THE DAILY WHIP: THURSDAY, JUNE 27, 2013

For Immediate Release:

June 27, 2013

Contact:

Katie GrantStephanie Young, 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

1:30 – 2:00 p.m. 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.

H.R. 1613 – Outer Continental Shelf Transboundary Hydrocarbon Agreements Authorization Act (Rep. Duncan (SC) – Natural Resources) (One Hour of Debate). This bill would approve a February 2012 agreement that created a framework for U.S. offshore drilling companies and Mexico's Petróleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, to jointly develop oil in the Gulf of Mexico, outside both countries' economic zone waters.  The agreement is strongly supported by major oil companies, the Interior and State departments, Democrats and Republicans.   However, the bill also includes a waiver to a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) provision added by Dodd-Frank requiring energy companies to report mineral payments to foreign governments. The SEC disclosure requirement is designed to improve transparency and reduce government corruption in resource-rich nations. Under Dodd-Frank, any payment made by oil companies to a foreign government to “further” the commercial development of oil and gas has to be disclosed to shareholders and the American public. By waiving this requirement for transboundary agreements, H.R. 1613 would allow oil companies to make undisclosed payments to foreign governments.

The Rule, which was adopted yesterday, makes in order 1 amendment, debatable for 10 minutes, equally divided between the offeror and an opponent. The amendment is:

Rep. Grayson Amendment. Ensures that no portion of this legislation is construed as affecting the right of any state to prohibit the management, leasing, developing, and use of lands (including offshore oil drilling) beneath navigable waters within its boundaries.

Bill Text for H.R. 1613:
PDF Version

Background for H.R. 1613:
House Report (HTML Version)
House Report (PDF Version)

Begin Consideration of H.R. 2231 – “Offshore Energy and Jobs Act” (Rep. Hastings (WA) – Natural Resources) (One Hour of Debate). This bill would direct the Interior Department to develop a new five-year offshore leasing plan that makes available for oil and gas exploration and development at least 50% of the unleased coastal areas with the most potential for energy production. The bill would create a nationwide revenue sharing system so coastal states would receive a 37.5% share of the federal royalties (revenue from offshore oil and gas leasing and development is currently one of the largest non-tax revenue streams for the federal government). This provision would allow states to use these revenues “for any purpose as determined by the laws of that State.” The bill also requires the plan to establish a domestic oil and natural gas production goal under the Administration’s current 2012–2017 Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) leasing plan of 3 million barrels of oil per day and 10 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day by 2027 (which is triple current production levels). Lastly, the bill requires that drilling be allowed more immediately off the coasts of California, South Carolina, and Virginia, and statutorily reorganizes the Interior Department agencies that oversee offshore leasing and permitting, safety inspections and revenue collection.

The Rule, which was adopted yesterday, makes in order 11 amendments, each debatable for 10 minutes, equally divided between the offeror and an opponent. The amendments are:

Rep. Brady (TX) Amendment. Requires the Secretary of the Interior to include any offshore areas that a State Governor requests be made available for oil and gas leasing in any environmental review conducted or statement prepared for the leasing program under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
Reps. Hastings (FL)/Connolly Amendment. Strikes section 204 of the bill which mandates a single multi-sale Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) because the section would eliminate the evaluation typically provided by an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) which is tailored to the environmental effects of a particular lease sale.
Rep. Lamborn Amendment. Prohibits the issuing of offshore oil and gas leases to any person in violation of various Iran sanctions.
Rep. Flores Amendment. Prohibits the Interior Bureau of Ocean Energy and the Ocean Energy Safety Service from engaging in any marine spatial planning activities related to the National Ocean Policy. Requires a report be submitted to Congress identifying expenditures on such activities for fiscal years 2011-2013 by the Bureau of Ocean Energy, Ocean Energy Safety Service, and their predecessor agencies.
Rep. Cassidy Amendment #5. Increases the amount of offshore energy revenue sharing for Alabama, Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi from $500 million per year to $999 million for each of fiscal years 2024 through 2055, sending more than $11 billion to those states over 30 years.
Rep. Cassidy Amendment #6. Stipulates that no later than 60 days after the date of enactment of H.R. 2231 , the Secretary of the Interior must issue new rules regard the timing and disbursement of offshore oil and gas drilling revenue to Alabama, Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi under the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006.
Rep. Rigell Amendment. Requires the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to permit seismic testing in the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf of the United States by December 31, 2013.
Rep. DeFazio Amendment. Prohibits offshore oil and gas leases in Bristol Bay off the coast of Alaska.
Rep. Broun Amendment. Provides that all legal claims arising from offshore leases issued pursuant to the underlying bill be filed within 60 days and resolved within 180 days. It would also place restrictions on appeals and institute a "loser pays" requirement on individuals or entities filing suit, and stipulate that the amendment only applies to individuals or entities which are not party to the pending leases.
Rep. Grayson Amendment. Ensures that no portion of this legislation is construed as affecting the right of any state to prohibit the management, leasing, developing, and use of lands (including offshore oil drilling) beneath navigable waters within its boundaries.
Reps. Capps/Brownley/Lowenthal Amendment. Ensures Section 203, relating to oil and gas lease sales in the Southern California planning area, and Title III, relating to OCS revenue sharing with coastal states, have no force or effect.

**Members are advised that the House is only expected to consider the first 7 amendments today.  The 4 remaining amendments to H.R. 2231 will be considered on Friday.

Bill Text for H.R. 2231:
PDF Version

Background for H.R. 2231:
House Report (HTML Version)
House Report (PDF Version)
CRS Report: Offshore Oil and Gas Development: Legal Framework

Postponed Suspension (1 bill)

  1. H.R. 1864 To amend title 10, United States Code, to require an Inspector General investigation of allegations of retaliatory personnel actions taken in response to making protected communications regarding sexual assault (Rep. Walorski – Armed Services)

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK
The GOP Leadership has announced the following schedule for Friday, June 28: The House will meet at 9:00 a.m. for legislative business. The House is expected to complete consideration of H.R. 2231 – Offshore Energy and Jobs Act (Rep. Hastings (WA) – Natural Resources).

 
The Daily Quote

Fallout from the farm bill’s failure is erupting behind closed doors. Almost a week after Republicans failed to pass the nearly $1 trillion, five-year agricultural package through the House, Speaker John Boehner and other GOP leaders are feeling the heat from frustrated lawmakers sick of screw-upsIt’s just another problem for House Republican leadership that’s had a rocky time governing in its second straight term in the majority… The surprising farm bill defeat has given way to new frustration with Republican leadership and skepticism about the prospect for legislative successes this Congress. House members close to GOP leadership — including those tasked with counting votes — are more skeptical than ever that their party will be able to avoid a government shutdown and debt downgrade. Not to mention the fact that Republicans will be under major pressure to act on some kind of immigration reform package after the Senate passes its bill this week.”

-    Politico, 6/26/13