Use It or Lose It, a History…a Very Short History

By July 14, 2008Energy, General

It’s not a perfect measure of the seriousness of “use it or lost it” as a policy proposal in Congress, but we tried a little experiment with Thomas, the Congressional Record search engine.

Going here, we entered the search term, “use it or lose it” — the quotation marks making it a specific phrase we were looking for. Sort by date and …

2000 Congressional Record articles from the 110th Congress sorted by date on “”use+it+or+lose+it”+ “.
       52 articles containing your phrase exactly as entered.
       2 articles containing all your search words near each other in any order.
       1085 articles containing all your search words but not near each other.
       861 articles containing one or more of your search words.


Listing of 52 articles containing your phrase exactly as entered.1 . PROVIDING FOR CONSIDERATION OF H.R. 1286, WASHINGTON-ROCHAMBEAU REVOLUTIONARY ROUTE NATIONAL HISTORIC TRAIL DESIGNATION ACT — (House of Representatives – July 10, 2008)
2 . MOTION TO GO TO CONFERENCE ON H.R. 3121, FLOOD INSURANCE REFORM AND MODERNIZATION ACT OF 2008 — (House of Representatives – July 10, 2008)
3 . WASHINGTON-ROCHAMBEAU REVOLUTIONARY ROUTE NATIONAL HISTORIC TRAIL DESIGNATION ACT — (House of Representatives – July 10, 2008)
4 . LEGISLATIVE PROGRAM — (House of Representatives – July 10, 2008)
5 . BIG OIL DOESN’T NEED MORE LAND TO DRILL; THEY SHOULD USE IT OR LOSE IT — (House of Representatives – July 09, 2008)
6 . BIG OIL DOESN’T NEED MORE LAND TO DRILL–THEY SHOULD USE IT OR LOSE IT — (House of Representatives – July 09, 2008)
7 . PROVIDING FOR CONSIDERATION OF H.R. 5811, ELECTRONIC MESSAGE PRESERVATION ACT — (House of Representatives – July 09, 2008)
8 . AMERICA’S BEAUTIFUL NATIONAL PARKS QUARTER DOLLAR COIN ACT OF 2008 — (House of Representatives – July 09, 2008)
9 . THE 30-SOMETHING WORKING GROUP — (House of Representatives – July 09, 2008)
10 . HOLDING THE LINE ON DEBT AND THE ENERGY CRISIS — (House of Representatives – July 09, 2008)
11 . INTRODUCTION OF THE NATIONAL GUARD TECHNICIAN RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION ACT — (Extensions of Remarks – July 08, 2008)
12 . ENERGY CRISIS — (House of Representatives – July 08, 2008)
13 . OPPOSITION TO NEW OFFSHORE DRILLING — (House of Representatives – June 26, 2008)

Etc. The list of all 52 mentions is in the extended entry below. 

The very first mention chronologically in the 110th Congress of the phrase “use it or lose it” in the context of energy leases occurs on Senate page S5566, as Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-CT) discusses the proposal. That day? June 12, 2008.

So for all the years of debate over energy policy, “use it or lose it” only appears as a policy proposal on the House or Senate floor a little over one month ago.

It’s as if someone said, “We’re losing this debate. We’ve got to come up with something. Anything!”

And here’s the whole list. Sometimes the energy-related mentions are there, even if the entry starts with a mention of an historic trail or something else.


2000 Congressional Record articles from the 110th Congress sorted by date on “”use+it+or+lose+it”+ “.
       52 articles containing your phrase exactly as entered.
       2 articles containing all your search words near each other in any order.
       1085 articles containing all your search words but not near each other.
       861 articles containing one or more of your search words.


Listing of 52 articles containing your phrase exactly as entered.

1 . PROVIDING FOR CONSIDERATION OF H.R. 1286, WASHINGTON-ROCHAMBEAU REVOLUTIONARY ROUTE NATIONAL HISTORIC TRAIL DESIGNATION ACT — (House of Representatives – July 10, 2008)
2 . MOTION TO GO TO CONFERENCE ON H.R. 3121, FLOOD INSURANCE REFORM AND MODERNIZATION ACT OF 2008 — (House of Representatives – July 10, 2008)
3 . WASHINGTON-ROCHAMBEAU REVOLUTIONARY ROUTE NATIONAL HISTORIC TRAIL DESIGNATION ACT — (House of Representatives – July 10, 2008)
4 . LEGISLATIVE PROGRAM — (House of Representatives – July 10, 2008)
5 . BIG OIL DOESN’T NEED MORE LAND TO DRILL; THEY SHOULD USE IT OR LOSE IT — (House of Representatives – July 09, 2008)
6 . BIG OIL DOESN’T NEED MORE LAND TO DRILL–THEY SHOULD USE IT OR LOSE IT — (House of Representatives – July 09, 2008)
7 . PROVIDING FOR CONSIDERATION OF H.R. 5811, ELECTRONIC MESSAGE PRESERVATION ACT — (House of Representatives – July 09, 2008)
8 . AMERICA’S BEAUTIFUL NATIONAL PARKS QUARTER DOLLAR COIN ACT OF 2008 — (House of Representatives – July 09, 2008)
9 . THE 30-SOMETHING WORKING GROUP — (House of Representatives – July 09, 2008)
10 . HOLDING THE LINE ON DEBT AND THE ENERGY CRISIS — (House of Representatives – July 09, 2008)
11 . INTRODUCTION OF THE NATIONAL GUARD TECHNICIAN RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION ACT — (Extensions of Remarks – July 08, 2008)
12 . ENERGY CRISIS — (House of Representatives – July 08, 2008)
13 . OPPOSITION TO NEW OFFSHORE DRILLING — (House of Representatives – June 26, 2008)
14 . USE IT OR LOSE IT — (House of Representatives – June 26, 2008)
15 . PROVIDING FOR CONSIDERATION OF H.R. 6052, SAVING ENERGY THROUGH PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION ACT OF 2008 — (House of Representatives – June 26, 2008)
16 . RESPONSIBLE FEDERAL OIL AND GAS LEASE ACT — (House of Representatives – June 26, 2008)
17 . SAVING ENERGY THROUGH PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION ACT OF 2008 — (House of Representatives – June 26, 2008)
18 . EXPRESSING PLEASURE THAT THE USE-IT-OR-LOSE-IT BILL DID NOT PASS — (House of Representatives – June 26, 2008)
19 . SUPPLY AND DEMAND — (House of Representatives – June 26, 2008)
20 . AMERICAN ENERGY SOLUTIONS FOR LOWER GAS PRICES — (House of Representatives – June 26, 2008)
21 . TAX POLICY — (Senate – June 26, 2008)
22 . BIG OIL DOESN’T NEED MORE LAND TO DRILL; THEY SHOULD USE IT OR LOSE IT — (House of Representatives – June 25, 2008)
23 . BIG OIL DOESN’T NEED MORE LAND TO DRILL; THEY SHOULD USE IT OR LOSE IT — (House of Representatives – June 25, 2008)
24 . BIG OIL: USE IT OR LOSE IT — (House of Representatives – June 25, 2008)
25 . AMERICAN ENERGY INDEPENDENCE — (House of Representatives – June 24, 2008)
26 . RECORD HIGH GAS PRICES AT THE PUMP — (House of Representatives – June 24, 2008)
27 . BIG OIL DOES NOT NEED MORE LAND TO LEASE TO DRILL DOMESTICALLY–THEY SHOULD USE IT OR LOSE IT — (House of Representatives – June 24, 2008)
28 . BIG OIL: USE IT OR LOSE IT — (House of Representatives – June 24, 2008)
29 . FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION EXTENSION ACT OF 2008 — (House of Representatives – June 24, 2008)
30 . FEDERAL PRICE GOUGING PREVENTION ACT — (House of Representatives – June 24, 2008)
31 . USE IT OR LOSE IT HOAX — (House of Representatives – June 24, 2008)
32 . AMERICA’S FAILED ECONOMIC AND ENERGY POLICIES — (House of Representatives – June 24, 2008)
33 . AMERICAN HOUSING RESCUE AND FORECLOSURE PREVENTION ACT OF 2008 — (Senate – June 24, 2008)
34 . AMERICAN HOUSING RESCUE AND FORECLOSURE PREVENTION ACT OF 2008–Continued — (Senate – June 24, 2008)
35 . REAL ENERGY SOLUTIONS — (House of Representatives – June 20, 2008)
36 . FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAID PARENTAL LEAVE ACT OF 2008 — (House of Representatives – June 19, 2008)
37 . REPUBLICANS’ ENERGY “SOLUTIONS” WON’T SOLVE OUR ENERGY CRISIS — (House of Representatives – June 19, 2008)
38 . THE FRESHMEN CLASS OF THE 110TH CONGRESS — (House of Representatives – June 18, 2008)
39 . CLEMMONS ROTARY CLUB CREATES INNOVATIVE PUBLIC OUTREACH PROGRAM — (House of Representatives – June 17, 2008)
40 . CAPTIVE PRIMATE SAFETY ACT — (House of Representatives – June 17, 2008)
41 . SUPPORTING THE GOALS AND IDEALS OF AMERICAN EAGLE DAY — (House of Representatives – June 17, 2008)
42 . INTODUCTION OF THE RESPONSIBLE OWNERSHIP OF PUBLIC LANDS ACT — HON. EDWARD J. MARKEY (Extensions of Remarks – June 12, 2008)
43 . ADDRESSING HIGH GAS PRICES — (Senate – June 12, 2008)
44 . HEROES EARNINGS ASSISTANCE AND RELIEF TAX ACT OF 2008 — (House of Representatives – May 20, 2008)
45 . NEW DIRECTION FOR ENERGY INDEPENDENCE, NATIONAL SECURITY, AND CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT AND THE RENEWABLE ENERGY AND ENERGY CONSERVATION TAX ACT OF 2007 — (Senate – April 07, 2008)
46 . INTERNET TAX FREEDOM ACT AMENDMENTS ACT OF 2007 — (House of Representatives – October 30, 2007)
47 . REVISIONS TO ALLOCATION FOR HOUSE COMMITTEES — (House of Representatives – July 10, 2007)
48 . CREATING LONG-TERM ENERGY ALTERNATIVES FOR THE NATION ACT OF 2007 — (Senate – June 13, 2007)
49 . CREATING LONG-TERM ENERGY ALTERNATIVES FOR THE NATION ACT OF 2007–MOTION TO PROCEED — (Senate – June 12, 2007)
50 . HEALTH CARE — (House of Representatives – May 14, 2007)
51 . HEALTH CARE IN THE UNITED STATES — (House of Representatives – May 07, 2007)
52 . PROVIDING FOR CONSIDERATION OF H.R. 1591, U.S. TROOP READINESS, VETERANS’ HEALTH, AND IRAQ ACCOUNTABILITY ACT, 2007 — (House of Representatives – March 22, 2007)


Listing of 2 articles containing all your search words near each other in any order.

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