THE DAILY WHIP: THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2012

For Immediate Release:

February 16, 2012

Contact:

Katie GrantDaniel Reilly, 202-225-3130

House Meets At: First Vote Predicted: Last Vote Predicted:

10:00 a.m.: Morning Hour
12:00 p.m.: Legislative Business

Fifteen “One Minutes” per side

4:30 - 5:30 p.m. 5:30 - 6:00 p.m.

Following one minute speeches, the House is expected to recess until approximately 3:00 p.m. At that time, the House will reconvene and consider amendments to H.R. 3408.

Complete Consideration of H.R. 3408 - Protecting Investment in Oil Shale the Next Generation of Environmental, Energy, and Resource Security Act (Rep. Lamborn - Natural Resources/Energy and Commerce) The bill would expand onshore and offshore drilling intended to help offset the cost of H.R. 7 – “American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act”, however, it would only generate less than 2% of the revenue needed to support the transportation projects that the bill authorizes over the next five years. At the last minute, House Republican leaders decided to separate the consolidated transportation bill into 3 pieces, the transportation authorization bill, and 2 offset bills: H.R. 3408, as well as bill to cut federal employee pensions, so that they can be considered on the House floor individually.  After being considered separately, H.Res. 547 provides that the measures as amended and passed by the House would be added back into the transportation bill (H.R. 7) before it is sent to the Senate.

The bill also includes a provision to shift permitting authority for the controversial Keystone XL pipeline from the State Department to the Federal Regulatory Energy Commission (FERC) and would give FERC 30 days to approve a permit. The bill opens up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to oil and gas drilling, mandates drilling off the east and west coast of the United States, directing priority lease sales off the coast of Southern California and Virginia, and in the restricted eastern Gulf of Mexico near Florida. 

The measure does nothing to ensure drilling safety and produces very little savings to help offset the transportation bill.  House Republicans have continued their ideological streak by taking a traditionally bipartisan issue and putting forward a partisan bill. Adding in controversial provisions relating to the Keystone XL pipeline and drilling in ANWR, while reducing highway funding, cutting jobs, and putting safety at risk are not actions that bring about strong bipartisan support. Members are urged to VOTE NO on H.R. 3408.

The House is expected to complete consideration of H.R. 3408 today, including votes on amendments, motion to recommit and final passage. As of yesterday, the House completed debate on 12 amendments and the following amendments are left to be debated:

Reps. Thompson (CA)/Woolsey Amendment. Would clarify that the legislation does not allow for oil and gas drilling on the northern coast of California
Reps. Holt/Bass (NH)/Dingell/Dold/Gerlach/Murphy (CT)/Kind Amendment.
Would affirm that nothing in the underlying bill will affect funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF)
Rep. Hanabusa Amendment.  Would require that offshore oil and gas leases contain specific drilling safety requirements
Rep. Hastings (WA) Amendment #157. Would streamline the NEPA process to allow for expedited development of renewable energy projects, such as offshore wind, on federal lands and waters
Rep. Markey Amendment #53. Would expand on the oil export ban already included in the Arctic drilling subtitle (Sec. 17706) to prohibit export of any natural gas produced pursuant to a lease issued under the bill
Rep. Markey Amendment #54.
Would require companies holding defective leases which allow them to drill on public lands off-shore without paying a royalty, to renegotiate those leases prior to bidding on new leases issued under this bill
Rep. Labrador Amendment. Would streamline the NEPA process for a geothermal exploration on federal lands
Reps.Scalise/Bonner/Landry/Miller(FL)/Palazzo/Southerland/Olson/Richmond Amendment. Would dedicate 80 percent of the Clean Water Act penalties associated with the Deepwater Horizon disaster to the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund

Bill Text for H.R. 3408:
PDF Version

Background for H.R. 3408:
House Report (HTML Version)

House Report (PDF Version)
CRS Report
- U.S. Offshore Oil and Gas Resources: Prospects and Processes

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK
The GOP Leadership has announced the following schedule for Friday, February 17: The House will meet at 9:00 a.m. for legislative business. The House may consider the Conference Report on H.R. 3630 - Temporary Payroll Tax Cut Continuation Act of 2011. 

 
The Daily Quote

“The House will not wrap up the controversial highway and energy bill until after the President’s Day recess, Speaker John Boehner told Republicans at a closed-door conference Wednesday morning….Left unsaid in Boehner’s rationale is the difficulty that Republican leaders have had in assembling the necessary vote for a bill that funds surface transportation programs, opens up oil drilling and cuts back on the federal contribution to government workers’ pensions.”

- Politico, 2/15/12