THE DAILY WHIP: WEDNESDAY, MAY 11, 2011

For Immediate Release:

May 11, 2011

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

1:00 – 2:00 p.m. 6:00 - 7:00 p.m.

H.Res. 257 - Rule providing for consideration of H.R. 1231 – ‘Reversing President Obama's Offshore Moratorium Act’ (Rep. Hastings (WA) – Natural Resources) (One Hour of Debate) The Rules committee has recommended a structured Rule that allows 8 amendments to be considered. The Rule would provide 1 hour of general debate, equally divided between the Chair and Ranking Member of the Committee on Natural Resources. It also provides one motion to recommit, with or without instructions. The Rules committee did not allow several amendments offered by Democratic Members. They also denied a motion made by Mr. McGovern to consider the bill under an open Rule.

Complete Consideration of H.R. 1229 – Restarting Offshore Leasing Now Act (Rep. Hastings (WA) – Natural Resources) (One Hour of Debate) H.R. 1229 would expedite the approval process for drilling permits on the Outer Continental Shelf. It would allow a maximum of 60 days response time from the Interior Department to an application for a drilling permit. It stipulates that if the Department gives no response within 60 days, that permit to drill would be deemed approved. The bill also bars any civil action related to drilling in the Gulf of Mexico filed later than 60 days after final agency action on a drilling permit, limits the filing of civil cases related to Gulf drilling to the 5th circuit court, and restricts attorney’s fees in such cases.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that H.R. 1229 would increase direct spending over the next 5 years by approximately $6 million. In order to circumvent their own Rules, the Majority coupled this bill with H.R. 1230 in the same Rule last week. The Rule for H.R. 1229 (H.Res. 245) stipulated that after final passage of H.R. 1229, the Clerk shall merge the text of H.R. 1230 and H.R. 1229 into one bill during engrossment. That combined bill would not increase direct spending.

As of yesterday, all debate on the amendments was completed and the following amendments have recorded votes pending:

  • Hanabusa Amendment. States that the Interior Secretary should not issue an offshore drilling permit without certifying that the applicant has calculated a worst-case discharge scenario for the proposed drilling operations, and has demonstrated that they possesses the capability and technology to respond to such worst-case discharge scenario
  • Holt Amendment. Strikes a provision in the underlying bill that would "deem" drilling permits approved after 60 days, even if the necessary safety and environmental reviews have not been completed. It would keep the bill’s 60 day maximum timeline for approval of drilling permits, but prevents permits from being "deemed" approved at the end of the timeline before the safety review has been completed.
  • Polis Amendment. Lifts permit deadline requirements if the agency lacks an adequate budget or lacks staff expertise to properly review permits
  • Hastings (FL) Amendment. Requires a permit application to include an estimate of the amount of oil and gas expected to be produced from the well, and the amount and time it would take for consumer and crude oil prices to be reduced if the well produced the estimated amount of oil and gas
  • Deutch Amendment. Strikes section 202 of the bill, which would allow district courts outside of the 5th Circuit to hear civil actions relating to oil and gas drilling operations or energy projects in the Gulf of Mexico
  • Hastings (FL) Amendment. Strikes Section 207, which places a restriction on attorneys' fees
Bill Text for H.R. 1229:
HTML Version
PDF Version   
Background for H.R. 1229:
House Report HTML Version
House Report PDF Version
CRS Report - U.S. Offshore Oil and Gas Resources: Prospects and Processes
 
H.R. 1231 – ‘Reversing President Obama's Offshore Moratorium Act’ (Rep. Hastings (WA) – Natural Resources) (One Hour of Debate)
H.R. 1231 would require the Interior Department to lease areas on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) for oil and gas development requested by the Governor of an adjacent state, or that are considered to have undiscovered, technically recoverable oil. H.R. 1231 would also mandate that the Interior Department include set goals for producing oil and natural gas on the OCS, and it would include minimum standards for those goals. Lastly, H.R. 1231 would direct the Interior Department to report to Congress on the progress of achieving that goal of production. The title of H.R. 1231 is misleading, since it seeks to reverse a moratorium that no longer exists. 
 
H.Res. 257 makes in order 8 amendments for floor consideration, with each amendment debatable for 10 minutes, equally divided between the offeror and an opponent. Those amendments are:
  • Hastings (WA) Manager’s Amendment: Makes technical corrections to the legislation
  • Connolly/Scott (VA)/Moran Amendment:  Clarifies that new offshore drilling cannot interfere with operations of the Armed Forces
  • Markey Amendment: Would require that new 5-year leasing plans require that companies bidding on new leases first renegotiate any royalty-free leases they own, which would raise more than $2 billion over 10 years.
  • Keating Amendment: Requires the Secretary to make any available data public regarding the lessee’s executive bonuses paid out in the previous quarter
  • Tsongas Amendment: Requires that any applicant for a permit must include a plan for worst-case oil spill containment and clean-up
  • Brown (FL) Amendment: Makes permanent the current moratorium on the eastern Gulf of Mexico set to expire in 2022
  • Thompson (CA) Amendment: Clarifies that the Secretary may not include oil and gas development off the northern coast of California in any oil and gas leasing program set forth in the legislation
  • Inslee Amendment: Requires the approval of the Governor and State legislature in Washington in order to proceed with any leasing of land for oil and gas development off the coast of Washington state.
Bill Text for H.R. 1231:
HTML Version
PDF Version   
 Background for H.R. 1231:
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 Thursday, May 11: The House will meet at 12:00 p.m. for legislative business. The House is expected to complete consideration of H.R. 1231, if it is not completed today. The House will also begin consideration of H.R. 754 – Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011 (Rep. Rogers (MI) – Intelligence) (Subject to a Rule).
 
The Daily Quote

“The Speaker's stand drew little reaction from the banquet hall of Wall Street executives, who offered polite applause at the end of Boehner's speech but sat in silence through his demands on the debt limit. ... Attendees offered a mixed reaction to his presentation, with some saying he did little to allay concerns in the financial community about the looming debt threshold. ‘Disconnected from reality,’ one attendee said as he walked briskly out of the ballroom."

   -  The Hill, 5/10/11