4:21 PM EST
Doc Hastings, R-WA 4th

Mr. HASTINGS of Washington. I yield myself 2 1/2 minutes.

Mr. Chairman, a similar amendment like this has been offered multiple times in our committee markups and they have always failed on a bipartisan vote, and similar amendments like this have also failed on the floor. This is nothing more than an effort to make production on Federal lands more challenging and less valuable.

The vast majority of the natural gas that is produced in the United States stays in North America, but that that is exported, 98 percent goes to Canada and Mexico. We ought to keep those customers.

Additionally, since 2009, the U.S. has been the largest producer of natural gas in the world, which, I guess, goes to my friend from Oregon's argument. But energy is going to be globally decided in the marketplace. Many companies operating in United States are international companies with businesses all over the world. Undercutting the basic premise of the free market and restricting the use of the resource always has real economic consequences in the future.

Now, there is one other point about this amendment, too. The amendment makes it unclear what is considered natural gas. The question arises, are products derived from natural gas also only to be sold in the United States because they are made from natural gas? It is unclear the way the amendment is drafted. But if that were to be the case, Mr. Chairman, there would be vast spin-off industries that would be affected, namely, the plastic industries.

So I tend to be one that believes that the American consumer, in fact, consumers everywhere, are benefited if we have free trade in the world. That should apply to everything, including a big resource that we are becoming a leader in, and this amendment, I think, is contrary to that approach.

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