Washington, D.C. –U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., ranking Republican on the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, issued the following statement on today’s schedule meeting of the House Rules Committee to consider amendments to H.R. 3532, the Consolidated Lane, Energy, and Aquatic Resources (CLEAR) Act:
“The disaster in the Gulf of Mexico this summer clearly showed that improvements to offshore drilling practices and regulations are needed. But the CLEAR Act that the House Rules Committee will consider this evening goes much further than needed and will likely lead to higher taxes, lost jobs and higher energy prices. I will submit an amendment to the Rules Committee that will improve this bill’s language on chemical dispersants, and I hope that the Committee approves this and other amendments that will fix this fatally flawed bill.
“The CLEAR Act raises energy taxes by $22 billion over 10 years. The bill also includes a host of new spending and regulations that don’t directly address offshore drilling, such as funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund and the Historic Preservation Fund. The CLEAR Act imposes a de facto drilling moratorium that will cost jobs American jobs. This bill also serves to protect the President’s hand-picked drilling commission, which doesn’t include any offshore drilling experts, but does feature several anti-drilling political activists.
“I cosponsored legislation with House Energy Independence and Global Warming Chairman Ed Markey that improves offshore drilling safety without costing jobs or raising energy prices. This bill would require the federal government to update its offshore drilling regulation, require oil companies to improve their emergency response plans and strengthen the safety and review process for dispersants and other chemicals.
“The CLEAR Act needs many improvements and I know that several of my colleagues will offer amendments that make these changes. Hopefully, the Rules Committee will allow these amendments to be considered when the bill comes to the House floor for a vote tomorrow.
“I have submitted an amendment to the Rules Committee that will prevent the government from overreaching on its regulations of chemical dispersants. The CLEAR Act requires chemical manufacturers to publicly disclose sensitive intellectual property to the government. My amendment will replace the bill’s section on chemical dispersants with the language authored by Chairman Markey, which improves the review process for chemical dispersants without giving away proprietary information.
“Without intellectual property protections, manufactures will have no incentive to improve their formulas for chemical dispersants. The oil spill showed that better dispersants are needed, but the government intrusion mandated by the CLEAR Act is more likely to diminish, rather than improve, our nation’s ability to respond to future oil spills.”
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