[Congressional Record: July 22, 2008 (House)]
[Page H6796-H6801]                   


  Mr. RUPPERSBERGER. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass 
the bill (H.R. 6545) to require the Director of National Intelligence 
to conduct a national intelligence assessment on national security and 
energy security issues.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The text of the bill is as follows:

                               H.R. 6545

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,


       This Act may be cited as the ``National Energy Security 
     Intelligence Act of 2008''.


       Not later than January 1, 2009, the Director of National 
     Intelligence shall submit to Congress a national intelligence 
     assessment on national security and energy security issues 
     relating to rapidly escalating energy costs. Such assessment 
     shall include an assessment of--
       (1) the short-term and long-term outlook for prices, 
     supply, and demand for key forms of energy, including crude 
     oil and natural gas, and alternative fuels;
       (2) the plans and intentions of key energy-producing and 
     exporting nations with respect to energy production and 
       (3) the national security implications of rapidly 
     escalating energy costs;
       (4) the national security implications of potential use of 
     energy resources as leverage against the United States by 
     Venezuela, Iran, or other potential adversaries of the United 
     States as a result of increased energy prices;
       (5) the national security implications of increases in 
     funding to current or potential adversaries of the United 
     States as a result of increased energy prices;
       (6) an assessment of the likelihood that increased energy 
     prices will directly or indirectly increase financial support 
     for terrorist organizations;
       (7) the national security implications of extreme 
     fluctuations in energy prices; and
       (8) the national security implications of continued 
     dependence on international energy supplies.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from 
Maryland (Mr. Ruppersberger) and the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. 
Rogers) each will control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Maryland.

                             General Leave

  Mr. RUPPERSBERGER. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all 
Members have 5 legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and 
insert extraneous material on H.R. 6545.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Maryland?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. RUPPERSBERGER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may 
  I thank the gentleman from Louisiana (Mr. Cazayoux) for sponsoring 
this important and timely piece of legislation. Gas prices are at a 
record high at more than $4 a gallon. As a result, the price of our 
everyday needs are going up as well. Things like food and consumer 
goods need to be transported long distances before they reach store 
shelves in our neighborhoods. Moreover, high fuel costs strain our 
military operations and increase the taxpayer dollars required to move 
our troops, ships and planes around the world.
  The recent escalation in prices serves as a reminder of the fact that 
the United States relies on the global energy market. About 65 percent 
of our oil is imported from other countries, and the price of oil 
fluctuates with global events. Although much of the oil we import comes 
from Canada and Mexico, our western hemisphere allies, our oil 
consumption impacts the global oil market. Many other oil-producing 
countries are hostile to the United States and are plagued by 
corruption or instability. The list of the top ten holders of oil 
reserves includes Iran, Iraq, Venezuela, Russia and Nigeria. For the 
past few years, 20 to 30 percent of Nigeria's oil output has been 
disrupted by rebel attacks; Iraq's production hovers below pre-invasion 
levels and is by no means stable; and Iran's nuclear activities have 
raised concerns around the world.
  In addition, over the past few years global oil reserves have 
declined while global demand for oil has increased. Some estimate that 
global demand will increase by 46 percent over the next 25 years. If 
supply cannot keep pace with demand, the market becomes increasingly 
volatile and disruptions have a much greater effect.
  We must understand the national security implications of the global 
energy market. Some countries are beginning to use energy as a leverage 
to achieve their foreign policy goals. For instance, 40 percent of the 
world's oil flows through the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf. 
Would Iran try to block the Strait of Hormuz in the event of a foreign 
policy crisis? The Intelligence Committee should analyze the impact of 
such a crisis.
  The National Intelligence Assessment required by this legislation 
will allow the intelligence community to work with the best minds in 
the country, from academia to industry, much like the National 
Intelligence Assessment on global climate change. The intelligence 
community will collect data from various sources and then assess the 
geopolitical aspects.
  I also note that the report required by this bill is the same one 
that would have been required in the motion offered by the ranking 
member of the Intelligence Committee last week. However, the form in 
which he offered it would have killed the entire intelligence 
authorization bill. Unfortunately, when asked, he refused to agree to 
allow the House to simply adopt this amendment on the spot which would 
have saved the bill. That forced Members into the uncomfortable 
position of choosing this report over authorizing full funding and 
other critical legislation that our intelligence agencies need to do 
their jobs of keeping us safe.
  I am pleased that we passed the intelligence authorization last week, 
and I will vote to support this legislation. This report will be an 
important tool for policymakers to understand the current energy crisis 
and plan for the future. I urge my colleagues to vote for the bill.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. ROGERS of Michigan. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I 
may consume.
  I appreciate the renewed enthusiasm for this issue, and I can't tell 
you how important I think it is. Energy today is a national security 
issue, and it is incredibly important that we have a full understanding 
of what the money that we send every single day overseas is doing to 
our enemies, how it is fueling their ability to do things like buy 
weapons, improve weapon systems and do other things.
  I was struck by one portion of the bill and would make an inquiry to 
the bill's sponsor, that you made a difference between the National 
Intelligence Estimate and the National Intelligence Assessment. I am 
curious why you chose National Intelligence Assessment versus the 
National Intelligence Estimate on this particular issue.
  I yield to the gentleman from Louisiana to respond.
  Mr. CAZAYOUX. As you know, I guess, in an assessment you can consult 
outside sources where an estimate you cannot. We thought it would be a 
more comprehensive report as an assessment.
  Mr. ROGERS of Michigan. Reclaiming my time, that's interesting.

[[Page H6797]]

  Mr. RUPPERSBERGER. Would the gentleman yield?
  Mr. ROGERS of Michigan. Sure.
  Mr. RUPPERSBERGER. Just to answer that question, it was the language 
chosen by Ranking Member Hoekstra.
  Mr. ROGERS of Michigan. And I understand that. And I think the 
gentleman from Louisiana misstated, it is not because it is the most 
accurate report, it is because it is based on open-source information 
and something that we could use to project versus the actual 
intelligence estimate which is more narrow in scope and used 
confidential, and as you know, classified sources of information.
  And I ask the question because I have to be honest, I am very 
disappointed with my friends this evening on an issue that I think is 
so important. You know, there is a reason, I think, that we have a 9 
percent approval, the lowest this Congress has ever registered. And it 
is for issues exactly like this.
  We stood up in good faith last week. As a matter of fact, Mr. 
Hoekstra introduced this very bill word for word, and then we offered 
it, the same bill, in a motion to recommit. And this is policy, and we 
won't spend much time on it, but I have to note that I just think this 
is an awful way to do business here, and I think the 110th Congress has 
really sunk to new lows.
  There was no reason that you couldn't have picked up the phone and 
talked with Mr. Hoekstra about a bill that he introduced and pioneered 
to deal with a most serious issue. As a matter of fact, one of the 
speakers today actually voted against the bill in its form, but today 
there is a renewed enthusiasm that we are going to pass this bill.
  Mr. HOYER. Would the gentleman yield?
  Mr. ROGERS of Michigan. I yield to the distinguished majority leader.
  Mr. HOYER. I thank my friend for yielding, and I thank the gentleman 
from Louisiana for his leadership, and I thank Mr. Hoekstra for his 
excellent idea.
  As you will recall on the floor, I indicated we would adopt it 
immediately on the spot if he would agree to a unanimous consent 
request to strike the ``promptly'' and insert ``forthwith'' so that we 
would not, in adopting Mr. Hoekstra's good idea, kill the bill. He 
rejected that idea, at which point in time I made the representation 
that we will introduce that bill as a suspension and bring it to the 
floor next week.
  I tell my friend, that is exactly what we have done. Mr. Hoekstra 
made a determination, very frankly from my perspective, that he was 
more interested in trying to politically put some people on the hook 
for a vote on a proposition that he knew and we knew they were for but 
they did not want to kill the Intelligence bill in the process.
  Now people will say it doesn't kill the bill, that is accurate, but 
it clearly delays the bill. There was no reason to delay the bill 
because had Mr. Hoekstra agreed, contrary to the advice he was 
receiving, to yes, I will strike ``promptly,'' insert ``forthwith'' so 
that my proposition can be adopted immediately, which would have been 
the case.

                              {time}  1930

  So I think any criticism of sinking to a new low, very frankly, if 
politics had not been played with this proposition, it would be on the 
authorization bill to the Senate as we speak. This proposition, which 
Mr. Hoekstra came up with, as you recall I said on the floor, we think 
this is a good idea. Proving that we thought it was a good idea, we 
have brought it to the floor today for passage.
  Mr. Hoekstra, who I now see is on the floor, made a determination he 
did not want to adopt, in the way that we suggested, his proposition 
last week. So we are going to adopt it this week.
  I would hope that all of us would vote for it, because, as I told Mr. 
Hoekstra then and believe now, Mr. Hoekstra's idea was a good idea. It 
is a good idea. We are going to pass it, hopefully, tomorrow morning by 
an overwhelming majority vote.
  I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  Mr. ROGERS of Michigan. You are very welcome, sir. To the 
distinguished Member, I am reclaiming my time.
  The only real problem with the bill last week was that there was a 
Republican and not a Democrat. You know what, I say okay. If that's the 
way this is going to be, I say okay.
  Ronald Reagan had a very interesting plaque on his desk, and it said, 
``It's amazing what you can get done if you don't care who gets the 
credit.'' So I am going to offer this tonight, Mr. Distinguished 
Majority Leader, and then I will let you respond.
  We hope that because of this new spirit of great ideas, but it has to 
be a Democrat idea, I am for that too, because I am more concerned 
about $4 a gallon gasoline and people not being able to make it.
  So I offer this suggestion, and I will offer this deal tonight, H.R. 
3089, please take it. It opens up ANWR and OCS and builds more 
refineries here in the United States. It's yours. We'll bring it over 
word for word and let you put a Democrat on it. Let's get it done.
  H.R. 2279, which builds new refineries on military bases. Please, 
take this bill, help those people who are suffering under $4 a gallon 
gasoline. I'll bring it over, word for word. Put your name on it. We'll 
get it done.
  H.R. 5656, which repeals the ban on coal-to-liquids as an aviation 
fuel. Please, for the people who are stopping to go to their children's 
away games because they can't afford over $4 a gallon gasoline, take 
this bill, please. I will bring it over, word for word, it's yours.
  H.R. 2208, which provides incentives for the development of coal-to-
liquids, please, take the bill. Put your name on it. We'll vote for it. 
Put it on suspension. We're in.
  H.R. 2493, which eliminates expensive and wasteful boutique fuel 
blends, which is costing Americans real money out of their paychecks. 
Their food prices are going up. We have volunteer firefighters who no 
longer can afford to respond to fires in very remote areas of places 
like Michigan and Texas and, yes, even Louisiana. Please, take the 
bill. Put a Democrat on it. Call a sponsor, we'll give it to you word 
for word.
  H.R. 6107, it opens up the coastal plains of Alaska, which we know 
will directly have an impact on the cost of fuel and bring down those 
prices of people who can't afford over $4 gasoline today.
  H.R. 6108, which opens up our deep oceans as an energy resource. My 
legislation, H.R. 6161, which will spur the development of clean cars 
and invest in nuclear power. I give you the bill today, it's mine, it's 
yours. I'll give it to you. Take it. Put it on suspension.
  My complaint here is this. There has been a lot of nothing happening 
on it. If you are trying to tell the American people you are for 
lessening their burden at the pump, which is literally killing small 
towns all across America, then let's do something about it. If it's 
just the fact that Republicans are on these bills, we give you all of 
them, every single one of them. Let's do this together, so the people 
who are paying the pain at the pump get some relief.
  Now, this bill is pretty serious, I think, and I believe the reason 
we need this American-made energy plan, and that this helps us 
understand what the impact of those oil dollars flowing overseas every 
single day, and every day that we don't do something, means that we are 
a little bit in danger, is serious. That's why we are going to support 
this bill. We don't care if your name is on it. We really don't.
  We just want to point out we don't care if your name is on all the 
bills that do the right thing. Every day, think of this, every single 
day, we send $840 million to OPEC. We send $191 million to Saudi 
Arabia. This is as of April. We send $155 million to Venezuela, $52 
million to Russia.
  Energy is a critical issue, and it's one that we should focus the 
intelligence community's efforts on. We shouldn't divert our 
intelligence resources to global climate change, as my colleagues have 
suggested. It doesn't have a real impact for what we know is fueling 
our very enemies' ability to buy missile systems, to upgrade their 
nuclear arsenals, to invest in their conventional forces, and people 
like Hugo Chavez, spending money, as has been reported in public 
newspapers, on submarines. We all certainly know what his intentions 
are with that, with American shipping so close to the coast.
  Focusing our intelligence resources on energy security would make 
clear to the American people that our priorities are focused in the 
right place again. The press has also reported that Hugo

[[Page H6798]]

Chavez has supported the FARC, a terrorist organization that operates 
in Colombia. Wouldn't it make sense to track the rising oil prices, 
which results in greater income to Chavez's now nationalized oil 
companies, and to assess whether these funds are being used to collude 
with terrorist organizations? Is it merely coincidence that Chavez has 
reportedly traveled to Russia today to buy arms in the wake of rapidly 
rising oil prices? I think we all know the answer to that. It's helpful 
to have the intelligence resources focused on that very serious 
  We need to have a better idea of how rapidly escalating energy costs 
are directly or indirectly increasing funds available to terrorist 
organizations so that this Congress can make informed decisions about 
the policy going forward. If there is a direct or even an indirect 
correlation between rising energy prices and increased financial 
support to terrorist organizations, we need to know, and we need to 
take action.
  What are the security implications of Iran leveraging energy 
resources against the United States? Iran is the world's fourth largest 
producer of crude oil and as oil prices continue to rise, we must 
consider the potential for Iran to leverage energy resources and the 
potential effects of such actions.
  These are questions our intelligence professionals should be 
analyzing and answering. We have done a lot of things here. We have 
played a lot of games. I think there was even a bill last week they 
called the DRILL Act. It stuns me a little bit. There was actually no 
drilling in the bill.
  We need to have an honest discussion, not only with ourselves, but 
with the American people. We haven't really done that. Every day, it 
presents a national security issue that we spend about $1 billion a day 
overseas to people who want to do us harm, every single day.
  Every day that we don't open up our own American-made energy 
resources, shame on us. We are just only adding fuel to what we will 
have to deal with in one way or another.
  In addition to the economic aspects of having increased domestic 
energy supply here in America that frees us up, provides jobs here at 
home, and provides energy security and reduced prices and makes us 
competitive in a worldwide market when we are talking about the 
competitiveness of energy prices, and the manufacturing of goods here 
in the United States. The greatest thing of all, if you do a 
comprehensive package that includes conservation and alternative 
energy, and American-made and American-drilled oil, it means that we 
walk away from the ability to have to send $1 overseas. The sad part 
is, it's doable. It's absolutely doable.
  We really don't need the intelligence community to come back and tell 
us this. We know it, but I am strongly encouraging us to support this 
bill, because maybe if it's coming from the intelligence community and 
says, hey, folks in Congress, you have a problem, you better do 
something about it, I am going to be for it. I don't care if it has a 
Republican name on it or a Democrat name on it. As I have said before, 
we have got a whole list of great bills we are willing to walk over and 
have you sponsor as soon as we can possibly get the ink to dry.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. RUPPERSBERGER. Mr. Speaker, may I ask how much time is left, 
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Maryland has 17 minutes.
  Mr. RUPPERSBERGER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may 
  First, I understand the issues that my friend from the Intelligence 
Committee has raised. I just want to point out that this issue we have 
with the oil crisis and energy crisis did not occur in the last couple 
of years. This administration has been in office now close to 7\1/2\ 
years, and this is a policy we should have started 8 years ago. And now 
we are attempting to resolve it.
  I want to respond to one of your issues, though, about the drilling. 
The oil companies should explore the more than 68 million acres of 
Federal land that we have already leased to them. It just boggles my 
mind, this has not been used.
  But maybe I found a reason why they don't want to do this. In today's 
Baltimore Sun, July 22, an Associated Press article, Big Oil Big on 
Dividends and Buybacks, and this is a quote: ``Giant oil companies such 
as ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips are set to report what will probably 
be another round of eye-popping quarterly profits. Which raises the 
question: Just where is all that money going?
  ``The companies insist they're trying to find new oil that might help 
bring down gas prices, but the money they spend on exploration is 
nothing compared with what they spend on stock buybacks and dividends.
  ``It's good news for shareholders, including mutual funds and 
retirement plans for millions of Americans, but no help to drivers 
making drastic cutbacks to offset high fuel bills.
  ``The five biggest international oil companies plowed about 55 
percent of the cash they made from their businesses into stock buybacks 
and dividends last year, up from 30 percent in 2000 and just 1 percent 
in 1993, according to Rice University's James A. Baker III Institute 
For Public Policy.
  ``The percentage they spend to find new deposits of fossil fuels has 
remained flat for years, in the mid-single digits.''
  Is this why we are not drilling, they are not drilling the 68 million 
acres? Based on this article, and based on the evidence before us, they 
have not drilled. They have improved their profits. They have done it 
for their stockholders, but it has hurt the American public as a result 
of that policy.
  Mr. Speaker, I would now yield 5 minutes to the gentleman from 
Louisiana (Mr. Cazayoux) the sponsor of H.R. 6545, the National Energy 
Security Intelligence Act.
  Mr. CAZAYOUX. Thank you, Mr. Ruppersberger.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 6545, the National Energy 
Security Intelligence Act of 2008. This bill will task the Director of 
National Intelligence to provide to Congress accurate and timely 
information on the effect of the current energy crisis on national 
  Since I joined Congress almost 3 months ago, there has been a lot of 
discussion in this body about energy supply, energy prices, how our 
energy needs affect our place in the world and what effect worldwide 
demands for energy have on America.
  I introduced this legislation so that we will have a better 
understanding of these critical issues. This was an idea that was 
discussed last week during the vote on the Intelligence authorization 
bill, which was just referenced, which I voted for. In fact, this would 
have already been passed if not for the choice of wording on the motion 
to recommit in politics, but a good idea is a good idea. I, along with 
my colleagues, who supported me on this legislation, thought this was 
important enough to bring it up for a vote.
  This bill will require the DNI to submit to Congress no later than 
January 1, 2009, a national intelligence assessment on the national 
security implications of rapidly escalating energy costs and the short 
and long-term outlook for prices, supply and demand for energy sources 
like crude oil, natural gas and alternative fuels.
  In addition to better understanding our short-term and long-term 
energy situation, the report will also examine the geopolitical 
consequences of our dependence on foreign energy sources, especially in 
regards to the relationship between the U.S. and adversarial oil-
producing nations.
  Specifically, the report asks for an assessment of plans and 
intentions of key energy-producing and exporting nations with respect 
to production and supply. It will address the national security 
implications of potential use of energy resources as leverage against 
the U.S. by Venezuela, Iran, and other potential adversaries as a 
result of increased energy prices.
  This assessment will also analyze whether increased energy prices 
will directly or indirectly increase financial support for terrorist 
  I believe this report is important, and I urge its passage by my 
colleagues. There are no two issues more current and more salient than 
our energy situation and our national security. Additionally, there are 
few other issues as intertwined and interconnected as energy and 
national security.
  By conducting this national intelligence assessment, we will have a 
better understanding of how our long-term

[[Page H6799]]

energy needs will affect our national security. This report is needed 
and will help lawmakers and officials develop sound policy on these 
critical issues.
  Mr. ROGERS of Michigan. Mr. Speaker, I have the greatest respect for 
my friend from Maryland. I enjoy his service on the Intelligence 
Committee, but I think we have had this debate before. I can't tell 
you, you are a great guy but how wrong you are on this one.
  You know, you talked about Big Oil. Let's all be mad at Big Oil. I am 
mad at Big Oil. I have friends who run small stores who literally have 
had tears in their eyes because the fuel costs don't allow them to do 
deliveries of food, deliveries of flour for what they used to do.
  I know mid- and small trucking firms who have had to actually park 
their trucks, because anything over $4 takes away all their margin. 
This is hurting the poorest Americans first, the middle class second, 
and, beyond that, people are adapting. But the folks who have played by 
the rules are getting killed with these oil prices, these gasoline 

                              {time}  1945

  So what you are telling me is you are mad at them. You say they are 
not drilling on any of the leases. Not true, they have got 4,700 onland 
leases. But they are telling us, this is where we know the oil is. 
Please let us get it.
  And we said, no, we are mad at you because you are making money 
because oil is $145 a barrel.
  Okay. I am mad at them too. But every day that you stay mad and you 
don't take action means that we send $840 million to OPEC every day. 
That really makes me mad.
  How about $191 million to Saudi Arabia? What should that be doing to 
  How about $155 million to Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, who we know is in 
collusion with the Iranians, who we know is investing in munition 
plants, who we know, by press reports, is buying submarines to 
intimidate U.S. shipping, who we know is buying munitions for the FARC 
in Colombia. We finally have them at rope's end, and we don't care that 
we are going to fund them through this sham of a government in 
  Or the $52 million we sent to Russia. And by the way, they are 
retrofitting their nuclear missile systems that are targeted at the 
United States. And they couldn't do it before. Just a few years ago 
they couldn't afford to do it, we had to give them money to dismantle 
their nuclear program. And because oil is at $145 a barrel because we 
refuse to increase the supply in the world, they are going to go out 
and buy missile systems targeting us.
  It is crazy, it is madness, and we can do something about it. If you 
are mad at oil companies, increase the supply of oil and watch the 
prices fall. That is the best way to get them. And guess who benefits? 
The single mom who is right now trying to debate if she can keep that 
job because it is a little bit too far at $4.19 a gallon in my 
hometown. I have talked to those people and they are at wits' end.
  We have to stop this. I said, we don't care if it is Republican or 
Democrat. And if that has been the concern, quite obviously tonight 
maybe that was the big issue. We again, I will offer again, you can 
have every bill that we have; I will bring it over, to stop sending 
money to foreign oil overseas at the expense of our people at the pump.
  You can bring up Big Oil all night long. You can be mad at them, you 
can tax them, you can try to regulate them, but you and I both know 
that prices aren't going to go down at the pump for any of those 
causes. They will if we have an American-made domestic supply that 
actually impacts the world market and starts bringing prices down.
  I'm going to plead with all of you for those people who don't have a 
voice and they don't have fancy lobbyists and they can't afford to fly 
to Washington, DC because they are barely making it right now, please, 
let's have an American-made energy supply that keeps Americans alive, 
keeps them employed, has an impact on our national security, has an 
impact on our economic security, and the best benefit of all, it takes 
care of our environment in the process, because what we are proposing 
is conservation, alternative energy and American-made sources of 
energy, including oil. And there is more conservation in our bills than 
there is production. Who isn't for that?
  I haven't heard any discussion of nuclear with zero emissions. You 
talk about sun, solar and wind. That is great. But that, in and of 
itself, won't do it.
  Take our comprehensive bills, the all-of-the-above energy plan. Take 
it all. Get it done. Make a difference for the future generations of 
America. We will all stand up together and celebrate.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. RUPPERSBERGER. I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  I want to respond to my good friend, who I respect. Former law 
  I am not mad at the oil companies. I am disappointed in the oil 
companies on behalf of the American people.
  I think you have talked about where we buy our oil. It seems to me 
that this administration has been in office for about 7\1/2\ years, 
have set the oil policy, and now we are paying for it. And we are 
attempting to do whatever we can on this side of the aisle to resurrect 
  And to come up with an issue of drill, drill, drill. We keep saying, 
and the facts are there, we have 83 million acres that the oil 
companies have under license, and they have not chosen to put money 
into the drilling of those 83 million acres, both onshore and offshore. 
That is number one.
  What really concerns me, and what I am upset about though is the fact 
that we, this Congress, when the Republicans were in the majority, that 
we gave oil companies billions of dollars of grants to do research. And 
yet I haven't seen any of that money go to drilling or doing what you 
are suggesting that we should do now.
  What I see is what I read in that article in the Sun paper about the 
fact that the oil companies are making outstanding, the highest profits 
they have ever made in their history. And you know why? Because they 
are putting the money, the grants that we gave them, the American 
dollars, not in to drilling and trying to help bring the oil prices 
down, but to the bottom line of their stockholders and also to really 
having the American people suffer because of that strategy.
  So I would just say that this is an issue we must move forward with. 
We are talking about drilling when this is an intelligence bill, and we 
should stand behind this bill, as Americans, as Republicans and as 
  Now I yield 3 minutes to my friend from Rhode Island, Congressman 
  Mr. KENNEDY. I just want to thank the gentleman for yielding. I 
wanted to mention the point about whether it didn't matter whether the 
big oil companies were really making a profit or not making a profit, 
whether they were using their profits right for good or not, or 
reinvestment or not.
  I just want to make it really clear what they actually are doing, 
just to correct any misperceptions and to clarify what has already been 
said by my good friend, Mr. Ruppersberger, from Maryland.
  Last year oil companies made 286 percent profit. Domestically, in 
this country, they cut capital reinvestment by 11 percent. So if you 
make money, usually, as a business, you reinvest in your capital and 
infrastructure so that you can go on and make more money.
  This is a unique business. Not only do they take their profits, but 
they don't reinvest it in the business, even though they know they are 
coming to a point where they are going to be in a limited supply mode, 
or they should be thinking that somewhere down the line they might be. 
But of course, they don't care because they have an incentive to keep 
oil prices high right now.
  So this notion that there is some incentive for them to go out there 
and take their profits and go explore, and that we shouldn't be harping 
on them for going out there and doing what they already are doing, they 
aren't doing it. That is why we are trying to make them do it, because 
they are not doing it.
  This notion that they are already out there exploring all these 
things is nonsense. They cut their domestic exploration by 11 percent 
last year. That is nonsense that they have actually been out there 
exploring these leases.
  How can you take home 286 percent profit and say that you made an 
honest attempt at finding oil in this country? You haven't made an 
honest attempt.

[[Page H6800]]

  So the fact of the matter is, they are to blame when you take home 
that kind of money and you leave Americans out in the cold and you 
leave Americans high and dry because of these high gas prices. And that 
is where the blame should be is on big oil.
  And the blame should be the administration. Where was Dick Cheney 
when he had his energy meeting at the beginning of the administration?
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Mr. RUPPERSBERGER. I yield the gentleman an additional 30 seconds.
  Mr. KENNEDY. For all we know, Dick Cheney had a bunch of oilmen, 
along with the President, who is also an oilman, in a meeting and they 
said, let's think about how we are going to drive up the price of oil 
over the course of President Bush's presidency so that we all make 
millions and million of dollars, because certainly that is the way it 
has worked out. And Dick Cheney and President Bush, two oilmen, and all 
of their rich oilmen friends from Texas have certainly made millions 
and millions of dollars while they have been in office.
  Mr. RUPPERSBERGER. How much time remains on each side?
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Maryland has 6\1/2\ 
minutes. The gentleman from Michigan has 2 minutes remaining.
  Mr. RUPPERSBERGER. I reserve.
  Mr. ROGERS of Michigan. Well, I gave a good chunk of my time to the 
majority leader, and I was going to do that. I know if I run over, you 
will give me a little bit of that time back. I won't be long.
  I think we have certainly debated this. If you are mad or you are 
disappointed, and I am very disappointed with the remarks from the 
gentleman. To accuse somebody of something like that is, well, I won't 
even get into it and I will tell you why, because we have in the power 
of our hands in Congress to fix this through conservation, through 
alternative energy research and through an American-made energy plan.
  Mr. KENNEDY. You cut the budget for conservation.
  Mr. ROGERS of Michigan. I would like some regular order, sir.
  What we are talking about is conserving energy to get ourselves off 
foreign oil that actually has an economic impact, a positive economic 
  The statistics you made up from the oil companies I have never heard 
them before. They are absolutely outrageous. And who cares? I am mad at 
them, so let's do something about it. Let's do a conservation, 
alternative energy and American-made oil so that we can stop punishing 
the very people who are struggling to make it every day.
  You can be disappointed and mad and kick the chair and say we hate 
them, and that is great. It doesn't do anything for somebody who is 
paying more for milk or bread or gasoline.
  I would request unanimous consent for an additional 30 seconds.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Patrick J. Murphy of Pennsylvania). The 
gentleman from Michigan will address his remarks to the Chair.
  Mr. RUPPERSBERGER. I yield an additional 30 seconds to my friend.
  Mr. ROGERS of Michigan. Again, we can be mad. We can kick. We can 
scuffle. The most important people in this debate aren't being heard 
right now. Americans back home are saying help us out. Give us an 
American-made energy plan. Give us conservation. Give us alternative 
energy. All of those things are in the bills we are willing to give you 
  I would hope and urge, for the very pressure that is being put on 
those families, we would stand united, with your name on the bills, and 
take care of those people, because right now they are at the back end 
of the heel, and all they hear is their disappointment in a very, very, 
very inactive Congress on the issues that matter to them the most.
  I yield back the remainder of my time.
  Mr. RUPPERSBERGER. I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from Rhode 
Island (Mr. Kennedy).
  Mr. KENNEDY. The President has an opportunity now to release the 
Strategic Petroleum Reserve. We have billions and billions of barrels 
of oil buried in this country that we have been burying for over 3 
decades since the energy crisis in the 1970s in case of an emergency.
  The President says this isn't an emergency. I don't know where he is 
living, but it is an emergency in my district. He should release 10 
percent of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, burst the speculative 
bubble on oil, bring the prices down, bring relief to our consumers, 
and use the profits of that to help generate the proceeds to fuel the 
costs that are going to be incurred by investing in this renewable 
energy technology that the gentleman is speaking about, which, by the 
way, the Republicans completely cut the funding for every year that 
they ran this House. They cut this technology by 23 percent on average. 
And I am on the Appropriations Committee and I know that for a fact.
  Mr. RUPPERSBERGER. How much time do I have remaining?
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Maryland has 5 minutes 
  Mr. RUPPERSBERGER. I will close.
  First, I thank the gentleman from Louisiana and the other sponsors of 
H.R. 6545 for introducing this important piece of legislation.
  Energy and the availability of fuel affects every aspect of our 
lives. It impacts our security. It impacts our economy, and it impacts 
our wallets. We need the best information available and the best 
analysis possible on energy security. The intelligence community is in 
a unique position to give it to us.
  I urge all my colleagues to support this legislation.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the 
gentleman from Maryland (Mr. Ruppersberger) that the House suspend the 
rules and pass the bill, H.R. 6545.
  The question was taken.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. In the opinion of the Chair, two-thirds 
being in the affirmative, the ayes have it.
  Mr. RUPPERSBERGER. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and nays.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 8 of rule XX and the 
Chair's prior announcement, further proceedings on this motion will be 
  Mr. REYES. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased that we are able to consider 
this legislation today. H.R. 6545, the National Energy Security Act is 
an important proposal to ensure that policymakers get a comprehensive 
analysis of the way our national security and energy security are 
affected by rising energy costs.
  I applaud the gentleman from Louisiana for introducing this bill, and 
believe that is the right way to address this proposal. Last week, the 
ranking member of my committee proposed this idea. But his motion made 
it clear that this was just a tactic to de-rail the intelligence 
authorization bill. I said that this report was a good idea, and that 
we deserve to know the information that this bill requires. But I could 
not agree to the form of his request then because it would have sent 
the bill back through the committee process, effectively killing this 
bill, and would have denied critical funds that the men and women in 
the intelligence community need to uncover and disrupt terrorist 
plots--funds that he agreed were crucial to our national security.
  I hope that the House will pass this proposal now. It is important 
for us to understand the energy security implications of rising prices. 
I would note that the intelligence community has already done some work 
in this area. Last March, the intelligence community produced an 
unclassified report called, ``Energy Security Dynamics Transforming 
International Politics'', which covered some of the issues in this 
bill, but that report was not at the same level of rigor and 
coordination as the assessment required by this bill.
  This National Intelligence Assessment will provide a short-term and 
long-term assessment of the outlook for prices, supply, and demand for 
key forms of energy. The intelligence community can help us understand 
the plans for production and supply of energy sources from key energy-
producing and exporting nations. It can also help us understand how 
potential adversaries who are energy suppliers will use dollar 
diplomacy or energy supply as leverage to achieve their goals. We also 
need to understand whether increased energy prices are going to fund 
terrorists. The format of this report will allow the intelligence 
community to consult with the best minds in industry and academia.
  I would also note that this assessment is similar to one on the 
national security implications of global climate change that was 
included in last year's House-passed version of the intelligence 
authorization bill. We received that report last month, and the 
intelligence community management subcommittee held

[[Page H6801]]

an excellent hearing on it. Both energy security and global climate 
change have serious implications for national security. But both energy 
security and global climate change require solutions that cannot be 
solved by our military or intelligence community. The next President 
will have to deal with these challenges, and deserves the best judgment 
of our intelligence community.
  This bill ensures that the next President will have that advice. I 
urge my colleagues to adopt the resolution.
  Mr. SHAYS. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 6545, the National 
Intelligence Assessment of Energy Security Act. This bill would require 
the National Intelligence Director to submit to Congress a national 
intelligence assessment on the national security and energy security 
issues related to energy costs.
  Our national security is threatened by our dependence on foreign 
countries that do not share our views on democracy or our commitment to 
combat radical Islamist terrorists. By relying on oil from OPEC in the 
Middle East and countries like Venezuela and Nigeria, we place our 
national security in the hands of authoritarian governments.
  I believe our energy policy should be a bipartisan approach that 
reduces our demand by increasing conservation, including getting better 
mileage from cars, minivans, SUVs and trucks, and making electric 
appliances and lighting more energy efficient, increases the use of 
renewable fuels such as solar, wind, geothermal and biofuels, reduces 
speculation in the oil futures market, and increases our domestic 
supply of oil, natural gas and nuclear power.
  The national intelligence assessment required under this bill will 
show us the national security threats likely to increase should a long 
term, bipartisan plan not be implemented.
  It is critical we understand the consequences of our increasing 
energy demand and take strong action to reduce our dependence on 
foreign oil.
  Well over half of our energy derived from oil and natural gas comes 
from foreign producers. Our energy consumption not only fuels our 
homes, our transportation and our industry, but also transfers our 
wealth to countries and foreign interests that would do us harm. Our 
national security requires us to be energy independent, and I urge 
support of H.R. 6545.
  Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support 
of H. Res. 6545, the National Energy Security Intelligence Act of 2008, 
introduced by my distinguished colleague from Louisiana, Representative 
Don Cazayoux. This legislation is an important step in ensuring that 
rising energy costs do not endanger American lives.
  It is obvious that the steep incline in energy prices that has been 
plaguing our citizens cannot be tolerated much longer, as it has led to 
rising food costs, transportation costs, and inflation. In addition to 
these economic issues, energy prices also negatively impact national 
  One key step in managing this situation is assessing the future 
supply and demand for crude oil, natural gas, and alternative fuels. By 
doing so, we limit the unpredictability of the energy market and its 
impact on daily lives. This will prevent energy and food crises like 
the one we are currently experiencing from occurring in the future.
  Additionally, investigating the effects that rapidly escalating 
energy costs and extreme price fluctuations could have on national 
security is absolutely crucial. The possibility of energy sales being 
used to fund terrorist organizations or other adversaries of the United 
States, cannot be ignored. Americans cannot allow the money we spend on 
travelling to work or school everyday to end up in the hands of those 
who mean us harm. This is why we must know the implications of 
increasing funding through energy revenue to potential adversaries of 
the U.S., and we must also understand the intentions of key energy-
producing and exporting nations with respect to energy production and 
  This legislation will allow us to decide which countries are trust-
worthy business partners, and which countries we must limit our energy 
trade with. It is also necessary to examine the national security 
implications of America's dependence on international energy supplies 
in order to further determine the benefits of exploring alternative 
energy supplies.
  By requiring the Director of National Intelligence to submit to 
Congress a national intelligence assessment on national security and 
energy security issues relating to rapidly escalating energy costs, H. 
Res. 6545 assures that these issues will be examined and addressed.
  As Members of Congress, and representatives of the people, it is our 
duty to ensure the safety and well-being of Americans. I urge my fellow 
Representatives to join me in support of H. Res. 6545, which is an 
essential step for national security.