tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN January 7, 2015 6:00pm-8:01pm EST
vember they had their say. the brakes four years ago this time they spun the wheel. they said they want the administration to change course and move to the middle. they said they want congress to send legislation to the president that addresses their concerns. this november the american people didn't ask for a government that tries to do everything and fails and they didn't demand a government that aims to do nothing and succeeds. they asked simply for a government that works. they want a government of the 21st century one that functions with efficiency and accountability competence and purpose. they want a washington that's more interested in modernizing and streamlining government than adding more layers to it. and they want more j and they want more jobs
more opportunity for the middle class, class and more flexibility in a complex age with complex demands. that is why we try to pursue common sense jobs ideas including those with bipartisan support. things like; reforming a broken tax system to make it friendlier and simpler the job creators, opening more markets to create american jobs at home and moving forward with bipartisan infrastructure projects like the keystone xl pipeline. americans are changing this congress and president. and they are challenging this congress and this president to work for them challenging lawmakers in washington to work for jobs for americans not just
themselves. it seems simple enough, but we we will have to work hard to meet expectations and we are going to have to work together. step one is getting congress working together again, again, and that means fixing the senate. last session the house sent over countless bills. many bills. many of them died without so much as a hearing. senators were routinely silenced. it is time to change the business model. we need to return to regular order get committees working again, we again, recommit to a rational and functioning appropriations process and open up the legislative process that allows more amendments from both sides. sometimes it we will be to mean
working more often sometimes often, sometimes working late, but restoring the senate is the right thing to do and the practical thing to do. parties are given a stake in the outcome. that is the genius of regular order. i am reminded of this every time i walk into my office. on the wall are portraits of john thomas cooper and keeping watch from below is the bust of henry clay. each of these senators, each of these kentuckians, came kentuckians, came from a different political party and viewed the world from a
different lens. all left behind important lessons for today. play about putting country first and pursuing principled compromise cooper about choosing when to make a stand and making it. and bar clay about having the courage to think different than a present from the same political party whom he had served beautifully for years. those lessons echo into the present and help function toward a better functioning government a senate and a function -- a senate and congress again will help move us forward. it does not mean we will never come up against the deadline and always agree
but together we can commit to changing the way washington operates. this can be done. it can be done. the senate has proven imperfect at times times, but it is a place our country has come together to create challenges that once seemed out of reach. the civil rights act many believe would never pass. major reforms to taxes and social security. working with president clinton to pass historic welfare reform. the promise of the senate is real. time and time again it has been an engine for bipartisan achievement for which both parties can assume either credit or
blame and that is how we should view it today. so, yes the american people elected divided government but that does not mean they do not want us to accomplish anything. we can come together to accomplish great things. if. if president obama is interested in historic achievement of his own, this could be his time as well. he has indicated a willingness to work with us on trade infrastructure and comprehensive tax reform this will require a lot of work navigating political pitfalls will not be easy. but passing these types of things would represent a win for the american people ones we could all be proud of. the truth is we could work for bigger things, to
worked to save and strengthen medicare protect social security for future generations. generations. balance the budget and put our growing national debt on a better path. but bipartisan reform can only be achieved if president obama is interested in it. the president is the only one who can bring his party on board, the only one obviously who can sign something that conversation. and and threatening to veto a job and infrastructure built within minutes of the new congress taking office a bill with strong bipartisan support is anything but support. bipartisan support may not come easy. easy. he is pressing for militancy, not compromise.
from dc to montpelier they see the limits of an exhausted 20th century mindset asserting itself. even when nearly every level of power has been in hand. and across the atlantic the sun setting on the social democratic idea. empty promises and fear of the future. it is understandable now is the time to accept reality. now is the time to move forward. americans know democracy is not about what you can get away with but what we can achieve together. many understand that on both
sides of the aisle. i talked to many colleagues on the under -- on the other side to understand this fully. we are calling on the president to ignore the voices of reaction and join us. whatever he whatever he decides though, this congress will function again to pass legislation focusing on jobs and real concerns of the middle class. we are starting to see economic data that can provide a glimmer of hope. the uptake appears to coincide with the biggest political change of the obama administration's long tenure the expectation of a new republican congress, so this this is precisely the time to advance a positive
program's agenda. some of the measures may seem significant others may see modest. that is okay. a bigger bill does not always mean a better bill. and while we are always going to search for areas where we can agree, the agree the president may not be enamored of every bill that we pass. that is okay, too. a little creative tension between the executive and legislature can be a pretty healthy thing in a democracy like ours. presidents and congresses have disagreed before confronted challenges that equips the ones we see today. what is important important to remember is that the senate has always ignored always. and we have a duty to restore it to meet the mandate of those who sent us here. former majority leader once noted that making the senate
work is like trying to make 99 souls worked work together. he also reminded us it does not take clays and webster's and calhoun's to make it work but men and women of honor working in good faith. it has been done before and can be done again and we are going to get there. it there. it helps to recall and whose footsteps we walked today. this is the same chamber where derksen and mansfield allied for historic coverage, where bird drew from antiquity to rouse colleagues to present challenges and where in later years, he would
critique successors on the finer points of procedure where mitchard -- mitchell brought communities together. enemies who responded to critics with live ammunition dole shared war stories and with a faithful tap on the shoulder he would partner with moynahan in their effort to reform social security. the names of many senators who come before us are etched into the desks we sit at today. the men and women who precede us include presidents, vice presidents, athletes, astronauts. we have forgotten some and
remember others, but their legacies live on. senator pepper said "the senate is is in a finish -- inefficient, unwieldy, it has vanities members are great and those who think they are great, but like democracy it is strong, has survived many changes save the country from many catastrophes and is a safeguard against any form of tyranny. "the last analysis he said, the price we have to pay for liberty. for everything we may not have agreed on, we certainly agreed on that.
in the same way each of us here may not agree on every issue. we may be republican. we may be democrats. but we are americans and have a responsibility to make the senate function and a duty to work for the people who sent us here in serious times to get serious results. so let's restore the senate we love love look for areas of agreement when we can and above all make washington work again for the people that we serve. >> mr. president, a brief statement in the record from minority leader senator reid. i would like to preface by saying that i believe that this side of the aisle senators on the democratic
side, are committed to the traditions presidents, rules of of the united states senate. we, of course will work to preserve this great institution and protect rights and responsibilities. i welcome with kayfive a vision for a more active floor in the senate where we do not run into lengthy and repetitive filibusters. that is the procedure of the senate that has been honored into disrepair. though we hope our minority status in the senate is short-lived we will establish that the democrats are a much better minority
when it comes to the senate then perhaps those on the other side of the aisle. only only time we will tell. i would like to read into the record a statement from the democratic leader harry reid. senator reid says as follows , as some already know, i had a mishap in in my home last week while exercising. as a result i sustained several broken bones. i am doing well and recovering quickly. i regret i am i am not their to make these remarks in person but my doctors have ordered me to stay home during recuperation period. a great philosopher once wrote there is nothing permanent except change. this this is one of those times of change.
committee assignments adjusted and a new majority assumes control. in other words, and other wednesday in january at the start of a new congress. all duties remain the same and ensure our government has what it needs to serve the people. in spite of almost no cooperation we have made significant strides. the new majority leader claims nothing has been achieved but the numbers tell a different story. the us unemployment rate stands at 5.8 percent. the american economy has added 10 million jobs the stock market has reached
all-time highs, highs the automobile industry was brought back from the brink of collapse and let's not forget their are more than 10 million americans newly insured with health care coverage. while some may see that as squat the economic recovery has been very real to american families. i know how important it has been to working nevadans. we work to fulfill our constitutional obligation to offer advice and consent. we confirmed 132 judges. we confirmed 611 of the nominees.
last congress the republicans mounted an unprecedented filibuster for the nominee of secretary of defense a former republican senator. i challenge my friend to change course in confirming the nominees in the 114th congress. we can easily meet and surpass. republican comments and majority leaders should note democrats are eager to continue to help american families. meaningful and bipartisan legislation. the gratuitous obstruction and longtime filibuster he we will not be a hallmark of the democratic minority in the 114th congress.
abuse of it during the last congress has come to epitomize gridlock. to be clear, i have no intention of rolling over. i cannot. any attempt to the road projections the dismantling of dodd frank the weakening of net neutrality rules or the republican never ending quest to repeal the affordable care act known as obama care we will be met with swift and democratic opposition but we would rather legislate together, and there is plenty of common ground for bipartisan compromise. >> the senate today approved committee assignments and named the chairman and ranking minority member of
each committee. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. hoeven: along with senator joe manchin and actually a total of 6 spo i hav >> now with sen. senator joe mansion and a total of 60 sponsors i filed s1 a keystone approval bill. legislation we have seen before in this body. what it does, it it authorizes congress to approve the project. it runs from canada to
refineries in texas along the gulf coast. this project some oil from canada, some domestic oil from the balkan region in montana and north dakota which is part of building the infrastructure so that we can build a comprehensive energy plan for our country. we are producing more and more oil and gas. in texas natural gas new york, pennsylvania, ohio and what we are working toward is energy security. what does that mean? we produce more energy than
we consume. obviously it is a global market. but the.is working together with our closest friend and ally, canada we produce more energy than we consume. it is important because it is about creating jobs economic growth, a national security issue. why do we continue to rely on oil from the middle east, sending dollars to the middle east. look look at what happened in paris today. an attack by islamic extremists. one of the ways we push back is take control of our
energy destiny and we can do it. we are doing it. why are gas prices lower today? because opec decided to give us a christmas a christmas present? i do not think so. we are producing far more energy than we ever have before but we have to have the infrastructure to move it from production to consumption which means pipelines, roads, rail. we need infrastructure to move energy safely and effectively. so why are we here talking about it today? it seems like a pretty straightforward proposition. something like 19 different pipelines. in fact, millions of dollars here is a map of just some
of them. a lot of them you see crossing the border. why are we standing here today talking about another pipeline project? because for the past six years the administration has helped this project up. it keeps saying there is a process. just yesterday, congress should not intervene in the approval issue because there is a process. really? there is a process? let's see. the trans canada company filed application to build the keystone pipeline in september 2008. if you if you do the math that is more than six years ago. more than six years ago.
so that company which has invested hundreds of billions already moving oil and here they are still waiting for approval. that is why we're asking congress to step forward. the american people understand this issue. a margin of about 70 percent to 20 some percent to support this project. who do we work for? approved the project.
all of the requirements have been met. approve the project. the president, of course continues to hold it up. why? why is he wanting to threaten the project veto a project that 70 percent of the american people support. it is hard to understand. we work to address the objection. the president says it is an environmental concern. really? this is what his own study found after six years the state department in multiple environmental impact statements three draft statements this is what
they found, no significant environmental impact. that is not something i did not something the company did, something the obama administration did repeatedly and came to the same conclusion. in fact if you do not build the pipeline you must move that oil with 1400 railcars per day. canada will produce the energy north north dakota montana, other states will continue to produce the energy. the question is, how and where. so 1400 railcars per day or
more safely, more cost-effectively. common sense. and this idea that canada will not produce the oil is wrong. they will move it by rail and build other pipelines. here are several already in the planning stages. stages. they will move it to the east coast or send it west and it we will go to china. does that make sense? it does not to the american public which is why the american public wants to work with canada as well as produce energy in our country to become energy secure. the idea that we would say
no to our closest friend and ally canada, we we will not work with you makes no sense to the american people and should not. that is why they overwhelmingly support this project. here we are starting the new congress. very clearly in the last election the people said we support this project, and you saw it time after time. but on a bigger issue the people of this great country said, we want the congress to work together in a bipartisan way to get things done. we want the congress to work together we have legislation
that has passed the house repeatedly with a bipartisan majority legislation with bipartisan support in this body that the american people overwhelmingly support and the president the -- the president issued a veto message right out of the gate. gate. why? for whom? who is he working for? i see that my good friend and colleague from the great state of west virginia is here. i want to thank and turn to him. but i want i want to do it in the form of a question.
it is my very clear sense from the last election and the clear sense we all got is that they want to see congress working together in a bipartisan way in an open process. it is not just about important energy infrastructure but a return to regular order offer an open amendment process debate them, get a vote great. let's have that process debate, votes make it as good as we possibly can. and then the president needs to work with us. the president needs to meet us halfway and get this done for the american people.
we are doing all we can to try to make sure we are approaching this in a bipartisan way with an open and transparent process. >> absolutely correct, and i thank you for this opportunity not only to work with you but to bring the facts to the floor. we are entitled to our own opinion but not our own facts. if you look at what we are consuming today in america at last count 7 million barrels of oil crude oil crude is purchased by america from other countries. so this line would possibly furnish 830,000 barrels of that dependency. two and a half million barrels we are already purchasing from canada our
best and greatest ally, the best trading partner one trading partner says let's look where we are purchasing the rest of the oil 755,000 barrels a day from venezuela, 70055 is really crude from venezuela. an authoritarian regime impoverish us citizens, violates human rights puts down political protests with over a figure violence. we also purchase 1.3 .3 million barrels per day from saudi arabia. 42,000 barrels a day from russia and we no what their intent.
invade neighbors and armed pro- russian separatists. these are the facts. this is not just hearsay or rumors. i have said they said what do you think about the keystone pipeline? i said where i come from in west virginia, it is pretty common sense. sense. we would rather buy from our friends than our enemies more so than i were the enemies he is anything i buy from them and the money they received from the product i buy and use it against me. pretty common sense, not complicated. also, they talk about exports. i know you have been watching this closely. the keystone pipeline we
will be a vehicle for exporting oil out. we checked into that, and it is not true. the "washington post" gave it three pinocchio's. it is expected to be mixed with the domestic oil from the balkans north dakota. it is a heavier crude to be mixed with the light crude from the balkans which enables it to flow much easier and be produced. produced. once common goals it is basically american oil lives and dies and is marketed with the policies of the united states of america. our policy is not to export crude oil. i do not no why this is being used to scare people. then we talk about jobs.
and west and west virginia it would give us 42,000 jobs all high paying. and they say, they are only contract jobs. yet i here everyone talking about building roads and bridges. those are also seasonal and contracting jobs, not permanent jobs but we are tickled to death to get them. all unions i know of are supportive of this legislation. the other map we had when i first heard about this pipeline i thought it was an anomaly. this is what we have today.
this is not foreign to anybody. so you look at public support. here we are, democrats and republicans. the bottom line is if you believe in the polls this has been consistent. overwhelmingly you have americans in all aspects of the political ring supporting this pipeline. so i cannot see the objections. i was disappointed when the president said he would veto once we said we would go through this process. i think you and i talked about it, senator. i was encouraged by my
colleagues. i believe it would pass and enhance the bill. we only need four more senators on my side of the aisle that can see the benefit of a good bill and good process. that should be our goal. we should not be deterred by the white house president saying that they we will veto. let's see if we can make it so good that when we are finished with this product and process two or three weeks from now we have a product we are proud of and the american people are proud of and support and maybe, just maybe the white house will change its mind. i appreciate all of the effort and work. at the last count we had nine democrats working with
our republican colleagues which puts us at 63. i am hoping for four more to see the virtues of this. energy independence makes is a secure and protective nation. anytime we do not have to depend upon other parts of the world and the resources we give them we can see the benefits of consumers in america and i am so thankful. i think we can continue to make it happen for many years to come if we are able to be smart strategically about what we do today. you spoke about the environment. most of this is being produced now and being transported in different
means. means. the state department has five studies which show that to be true. two and a half million barrels million barrels a day is being purchased from canada today. we have been doing it for quite some time. it has it has helped us be more independent of foreign oil. the number one thing security of our nation the first and foremost thing that we support. that is that is why i think you see a tremendous amount of people from the mountain state that supports this. we are all entitled to an opinion, but we cannot change the facts. >> i think the senator from west virginia. if there is willingness to work hard work together,
find bipartisan solutions that is what is incumbent upon us to do. and it is not easy but we have got to be able to engage in the hard work for the american people. i look forward to continuing to work with you and our colleagues on both sides of the aisle for good solutions. i want to turn to the senator from the state of montana. the pipeline project goes right through his state someone who has told with the issue on the house side of congress and has the project in his home state. i would like to turn to him and say, what are the people in montana saying? it is fine for someone far removed to talk but how about the people right their
directly affected. what is the sense in your home state? what are you hearing? >> mr. president, i applaud the senator and his and his commitment to make it a priority for the senate and the first bill introduced. i also want to applaud republicans and democrats discussing and supporting the keystone xl pipeline and commemorate the colleagues on the importance of this project. project. the very first date the keystone pipeline enters is the state of montana. it is not just a pipeline. it is changing the way of life and is an economic stimulus. i spend a lot of time
traveling around the state in my pickup. we recognize this is a lifeline for many rural communities. circle, montana, a small a small town of around 600 people one of the six counties that the keystone xl pipeline we will route through. like a lot of small communities in montana, circle has experienced economic and population declines like many others in recent years which have gone unresolved. the keystone xl pipeline is not just about energy but economic opportunity. one county would see $18 million from property
taxes revenue just in the first year of operation money for neighborhoods, roads not to mention an influx of jobs. another $45 million would be distributed among five other counties and 16 million would go to schools and universities systems. this means lower energy costs for montana families, citizens, and businesses. i remember traveling to glasgow and met with the electric co-op. they they told me if the keystone pipeline is approved table hold electric rates flat for their customers for the next ten years. they will supply electricity to pump stations on the
keystone pipeline. if it is not approved those ratepayers will see an approximate 40 percent increase in utility rates over the next ten years, about $480 per year for the average household. now 100,000 barrels a day of day of the oil traveling through the pipeline would be montana and north dakota oil which supports the balkan formation montanans know that this is not just a lofty idea or rhetoric but hope for the people of my state a a tangible result, and a solution that montanans deserve.
that is why it is so disappointing that once again we are seeing the president and some senate democrats play political games and perpetuate political gridlock. the president has threatened to refuse the people of montana their right to determine their economic future. future. it took the canadiens seven months to approve their end. it has taken this president more than six years without hundreds of good paying jobs and thousands more across the nation. six years without millions of dollars of critical revenue for schools, infrastructure, teachers without answers and actions that montanans deserve. it is environmentally sound
create jobs and will we will help us to move toward energy independence. the question why are we still waiting? the people of montana and his country this country have said that they have had enough. i am proud of the senate is taking steps to move forward the keystone xl pipeline, and the house, i know will do so shortly. the american people have set a strong message that they are ready to remove any roadblocks pres. obama intends to put in the way. way. the time for partisanship and political game is over. it is time for congress and this government get to work for the american people and get results for this country 67 percent of the american
people want this approved. 75 percent of montanans. prior to serving in congress i i worked in the private sector. only in dc it starts with approving the keystone pipeline. thank you, mr. president. i. i yield back. >> thank you. you are hearing from someone who is there where this project we will be located. i think him for his perspective and hard work and commended him for being here and his continued efforts not only to reach out to our caucus but the democratic caucus as well. something that something that the senator from west virginia said just a minute
ago focus on the facts the more understanding we create this gets done on the merits. i turned to someone with long experience with energy a state that produces a wide variety of energy and pose the same question to him. in terms of focusing on the facts environmental, jobs making our country energy secure talk to us about the importance of this kind of vital infrastructure projects like keystone for our country. >> mr. president, i congratulate the sender from north dakota for his determination. i am grateful for his hard work.
he has been tenacious in his work to get this bill to the president's desk. i also want to congratulate my friend from montana. twelve new senators. he is one. i had an opportunity to travel with him. he is going to do a tremendous job not just for his state but the entire united states as a member of the senate. we took -- he took his oath yesterday. we heard from him today. he will be a remarkable addition to this body. all of these senators are as eager as the rest of us to start fulfilling our obligation to the people we
represent. americans wanted to change the direction this country has taken. the leaders over the past several years the senate has been a place of dysfunction and gridlock. more than 40 40 jobs bills passed by the house of representatives in the last congress never even came up for a vote in the united states senate many of which had overwhelming bipartisan support like the one we debate today. those days are over. it is a a completely unacceptable way to run the united states senate. we have been given an opportunity to work together and get things done. that is what the american people told us on election
day and is what they are expecting from us and i believe it is what they are demanding. the poster child for the gridlock and dysfunction of washington has been the keystone xl pipeline. for more than six years it has been a symbol of out-of-control bureaucracy. the state department has refused to do its job and make any decision on the pipeline application. it has also been a symbol a symbol of gridlock in the senate. a small group with deep pockets has made members block the bill. according to the latest figures, the figures the american labor force participation rate is woefully low 62.8%. democrats in this body, are they satisfied with that number?
is the president of the united states, barack obama, satisfied? i can tell you that people in my state republicans all across the country they are not satisfied. that is that is why we are determined to advance the keystone pipeline. while the president has said there is no benefit to this project, during a press conference last month he claimed the project we will not even be of nominal benefit to the united states consumers. apparently that is what he believes, but he is wrong. the state department says they would support more than 42000 jobs. construction, manufacturing, where houses, restaurants. does he think a good job is
not even a nominal benefit to america? a a country where we get 42,000 jobs by this pipeline there are already 19 pipelines operating across us borders. why is why is this one suddenly not even offering a nominal benefit? why does he refused to make a decision? he has taken a decision on this bill according to the white house press secretary on tuesday the president will not sign this bill once congress passes it. it would create jobs and have no significant environmental impact. president obama has been downplaying those benefits
and threatening to veto the bill. that is not presidential. the congress will show. we will bring a a vote to the floor and force the president to do something. democrats have been playing politics. the republican majority will now get it done. we will allow senators to offer amendments. what a unique situation. he will let everyone say what side they are on. this will be a bellwether decision. in favor of washington delay? democrats will have a chance to make arguments. opponents will make misleading claims and try to
stoke fear. we have seen this before. at the end of the day this comes down to four things. first, it we will support more than 42000 jobs. second it we will be a private investment of $8 billion, not taxpayers pending, private spending. third, minimal impact on the environment. fourth, the pipeline is safer than other methods of moving the oil. the president should sign this bill. it is a job creator with bipartisan support and has been stuck in washington bureaucratic gridlock. it is interesting when i listen to the president and his comment on jobs.
it it makes me think of the labor international union of north america president said a year ago -- and he was scheduled to testify at today's hearing that now the minority, the democrat acting leader, senator durbin objected to having, objected to just a hearing and discussion. it is interesting. there is a press release from the president of the union who was quoted on this subject and the economic benefits. he said the president president obama, seems to dismiss the benefits throughout the keystone support five keystone supply chain. the washington politics behind the delay are of little concern to those
seeking the dignity of a good high paying job. we. we renew our call to president obama to approve this important job creation project without delay. people take personal pride in their work and their job. i am ready to vote for it. the american people have been clear. they are tired of the direction president obama has taken this country. the american voters demanded change and action and this congress will deliver just that. i say to my friend and colleague from north dakota and the chairman of the senate energy community, thank you both for your lead and thank you specifically
the senior senator from alaska, the chair of the energy community. i look forward to working with both of you on this project and additional issues that will bring american energy security and jobs to our nation. .. continued hard work on this important issue and i look forward to working with him again to get this done for the american. mr. hoeven: and i like to turn to our leader on the energy committee, the chairman of the energy committee the senator from alaska, certainly someone that understands energy, another state that produces a huge amount of energy for this country, and can produce more but only with the infrastructure to do it. this country can have more jobs, nor economic growth and more energy that we produce right
here at home. but, senator don't we need the infrastructure to move that energy as safely and cost-effectively as possible? ms as cost-effectively as possible? >> with my colleague from north dakota it's all about interception and in alaska in my home state we have boundless supplies of oil, natural gas but until we were able to build that 800-mile pipeline across two mountain ranges to deliver that oil from alaska's north slope to tidewater and that oil didn't do anybody any good. now, that oil pipeline in alaska is less than half-full and so we are working to try to figure out how we do more as a state to contribute to our nations energy needs to allow us as a state to be producing more for the benefit not only of our state
but of the nation as well. but yet we are held back by policies that limit us. its policies and its infrastructure. it's absolutely infrastructure. we are trying to move alaska's natural gas to market as well but again if you don't have being the structure it sits it stays. it doesn't benefit. it doesn't benefit consumers, doesn't create jobs. it doesn't help any of us how so keystone truly is about infrastructure and i thank my colleague from north dakota for leading on this issue for years now for reintroducing the legislation senate bill 1, the first bill to be filed in the senate this year. it will be, it will be mr. president among the first bill to pass in this new congress and appropriately so.
appropriately so. this is a measure that they get not only enjoys bipartisan support here in the senate it enjoys broad support in the house but it enjoys support across our nation for a great reason. so why are we where we are? why are we looking at this situation and there's so much frustration going on here. senator mcconnell has promised to allow open and full debate on the keystone xl pipeline with the legislation in front of it. think we are looking forward to it as the chairman and they energy committee i'm looking forward to robust debate on the keystone xl and what it will provide for this country in terms of jobs come in terms of opportunities. we are all frustrated by the president's decision or
unwillingness really, unwillingness to make a decision about this pipeline. the 2301 days and counting since the company is seeking to build and submit an application for this cross-border permit, 2301 days. that's more than six years ago. and then yesterday the president finally was able to make a decision apparently. he issued a statement of administration policy and in his statement he said that by advancing this measure it would cut short consideration of important issues. excuse me mr. president. cut short a process that has been underway for over six years? that is just amazing to me to read so again when we talk about decisions, let's get moving with
this. let's get moving with this. the president seems to be advancing some pretty interesting things when it comes to the energy discussion. he was quoted in an interview just this morning. this was an interview with the president in the detroit news and he basically told america company says you know we are enjoying lower energy prices right now that you had better enjoy them pass fast because they're not going to last. he said we have got to be smart about our energy policy. i am with you there mr. president. we do have to be smart about our energy policy that but to think the suggestion here is just enjoy a low prices while they last, take advantage of the sunshine? no mr. president your energy policies need to make sense for today. they need to make sense for the midterm in the long term and for the long-term and for the short
term we need to make sure that we have infrastructure that will allow us allow us the energy supply that is so important to this country. it amazes me that we would be so defeatist with this approach. so we have got an opportunity in this congress we had an opportunity this morning in the energy committee. we had scheduled a hearing on the keystone xl pipeline. we were going to hear testimony on original legislation to approve keystone xl as we did last or on a bipartisan basis but as members in the body no there was objection to that unanimous consent. we had to cancel and we had to postpone the hearing. i wasn't surprised by it. it would have been nice to know that an objection was coming before we had organized this hearing, before we had completed
all the preparations. so we are going to do our best in the committee to adhere to regular order. i'm hopeful that our colleagues will work with us on that. i would like to introduce for the record mr. president if i can sum up the testimony that we received from the three witnesses who graciously agreed to participate in our hearing that we had scheduled for this morning. andrew black who is the president and ceo of association of oil pipelines he described pipeline issues and again to the keystone xl would bring to the american economy in terms of jobs and payroll. part of the excerpts from his testimony are as follows. he says where there is much controversy associated with keystone xl pipeline the facts are that the pipelines are the safest way to transport crude oil and energy products. a barrel of crude oil has hit better than 99.999% chance of
reaching its destination safely by pipeline. safer than any competing transportation mode. a second witness we have invited the legislative director of the labor international union of north america in his testimony explore the positive job impacts responding to the environmental concerns. an excerpt from mr. mulino is regardless of characterizations by the project's opponents it is indisputable that jobs will be created and supported in the extraction and refining as the oil as well as the manufacturing and service sectors. then we also invited greg dobbs and who is the vice president for energy policies at the center for american progress. he submitted his testimony in opposition. we made sure that we had opposition testimony presented as well. he discussed climate change. he responded to the arguments in favor of keystone and while he
may be an opponent of the pipeline and as usual would have been outnumbered by the supporters of the project i will still submit his written testimony for the record here today. mr. president i would ask consent that mr. mulino and mr. dotson be included as part of the record. >> without objection. >> but i do believe mr. president that had they been allowed to hold a hearing this morning we would have heard very strong bipartisan statements in support of keystone xl for many members of our committee. the majority of our committee supports this pipeline and is already cosponsoring this bill. mr. president i want to close my comments by assuring members of this committee we are in day two of this 115 congress. this is not going to be our only debate on energy legislation
over the years. i know that it's been a long seven years since we have had comprehensive energy legislation. a lot has changed. a lot of people have great ideas to improve and reform our policies and i welcome those ideas. i'm looking forward to the debate to advancing these proposals through the energy committee. i think we can make a significant significant progress on supply, on infrastructure, on efficiency, on accountability and those areas in particular should be the form or the focus of an energy bill that we would hope to report out. we are going to work hard in this committee. we are planning on legislating. keystone xl is a natural point for this congress because it has been delayed for so long. 2301 days.
it is clear that this president is not going to make a decision on this so that congress needs to make it instead. so i look forward to coming back to the floor in a couple of days when we have senate bill one official in front of us. we are going to have robust debate on it. i look forward to working with my colleagues who have been so aggressive on this issue for so long. his leadership has been key that we need to finish it up. we need to make the connection so that we can move the resource and provided jobs for this country and for our allies and friends in canada. and with that i again thank my friends and look forward to these next couple of days and really the next couple of weeks where we will have an opportunity to put this before the american people hear on the floor of the united states senate. >> i would like to thank the
senator from alaska for her leadership on the energy committee but also for her willingness to work in an open way on these important issues. i think that across this body on both sides of the aisle there should be a deep appreciation for her willingness to bring these bills forward so we can debate them and we can offer amendments and we can build an energy future for this country that are people so very much want to have. the senator from alaska is somebody who really lives and breathes this topic. when we talk energy someone who is truly committed to it that truly committed to an open dialogue on all types of energy and giving everybody an opportunity to weigh in here to build the best energy plan for our country that we possibly can. so i want to extend my thanks to her and also my appreciation and likewise say that i really look
forward to working with her on this issue but on so many important energy issues. i would like to turn to my colleague from the state of north dakota and ask her for her perspective on why this project is so important for our country and for the energy future of our country. >> thank you so much mr. president. i rise to join my colleagues on the other side who represent states who know a little bit about energy and certain my colleague from north dakota who has led this effort from the first day that he arrived in the united states senate. no big surprise because we know that you can have as much oil out there, you can know where the reserves are that you have the infrastructure to move that oil to market what you do is you drive up prices and everybody who is looking at what we are looking at right now ought to check today. oil prices are below $40 a barrel. if you don't think that is
supply and demand economics 101 you don't understand what's happening. the fact that we have known reserves in places like north dakota and known reserves in alaska and producible reserves in canada we have an opportunity to continue to develop these resources in a way that can benefit in an incredible way american consumers. think about what's happening for the average american family today when they fill up at the pump and think what that means and how that will ripple through our economy as discretionary income grows. that is only possible when we have a known supply that is mobile and transportable and is in fact capable of reaching its market or reaching the refinery. that is what we are talking about when we are talking about north american crude oil. now you are going to hear a lot of stories over this debate
about how this crude oil is more dangerous to the environment, how it is different then bakken creed. it is different from bakken. but it's not different from the crude refined in the refineries in texas where we will be displacing crude that is refined from venezuela and we are going to be replacing it with crude that is produced in our friends to the north, canada. so infrastructure is a huge part. in fact that's why secretary moniz when he declared the quadrennial energy preview he looked at not just where's the supply in the future of the supply of energy, he focused on transportation of energy because that is a huge part of our challenge today. and as we look at the keystone xl pipeline and we stay keystone xl because a lot of people don't
know we are to have the keystone pipeline. we already have a pipeline that is bringing oil from canada into the united states for refining. a lot of people don't realize this. this is the second pipeline that will be named keystone and it is a pipeline that has been in the process for literally a decade from the planning process to the time they actually ask for a permit. now i'm going to address some of the concerns of some of my colleagues as we hear them just so that we can lay the groundwork. you frequently hear the keystone xl pipeline will be exported. although the oil that is coming down will find its way directly into china. in fact that gets that all the time and guess what the "washington post" gave it? three pinocchio's. not true. it's going to get refined. it's going to get refined in the
united states of america. it's going to displace venezuelan crude and it's going to find its way into the american market and continue to provide that supply that is in fact today driving down costs. so let's get rid of that first argument, that this is going to somehow not benefit american consumers, that this is going to somehow find its way onto a barge immediately upon arrival into the gulf. so that's the first thing that we need to be talking about which is less actually have a fact-based discussion about what this pipeline is. the second argument you will hear is that this somehow will have a huge effect on climate and on climate change and for those reasons alone it ought to be rejected. well, let's take a look at what the experts who have repeatedly looked at this very issue because one thing that we know
that i think it's beyond dispute when you talk to officials in canada is that we are going to produce oil sand oil from canada regardless of whether we build a pipeline. that oil is going to find its way into the transportation system and quite honestly is going to burden our rail transportation system because we haven't figured out how to build a pipeline. so all those people who want to confuse the issue about the pipeline versus the development in canada of the oil sands let's separated. let's look at the decision before the united states of america and that is the decision on whether it's in our national interest to approve a pipeline. i will say this over and over again as we pursue this debate. this is a pipeline and not a pawn. so many people have talked about it and i think in some ways this process has gotten exaggerated on both sides.
would have prevented all and unemployment or it's going to be the worst thing since armageddon for the environment. and do you know what, this is a pipeline. this is a transportation system. this is an essential part of the infrastructure to bring an important fossil fuel into our country so that it can be refined and utilized by the american people and oh by the way knowing those reserves are there, knowing we have the reserves we have in the bakken knowing we are developing more and more traditional sources of supply has driven the price down, has created a situation we have today that is saving millions and billions of dollars in our country. the second thing i want to say is people say we have to reassess -- respect the process. i respect the process. that is what i do my whole life that i'm a lawyer so you hear repeatedly about due process and
the need to have due process but occasionally the process is broken. guess what, six years to fight a pipeline. >> the time reserved for the senator from north dakota has expired. >> asking for five minutes to wrap up the colloquy. >> is there objection? without objection. >> the process back to the process. when you look at it six years, do you know what? we fought world war ii had defeated the greatest evil known to mankind adolf hitler and four and we can't fund a pipeline and six. so the process is broken. the other thing you are going to hear is, is this going to somehow disrupt what's happening in nebraska? i think the senator from north dakota was correct in putting a provision and says nebraska were
versus the decisions made in nebraska but somehow that's been forgotten in this debate. we are going to have a lot of hours of debate on keystone xl pipeline. we are going to have a lot of amendments. i'm grateful for the opportunity to go back to regular order. i'm grateful for the opportunity to talk about amendments but i want so badly for us to have a reasoned and rational debate. not an emotional debate but it debate that puts this pipeline in perspective. puts this issue in perspective. i want to congratulate my colleague from north dakota for the success in raising this issue in getting this issue into early debate. i hope we will be able to move this along and that we will be successful in getting enough people to provide that achieve ready approval.
finally i want to say it's important we do it now. for those of us who live in northern tier we do know what a construction season is any can't begin to put pipe in the ground in september and october. that would have a lot of additional cost. we need to make this decision. we need to get this decision done. get this spring as early as possible for plans can be made so people can begin their construction season and we can begin to rationally address vm protection need for development of our energy resources in north america. with that mr. president i yield the floor. >> mr. president i would like to thank my colleague from north dakota and pick up on an important point she made and that is the energy we are producing this country is helping consumers at the pump by bringing down prices. i would like to talk to my colleague from kansas who wants to close his colloquy and address the infrastructure to
keep doing that to benefit our consumers at the pump. >> i thank my colleague and i want to pay a lot of credit to him for leading his colloquy on. the senator from north dakota for her remarks. the "washington times" does today president and ceo of the american petroleum institute said falling oil prices have empowered the united states and weakened opec and russia underscore russia and increased u.s. production has fundamentally reordered the world market. this is a national security issue. this is an issue where russia and i think the breakeven point for them is 110 barrels per oil. they never thought this would happen. their entire economy is at stake and hopefully it would cause mr. vladimir putin to stop and think a minute about some of the antics around the world and in
addition the pipeline represents not only the pipeline and everything to distinguish senator has brought up but really a symbol that says we are going to go ahead with all of our energy production and we are going to go all of the above here. this is an either/or with green projects are fossil fuels or whatever so if you vote for the pipeline you are voting for something that affects our national security. think about our exports to europe. vladimir does not have a chokehold on them if you will so i think there's a lot going on with regards to this issue that people haven't thought about. the president told us in meeting a group of republicans two years ago, two years ago that he would make a decision between two and three months. it was just a matter of time with legal matters and now he is not ford and obviously he will never before. you can make whatever conclusion you want about that.
i think the senator. >> mr. president i would like to thank the senator from kansas and with that we will wrap up the colloquy. i would like to thank my colleagues and we will be back and again we are looking to work with all of our colleagues here on an open process to offer amendments and pass legislation for the american people. thank you mr. president with any of the floor. >> on the previous previous order the time till 4:15 will be controlled by the democratic leader or his designee. >> mr. president. >> thank you mr. president. i take this time and some of my colleagues will be joining me to express her concerns about the first major bill brought to the
floor under republican leadership dealing with the keystone pipeline. i want to first start by talking about the so-called urgency for us to take this issue up and circumvent the normal process, the normal process would be for this matter to continue through the regulatory review which is there to protect the public interest and to short-circuit that in an unprecedented way for congress to approve a site for a pipeline. that is not the way it is done. in order to consider this there must be some urgency but first let me share with my colleagues, what the american people are currently experiencing on the price of gasoline at the pump. it's an historical low over the last five years at $2.19 the average price for gasoline at the pump.
they're certainly not an urgency if we are talking about trying to get more oil into pipelines for the cost of energy and by the way i think we all understand that our actions here in this congress will have very little to do with the availability in the near term of oil. it will take some time to construct the pipeline to have an impact on the level of oil that is available. the second issue that i find somewhat puzzling on the urgency of this issue and some of my colleagues have pointed it out. there is already a pipeline that's available that can be used. admittedly it's not as efficient as what they are trying to do with the keystone and that is to make tar sands, the most dirty oil we have more economically available are feasible to be transported. that makes little sense in
economics and the price of gasoline makes it even more hard to understand. construction of this pipeline in the approval by this congress will have very little to do with the consumer availability of energy here in the united states. now that's compounded by the fact that we are talking about the dirtiest oil, tar sand oil that is being transported through the united states because canada doesn't want to transported through their own country because of their concerns on the environmental side which ends up in texas at the port arthur texas refinery. now for those that are not from texas estate tax spring so the oil can therefore go into the international marketplace and a very easy manner.
one of the potential users and consumers of this oil is building export facilities in order to handle more export and the international community. not speaking to a definitive judgment about how much of this oil will in fact end up in the united states but the fact that we are transporting it to a southern port and not transporting it to her refinery in the midwest which would be a lot closer and a lot cheaper is a clear indication that this oil will end up in the international marketplace and it has very little to do with energy security here in the united states. i think we have got to make that clear. here we are bypassing the normal process. we are doing it for allowing canadian oil to enter the international marketplace more efficiently at risk to the united states with very little benefit. why are we doing all this?
i am for job creation. i would love to see us work on a transportation bill where we can create millions of jobs in a far more harmonious way than we can with keystone. i am for clean energy polys -- policies which will create good jobs the united states, permanent jobs here in the united states. but the keystone pipeline the estimates are that creates literally 2000 construction jobs. they are temporary jobs. they're not attempt -- permanent jobs. the number of permanent jobs are a handful so this isn't about just united states. what is this all about? there are no benefits for the risk factors in the united states and let me talk about the risk factors. this is what i think gets most of the concern. the risk factors are the environmental factors.
when you extract the tar sand and tar sands is again a multi-type product that is literally mind and then transported into crude oil which is very thick and dirty. there are different ways in which you can get to that tar sands but one way can get to the tar sand is to take the topsoil of the property and mine it for a strip mining process. it's still being done in canada and it does cause tremendous empire mental damage. in and of itself a process that i think most of us would want to avoid and get this legislation does nothing to prevent that processing of the tar sands. tar sands produce a thick oil product that can only make its way through the pipeline by
being processed and it creates additional risk factors because of the way it is processed. there have been oil spills and tar sands in arkansas and michigan. it caused devastating damage devastating damage. not easy to clean up not like normal crude because permanent type damage to a community as we saw most recently in michigan said there are risk factors involved here for the united states to take canadian oil and make it easier to reach the international marketplace unlikely to end up in the united states creating few permanent jobs. i think a lot of us don't understand this. and then as i said it's dirty. the use of his tar sand oil produces and much larger carbon footprint than other crude oil's oil's, causing us additional problems in dealing with climate change.
we have a serious issue with what's happening in a bar -- and our environment. people in my state that live in coastal areas know that consequences of global climate change. they understand that. they know what's happening along the coasts. they know that risk. they understand that we have inhabitable islands in the chesapeake bay that have disappeared. they understand that our seafood crops is threatened because the water affects sea grass growth which is critically important for juvenile grass to survive. they get that in me wants to be responsible in dealing with climate change. they also note we are getting a lot more extreme weather on the east coast of the united states and the west coast is getting the dry spells. they understand the risks and they understand the cost to
america in dealing with climate change issues. the cost not only involved in direct damage but also in the global consequences of climate change. so we all worry about our carbon footprint. we all join other countries in dealing with the climate issue and the work of president upon me in a meeting that dealt with climate change issues. so why is the tar sands an issue? because tar sands reduce carbon emissions than other types of oil. it's about 81% higher than the average price of crude oil, 17% higher than they well producing oil. that is a concern. that translates into millions of cars. the difference between us having millions of cars on the roads.
it's an important part of our leadership. if we are trying to establish international credibility and then we facilitate more of the dirty tar sands oil what message does that send? what type of cooperation we expect to receive? mr. president trying to figure out why this is the priorities of the leadership in the united states senate and this is the very first bill that we have seen come to the floor of the united states senate. which as i've pointed out earlier that seems to be no urgency. i'm told it's been delayed. the reason it's delayed is because the operators change the routes. they did their one route and they didn't have an alternative that violated state laws and now they are wondering because they change the route and why it's taking longer. it's not the governmental process.
the proposers of this route did not have in order before they submitted the route that could be approved. one of the points i want to bring out about the process congress dictates where the pipeline should be as wrong. that is not our role. the regulatory process is here to protect the public to go forward but it was also trampling on states rights. there are some serious legal challenges pending in state courts as to the actions of governors the governor in dealing with a location issue. that should be resolved by the courts. we are pretty close to having that. it's very unclear to me what impact this legislation would have on states rights as is commonly being litigated in the state court so why are we doing that?
the delays have been caused because of the way this pipeline was suggested. the regulatory process moving forward that would protect the public safety there is no urgency considering where oil prices are today. there is a serious environmental risk issue. i understand the state department report that they mentioned frequently. look at what it's saying about the price of oil. the price of oil was higher when they did their report. i would urge my colleagues to let the process go forward and i think the president for his concerns in his desires to let the regulatory process reached its conclusion and let the court decision go forward as to what the state believes is the right thing to be done here and all of
that will give us a much better process than us trying to substitute our judgment or what should be done through regulatory process. and mr. president i'm going to close by quoting one of the individuals from nebraska who is very active on this. ben gottschalk says the cowboy and the alliance shows our cooperation and working together in mutual respect there proves that we pipeline fighters are not just a few angry landowners holding out for environmentalists pushing an agenda. we are people from all walks of life and includes the people who have been here the longest and other land the best. i think that's pretty instructive. this is a broad coalition that is concerned about the actions that are being contemplated here in the united states senate. actions that would overrule
landowner rights actions that would take away states rights actions that would shortcut regulatory process actions that help private companies directly without taking into account the regulatory protections provided under the law. it seems rather that this would be the very first issue where we could work together in a bipartisan way to expand opportunities for energy here in the united states. clean energy produces a lot more jobs and we would be talking about a larger production of clean energy here in united states. democrats and republicans would clearly work together on ways to have more efficient use of energy. democrats and republicans can truly work together in that regard. there are so many areas we can work on together to show the american people that we
understand their frustration with congress in dealing with many issues in the last congress but instead it looks like we are taking an issue that is more special interest that it is one that will help deal with an energy problem in the united states and has the potential to broaden our bar mental challenges here in the united states. for all those reasons mr. president i hope my colleagues will reject this approach and get back to working together to find a common way that we can help you with our environmental. but that i would suggest the absence of a quorum. >> mr. president i withdraw that request. >> mr. president? >> the senator from massachusetts. >> i think the president and i seek recognition to speak for 10 minutes. >> the senator is recognized. >> thank you mr. president. mr. president the issue that we are going to be debating over
the next two weeks here in the united states is really a story about two gasoline stations. in july of 2008 the average price of gasoline in america was $4.11 a gallon. in january of 2015 and the united states of america the price is $2.21 a gallon. now that's great for every driver across our country. that's great actually for americans who use home heating oil. they are saving a lot of money this winter and the predictions are that it will continue throughout the rest of this year year. that's great however it is not great for the oil companies. it is not great for the
canadians. it is not great for wall street. they are not happy with this incredible benefit that is now flowing to americans all across our country who now have a gasoline station that has $2.21 on average as to what people will pay. so what does the keystone xl pipeline really stand for? it really stands for the keystone export pipeline. that's right. but the canadians want to do is to basically construct a straw through the united states of america, bring that straw down to port arthur texas which is a tax-free export zone and then export the oil to the united states.
now why would they want to do that? they advertise that it is all about north american energy independence. well there's a simple reason. the price of oil in canada right now for this tar sands oil is getting $13 less per barrel than it would get in the united states but it is $17 less than if they can get it into ships and sent it around the world. so that's the very simple economic strategy of the canadians. now how do i know this? because i asked the head of the pipeline for transcanada in a hearing with the house of representatives would you accept an amendment to keep all of the oil here in the united states of america? and he said no. by the way i asked the same
question of the head of the american petroleum institute. he said no. so there's a lot of false advertising going on here. on the one hand they say this is great for american energy independence and on the other hand they say let's keep the keystone in the united states and we will have an amendment on the floor of the senate that will accomplish that goal they say oh no absolutely opposed to that. that is why logically you have to reach the conclusion that the goal was to get the extra $1700 -- $17 per barrel if they can get it by selling to china or selling it to latin america or other parts of the world. that's the plan. no two ways about it and by the way that should be their plan. that should be their plan. that is what their responsibility is.
it's through the shareholders of their companies. but what is the strategy for the american driver? we have a responsibility too to make sure that they get the lowest possible prices. my goodness they have been turned upside down and had money shaken out of their pockets by gas stations for years and finally the day of deliverance has arrived and they have $2.21 on average for the price and now we are told the price of oil is too low. we have got to get it back up again. and of course the best way of accomplishing that is to start exporting oil because the less there is here the less there is a north america and the higher the price is going to be for american drivers for american home heating oil for consumers. a very simple plan.
it's not about helping americans at the pump. it's about pumping up the prices for new profits for the oil companies. and if it's not been the simplest thing to do is any rhetoric matches up with the reality of what it is that's going to happen. they're not going to accept it. they have already made it very clear. so this is all part of a wish list we are going to see out here on the senate floor for the rest of this year. this is a big oil wish list of 2015. we start with the keystone extra-large export pipeline and take oil and send it out of the country. then they want to lift the ban on exploitation of u.s. crude oil which is now on the books. this is canadian oil or there
are no laws against that. and i want to begin exporting our natural gas even as again consumers and businesses natural gas vehicle firms are enjoying really record low prices and transforming the american manufacturing sector but our relationship with natural gas and american than to declare war on the environmental protection agency and their authority to protect americans against pollution to make sure that the fuel economy standards of the vehicles which we drive continued to rise because honestly if we want to tell opec we are serious, if you want to keep them awake at night and we keep the oil here in the price drops we increase the fuel economy standards we consume less oil and we have to import less oil but that's not going to be the agenda that comes out here in the senate floor from the majority.
it's going to be just the opposite. so that's why this first debate is in the way of preview of coming attractions of what's going to be happening out here on the floor of the senate throughout the course of this entire year. it's kind of the keystone kabuki theater that is debuting here this afternoon on the senate floor. because the reality is that this bill will never become law. the president is going to veto this bill. there aren't enough votes here to override the veto. so what we have instead is just a preview of this entire agenda notwithstanding the fact that they are not going to be supporting a national renewable electricity standard dramatically increasing the energy efficiency laws in our country, making sure the canadians finally have to pay
the taxes for the oil liability trust fund which they are now exempt from. american oil companies have to admit that there's an oil spill by a pipeline but the canadians don't have to. that's $2 billion a year $2 billion over 10 years that american companies have to pay that the canadians don't to make sure something is done to protect against oil spill's. the democrats worked together to put together a conference of energy bill. what was in that? increasing dramatically the fuel economy standards of the vehicles in our country having a new biofuels law to expand our production making sure energy efficiency in america was enhanced dramatically and we worked on a bipartisan basis in president bush a republican sign that bill because it was done in a bipartisan all of the above
approach. that is not what this is all about. this is not all of the above. this is oil above all. that's the strategy that the keystone pipeline embodies shouts. it's not where we should be as a country. so i say let's have an amendment on a bill to the bill that keeps the oil here in the united states. let's have this debate out here on the floor. let's match up the rhetoric of the oil states here for protection of the american economy and the american driver but the reality is we voted to keep it here. let's have that debate. i think it's important because otherwise the canadians, the american petroleum institute continued to engage in false advertising about where the soil
is going to be used. and so from my perspective, this is the dirtiest oil in the world world. it's going to contribute mightily to an expansion of global warming. 2014 was the warmest year ever recorded in history notwithstanding the fact that it snowed here in washington d.c. yesterday. the warmest year in history. that ladies and gentlemen is what i think the green generation out there knows as they look at this issue. what are we going to do to make sure that we avoid the catastrophic consequences of a dangerously warming planet? we have to engage in preventative care of this planet planet. there are no emergency rules. we have to engage in the preventative care to make sure
that we do not pass on this ever-increasing danger to future generations. we are going to get a chance to debate it. the keystone pipeline is a good example that is not in fact a balanced policy. i asked that we can debate whether or not the oil goes through a pipeline from canada the dirtiest oil in the world like a straw potentially causing environmental catastrophes across the country and then have it exported around the rest of the planet. >> the senator's time has expired and i think this is the kind of debate that the american people expect the united states senate to engage in and i yield back the balance of my time. >> mr. president. >> the senator from vermont. >> thank you mr. president. mr. president i request floor
privileges for my science policy fellow adrian wilson and i ask unanimous consent that she is granted floor privileges until the end of the session. >> without objection. >> thank you. mr. president the truth is there are a lot of big egos the united states senate. much of what we do here is pretty quickly forgotten. people have a hard time remembering what we did two months ago or yesterday let alone last year but i have a feeling that the bill that we are now discussing, the keystone pipeline and decisions that will be made about that bill will not soon be forgotten, not by our children or our grandchildren and not by people throughout the world and in fact not by history
history. in fact i believe that decades from now our kids and our grandchildren will scratch their heads and they will say what morals were these people, members of congress, living in in 2015 when they voted for this keystone pipeline? how did it happen that they did not listen to the overwhelming majority of scientists who told us that we have got to cut greenhouse gas emissions, not increase them and i think our kids and our grandchildren will be saying to us why did you do that to us? why did you leave this planet less habitable than it could have been? the issue that we are dealing with today is a huge huge
consequence and i fear very much that a majority of the members here in the senate and in the congress are poised to make a very very dangerous and wrong decision. in that light i am more delighted that president obama has indicated that he will veto this bill, the keystone pipeline bill if it is passed. mr. president climate change is one of the great threats not only facing our country but facing the entire planet. it has the capability of causing fear harm our economy to our food supply, to access to water and raises all kinds of
international and national security issues. now let me just read an excerpt from a letter sent to the u.s. senate back in october 2009 and that quote. observations throughout the world make it clear that climate change is occurring and rigorous scientific research demonstrates that the greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are the primary driver. these conclusions are based on multiple independent evidence and contrary insertions -- assertions of the vast body of peer-reviewed science. moreover there is strong evidence that ongoing climate change will have broad impact on society including the global economy and on the environment.
the united states climate change impacts includes sea level rise on coastal states greater threats of extreme weather events and increased risk of regional water scarcity, heatwaves, western wildfires and a disturbance of biological systems throughout the country. the severity of climate change impacts is expected to increase substantially in the coming decades and that quote. mr. president the statement was signed by virtually every major scientific organization in this country including the american association for the advancement of science, the american chemical society, the american geophysical union, the american institute of biological sciences, the american meteorological society and many many other scientific organizations.
mr. president scientists are not the only people warning us about the danger of climate change. hear what the department of defense has to say about the impact of climate change on international and national security. what they point out and i think what every sensible person understands is that when people are unable to grow the food they need because of drought, when floods destroy their homes, when people throughout the world are forced to struggle for limited natural resources in order to survive this lays the groundwork for the migration of people and international flights. that is what the department of defense tells us.
now one would think given all of the scientific evidence given the concerns raised by her own department of defense and national security experts all over the world one would think that given the fact that the most recent decade, the last 10 years was the nation's warmest on record, one would think that when the national climate assessment warns us that global warming could exceed 10 degrees fair and height in the united states by the end of the century can you imagine this planet becoming 10 degrees fahrenheit and what this means to the planet. when sea levels have already risen by nearly 7 inches over the last century and are expected to rise another
10 inches to 2.6 feet by the end of the century. .. is about is how we put some of the dirtiest oil in the world and more carbon emissions into the atmosphere. and i suspect that our kids and our grandchildren will look back on this period and say what world were you living in? why did you do that to us? mr. president, it would seem to me that what we should be debating here is how we impose a tax on carbon so that we can break our dependence on fossil