WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer spoke on the House Floor this afternoon in support of the DRILL Act. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:
“Drill Responsibly in Leased Lands: With Americans being pummeled by $4 a gallon gas, it is high time America did just that. With the passage of the DRILL Act, America will move decisively to increase its domestic oil production—exactly what our friends on the other side of the aisle say we should be doing.
“Today, we call their bluff. Do they seek to score political points? Or will they join us and vote for this common-sense legislation?
“Mr. Speaker, 68 million acres of American oil-producing land are sitting leased, available—and idle. There is even more land available for drilling in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, or NPRA. Combined, we are talking about an area the size of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, and most of Maryland. Let’s help the oil companies get that oil out of the ground, and get it flowing to the Americans who need it.
“The DRILL Act speeds up the leasing process in NPRA. It ensures that Alaskan oil will fill American gas tanks. It calls on the president to speed up the completion of Alaskan oil and gas pipelines, so the products will get to market sooner. And it tells the oil companies: “Drill on the leases you have, or let somebody else do it - but don’t just sit on them while Americans are paying $4 a gallon. Use it or lose it.”
“Why is our plan better than the Republicans’? One, it means more oil: The National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, which is already approved for drilling, has an estimated 10.6 billion barrels of oil. ANWR has 10.4 billion.
“Two, our plan means more oil, faster: Unlike ANWR and protected coastal areas, NPRA plus the 68 million leased acres elsewhere are approved for production right now. And get this: Right now – today - available pipelines reach to within five miles of NPRA! And if the pipelines are completed soon, we’ll speed production up even more.
“Third, I see no reason to give even more handouts of public land to companies enjoying record profits and billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies. Let them start on the land they already have. Let them eat their vegetables before they even think about having dessert.
“Mr. Speaker, we have lived through seven and a half years of failed Republican energy policies that have culminated in record gas prices. We can’t erase those seven and a half years with one vote.
“But with this responsible domestic production bill, we can start - today. I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle: Let’s use the resources that are available, right now. Let’s keep America’s oil in America. I urge my colleagues to vote for the DRILL Act.”