a dramatic run-up in natural gas prices. We lose our competitive advantage for domestic manufacturing, and we are back where we are with oil, despite the idea that if we produce more oil we will somehow become free of OPEC or other countries around the world.

The fact is that oil is traded as an international commodity, and no matter how much we produce here, it is going to be priced internationally at the highest price being paid in the international market. That is not so today for natural gas. But if we export enough of it and create enough capacity to export it, that will become the case.

So this would have no impact on gas produced on State lands, Indian lands, private lands. It just simply says that that approximately 15 percent of the natural gas being produced on Federal lands could not be exported, must be used domestically to keep prices down here at home to advantage manufacturers here at home.

Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.