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Congressman Peter DeFazio

Representing the 4th District of OREGON

Rep. DeFazio Fights Mandated Oil Drilling Off Our Coasts, On Public Lands

Jun 26, 2014
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, the House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Peter DeFazio (D-OR) blasted Republicans for the passage of H.R. 4899, “Drill Everywhere” legislation that will mandate drilling off our coasts and public lands, and erode key environmental review. The legislation, which was last passed in 2013, will do nothing to lower gas prices for American consumers. It was approved by the House on a mostly party line vote 229-185.

“Well, you’ve heard of Christmas in July. For Congress, it’s Groundhog Day on energy in June. The legislation passed today is the same, stale proposal they passed last year, and the year before that, and the year before that. Just like those previous years, they make the false promise that it would immediately drop prices at the pump. In reality, this bill will give oil companies the ability to put drilling rigs up and down the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. It will destroy environmental protections throughout the West, threatening our hunting and fishing grounds, our wilderness and our parks. It will make it nearly impossible for communities to fight back against drilling where they don’t want it. It will line the pockets of Big Oil fatcats so they can buy another yacht, or private jet, or influence Congressional elections. The one thing this bill won’t do-- lower gas prices. Once again, Republicans wasted time with legislation that will go nowhere in the Senate,” said DeFazio.

Video of DeFazio’s statement on the legislation can be found here.

Since the Republican majority first brought this bill to the Floor after taking the House back in 2011, U.S. oil production has gone from 5.6 million barrels a day to 8.3 million barrels a day—nearly a 50 percent jump.

President Obama is presiding over record production levels and plummeting imports, while the exact opposite happened under President Bush. The Energy Information Administration is projecting record levels of offshore production by 2016.

Recently, BP put out their latest statistical review, and they said the US had “one of the largest single year increases in oil production in the history of the world.”

The United States is producing 62 percent more oil than it did back in 2008—however gas prices have remained unchanged.

Currently, gasoline and diesel exports have reached over a half billion barrels a year, nearly quadruple the amount in 2007. The United States has such an abundance of oil right now, the American Petroleum Institute has made it their mission to overturn the ban on exporting crude so producers can start shipping American oil to India and China. H.R. 4899 would just make it easier for hugely-profitable oil companies to access more American oil that they’ll try to send overseas for higher prices.

For bill background information, key energy production statistics, and graphs detailing production levels, click here.