Myths and Facts about the CLEAR Act from the House Committee on Natural Resources.
MYTH: The CLEAR Act will raise the price at the pump.
FACT: NOT TRUE! There will be no impact on prices at the pump because oil prices are determined on the world market. Energy produced from federal lands and waters represents only 1/3 of total domestic energy production, and a sliver of total global energy production. The $2 per barrel fee will be paid for by Big Oil, not the American people. Because energy in federal areas belongs to all Americans, the resource conservation fee that will be assessed on federal oil and gas production will fund key conservation programs that will benefit all Americans. There will be no impact on prices at the pump.
MYTH: The CLEAR Act creates a new energy tax.
FACT: NOT TRUE! Republicans first invented the same “conservation fee” back in 2006. Instead of the $9 per barrel fee they devised, which nearly 200 Republicans voted to support, Democrats are proposing a $2 per barrel fee. The only difference now is that the Democrats' fee is smaller and Big Oil is richer.
MYTH: The CLEAR Act will make domestic production of energy production more expensive, pushing companies to produce overseas.
FACT: NOT TRUE! Oil companies drilling on the OCS currently pay some of the lowest fees in the world. It should come as no surprise that Big Oil cries wolf and propels the PR attack dogs into full swing every time we have a debate about making them pay reasonable rates to extract public energy resources. This is another example of the oil and gas industry making false claims that this legislation, which still charges fees well below those assessed in other countries, will kill American jobs. This is patently false. While Big Oil reaps record profits and shamelessly pains Americans at the pump, it's time for Republicans to pull back their veil and admit their true intentions - to do the bidding of Big Oil by putting their profit over the American people.
MYTH: The CLEAR Act authorizes $30 billion in mandatory spending that is unrelated to the oil spill.
FACT: NOT TRUE! Visualized by Dwight Eisenhower, proposed by John F. Kennedy, and signed into law by Lyndon Johnson, the Land & Water Conservation Fund is financed by royalties from offshore oil and gas drilling. The dollars raised from depleting one of our natural resources go towards protecting another. The LWCF is a decades-old promise to the American people that, if we allow energy companies to deplete public resources off our shores, we will require them to dedicate a fraction of their profits to conservation on shore. Unfortunately, while the public was promised responsible development combined with effective conservation, what they got was out-of-control development and only half-hearted conservation. The CLEAR Act will balance the books by assessing a small fee on federal energy leases in order to permanently fund these vital conservation programs.
MYTH: The CLEAR Act authorizes $30 billion in mandatory spending that is entirely open to earmarks.
FACT: NOT TRUE! The authorized programs are not “earmarks.” The bill will allow the Congress and the Administration to continue working together to determine where the most pressing funding needs are; just as they have since 1965. This is not ear-marking, it is good government.
MYTH: The CLEAR Act is another example of out of control spending.
FACT: NOT TRUE! The independent Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that the CLEAR Act would reduce the federal deficit by $5.3 billion over the next five years, saving the American people money.