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Thank you for listening to Congressional Dish! 

Nov 28, 2013

Before going home for Thanksgiving, the House passed three bills designed to fast-track permits for oil and natural gas drilling. This episode highlights the Congressmen who pushed these bills through the House.

Bill Summaries

H.R. 1965: "The Federal Lands Jobs and Energy Security Act of 2013" passed the House of Representatives 228-192 on Wednesday, November 20, 2013.

Screen Shot 2013-11-24 at 8.56.04 AMH.R. 1965 will not become law; President Obama would veto the bill.

TITLE I, Subtitle A: Speeds Up Oil and Gas Permitting ("Streamlining Permitting of American Energy Act of 2013") Introduced by Rep. Doug Lamborn (CO-5)

The government will have 30 days to decide on a drilling permit: Screen Shot 2013-11-24 at 8.36.54 AMIf the government does not decide whether or not to issue a drilling permit in 60 days, the permit is automatically approved: Screen Shot 2013-11-24 at 8.42.15 AMIt will cost $5,000 to challenge a drilling permit in court: Screen Shot 2013-11-24 at 8.45.59 AMLawsuits that challenge a drilling permit must be filed within 90 days: Screen Shot 2013-11-24 at 8.49.10 AMIf a citizen wins a lawsuit challenging a drilling permit, they cannot be reimbursed for their attorney's fees and court costs: Screen Shot 2013-11-24 at 8.51.16 AMAmerican taxpayers will pay $50 million to map our oil and gas resources for the fossil fuel companies:

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TITLE I, Subtitle B: Hand Our Land to Fossil Fuel Companies ("Providing Leasing Certainty for American Energy Act of 2013") Introduced by Rep. Mike Coffman (CO-6)

Every year, we must lease at least 25% of our available land; these leases cannot be challenged in court: Screen Shot 2013-11-24 at 9.04.00 AMOnce we lease the land to the energy companies, we can't change our minds: Screen Shot 2013-11-24 at 9.06.49 AMProtests against lease sales that are not settled in 60 days are automatically denied: Screen Shot 2013-11-24 at 9.08.54 AMThe Bureau of Land Management Instruction Memorandum 2010-117 - a process that examines environmental concerns and involves the public in oil and gas leasing decisions - will have "no force or effect".

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TITLE I, Subtitle C: Bring Back Bush Administration Regulations for Oil Shale Development ("Protecting Investment in Oil Shale the Next Generation of Environmental, Energy, and Resource Security Act" or the "PIONEERS Act") Introduced by Rep. Doug Lamborn (CO-5)

Oil Shale is a technology - that still doesn't work - which involves melting rocks to access the oil inside of them: Regulations for oil shale will return to the regulations issued by the George W. Bush administration: Screen Shot 2013-11-24 at 12.48.40 PMThe Bush administration regulations - would would come back - require fewer environmental studies and allows oil companies decide which new regulations to obey: oil shale bush vs obamaWe would have to lease at least 125,000 additional acres to the oil companies for oil shale experimentation: Screen Shot 2013-11-24 at 1.05.27 PM

TITLE III: "The National Petroleum Reserve Alaska Access Act" Introduced by Rep. Doc Hastings (WA-4)

The national policy of the United States will be to drill, baby, drill in Alaska; we must give the oil companies at least 10 leases by 2023: Screen Shot 2013-11-24 at 1.17.43 PMWe will throw out a completed Environmental Impact Statement and replace it with one designed to "promote efficient and maximum development of oil and natural gas resources" of the Alaska Petroleum Reserve:

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TITLE V: Prevent Native American Anti-Drilling Lawsuits ("Native American Energy Act") Introduced by Rep. Don Young (Alaska)

Appraisals that determine the market value of Native American land will be automatically approved after 60 days: Screen Shot 2013-11-24 at 1.48.44 PMEnvironmental reviews of projects on Native American lands will not be available to the public; only Native Americans and local residents can get access: Screen Shot 2013-11-24 at 1.52.52 PMNative Americans can not file a lawsuit against a drilling lease after 60 days; they cannot file lawsuits locally, only in Washington D.C.: judicial reviewIf Native Americans win a lawsuit against the United State government challenging a drilling decision, they cannot be paid for their court costs: Screen Shot 2013-11-24 at 5.33.14 PM If Native Americans lose a lawsuit against a drilling lease, they must pay the oil companies' court costs: Screen Shot 2013-11-24 at 2.02.02 PM Current law says the Secretary of the Interior needs to approve drilling projects on Navajo Nation land; Section 5008 reverses the law and extends the length of drilling leases by making the following edits:

 (e) Leases of restricted lands for the Navajo Nation       (1) Any leases by the Navajo Nation for purposes authorized under     subsection (a) of this section, and any amendments thereto, except     a lease for including leases for the exploration, development,    or extraction of any mineral resources, shall not require     the approval of the Secretary if the lease is executed     under the tribal regulations approved by the Secretary under     this subsection and the term of the lease does not exceed -        (A) in the case of a business or agricultural lease,       25 99 years, except that any such lease may include       an option to renew for up to two additional terms, each of       which may not exceed 25 years;... 

Federal regulations governing fracking will not automatically apply to Native American land: Screen Shot 2013-11-24 at 5.57.15 PM

H.R. 2728: "Protecting States' Rights to Promote American Energy Security Act" passed the House of Representatives 235-187 on Wednesday, November 20, 2013.

Screen Shot 2013-11-25 at 11.29.14 AMH.R. 2728 will not become law, President Obama would veto the bill.

TITLE I: Only States Can Regulate Fracking Introduced by Rep. Bill Flores (TX-17)

If a State has any regulations in place, the Federal government cannot enforce any additional regulations:

Screen Shot 2013-11-25 at 9.02.53 PMThe Federal government can't enforce fracking regulations on land held in trust for Indians:

Screen Shot 2013-11-25 at 9.09.43 PMThe government would create a rigged study that examines only the benefits of fracking (added by amendment):

Screen Shot 2013-11-25 at 9.12.23 PMTITLE II: "EPA Hydraulic Fracturing Study Improvement Act" Introduced by Rep. Lamar Smith (TX-21)

Adds extra work to Environmental Protection Agency studies of fracking chemicals in drinking water by requiring the studies to be peer reviewed and held to a higher standard:

frackingEPA studies on fracking chemicals in drinking water need to point out their own weaknesses:

Screen Shot 2013-11-25 at 9.35.43 PM

H.R. 1900: "Natural Gas Pipeline Permitting Reform Act" Introduced by Rep. Mike Pompeo (KS-4) passed the House of Representatives 252-165 on Thursday, November 21, 2013.

Screen Shot 2013-11-25 at 9.47.07 PMH.R. 1900 will not become law; President Obama would veto the bill.

Permits for natural gas pipelines must be decided in under 1 year:

Screen Shot 2013-11-25 at 9.49.32 PMAgencies responsible for determining if a natural gas pipeline is in the public interest will have 90 days to decide after the environmental review is complete:

Screen Shot 2013-11-25 at 9.52.50 PMIf the agency does not decide within 90 days, the permit will be automatically issued on the 120th day:

Screen Shot 2013-11-25 at 9.54.49 PMRepresentatives Discussed in This Episode

Rep. Doug Lamborn (CO-5)

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Rep. Cynthia Lummis (Wyoming)

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Rep. Mike Coffman (CO-6)

Screen Shot 2013-11-27 at 11.48.14 PM

Rep. Doc Hastings (WA-4)

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Rep. Don Young (Alaska)

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Rep. Bill Flores (TX-17)

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Rep. Lamar Smith (TX-21)

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Rep. Mike Pompeo (KS-4)

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Representatives Quoted in This Episode


Intro and Exit Music: Tired of Being Lied To by David Ippolito (found on Music Alley by mevio)

The Fracking Song

Music by David Holmes and Andrew Bean Vocals and Lyrics by David Holmes and Niel Bekker Animation by Adam Sakellarides and Lisa Rucker

Which Side Are You On by Pete Seeger

Additional Information

As Environmentalists Walk Out of UN Talks, Top US Envoy Says No to Reparations for Climate Damage, Democracy Now!, November 22, 2013.

Exemption for hydraulic fracturing under United States Federal law, Wikipedia

CBO: H.R. 1965 would bring in $325 million over 10 years in revenue.

CBS local video: San Bruno Natural Gas Pipeline Explosion, September 10, 2010.

San Bruno pipeline explosion Wikipedia page