tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN November 19, 2014 4:00am-6:01am EST
bill. we have a total of 56 sponsors. it is a bipartisan bill. that's the same bill that has been passed in the house of representatives. that was passed on friday -- the same version, the prime sponsor in the house was senator cassidy. as i say, the bill we vote on today is -- excuse me, representative cassidy. the bill we vote on today, senate bill 2280, is approval of the keystone x.l. pipeline. we've actually passed legislation on keystone x.l. pipeline before. this is not the first bill. in 2012, we passed legislation that required the president to make a decision on the keystone x.l. pipeline. we attached it to the payroll tax holiday. at that time, the president
turned down the pipeline project. so here we are today and we've submitted a number of different pieces of legislation. but this legislation today actually has congress approving the keystone x.l. pipeline. when the president turned down the project, what we did is we went back and we did the research. and under the commerce clause of the constitution, congress has the authority to oversee commerce with foreign powers with other countries. so in this situation congress has the authority to approve the keystone x.l. pipeline crossing the border from canada into the united states. and that's what we crafted in this legislation. so rather than the president making a national interest determination, which he seems to be unwilling to do -- and i say that based on his actions. we've now been at this for about four years in this senate trying to get approval, but this project has been in the
application process for six years. i was governor of north dakota back in september of 2008 when the trans-canada company applied for a permit to get approval to build the keystone x.l. pipeline p. they'd already built the keystone pipeline, so they were applying for approval to build the sister pi sister pipeline, e x.l. pipeline. started in 2008. we started working on this in about 2011 in the senate, passed legislation, trying to get the president to approve it. but it's now been -- and i can show a chart with the time line. it's now been six years in the permitting process. so the time has come to act. the time has come to act. and that's what this legislation is all about. it provides approval of the keystone x.l. pipeline, so they can move forward and be constructed.
now, we've debated this issue, as i say, in this chamber for almost four years. and so we've gone through all of the merits. and we'll do that again today. we'll do that again today. we've not only come to an agreement on getting a vote, but we've also come to agreement on the parameters for the debate. it's six hours of debate, three hours for the proponents, three hours for the opponents. on the republican side of the aisle, we're taking two hours, solely on the proponents' side, because because al all republics are in favor of the project. on the majority side there will be three hours for opponents of the project making their case and an hour for the proponents making their case, and we'll
alternate throughout the day. so we'll be here having this debate today, and we'll make our case, and i'll continue with my colleagues to make the case for the pipeline. there will be members of the majority party that will make that case, and there will be some members obviously in opposition. and so i'll reserve some of my time to speak later, but the point i really want to make here at the outset is that this is really about the american people making the case. i mean, when you look at this project, it's about energy, it's about jobs, it's about economic growth, it creates tax revenue to help reduce the deficit and the debt, it doesn't cost one penny of federal money or government money, it's privately funded, and it's about national security, it's about national security by helping us build
energy security in this country with our closest friend and ally, canada. working together, with canada, so that we don't have to get energy from venezuela or from the middle east or other parts of the world. we can produce it right here at home. and so that's not only a vitally important issue in terms of our economy and being competitive in a global economy -- because energy is truly a foundational sector for all the other industry sectors. when we have low-cost, dependable energy, we are more competitive as a country, but it really is a national security issue. i see the good senator from vermont is on the floor. he's got a bill that deals with how we handle surveillance, covert information, given the terrorist threat that we face. and it's important that we do that well, but one of the ways to truly strengthen our country is to make sure that we're energy-secure, to make sure that
we don't have to get oil from the middle east, to help our friend and allies in europe so they're not dependent on russia for energy when putin engages in the kind of aggression that he has. so when we talk about this energy issue, it's not just jobs, it's not just the in thar- it's not just the energy that we get that makes us stronger in a global competitive economy, it really is a national security issue. it is long past time to afnlgt it'-- it's long past time to ac. it's been six long years. i hope that we'll have the 60 votes that we need and we'll find out this evening when we vote. but again it comes back to what do the american people want? we are here representing the american people. and overwhelmingly, in poll after poll, when they've been asked, 60% up -- sometimes 70%
and more, they say build the keystone x.l. pipeline. that's who we work for. and so i hope that today at the end of the day that's the work we'll get done for the american people. mr. president, i see my cosponsor on the floor, and i would turn to the good senator from louisiana. ms. landrieu: thank you. mr. president -- the presiding officer: the senator from louisiana. ms. landrieu: i thank my cosponsor and lead sponsor on the bill, the former governor and good senator from north dakota, who's been a great leader and partner with me on this. as the american people have absolutely figured out, democrats can't -- democrats cannot do anything alone, and neither can republicans. it's taken us a while to figure that out here in the senate and in the house of representatives, but the american people figured this out a long time ago. just like they figure out practical things, like how to keep the roof over their head,
food on the table, how to keep their kids moving forward even through difficulty. the american people are very, very, very smart. and i trust them, always have, and i've been honored to represent the people of louisiana, 4.5 million people, and done my very best to represent them in the time that i'm here, and hope to continue for years to quom. one of the things that d. for years to come. one of the things that new england know that's not -- one of the things that they know that's not clear to people here is that it takes both parties working together compromising to get the job done for them -- not nor us, for them. and i think we forget that a lot. i'm in a lot of meetings around here where people kind of talk about what's good for the democratic caucus, what's good for the republican caucus, what's good for leader reid, what's good for leader mcconnell, and it's kind of interesting to me, because the family that i grew up in was all
about public service, not for ourselves but for the people that we represent. that's why i'm on the floor today. that's why i've actually been on the floor dozens of times on this bill and bills similar to this. this is a keystone bill, which i've supported with senator hoeven literally for years, in fact i have a letter from 2011 with orrin hatch, who was the leader signer with me. senator mcconnell's signature wasn't on the letter. maybe he was busy that day and couldn't sign it. but about 156 us sen 15 of us sr back in 2011 urging secretary of state hillary clinton -- this is how far back it goes -- but a long time ago saying it was really important for us to get this pipeline built for any number of reasons.
the main reason -- the main reason -- is that it will signal a great sign that america understands that energy independence for our nation is possible for the first sim ever. and -- for the first time ever. and when i say "energy independence," i mean energy independence for the north american continent. we might -- might -- be able to do it in just the lower 48. we might. hawaii can contribute some. alaska, clearly, can contribute a lot. so we might be able to do it in the 50 states. but i know beyond a shadow of a doubt that with our partners in canada and mexico, this can be done. and north america can be the super-energy powerhouse of the
planet. why is that important? there are so many reasons. i just want to name two, and then i'm going to sit down and reengage in this debate, because barbara boxer, who is the lead opponent, wants and has indicated her time on the floor, and i have more time later today. but one of the reasons this is so important is because what people in louisiana want, what people in texas want, what people in mississippi want, what people in new jersey want, what people in south dakota and illinois and kansas and vermont are good-paying jobs. and when a country or a continent, as blessed as we are, uses its resources wisely to create wealth -- not just for those at the top, which is what's happening right now.
just at the top, the people at the top are doing great. the fancy restaurants that i walk by and see and sometimes i'm actually in them myself -- i mean, people are drinking champagne and they're buying new cars, and i see mercedes and people see that but people in the middle class in this country are really struggling. and so our job here as leaders is to have our eyes on them, providing for them, and these energy jobs are not minimum-wage jobs. they're not even $15-an-hour jobs. they're not even $30-an-hour jobs. they're $45-an-hour jobs. our labor men and women who represent the middle class -- some unionized, some not, but all hardworking -- i'm going to say that again. some union-ized, some not. but all hardwork being. how would we know? i've stood in line with them at 4:00 in the morning or 5:00 at a
shift change. i do it regularly, but a lot during election tievment i felt their hand. i know how cold they are in the morning and how rough they are because they work all day. they would expect us to work longer than we do here because we have real short weeks -- tuesday through thursday. we take long lunch house, long weekends. most americans think we have completely lost it. because they work hard from morning till night. their hands are tough. and they expect us to stand up for them. that's why i'm standing here. so i've been fighting for this because of energy independence for america. i would know something about that because texas and louisiana, oklahoma, our area of the country, we are proud producers of energy. we produce mostly oil, mostly gas, a little bit of coal. we generate a lot. and just f.y.i. to everybody
that thinks this pipeline is the rest of the world we already have 2.6 million miles of pipe in america. 2.6 million miles of pipe. we're only completing basically 1,000 miles. what is everybody upset about? we've been building pipelines in this country for a long, long time and we need to build this one. this is about energy independence. it's about jobs. that's why i'm here. this is what the people want, and i'm going to close with this. for the 25th time at least, i want to say this because i want the record of the congress to reflect this because it is the truth whether people acknowledge it or not. the record of this congress will reflect this to be the truth, that some of us -- not just me -- some of us have worked to get this bill to the floor for years. and it was blocked by both
majority leader harry reid and minority leader mitch mcconnell, for their own political reasons. those reasons cleared up after the election. it just cleared up. mitch mcconnell couldn't bring this bill to the floor without allowing a vote on the e.p.a. coal regulation. barbara boxer knows this. this is the truth. and she wouldn't allow the vote because she is adamantly opposed to having a vote on e.p.a. i respect that. i respect her. everyone here knows that is the truth. harry reid didn't want this vote to come up because there were one or two members of our caucus that they had a serious issue with this being voted on. so i knew that, and as a part of a team -- and i try to be part of a team but i'm independent -- i knew that the results of the election, with the senator from mcconnell winning and some of
these senators, unfortunately my dearest friends losing, that we had an opportunity. and i took that opportunity. i called for this vote. not harry reid. not mitch mcconnell. i called for it. and i think it's worth fighting for. and i'm telling you, the last thing i want to say, thanksgiving's coming up and christmas is coming up, and it's a shame that this congress has not delivered more in the last five or six years for the middle class. we say we try. i'm not sure we're trying hard enough. so i'm going to lead by example. it's the way i was raised. we're going to really try today. one of the first debates i've been in in eight years at least where the outcome is uncertain, because all of the rest of the stuff we do here is preset, preordained and it's like theater for the american people. we usually know the outcome of the vote before we take it because the deals are all cut. so i brought this bill to the
floor knowing in my heart that we have 60 votes. i sure hope we've got the courage that supports that. i yield the floor. mrs. boxer: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from california. mrs. boxer: thank you so much. i'll be controlling the time in the opposition, very strong opposition to this. before i yield, the first debate on our side will be senator leahy, chairman leahy. i'm very honored that he will be. let me say before senator landrieu leaves the floor, senator landrieu is -- is -- the only reason that we are debating this today. so anyone who wants to play games about this and name this bill the cassidy bill, which kind of is a joke because i believe i'm correct that he introduced it november 12 of this year, and the hoeven-landrieu bill was introduced in may.
but set that politics aside. let the record be clear forever, this debate would not be before this body were it not for senator landrieu's insistence. i want to be clear. secondly, you're going to hear today, i think, a terrific debate, because the people who support this think not only that this is a good thing for the country to build the keystone x.l. pipeline, they think it is a great thing for this country. and i have great respect for them. on the other side, we have those of us who think it is not a good thing for this country, it is not a good thing for jobs, it is not a good thing for energy independence because it's going to be exported, all that oil. and it's actually dangerous. in my case, i was thinking what
does x.l. stand for? they named it the keystone x.l. it has no meaning. but to me it's extra lethal. and my debate will show why as you analyze the tar sands oil that is going to be coming into this nation, 45% more than we have now, the risky business that it has proven to be, and what the health costs are for our people. and that's not me. that's nurses and doctors saying so. and i haven't gotten into climate and all the other issues. so at this point i yield five minutes to my friend, senator . mr. leahy: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from vermont. mr. leahy: mr. president, i know that the distinguished senator from louisiana has the majority of votes in this body for the keystone pipeline, and that is a compliment to her hard work in getting it, aside from a
minority of votes or a majority of votes. l not be one of them, as she knows, because i represent what is the view of my fellow constituents in vermont. we feel that this pipeline is part of the unquenchable thirst for oil that's destroying our environment. we feel that conststruction is going to move forward unless and until we get a comprehensive national energy plan, and this pipeline won't lead us toward that. it leads to us an energy policy of the past. the tar sands requiring energy-intensive process complete with the pollution and harmful emissions to get them out of the ground, to extract them, to refine them. the sound bite, the first year of operation of the existing keystone pipeline -- and that was built, as you recall, the
safest pipeline in history was built a few years in 2010, it has spilled 12 times in its first year of operation. that's more than any other pipeline in u.s. history. and the worrisome part about that is these tar sands are harder to clean up. ask the communities along the kalamazoo river in michigan. it has cost more than $1 billion so far, $1 billion so far to clean up a tar sands spill in 2010. and more than four years later it's still a mess. and landowners continue to wait for help to restore their property. now, i realize this will create jobs as it goes down bypassing refineries in the midwest. it will head straight for the coast, so the oil can be used in export markets pumped on ships headed for china. that may be good news for the
chinese. it's not good news to the american people who are stuck with the safety risks, the health challenges, future environmental disasters and so forth. so i will not be among the majority who vote for it today. in another matter while i have the floor -- and i'd ask consent that these brief remarks be as in morning business. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. leahy: mr. president, the distinguished republican leader spoke against the u.s.a. freedom acts earlier this morning. unfortunately, he was too busy to respond to a couple of simple questions, so maybe i would -- even though he was asked to. i would note that the disclosure, the fact that section 215 of the u.s.a. patriotic act has been secretly
interpreted for years to allow bulk collection of telephone records and unlike comments made earlier there were no hearings on this, this came about after numerous congressional hearings, including six -- six -- public hearings in the senate judiciary committee, at least two panels of independent experts concluded the bulk collection program has not been essential to keep our sunt safe. we have wide bipartisan agreement in both the senate and the house that bulk phone records collection program is not essential. it violates america's privacy. it has to end. so my question is whether to end it and when, not whether to end it, but when and how. this legislation is the result of several months of intense discussions and deliberations with the intelligence community, stakeholders across the political and economic speck
trum has the unprecedent -- spectrum has the unprecedented support of the director of national intelligence, the attorney general, privacy and civil liberty groups ranging from the aclu and e.f.f. to the n.r.a. and tech freedom and the director of the n.r.a. and lawmakers from all parts of the political spectrum support it. so let's get it done now when it can be done. and i'd ask both my statements, my full statement be made part of the record and i ask also consent that several letters, editorials in support of the u.s.a. freedom act of 2014 be printed in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. leahy: and i yield the floor, and i thank the distinguished senator from california for giving me this
time. the presiding officer: the senator from california. mrs. boxer: mr. president, i thank the distinguished chairman of the judiciary committee for his remarks. they mean a lot. i want to put this vote into perspective. this is a major decision. people sometimes say, oh, what is the big deal? it is a little pipeline. we build pipelines all the time. well, it's a major decision. and i know that each of us, regardless of our party, before we cast a major vote, we think, is our vote going to make life
better for our people that we represent, the people who send us here, who count on us every day. and i'm going to do everything in my power to make the case that building the keystone x.l. tar sands pipeline is going to make life worse for the people we represent and those generations to follow, because i think i will prove to you today that misery follows the tar sands. i said before it's called keystone x.l. extra lethal. not extra large, but extra lethal. senators should ask themselves three questions before they cast their vote on the hoeven-landrieu bill. first, why does it make any sense for the senate to force the priewfl of a -- the approval
of a project that will bring millions of brs of the dirtiest -- millions of barrels of the dirtiest pollution you can think of into america? why do we want to bring barrels of filthy, dangerous, dirty pollution into america? this isn't an ordinary pipeline. this pipeline is carrying tar sands oil, which is in fact the most polluted kind of oil. and i'm going to tell you why. this isn't hyperbole. tar sands oil contains levels of toxic pollutants and metals that are much higher than conventional crude oil. and i want to make this case. president obama said, when he became president, that he would do everything in his power to make us energy-efficient and to make us energy-independent, and he has worked on bodg both fron. we have seen a tremendous rise in domestic oil production.
it is not tar sands oil. it is not filthy oil. conventional crude oil is different than the tar sands. the tar sands has 11 times more sulfur and nickel, six times more nitrogen, and five times more lead. so let me say that again ... before we invite a 45% increase in this filthy, dirty oil, let's take a look at what this tar sands is. it's got more sulfur and nickel and nitrogen and more lead. now, i know my colleague, who is sitting in the chair, cares deeply about environmental justice. and in the course of my presentation, i'm going to show what happens in places like port arthur, texas, in minority communities when this oil is
refined. and we can show that photograph now. what i'm trying to impress on the body today is i am approving the points that i am making. the facts are the facts are the facts. this is what it looks like in port arthur, texas, and this is what the kids have to put up with. here is a playground in a low-income community, and i had the activists from port arthur, texas, here saying, please, please, please protect us from this oil. now, these dangerous ple dangers that i cited and these metals can be very harmful to human health. sulfur dioxide opinion ta tax -- penning tax rates into the lungs -- sulfur dioxide penetrates
into the lungs and cause causes emphysema. you will not hear a word that have from the proponents. but this has to be looked at. that's why i stood with the nurses and the public health doctors, to say time out for a minute here. what is we doge t doing our peot we say we're helping with the tar sands? it aggravates heart disease, leading to increased hospital admissions and premature deaths. nitrogen dioxide increases respiratory simple toms in people -- symptoms in people with asthma. i ask kids in schools how many of you have asthma and almost half the class raises their hands, if not more. tar sands will exacerbate that problem. we know about lead, how dangerous lead is, how long it
took us to get lead out of pai paint. it adversely affects the nervous smg, the kidney system, the cardiovascular system. misery follows the s.a.r tar sa. the keystone x.l. extra lethal pipeline. we are talking about huge quantities coming through this pipeline. coming across the canadian border heading down to our gulf coast region every single day. again, a 45% increase in the tar sands oil, a 45% increase in those heavy metals and those dangerous pollutants. and this project could be just the beginning. we already know again misery follows the tar sand. from the ex-stracttraction t the
refining to the waste disposal. let me show you a picture of pet coke, petroleum coke. again, an environmental justice question, because what we have is -- this is what is left after the refining, and it gets sent all across the country. and this is a picture of pet coke in, we believe -- chicago. pet coke piles. senator durbin is going to talk more about this. this is a serious environmental hazard. the poison that's in this residue in a windstorm just blows around and we have stories of -- in the press in chicago of a little league game being interrupted because the pet coke was blowing all over the field, and the kids were getting pitch black with the pet coke.
so, yes, i have stood with doctors and nurses and people in these communities who have faced harm along each step of the tar sands oil process. these are cancer-causing pollutants. so when somebody tells you, oh, this is nothing, this is a pipeline, we have a lot of pipelines, this is nothing, no big deal, why are you fighting, why are you standing up here, why did i demand three hours of time in opposition ... because this is a dangerous project. now, why should we vote to force the approval of a project that will bring this dirty, polluted tar sands into the u.s. when we know it is the most difficult type of oil to clean up in case of a spill i? according to the e.p.a., tar
sands oil creates especially difficult challenges to clean-up when the pipelines ruptures because it is so heavy, it sinks to the bottom of the water. you only have to look at the spill in michigan's kalamazoo river in 2010, which they still haven't cleaned up, mr. president. 2010. and in may flower, arkansas, in 2013 -- we'll show you a picture from them -- this is what happened when there was a spill. these spills are not cleaned up. this came right into residential communities. so, again, dirty, filthy oil and the toughest to clean up in case of a spill, and we know, as sure as i'm standing here, if this is built, there will be a spill because that happens.
and it has already happened in 2010 and in 2013. now, of the projected 830,000 barrels of tar sands oil, most of it isn't going to go to our domestic use, and that's the other question. why would you want to bring this dirty, polluted tar sands oil that you can't clean up into our country if practically all of it is going to be exported? and we will have to bear the burdens of the refining, the filth in the acres the pe air, e in our cities, as we see the products being exported to other countries. now, i could stop here -- i'm sure the proponents wish i would, but i'm not, because if
you're not convinced that this is an enormous mistake, i've not five reasons. a deeper look at the health of our people. i've already said, tar sands, the filthiest oil on the planet. and i've already told you that i've stood with nurses and doctors to make this point. downwind from the tar sands extraction sites and refineries in canada, significantly higher levels of dangerous pollutants and carcinogens have been documented. people laving in th living in ty communities are suffering. i have met them. i've talked to them on the phone. they flew down here to stand by my side to call ateption to the- you to call attention to the health impacts. people are suffering higher rates of cancers linked to toxic
chemicals, including leukemia, non-hodgkin's lymphoma. thithat is a fact. the big oil companies won't talk about it. the koch brothers won't talk about it. my republican friends boants'ses won't talk about -- my republican friends won't talk about it. and i'm going to enter into the record a university of california irvine-university of michigan peer-reviewed study documenting elevated cancer rates near tar sand processing zones, and this was an article, peer-reviewed, december 2013. if i matif i might place this ie record. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. boxer: so once it leaves canada and is transported to refineries in the u.s., the tar sand oil would increase the pollution that already plagues communities like port arthur, which i'll show you again. now, port arthur is already
refining tar sands oil. this is going to greatly increase the amount of tar sands oil they're going to be refining. and they are on the aps e.p.a.'s list of cities with dangerous ozone levels, people suffering with skin irritations, respiratorrespiratory ailments . the oil companies aren't going to tell but this, the koch brothers aren't going to tell you about this, and my republican friends aren't going to tell but this, but i'm going to tell but this. tar sands will add another threat to port arthur and other communities that are already in distress. and i would ask unanimous consent to place into the record an article describing health problems experienced by families living near port arthur refineries, and it's entitled
"everyone deserves clean air and equal protection from pollution," dated august 12, 20146789 ma14u play i. may i place that in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. boxer: to get to the gulf coast, tar sands will be transported by pipeline through communities and environmentally sensitive areas in six states. we know from experience how harmful this could be, again because of how hard it is to clean up after a spill. and we know about the pet coke and i've shown you the pel pet , which is black dust containing some heavy metals. open piles of this waste began to appear at unprecedented levels in midwestern communities and it has sparked health and
environmental krn concerns in my neighborhoods in detroit and chicago. now, could we show that -- let's take this down. and shoand show the chicago pice again. so in this chicago neighborhood, billowing black clouds of pet coke forced little league players off the baseball field. the children were forced to seek cover from the clouds of black dust that pelted homes and cars. according to the one newspaper, "kids that were playing ball were sent scurrying away because the stuff was getting into their eyes, onto their faces and into their mouths and everything. they just had to get the heck out of there." and i'd like to enter into the record at this time an article that says, "in chicago, piles of
petroleum coke suggest the future of canadian tar sands oil," dated november 18, 20136789 ma, 2013.may i place te record as well. the presiding officer: without objection u. mrs. boxer: now, when this pet coke started to blow all across the communities, reserve -- ress felt they cannot safely open their windows in the summer for fear the black clouds would trigger their children's as mavment we know thattime type of toxic air pollution can increase the number o and severity of asthma attacks and contribute to other lung diseases. asthma, the federal government has said asthma has become a national epidemic. this is a picture of a little girl who's having a hard time breathing. i'd say to my friend from kansas, i have another 15
minutes, just for his information. so this is a photo of a little girl who is having difficulty breathing because she has asth asthma. the federal government has said, asthma has become -- and i'm quoting -- "a national epidemic, which affects one out of every 1012people or 26 million americs and 7 million of these are children." we don't need more asthma. american communities don't need more pet coke. but my republican friends aren't going to talk to you about asthma. they're not going to quote the oil companies saying what a great job they're doing preventing it. ultimately, the keystone tar sands pipeline decision should be based on whether the project is in the national interest. so today i ask rhetorically of my colleagues, how are more americans with asthma in the
national interest? how are more americans with cancer in the national interest? how is it in the national interest when kids playing baseball have to duck and cover from dangerous pollution? the health of our children and our families are at stake. and we have a right to know how tar sands oil would affect our health, and unfortunately we don't have all the information we need to have. senator whitehouse and i wrote to secretary john kerry asking for a comprehensive health impact study on our tar sands -- on the tar sands oil and how the keystone pipeline will impact the health of communities across the nation. we don't have the studies. now, again, senator whitehouse and i, we're not physicians. that's why we stood with the nurses and the doctors.
the nurses, a gallup poll has found that 12 years in a row that nursing is the most trusted profession. okay? so the national nurses united, which is the nation's largest professional association of registered nurses -- 185,000 strong -- they've joined our call for a comprehensive health study. and we have their letter, mr. president, if i might put it into the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. boxer: the nurses concur with senators boxer and whitehouse that what is known today about the health hazards associated with the expansion of tar sands is just a sampling and they believe the consequences of the keystone x.l. have been substantially ignored in state department's final e.i.s. and it needs to be addressed. the american public health association wrote us a letter. i ask unanimous consent to place that in the record as well. the presiding officer: without
objection. mrs. boxer: and they say the same thing, there's an increasing recognition that the environments in which people live, work and learn have tremendous impact on their health. the administration will certainly benefit by having a better understanding of how the proposed keystone pipeline could impact the public health. and they go on to say, "the full spectrum of health considerations are often overlooked and their emission can lead to policies and practices that are unnecessarily harmful to the public health." now, maybe senators feel they know more than doctors or nurs nurses. maybe they do. good luck. they don't. and we should listen to doctors and nurses, just like we should listen to scientists when they talk to bus climate change. this whole thing -- talk to us about climate change. this whole thing -- "i'm not a scientist." that's right, you're not, republicans. so listen to the scientists. you know?
this answer is perplexing to me. if you're not a scientist, then be humble and listen to the peer-review scientists. if you're not a doctor and you're not a nurse, be humble. they don't have a special interest. they have an interest in giving us information. we should base our decisions upon. now i'm going to talk about the environment. you know, this pipeline is going to go through the oglala aquifer, one of the world's largest underground sources of fresh water. it provides water to farms in eight states, accounting for a quarter of the nation's cropland as well as municipal drinking wells. now, remember what i told you before, that when this oil gets into water, it is the most difficult oil to clean