Discussing Energy Speculation Bill on House Floor

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... the speaker pro tempore: time has expired, the gentleman from minnesota. mr. peterson: i'm pleased to yield the majority leader one minute and i appreciate his work with us on this legislation. the speaker pro tempore: the majority leader is recognized. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for yielding. this is not a sham. i would say to the leader, as he knows he had an opportunity to vote on a drill bill, drill responsibly in currently leased land. he voted gheans bill. a number of people in this chamber voted against that bill. what that said is, let's produce more product here in america. what this bill says is, let's make sure that prices aren't being driven up artificially. no more, no less. this summer, the democratic majority in this body has produced bill after bill after bill to address record oil prices that have exploded on this administration's watch. $1.46 to over $4. during the 7 1/2 years of the administration. every one of us here, democrats and republicans, acknowledge that curbing our nation's addiction to foreign oil, which is how president bush himself characterized the situation, requires short-term solutions and long-term strategy. thus this body has considered a bill to increase production for more biofuels here at home and incentivize the use of nonfuel commod -- nonfood commodities to increase that goal. chairman peterson has been a lead for the that effort, along with mr. goodlatte. we considered a bill to hold opec accountable for price fixing, bills to crack down on energy market manipulation, a bill to increase supply by suspending shipments to the strategic petroleum reserve and another one to release oil from the reserve. a bill to expedite the production of 10.6 billion barrels of alaskan oil to keep all oil produced in alaska in the united states and encourage diligent development of existing leases on federal lands. i tell my friends on the republican side, when i use that phrase diligent development, that is lifted from their 2005 bill. we said, use it or lose it, which was essentially the same thing and they voted against it. we also considered a bill to bring down commuter rail and bus fares and a bill to provide tax credits for renewable energy. none of these bills, none of these bills alone is a panacea. we all recognize that. and we all recognize that there will be no immediate solution. but all of them together constitute a vital step toward confronting our oil dependency and our energy independence. many of these democratic energy initiatives have passed the house. some have become law. however, unfortunately, others have been blocked by our colleagues on the other side of the aisle. they seem to have one answer and one answer only to america's energy crisis -- drill in places that are not now authorized. i want to remind my colleagues, there are currently some 88 million acres available for drilling. experts tell us there are 107 billion barrels of oil available on those acres. we use tchash would be a 14 1/2 year supply. what we have said is, pursue that. drill. produce that energy here in america. for our use here in america. unfortunately, that bill was rejected by the overwhelming majority of the republican party. it's ironic, but democrats generally agree with our republican friends that increasing domestic production of our energy sources is critical. both sides agree that we ought to get more energy from america. we agree we ought to get more oil from america. and unfortunately, when some of my republican colleagues speak, they say, democrats don't want to drill. that is absolutely not true. false. a misrepresentation. said in my opinion for political purposes to accomplish an objective for politics, not for policy or for energy independence. we must drill more, but we believe the oil companies which today have 68 million acres of land to drill on, that is leased and open for drilling, must drill there first. let's see if there's available there. if there's not, perhaps let's ...