Press ReleaseJan 29, 2012
Markey: House Republicans Leaving No Keystone Unturned in Fruitless Search for Transportation Funding
Wednesday Markup of Drilling Bills, Threatened Inclusion of Foreign Oil Pipeline Won't Rebuild America's Infrastructure, Says Congressman
WASHINGTON (January 30, 2012) - America's aging infrastructure is in need of rebuilding. The current funding shortfall to just keep our bridges, roads, airports and other existing transportation elements running is $12 billion for the next two years, and more than $75 billion over the next six years.
Faced with this pressing national problem, House Republicans are proposing to drill off America's East and West Coasts, in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and even reigniting the Keystone pipeline debate. Republicans on the Natural Resources Committee today announced they will be considering three bills on Wednesday to help fund the transportation re-authorization bill, and Speaker John Boehner has said that forced approval of the Keystone pipeline could be attached to the final bill.
Yet even using the most optimistic projections, Republican drilling proposals would generate, at most, a little more than $5 billion over 10 years. This is well short of the revenue needed to just to maintain inadequate current investment levels.
"Republicans are leaving no Keystone unturned and no mile of American coastline safe from spills in their effort to appease oil lobbyists, but these giveaways to oil companies won't rebuild our roads or fix our bridges," said Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), the top Democrat on the Natural Resources Committee. "We need to build American roads and create American jobs, not erect another political roadblock to help corporate special interests."
Below is a summary of the drilling bills that Republicans claim would pay for this shortfall.
In contrast, Rep. Markey and other Natural Resources Democrats have introduced legislation that would produce $19 billion over the next ten years without any new giveaways to oil and mining companies.
H.R. 3410 is largely an amalgamation of provisions contained in H.R. 1230 and 1231 that the House passed earlier this year, plus a repeal of the legislative drilling moratorium in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico contained in the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006.
- HR 1230 (passed House 5/5/11) - Establishes statutory deadlines for the sales of certain oil and gas leases in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), including leases in the Central and Western Gulf, and leases in an area off Virginia not scheduled for sale within the next five years. CBO estimated that this legislation would raise $25 million over the 2011-2016 period; and $40 million over the 2011-2021 period.
- HR 1231 (passed House 5/17/11) - Would direct the Department of the Interior to allow leasing in the areas of the OCS that are most geologically productive, without regard to other issues related to management of the country's marine resources, including off the East and West Coasts. Leasing is already planned for resource rich areas in the Gulf of Mexico and offshore Alaska and is assumed in CBO's baseline. CBO estimates that such a provision would raise $350 million between 2011-2016 and $800 million between 2011-2021. It estimates no new revenue for the first 3 years after enactment.
- Accelerating Leasing in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico