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tv   U.S. Senate  CSPAN  January 13, 2015 10:00am-6:01pm EST

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to have the votes to kill the legislation in the senate. instead senate democrats opposed to pipeline are offering amendments that they think will be tough for the gop to vote against or will play well in the 2016 elections. now to the floor of the u.s. senate.
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the presiding officer: the senate will come to order. the chaplain, dr. barry black, will lead the senate in prayer. the chaplain: let us pray. eternal spirit, you are sovereign, and in good and bad times our eyes turn to you. fulfill your purposes for our nation and world by using our senators as instruments of your providence. lord have your way in our lives for you are the potter and we are the clay. mold and make us as you desire working for our good in all
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things because we are called according to your purposes. inspire our lawmakers to seek first your guidance, so that everything in time will fall into proper place. as they seek greater intimacy with you, empower them to relate honestly with themselves and one another. we pray in your great name. amen. the presiding officer: please join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance to the flag. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the presiding officer: the clerk will read a communication to the senate.
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the clerk: washington, d.c., january 13, 2015. to the senate: under the provisions of rule 1 paragraph 3, of the standing rules of the senate, i hereby appoint the honorable tom cotton, a senator from the state of arkansas, to perform the duties of the chair. signed: orrin g. hatch president pro tempore. mr. mcconnell: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: mr. president this morning the senate will continue to debate the motion to proceed to the keystone x.l. pipeline bill, with the time equally divided until 12:30. some of our colleagues on the other side continue to filibuster the motion to proceed to the bill. all senators should know that we'll get on this bill today and we'll begin the amendment process. we can do it the eatcy easy way or we can do it the hard way. either we'll get on it this
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afternoon by consent or shortly is after midnight without consent. but we'll get on it today. it's surprising to me that some democratic senators are choosing to exercise their procedural rights in order to block their own colleagues from offering amendments to the bill. although at this point the only senators who have filed amendments at the desk are republican senators. so i want to make it clear to everybody, you know, we're committed to an open amendment process but not an open-ended one. and so we are hopeful that democrats who continue i read have a number of amendments will give us a chance to get on the bill and offer amendments so the senate can work its will. now, mr. president democrats and republicans cooperated last night to bring the keystone
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pipeline another step closer to construction. thanks to that bipartisan cloture vote, the senate can finally begin an open floor debate on this committee-vetted and approved legislation. it's a debate many of us have actually been looking forward to not just because of the substance of what we're considering; but we've also been waiting a long time to see a debate where individual senators matter again, which is why i suggested earlier we wish our colleagues on the other side would let us get on the bill and begin to offer their amendments. this is going to be an open amendment process but not an open-ended process as i indicated. this is the debate where senators can actually offer amendments and have them considered by the senate, a debate where senators can actually make the voices of their constituents heard. that's just the kind of serious legislating many of us have been waiting a long time for.
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the fact that we're finally seeing it today is a direct consequence of our constituents' calls for a functioning congress. it's the latest example of the new republican majority putting congress back to work. getting congress back to work means working to pass legislation that's good for jobs and for the middle class. that's why we're focused on getting measures like the bipartisan infrastructure bill over to the president's desk. he may not sign -- we all know that. he may not sign everything we pass but we're getting congress out of the business of protecting the president from good ideas. that's our commitment to the american people. when it comes to the bipartisan keystone bill, it is hard to see a serious reason why president obama would veto these jobs anyway. the nebraska supreme court just cleared the last pretense pretense many of us could imagine. we hope in the end after due
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consideration, the president will decide to sign it. but, no matter, we won'ting dissuaded from our path of working for the middle class. the new republican congress isn't going to stop working for more jobs and more opportunities. so let's get the debate started. let's see what members of both parties can accomplish actually working together. and let's continue trying to pass as many good ideas as we can, starting with this bipartisan jobs and infrastructure bill. mr. president, i yield the floor. mr. durbin: mr. president? the presiding officer: the assistant democratic leader. mr. durbin: mr. president, it is true that we are in the process of negotiating and discussing on the democratic side the amendments that will be offered, and yes, there will be amendments offered. senator boxer has been part of this effort, and she is -- i just left the phone were her --
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she is working now with her staff to come up with amendments that she believes will withstand any properly procedural challenge on the floor, and hopefully they will be brought up soon. senator cantwell, who is the floor leader on our side on this particular measure is also open. there is no question that we will be prepared to and offering amendments. we are trying to finalize the language at this point and the order that the amendments will be offered. we're working with the republicans once we have our own set of amendments in place. there's no effort to obstruct. we had generally agreed that we wouldn't be voting today on amendments. it is possible before the end of the day that we'll have an agreement to move forward in terms of the introduction and debate on the amendments and the votes to occur perhaps next week. but that is still unresolved, and we are still talking about t but what's interesting is to put this in perspective because we're tbawg talking about this, senate
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bill 1 the very first bill that was offered by the new republican majority in the senate a bill, as they say to approve the keystone x.l. pipeline. the republicans' highest priority, their number-one bill, in our that they have majority status in the senate, is the approval of a pipeline project to benefit one company a canadian company to create 35 permanent jobs. the highest priority of the republican majority in the senate is to debate and pass a bill to benefit a canadian company to create 35 permanent jobs. this special-interest, small-ball effort is not a national economic, or energy policy or a plan to make america energy-independent. the keystone x.l. pipeline,
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sadly, is going to have a negative impact on the environment, not just of the united states but literally of all adjoining countries. the tar sands that'll be carried in this pipeline will increase the amount of pollution greenhouse gas emissions in, first, their being mined in canada and later when they are refineed. and we know this, because tar sands are currently coming into the united states, canadian tar sands, that are being processed at a refinery in illinois. it's a refinery now owned by the philips oil company and their refined product is distributed throughout the midwest. so the keystone x.l. pipeline is not the first canadian tar sands pipeline. we have one. and that existing pipeline, in the course of cleaning up canadian tar sands into products
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that can be sold on the market, generates something called pet coke. pet exoak is coke is the waste product the dirty part of canadian tar sand that need to be removed before they are viable petroleum products. if you don't believe that this pet coke is any danger, you need only come to the great city of chicago, which i'm honored to represent. i visited the southeast side of chicago. the british petroleum refinery at the end of lake are michigan in the northern part of the indiana refines the canadian tar sands and generates as part of the refining process literally hills of pet coke, this black sooty, nasty product that they stack up not far from the refinery but unfortunately many times within the boundaries of the city of chicago.
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well what impact does it have to have hills of pet coke into your -- in your neighborhood? when the wind blows this nasty dirty product blows all over the homes, the families, and the children that live in that neighborhood. i've seen it. i've seen -- visited mothers with small children who try to seal the windows of their homes because this pet coke can get through any crack and into their homes, leaving a sooty deposit around them. so for those who argue that these canadian tar sands pose no environmental threat, come take a look at these pet coke hills that are generated now by the process of refining this product. additionally the keystone x.l. pipeline doesn't move us away from the dangerous tipping point which we face when this comes to climate change and global warming. in fact, it's going to speed up the day of reckoning reckoning.
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leading scientists warn us, we're running out of time. if we do not as a nation and as a world accept the reality of what's happening to our environment, we're going to pay a heavy price. according to the united nations intergovernmental panel on climate change, at least half of the world's energy supply will need to come from low-imhon source -- low-carbon sources in the future -- wind, solar even nuclear -- by 2050 if we're going to avoid catastrophic climate changes. that gives us barely 35 years to do something for our kids and grandkids. this keystone bill does not even acknowledge that reality. mr. president, i've come to the floor many times and offered the challenge which i'll renew today. i believe that the republican party of the united states of america, represented in the united states senate, is the only major political party in the world today that denies
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global warming and climate change. it is the only major political party which refuses to accept the premise well-established in science, well-established by our departments like the department of defense that our activity as human beings on earth is change the world we live in -- and not for the better. now, one republican pulled me aside off the floor after i'd made this challenge several times and said, durbin, you're wrong. there's actually a political party in australia that denies global warming as well. well that may be true. but the fact that they have such little company when it comes to this position suggests that our republicans are denying reality. this bill denies that reality as well. now, if it's about jobs, let me suggest not only to the majority leader but to the labor unions and others interested in
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creating american jobs, there are better alternatives. -- in the energy sector. solar power is already generating 3.4 million jobs in the united states. remember the keystone x.l. pipeline generates 35 permanent jobs and according to some estimates maybe 40,000 temporary supply jobs for the construction of the pipeline. but 35 permanent jobs from the keystone x.l. pipeline while solar power is generating 3.4 million jobs in america by the end of 2013, 24,000 created that year. jobs created in the solar industry at a growth of 20% in 2012. it is growth industry for clean green jobs. in illinois nine solar projects deploy almost 4,000 workers. solar isn't only energy source we can invest in.
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fuel cell technology supports 11,000 jobs versus 35 permanent jobs for the keystone x.l. pipeline. the u.s. department of energy estimates with rapid increase in fuel cells 180,000 new domestic jobs can be created by 2020. 685,000 by 2035. the international renewable energy agency found renewable energy industry in the u.s. responsible for 625,000 direct and indirect jobs in solar biofuel, wind biomass hydropower and geothermal industries. that's a conservative estimate. so if you're interested in clean energy if you want to do the right thing by our environment for our kids and grandkids and you want to create american jobs it isn't 35 jobs, the highest priority of the senate republican caucus, it's looking at alternative sources of energy which will create jobs and not destroy the planet. the keystone x.l. pipeline will
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produce oil with the process that uses 17% more carbon than any conventional crude oils. that oil is going to be shipped if the republicans have their way, through a pipeline from canada all the way to texas over nearly thousands of lakes and aquifers that americans rely on for clean drinking water. after it reaches port arthur, texas, the original plan which i think is still the case, is that it will be exported so even the refined product is not going to be used here in america. so we ask our republican colleagues where's your plan to make sure america leads the world in creating good-paying green jobs for the future? where's your plan to increase america's production of wind, solar, they are more nuclear cell although sick and other forms of renewable energy. we came to debating the extension of some tax benefits to these industries. many republicans opposed it. they instead want to see us move
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toward things like the keystone x.l. pipeline. so mr. president, this is an important debate and it's one that we ought to take in the context of the challenge our generation faces. we will either acknowledge the global environmental reality and deal with it or we will have to answer to our children and grandchildren why we put the profits of one canadian company why we put 35 jobs ahead of a meaningful discussion about a national energy policy that is consistent with the clean and strong environment for years to come. mr. president, i'd like to ask consent that my next statement be placed at a separate part of the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: thank you. i'm joining with the center for american progress this evening to host the screening of "spare parts" a movie that tells the story of four students at carl hayden high school in phoenix arizona. these students were undocumented
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immigrants brought to the u.s. as kids. they started a robotics team at the high school. they had grave success. the movie was produced by actor and comedian george lopez. he stars in it as the coach of the team. jamie lee curtis, the high school principal. marries is -- marissa torme is in it. i'm excited about seeing the movie because i've known one of the students. he was brought to phoenix by a his parents as a kid spent his high school years in junior rotc and at the end of his junior year a recruiting officer told him he could never serve in the military because he was undocumented. oscar started a robotics club at a high school in phoenix. he and classmates entered a college level competition.
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nasa sponsored that competition. they worked in a storage room in their high school to produce their competitive robot. they were competing against students from m.i.t. and similar universities. the carl hayden high school team won first place in the robotic competition and after high school oscar vasquez went to arizona state university, and in 2009 graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering. he was one of the top three students in his class. following graduation he took a brave step. he voluntarily returned to mexico -- a country where he had not lived in since he was a small child. he said i wanted to do the right thing. in 2010 the obama administration gave him a waiver to reenter the united states. otherwise he would have been barred for ten years. he would have been separated from his wife and their daughter both of whom are american citizens. oscar returned to the united states with the waiver from president obama and he did two things. he applied for citizenship and he enlisted in the united states
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army. oscar served as a calvary scout in afghanistan fulfilling the dream he had as a child. when he became a citizen of this country, he was obviously willing to risk his life for it. last year oscar testified at a hearing that i held about the benefits of allowing immigrants to enlist in the military. the falcon robotics team which oscar and his friend started is a fixture at carl hayden high school. i told the story about two other members of that team. one graduated from arizona state university with a bachelors degree in electrical engineering and is a senior received an internship to work at the nasa space station. after graduation, dolce couldn't work as an engineer and started the dream coalition. as a result of her leadership she was named as one of the 100 most influential leaders of the world by "time" magazine. a gel ca was president of the national honor society and graduated from high school with a 4.5g.p.a. from yas state --
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from arizona state university. why am i telling you about a movie "spare parts" and the carm carm -- carl hayden robotics team? it puts a human face on what is happening on capitol hill. it puts into perspective what the republican elect rat wants to achieve this week. they want to pass a bill in the house nald -- that would defund the president's policy including the daca program that president obama created by executive order. the daca program puts on hold the deportation of immigrant students like those i've described who grew up in this country and simply want a chance to be part of our future. these young people, immigrants like oscar vasquez are known as dreamers. they were brought to the united states as little kids they didn't make a conscious effort to come across the border. they were brought here by their
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parents. they grew up in this country and they've overcome great obstacles to succeed. they are our future leaders. they will serve in the military. they will be doctors and engineers and lawyers and business leaders if they're given a chance. the house of representatives is determined not to give these dreamers a chance to be part of america's future. in the last two years more than 600,000 of them stepped up, paid the fees, gone through the background checks and given this temporary status where they can't be deported. and with that temporary status they have gone on to do extraordinary things in this country. many of them are already contributing. i mentioned angelica hernandez working for a corporation where she specializes in renewable energy. the center for american progress tells us that if we give legal status to these dreamers it's going to dramatically help our economy. these are great young people who
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want a chance to be part of america's future. they can put $329 billion in our economy, according to the studies, around create about 1.4 million new jobs. these are the sparks, the catalysts, the leaders who can help us build this economy. but the republicans in the house of representatives want to deport them. they want to turn them away after they've had these educational opportunities in america. they don't want us to take advantage of their skills and talents. they're wrong. why do they want to eliminate daca? why are the house republicans so determined to eliminate it? that's their way of getting back at this president. that's their way of trying to make us forget that the house republicans refused for two years to call immigration reform legislation. they refuse to fix our broken immigration system, and when the president stepped in on an emergency basis now they are resisting him and trying to deport these dreamers. how can they explain this?
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how can they explain this to these young people through no fault of their own brought to the united states and who have not had an opportunity to succeed as we all hope that they will? this is obstructionism on the part of the republicans in the house. we did pass the bill on a bipartisan basis in june of 2013. 68-32 for comprehensive immigration reform. the house had ample opportunity over a year and a half, to call this measure and they refused. they refused because they knew it would pass. and that's why it's important for us to stand up and tell the american people what is at stake here. the president is showing -- madam president, i ask for order in the chamber. the presiding officer: the senate will come to order. mr. durbin: thank you mr. president. mr. president, one of the most important things we can do is to face the area that our immigration system is broken and to fix this immigration system we need to work together on a bipartisan basis. let us not do it with a negative
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feeling toward these young people. give the dreamers a chance. i will tell you this. if this bill comes over from the house of representatives and this bill eliminates daca, fate puts 1.6 million young dreamers into the legal jeopardy of facing deportation and then eliminates the rights of their parents who have children who are citizens or legal residents to stay in this country. then we're going to see a fight on the floor of the united states senate. i think it's a responsible thing for us to do for us to stand up for these young people who had the courage to step out of the shadows, to register with their government to submit themselves to a background check the right and responsible thing for us to do is to stand behind them. there are so many amazing stories of these young people. and to ignore them is to ignore america's legacy and roots. we are a nation of immigrants. my mother was an immigrant to this country and i stand on the floor of the united states senate honorably, i hope,
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representing the great state of illinois and really i hope a testament to what the sons of immigrants can do across america, and daughters as well. that is why this is an important issue for us to deal with and deal with forthrightly, and i urge my colleagues to resist this effort by the house republicans to deport 1.6 million eligible dreamers and millions of others who may stand the chance to make america a better and stronger nation. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: under the previous order the leadership time is reserved. under the previous order the senate will resume consideration of the motion to proceed to s. 1 which the clerk will report. the clerk: motion to proceed to calendar number 1 s. 1, a bill to approve the keystone x.l. pipeline. the presiding officer: under the previous order the time until 12:30 p.m. will be equally divided between the two leaders or their designees. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from north dakota. mr. hoeven: i ask for up to an
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hour to discuss the keystone x.l. pipeline. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. mr. hoeven: thank you mr. president. i'd like to again address my comments to the keystone x.l. pipeline approval bill, the legislation that we're working on. the motion to proceed to this legislation, the cloture on the motion to proceed to this legislation was passed, 63 votes in favor and 32 votes last night. i want to thank my colleagues for that tremendous bipartisan vote and of course the good news is that that advances to the bill. we have to have another vote now to actually vote to move to the bill today. we're working through agreement to hold that vote and then we're on the bill and we're in a position where all members of this body can offer amendments. republicans and democrats alike we will have an open amendment process. we will have regdz. we can have -- we can have regular order and we can have an energy debate and members of this body will be able to offer
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their amendments, bring forward their ideas and let's have that energy discussion. let's have these amendments brought forward debate them. if they can garner 60 votes they will be passed and attached to the legislation. this is how the senate is supposed to work, and i encourage my colleagues to participate to bring their amendments, to have the debate and do the work of this body, the important work for the people of this great nation. so i'd like to begin the discussion today in support of the keystone x.l. pipeline. the keystone x.l. approval legislation, the bill we have in front of us, s. 1. i note that my esteemed colleague from the great state of utah, the senior senator from utah is here, somebody who leads us on a variety of issues and has for many years in our caucus the chairman of the finance committee somebody that certainly understands tax policy and fiscal policy for this country extremely well.
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and this legislation that we're considering is a jobs bill. it's about energy. it's about jobs. it's about economic growth. it's about national security. but for somebody like the senator from utah who's working on reforming our tax code and how we can stimulate economic growth in this country i'd like to turn to him here right at the outset and say as somebody that truly understands how our economy works and how we have to build a good business climate in this country and we have to empower the development of -- of infrastructure roads and rail, pipelines and transmission lines, as part of building an energy policy that will truly make this energy -- this nation energy secure. i'd like to turn to him and ask him if he would take a few minutes and address not only this project on its -- on the broad basis of its merits but particularly some of the economic aspects that are so
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important when we're talking about growing our economy and putting our people in this country to work in good jobs. mr. hatch: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from utah. mr. hatch: mr. president, i want to thank my distinguished colleague for leading this fight fight. he has been leading it for years now. it's such a no-brainer it's amazing to me that we even have to go through this again. but i want to thank him for yielding to me and i'd like to associate myself with many of the persuasive arguments that have been made here by my colleagues both democrat and republican urging the speedy passage of this legislation. to me the decision to approve this pipeline is an obvious one for a host of reasons. it will support more than 42,000 good-paying jobs. i didn't quite get what the assistant minority leader was saying here today on how few jobs it creates. it actually will support more than 42,000 good-paying jobs
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during its construction phase. it will contribute more than $3.4 billion to our gross domestic product. it will aid in the goal of north american energy independence. and as the state department's environmental impact statement found, building the keystone x.l. pipeline will actually be better for the environment than not building it. the energy resources that the canadians produce will reach the market regardless of whether this pipeline is built and keystone x.l. is by far the safest, the cleanest and the most efficient means of doing so so. why are there arguments against it, my gosh, other than phony environmental arguments? mr. president, that was the state department controlled by them. mr. president, as a commonsense bipartisan jobs and infrastructure measure this bill is exactly the source --
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the sort of legislation that the senate should be considering as its first order of business in this new congress. but it should not have to be. the story here is about more than a single pipeline, no matter how many jobs its construction will create no matter how important it is for our energy independence and no matter how environmentally sound it is. this is a story about a regulatory process that is clearly broken. this is a story about special interests manipulating the bureaucracy to muck up the process that should be very simple and uncontroversial. and this is a story about just one of many examples of tragically missed opportunities to create good-paying jobs and provide relief for household budgets across the country. mr. president, the application for approval of the keystone x.l. pipeline was first filed in september of 2008, more than six
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years ago. united states senators have served more than a full term during that particular time. children born after the application was filed are now in first grade. the notion that any infrastructure project should be held up for such a long period is disturbing. not just to me but i think to anybody who carefully looks at this. but the delay of keystone x.l. is even worse given the strong and well-documented economic and environmental case for the pipeline. keystone is the sort of a project that should have been quickly and easily approved for construction. but for some committed environmentalists inside and outside the obama administration administration, commonsense and balanced consideration of the facts no longer matter. instead, to them, the simple pipeline has become a political symbol. regardless of what the science tells us. and they have directed their ample energies at throwing up
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every procedural roadblock imaginable to the approval of the pipeline. as a result, this project has endured delay after delay after delay. mr. president, over the past few years, the american people have rightly developed the impression that washington is broken. there can be no better example of the consequence of this dysfunction than the holdup of the keystone x.l. pipeline sitting in bureaucratic purgatory. when a project such as this, which is good for jobs good for families good for families' budgets, gets dogged down in the obama administration's red tape it is absolutely the responsibility of the congress to act. unfortunately for years, the senate became a place where good ideas, like approving keystone x.l. came to die where control of the calendar and the amendment process prevented the consideration of so many good bipartisan issues and ideas. not only was the administration
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administration -- the administrative process broken but the senate was also paralyzed and unable to step in and fix it. mr. president, by taking up this important bill as our first matter of consideration in this new congress, we are taking steps to restore the senate to the great legislative body it was meant to be. it is meant to be. the place where senators work across the aisle to meet the needs of the american people. by coming together to propose a commonsense solution to get back on track this project that has become such a symbol of what's wrong with washington my friends from north dakota and west virginia are demonstrating exactly the sort of thoughtful inclusive and bipartisan leadership that the american people have been demanding as they've watched this greatest deliberative body in the world become the laughingstock of the world because we haven't gotten very much done.
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we haven't gotten very much done because of the way it's been run over the last number of years. it is my sincere hope that we move quickly and desperately and deliberately to approve this measure and that we soon begin considering serious regulatory reform to prevent the sort of abuses that we have seen bedevil the keystone x.l. project. the american people deserve an efficient and effective regulatory process that works for them and it's time for the senate to deliver. having said these few words, i want to personally thank my distinguished colleagues from north dakota and my colleagues from the west virginia for the leadership that they've provided on this issue. senator hoeven is a former governor. he knows what he's talking about. he's one of the most reasonable, decent, honorable people in this body. he has shown a great willingness to work with both sides.
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he has continued to fight for this even though it's been uphill the last six years better than six years. he's continued to fight for it because it's right. it's the right thing to do. and it's in our best interest to do it and to do it now. thank you mr. president. i yield the floor. mr. hoeven: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from north dakota. mr. hoeven: i'd like to thank the distinguished senator from utah for his leadership both today on this floor but for many years. and pick up on a point that he emphasized and did so very eloquently. and he's in a unique position to comment on it and that's the importance of having this open amendment process having regular order on the senate floor, allowing senators to -- republican and democrat alike to come forward bring their ideas forward, bring their amendments forward, have this discussion and do it in an open way.
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and, you know, the whole effort here is to produce good energy legislation that will help this country move forward but also to foster bipartisanship to foster bipartisanship on this bill and other legislation so that we can get the work done that this body needs to get done on behalf of the american people. that's what this is all about. this is about getting the work done for the american people on the important issues that our country faces. and that's why this bill is s. 1. not just because it's important energy infrastructure legislation, not just because we need to have this debate on energy, not just because we need to advance legislation to help build our energy future but because it is truly an effort to get this body working in a bipartisan way on this and other important issues for the american people. and that's what the american people want. they want us to get the job done. and so again i want to thank the senator from utah for bringing
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out that important fact and discussing why it is so important that we approach legislation in that way. and i'd like to turn to my good friend the? are senator from -- friend the senior senator from the great state of arkansas, somebody who really i think has not only a good understanding of how our economy works what needs to be done somebody who has good relationships on both sides of the aisle which is so important as we try to build support for this and other legislation but somebody whose state is directly affected, mr. president by this project. and i know that you'll agree with me that it's very important on behalf of the state of arkansas that we move forward with the keystone x.l. pipeline project. i think some -- a very high percentage of the pipe that goes into this project about a 1,200-mile-long project, is
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actually manufactured and made in arkansas. so here's clear benefit for workers manufacturing industry and workers in the state of arkansas that correlates directly to this project and to this legislation. and so i'd like to turn to the senator -- the senior senator from arkansas and ask him about that and say tell us about the importance of this project in terms of what it means to the great state of arkansas. mr. boozman: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from arkansas. mr. boozman: mr. president, it is a pleasure to have the opportunity to talk about the keystone pipeline. i also want to thank the senator from north dakota for literally his tireless efforts his leadership on behalf of getting the keystone pipeline project moving. for the past six years i've urged the administration to approve the project. i've voted for legislation to speed up the pipeline construction. this pipeline makes sense for job creation and the future of our nation's energy supply. in a recent e-mail survey sent
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to more than 30,000 arkansans i asked what issues the new majority in the senate should focus on in the 114th congress. participants told me that one of their top priorities is the an all-of-the-above energy policy that addresses current and future energy needs. the senate has an opportunity to pass legislation that is a commonsense plan to improve our nation's energy supply by approving the keystone x.l. pipeline. tapping into these canadian oil sands will offer us a reliable source of energy from one of our strongest allies and trading partners. this is good news as we work to reduce our dependence on oil from regions of the world that are hostile towards our country and it's good news for arkansas. here's why. approval of the infrastructure projects means jobs. this is one reason it has the support of both parties.
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organized labor has been very vocal in support of the pipeline. unions understand that this infrastructure project will create well-paying jobs for skilled laborers and it will do so at no expense to the taxpayers. it's not only just unions, certainly businesses are supportive of the pipeline too as well as an overwhelming majority of americans. last month as the senator from north dakota alluded to, i toured the wellton tubular country, the little locks company hired to build hundreds of miles of pipeline for it is project. the company's officers estimated that 150 jobs will be created just to load the pipe on the rail cars for shipment when the project gets the green light finally. the economic impact has wide impact on arkansas. we have a company making steel
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for the pipeline and there's a strict he will-down impact -- a trickle-down impact throughout the state. a caterpillar employee wrote to me about the importance of this project to his job because of its impact to his livelihood. the keystone pipeline would be a huge boost to us, he wrote. "once not the infrastructure will provide a safe and reliable supply of energy. currently this oil is transported from canada to refineries by rail and truck. a new modern pipeline poses less risk to the environment than these current modes of transportation. the project will help maintain lower fuel prices which is good for all americans. at every hurdle, using science and commonsense this project gets the green light. last week nebraska's supreme court upheld the state's law approval a route for the pipeline through the state. time and again this project passes the test but the
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president has threatened to veto the bill. this isn't surprising considering the administration has spent more than six years analyzing this and punting a decision down the road until further studies have been conducted. the pipeline is being studied literally to death. it's ready to go. and yet the president is still looking for ways to stop it. the american people deserve this affordable energy. they deserve well-paying jobs. both can be accomplished by building the keystone pipeline. and again, i want to thank the senator from north dakota for his tireless efforts in the past six years trying to get this project off the ground, and the good news is i think we've made real progress. i yield the floor. mr. hoeven: mr. president? i'd like to thank the senator and i will point out this is
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another state that will benefit from this project. this is a state far removed from the route of the project. as i pointed out in earlier debate on this floor all of the states on the route from montana to texas have approved the project, all of them. they've all approved it. the only entity still holding up the approval of the keystone x.l. pipeline is the federal government the obama administration. all the states have approved it. those states on the route will realize tremendous benefits from the construction and the construction dollars, from the hundreds of millions of dollars that they will receive in tax revenues payment in lieu of taxes at the state and local level, they will receive tremendous benefit from this project, not to mention, of course, the benefit that the whole country receives as we become more energy independent by working with canada to truly achieve north american energy security. but here's a state arkansas, far removed from the route of the pipeline. i don't think the oil will actually go to any of the -- i don't know about refineries in arkansas. i don't think that there are
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refineries it will go to. like it will go to refineries in states like louisiana and texas and so forth. but even still even still arkansas will benefit directly from this project because they manufacture much of the pipe that goes into the project and those are good manufacturing jobs that not only benefits those workers but then you have the secondary impacts as well. so again i want to thank the senator from arkansas for coming down to the floor today and just taking a few minutes to point that out and we'll continue over the next several weeks to talk about the benefits in other states as well. again, i want to thank the good senator from arkansas. at this time even though i have floor time reserved until about 11:15 or a little more, i would like to actually stop for a minute and allow the -- the senator from washington to talk about her views on it. i know that she is not a -- of course i work with her on the energy committee. she is our ranking member. i enjoy and appreciate working with her.
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but i understand she shares different views in this case. so i would ask unanimous consent that her time for the next ten to 15 minutes that she needs not be counted against my time, that i would be willing to defer so that she could speak at this time. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. cantwell: thank you mr. president. i thank the senator from north dakota. i know we're going to be going back and forth on this issue and that we have speakers coming later this morning and we're going to have time divided but i appreciate the senator of north dakota allowing us to join in the debate this morning and make a few mountains. and i do want to say i appreciate the senator from north dakota's hard work on the energy committee in general and i look forward to working with him on many energy policies. he and i have worked together on a couple of different agricultural issues, and i certainly appreciate his due diligence. but needless to say i don't agree with the process of moving forward with this motion to proceed to the keystone pipeline
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bill. many of my colleagues here are going to be coming down, talking about the issues. two of my colleagues including the senators from utah and arkansas along with the senator of north dakota, brought up a couple of different points, but in my mind, they are talking about a 19th century energy policy in fossil fuel instead of us focusing on what should be a 21st century energy policy for our country. so it's really unfortunate that s. 1 as people are heralding it as the new congress, to me, you know i want us to be focusing on a broader energy debate in congress than what is a very narrow specific special interest measure for a pipeline that really didn't go through the proper channels of a permitting process and because of that is flawed and this
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process continues more today with people saying let's just give it more special interest attention and approve it. i believe that america should be a leader in energy policy and that our job creation is dependent upon that energy policy for the future, and we want to see america be a leader in this. i applaud the fact that the president did a deal with the chinese that u.s. and china entered into a clean energy strategy working together. we are over 60% of the energy consumption, and if the two countries work together on a clean energy strategy, i guarantee you that will be good business for the u.s. economy. in fact, i read a statistic that something like 50% of all energy is going to be consumed by the buildings in china the growth in building development and the fact that they don't have good building standards. so there is a lot to do on energy efficiency that will grow
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u.s. jobs and help us, and that's why we would rather see us focusing on some of the energy policies that we did in 2005 and 2007. those things unleashed huge opportunities for american jobs and huge opportunities for american consumers to get a better deal and not be subject to price spikes. the 2007 bill had fuel efficiency standards in it and laid the foundation for the growth in the hybrid and electric car industry and has added over 263,000 jobs in the last five years. that's the kind of smart policy we should be pursuing. we also had energy bills that made investments in clean energy tax credits something i was just talking to my colleague from utah saying we needed to move forward on the energy tax credits. if there is nothing else that we should be doing we should be doing that as s. 1 because the predictability and certainty that we would be giving to that industry would certainly unleash many jobs. so the 2005 and 2007 energy bills that we did in a
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bipartisan fashion helped foster an energy efficient economy and helped support 450,000 jobs, according to a 2011 brookings institute report. so these are examples of the types of things that we've done in the past that really have unleashed investment, really have grown jobs in the united states of america and they are important milestones in the type of clarity that congress can give to the private sector to spur growth in development. well i can guarantee you that this is just the opposite of that. this is about a special interest deal and overriding a process including the white house process and local government process that is so essential. so two examples of what we should be doing instead. as i said, the energy tax credits which have been delayed and as my colleague from oregon pointed out at the end of last year. we basically authorized them for about two more months, and that was about all the certainty we
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gave the industry. mckenzie report has said that the cost for retrofitting buildings and energy efficiency would help employ 900,000 people over the next decade, that the wind energy tax credit would employ 54,000 people, and there are other issues about modernizing our grid and new technology storage. there is also very, very important work to be done in the manufacturing sector, and that is to help unleash innovation by making sure that we set standards on improving efficiency and focusing on lightweight materials for both automobiles and aviation. we have seen huge job growth in the pacific northwest because we were able to transform aerospace into lighter weight materials and we're also working on lighter weight -- i'm sorry. more fuel-efficient airplane fuel in a biojet fuel. so all of these things mean we have to get the r&d right, we
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have to get the tax credits right and we need to help protect consumers from spiking energy prices. this is the evolution. i don't think anybody in america thinks that we're going to hold onto a 19th century fossil fuel economy forever. the question is whether congress is going to spend its time moving forward on a 21st century plan that gives the predictability and certainty to unleash that leadership and capture the opportunities in developing markets around the globe or whether we're going to hold onto the last element of fossil fuel forever and leave our constituents more at risk. but i would like to take a few minutes and talk about this process that my colleagues are trying to describe here as why we need to hurry because i can guarantee you that's what people have been trying to do all along. hurry this along for a special interest. i don't believe that that's good for the american people, and i don't think that it's good for this process. if you think about where we have been this process is about people who are trying to push a
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route through no matter what the circumstances. every state people are saying have approved this process. well i could guarantee you there is a lot of people in nebraska and a lot of people in south dakota that don't agree with that, and they are very concerned about the public interest. unfortunately, in the case of the x.l. project landowners and ranchers affected by the pipeline did not feel that they were afforded equal opportunity before the law. in their view, the process was set up to benefit a special interest the trans-canada corporation. on three separate occasions beginning in 2011, the nebraska legislature passed carveouts to circumvent the role of the public service commission to approve the keystone pipeline. if this was such a great deal, why can't it go through the normal process like in every other state of a transportation and utilities commission on siting. why do you have to take the public interest out of it? the first carveout included a
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major oil pipeline siting act of 2011. so this bill laid out the rules that the public service commission determined whether a new pipeline project was in the public interest. so in making this decision, the legislature required that the commission consider a criteria. -- eight criteria. among them, the environmental impact of water and wildlife and vegetation the economic and social impacts the alternative routes, the impacts to future development in the pipeline's proposal and the views of counties and cities. okay that all sounds great. that's what the legislature said they should consider. but the legislature also required the commission to hold public hearings and have public comments. we're still on the right track and importantly require the commission to establish a process of appealing the decision that any aggrieved party could have under the due process rights of the administrative procedures act. here's the punch line.
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tucked away in that nebraska legislation was a special interest carveout that exempted trans-canada keystone from having to comply with the public service commission process. so specifically the legislation stated -- quote -- "shall not apply to any major oil pipeline that has submitted an application to the u.s. department of state pursuant to executive order 1337 prior to the effective date of this act." end quote. there was only one company that qualified for this special interest exemption at the time of that legislation and that was trans-canada. so you got it. the legislature basically exempted them from that process even though they were stating that these are the things that you should go through so at the very time the legislature created new rules for due process on the pipeline, it exempted them from those rules. so i don't understand why trans-canada can't play by the rules, but i guarantee you
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congress doesn't have to join in and make s. 1 a special interest bill along with a congress that seems more bent on rolling back rules of dodd-frank. they should make sure everyone plays by the rules. during this same legislative session, the nebraska legislature also passed the oil pipeline route certification act. this bill provided keystone x.l. with an expedited review process by the nebraska department of environmental quality and gave them the sole authority to approve the project resting with the governor. unfortunately for the legislature and for trans-canada these carveouts quickly became irrelevant because president obama denied the application in 2012, and that in due part to the fact that congress had decided to try to intervene in the matter. that's when congress said this is important and we should go ahead and do this. and i'm going to get into more
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detail on that in a second, but this is important to understand because the initial nebraska legislation was so narrowly tailored, it was designed to benefit trans-canada pipeline and its pending date of enactment. so what happened next? the legislature went back to the drawing board and created a third new special carveout for keystone x.l. pipeline. the following -- the day following the president's denial of trans-canada's application the new bill was introduced in the nebraska legislature and yet followed another path around the existing due process afforded to citizens in that state. the legislation allowed the company to choose whether to go through a former process with the public service commission or seek expedited review with the governor. i am sure that a lot of u.s. companies would love to have that opportunity. these are people, u.s. companies, that have to pay lawyers, go through
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environmental processes make sure all the issues are addressed. i'm sure american companies would love to know that any day of the week, they could just go past a utility commission and just get the governor to stamp approval on their project. under this expedited approach, the legislature authorized the nebraska department of environmental quality to independently conduct an environmental impact report. however, unlike the due process required by the public service commission this process required only token outreach to the public. there was just one public hearing in 2012. so this special process provided no recourse for aggrieved parties. there was no formal appeals process other than the courts, there was no administrative process with the ability for shakeholdors challenge the fact as a matter of record to base their formal appeal on and these are fundamental differences between an expedited consideration of the governor's
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office and process requiring public interest determination by relevant decisionmakers at a commission. so i know my colleagues here would like to argue that somehow this has been a long, drawn-out process. this has really been a process by one company constantly circumventing the rules on the books and trying to get a special deal for approval. you have to ask yourself why. why do they want to proceed this way? well i know my colleagues always like to talk about their neighbors, my neighbors in british columbia, they're not so thrilled about tar sands pipeline activity. they're not interested in pit maybe that's they want to get the process through here in the united states. so i ask my colleagues, do you have confidence that the public interest was really taken into consideration, that you run over the interests of property rights owners on these issues, was the department of quality comprehensive? i can tell you one nebraska
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land.er described it as -- quote -- "an incomplete evaluation with the magnitude of the aquifer and now it is left in the hands of trans-canada to do their own policing" -- end quote. so another family who has been ranching there for five generations said the process left clearance with nowhere to -- landowners with nowhere to tern with concerns of erosion, or imminent domain. another owner had this to say about the process in nebraska -- quote -- "i feel it is not in the best interests of nebraska nor the nebraska to have our legislators crafting special interest legislation to meet the specific demands of an individual corporation." i couldn't agree with him more. that's exactly what we're trying to do here today. the same stakeholders in nebraska have also questioned the appearance of conflict associated with the nebraska
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department of environmental quality report. since it was prepared by a contractor who also worked for trans-canada and exxon on different joint pipeline projects. so meanwhile a majority of the state supreme court 4-7 justices last week ruled that the legislature and governor's actions were unconstitutional. the presiding officer: the senator has consumed 15 minutes. ms. cantwell: i'd ask for an additional two minutes just to wrap up. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. cantwell: i know my colleague would -- has already given me some time this morning and i certainly can come back and add more to the debate, but what i am outlining here is exactly how this process has circumvented the laws of this land and one more action by this body is exactly what this special interest company is seeking. if congress had passed and implemented this before when you
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tried to push the president of the united states into agreeing with this, this route would have been done and it would have been right through the aquifer that people are objecting to now and forced the company to then change its route. so i don't know why we're being asked to push something through when we really should allow the state department to do its job. i'll have much more to say on this process and the circumventing of public interest about the devastating spill in kalamazoo, the fact that we don't know, all we need to know about tar sands cleanup of water to talk about the fact that midwest prices could be affected by this, there are many issues so i gladly debate this with my colleagues throughout the rest of this week and mr. president, i yield the floor. mr. hoeven: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from north dakota. mr. hoeven: i'd like to resume my time for the colloquy. the presiding officer: the senator is recognized. mr. hoeven: i just want to take
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a minute to respond to couple of the points that my colleague on the energy committee just brought up in regard to both the process and also in regard to the timeline for approval of this project and then i want to turn too to my cosponsor the senator from west virginia and get some of his input on the project and now we're getting into the debate we've wanted from day one. i had the good fortune to serve as governor of the great state of north dakota and the good senator here on the floor with me from west virginia at the same time was governor of his state of west virginia. we worked together on many different issues, i'm a republican he's a democrat, and we found common ground on important issues as governors and we found common ground here and that's what this is all about. that's what we want to have happen among our colleagues so that we can get this and other important legislation addressed and passed and help our country.
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and so i just -- before i turn to my colleague from west virginia let me just touch briefly on a couple of points that the ranking member of our energy committee brought up just now. she said she opposes the project, i understand and respect her views but she talked about the length of time that the approval process takes, and what i've goit got to point out is we've been in this approval process now more than six years. more than six years. so when she talks about needing more time to get the project approved it's hard to understand how we're going to have a working functioning economy, how we're going to get the private sector to invest the billions of dollars it takes -- this project alone the largest shovel-ready project that's ready to go, just under $8 billion, $7.9 billion, and it's been held up more than six years. america got into world war ii
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and won the war in less than six years. building the hoover dam took less than six years. with if we're going to create the kind of environment where we speculate slate investment by the private sector and get our economy growing and going and get people back to work we can't hold private investment up. remember not one penny of federal money it will create jobs create hundreds of millions in tax revenue help us build our energy future, help us with national security by being energy secure, all those things and here the federal government is held it up for more than six years. how can we argue there's any kind of process there that works in any kind of realistic or commonsense way when it been held up more than six years? and specifically as regards the state of north nebraska, in 2012 i put forward legislation which we passed in this body attached to the part holiday that required -- payroll tax
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holiday. we said you have to make a decision. at that time the project had been under review four years long enough, make your national interest determination. passed it with 7 votes so the president at that time said, well no, i'm not going to make a decision on the project now because of the what he perceived to be the problem with the route in nebraska. remember, this project goes through states from montana through texas. here it is. and also remember, it's not just carrying canadian crude. it carries crude from my state of north dakota and the state of montana, light sweet bakken crude. everybody forgets this moves domestic crude as well. and my state alone produces 1.2 million barrels of oil a day and we're moving 700,000 barrels a day on trains because we can't get enough pipelines.
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so here we want to put 100,000 barrels a day into this pipeline and we've been waiting for six years, putting more and more oil on rail cars, congestion on the rails can't move our ag products and we've been held up six years. but in 2012 we passed that bill, this body passed it and the house went to the president and he turned it down said the routing wasn't just right in nebraska. there had been objection in nebraska. here you see the pipeline goes through nebraska, he said i'm not going to approve it at this point because they've got to square it away in nebraska. so in nebraska the state legislature, the elected body of the people went to work with the governor, dave heineman, a good friend of mine, and the senator from west virginia as well we served with governor dave heineman. the elected body of the people, the legislature went to work with the governor, they want through a long process they rerouted the pipeline to address any concerns regarding the ogallala aquifer and other
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concerns brought up, a long process, and approved it. every state on the route has approved the project. they've all approved it. they've had six years to do it so it wasn't like they had to hurry. but they've all approved it. yet the federal government continues to hold it up and say oh, well we have concerns. now, my esteemed colleague from washington 0 hoopoeses the project said she was concerned about the supreme court decision. remember the supreme court decision came up because after the state of nebraska approved the project then opponents challenged it. forced it into court. went to the nebraska supreme court, the nebraska supreme court found in favor of the governor and the legislature for the state of north dakota. excuse me, nebraska. for the state of nebraska. so they found in favor of the route and the state of nebraska said that that is as
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it should be. okay. so that's all been covered at great length by the elected representatives of the state of nebraska and the supreme court of nebraska. how much more does this take? furthermore, the point that my colleague was making was if we had rushed somehow this would have been a problem except if you look at the legislation we put right in the legislation in section 2 under the private property savings claws to make -- clause to make sure if there is an issue like that it's addressed in the legislation so the concerned she has addressed is in the legislation and the reason it's in there is because the good senator from montana also on the route senator tester wanted this provision in the bill. also a democrat and showing the bipartisanship of the bill, he said let's make sure we take care of that so we put language in the bill to make the concerned addressed on the floor is addressed.
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i'll read it. section 2 subsection e private property savings clause. nothing in this act alters any federal, state or local process or condition in effect on the tate of enact to secure from private property to cross border facilities described in section a. so we tried to make sure -- and fourth-hour, -- furthermore let me read judicial review. we also provide that section -- i won't read it but we provided for judicial review so if any of these issues are a concern, in addition to the language we put in to protect states' rights you also have judicial review. i don't know how much more we can do to make sure that any and all concerns she just raised in regard to the process of the individual states is protected. and, again i make the case they've all gone through great lengths to approve the
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gentlewoman and -- the project and we're the only entity blocking it after more than six years is the federal government. and one other point i'd like briefly before turning to the senator from west virginia and that is the good senator from washington talked about alternative energy sources and renewable energy sores sources and how we need to develop them and they create jobs and that's great. and this is a note on which i'll turn to my cosponsor and the distinguished senator from west virginia. we're for all of the above energy approach. but we've got to get over the idea that somehow they're mutually exclusive. because we go forward and build important infrastructure so that we can make sure that we don't have to import oil from opec or countries like venezuela or other parts of the world to ensure that we can be secure in
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energy that we can produce as much or more oil than we consume both with domestic production and canada, we need this infrastructure but that in no way precludes any development of any other source of energy. they're not mutually exclusive. so to say that we should be doing one and not the other how does that make sense? let's do them both. let's do them both. and on that note i want to turn to my colleague because he's -- ask anybody in this body particularly coming here as a governor he's somebody who not only is very bipartisan in his approach to all these issues but somebody that really has not only advocated for producing all of the above in terms of energy but somebody that's done it in his time as governor. so i'd turn to my colleague and say can't we do both, and isn't approval this part of doing it
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all? mr. manchin: i want to thank the senator from north dakota, my friend for taking the lead on this and working with him so closely. and i really am excited about the process we're in right now an open amendment process learning a lot debates a lot of good ideas come out before and when it's all said and done we should have a better piece of legislation. this is not about pipelines. if this was about an x.l. pipeline or any of the pipelines, we wouldn't have 100,000 of miles of pipelines in america already. since l industrial revolution, we have not built all the pipelines that are needed to carry all the energy that's needed to run this country. so this is not about a pipeline. this is about basically the concerns we all have about greenhouse gas emissions and the development of the oil sands in canada. nothing to do with the pipeline. and with that being said, we got to be very clear canada is going to develop the oil sands whether or not the keystone x.l.
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pipeline is built. that's a fact. and we've talked about this. the state department, our own state department in this great country of ours, the united states of america has conducted five environmental assessments of the keystone pipeline and has found -- and all of them -- that the project will not have a significant impact on the environment. now, these are the things that we have to be cognizant of. the state department also found that the pipeline is unlikely to affect the rate of extraction in canadian oil development. that means that whatever we do here is not going to change the rate of development in the oil sands. so the state department also examined alternatives to the proposed x.l. pipeline. these alternatives included what would happen if no action was taken at awvment all. let's say we do nothing and nothing comes about with this pipeline. likely the crude would be shipped either by rail or by
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tanker. and if that continued it would be considered no action if we take no action here and don't build this pipeline, for whatever reason, the greenhouse gas emissions which we're all concerned about and our debate is about that really, will be between 28% to 42% higher if we do nothing. so those people who are concerned about greenhouse gas emissions should say well, okay why do we want to contribute to more? the pipeline decreases that. and if we don't do it, we've got 28% to 42% more emissions. i've talked about this before our dependence on foreign." i've said this many times. we all are entitled to our opinions and i think you're going too hear all of our opinions in the next couple of weeks much what we're not entitled to is our own set of facts. i've said this before and i'll repeat it again and continue to
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repeat it. we buy as of the 2013 figures from the department of energy, e.i.a., we the united states of america, buy 7 million barrels of crude oil a day. whrornlgwhether you like it or not people buy it. it's what it takes for ow -- for our economy to run. 7 million barrels a day. we already buy 2.5 million barrels from canada right now. we're already dependent on canada for 2.5 million barrels a day. we also buy oil from other countries, and i think you ought to question why we're buying oil from these other countries and especially when you look at venezuela, we buy 755,000 barrels day from venezuela and they are an authoritarian regime impoverishes its citizens. they violate their human rights
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and have put down their citizens. but we're purchasing a product from them that they use the resources to continue this type of regime. the same here of 2013, we bolt 1.3 million from saudi arabia. now, i don't know about you but i'm going to question, the resources from that, are the proceeds from that oil that we've paid saudi arabia for was it used for the betterment of the united states of america? for our best interests? i have my doubts about that. we also buy over 40,000 barrels a day from russia. don't need to tell but what's going on there. i think you all know that. the keystone pipeline would allow us to more safely import oil from a stable alirks one ally, one of our better trading partners. our number-one trading partner is canada and it is the most stable regime, the best ally
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we've ever seen. the pipeline will have a final capacity of 800,000 barrels day. we can continue to produce energy in north america while stibblessing global supply as well as benefiting americans and a lice. in fact, last year one of obama's -- president obama's former national security advisors one of the president's former national security advisors retired marine general james jones told the foreign relations committee the international bullies who wish to use energy scarcity as a weapon against you all are watching intently. if we want to make mr. putin's day and strengthen his hand, we should reject the keystone. i repeat, if i would want to make mr. putin's day and strengthening his hand, we should reject this keystone
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pipeline. but if we want to gain an important mairve international energy security, jobs, tax revenue and prosperity to advance our work on a spectrum of energy solutions then don't rely on carbon, it should be approved. so you got to decide which side you're on. do you want to make mr. putin's day? or do you want to find alternatives and use all the above and be less dependent on foreign oil? in addition to our energy independence and national security interests this bill will also create thousands of jobs. i think we've talked about that. i hear the argument, well, yeah, but they're not going to be permanent. we build a lot of infrastructure a lot of roads we have a lot of good construction jobs when we're building the bridge. i don't know any permanent jobs after we build a road. but we have a lot of good construction high-paying jobs. and when you start looking at that the building and construction trade and the
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teamsters, the afl-cio all of our friends friends -- working americans, the hardworking americans support this piece of legislation. they want these jobs. our own state department says it'll create about 42,000 jobs to construct the pipeline and thousands of other related jobs, so why don't we seize the opportunity? you know, now we talked about amendments. this is an open amendment process and a lot of my colleagues a lost my democratic colleagues on my side of the aisle, have some great ideas. i'm going to work with them. i agree with my democratic friends, the company shipping oil through this pipeline should pay the excise tax to the oil spill trust fund. there's no reason they should be exempted from these payments. i'm going to work with them to put that amendment in. it is a good amendment. it'll strengthen the bill. that's what the amendment process is will about. i agree also with my colleagues on the democratic side that any
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still needed in the future on this oil project should be bought from american steel companies. that's great. let's promote more jobs in america. buy american steel. don't let them dump on us. we should be supporting american jobs. i also agree with our friends that we shouldn't export any of our oil abroad. if that oil comes to america it should be semiconductorred to the same laws as all the -- it should be subjected to the same laws as all the oil that comes to america. i would like to think this process will strengthen a piece of legislation hopefully give us 68-70 vietnams, that really gives a good piece phs legislation for the american people. we've been promised an open amendment process and i'm so thankful for that which presents a valuable opportunity to accomplish some of our democratic priorities. some of our democratic priorities that we talk about all the time on my side of the aisle. i believe the process will improve the bill and i hope that
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my colleagues will support this important piece of legislation and let's get the needed votes that we need to make sure that we move our country forward become less dependent on foreign oil and more self-sufficient and more secure as a nation. thank you mr. president. ms. cantwell: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from washington. ms. cantwell: i know we have several colleagues who want to come down here and speak on other issues this morning and then we have some members who want to join back in on this debate. but i'd like to make a few points and finish up my remarks from earlier an then yield to our colleagues. mr. hoeven: mr. president? i'd like to -- the presiding officer: the senator from north dakota. mr. hoeven: h.o.v. i'd ask the speaker to yield for a purpose of a question. i'd like to understand the time liefnlt i need about three four minutes to wrap up. i did relinquish 15 minutes for their side. so i would request three to four minutes to wrap up and then you'd certainly be willing to
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turn the floor over to them. ms. cantwell: go right ahead. mr. hoeven: thank you mr. president. this is going ton an ongoing debate. i want to thank the senator from west virginia. i'm glad we are engaging in this debate. i think we should debate all aspectsspects of it, as we are and look forward to that continued effort. i do, though, want to wrap up on a point as to the environmental impact. we talked about a number of different aspects of this pipeline project. we talked about taking great care in the approval process to address all the issues at the state level. we talked about making sure that we put provisions in the bill to respect that state process. that's been going on for more than six years and obviously now it's time -- well past time for the federal government to move forward and make its decision. but, again back to that process ... if the president continues to oppose this legislation
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which he's indicated that he has, that he would veto it because he has a process and he hasn't finished the process then he needs to demonstrate and finish the process. he indicated that he was holding out for the decision in nebraska. wlg, the decisionwell the decision in nebraska has been completed. he needs to make a decision and he needs to tell us what he is going to make that decision. if he follows his process he needs to make a decision in favor of the project because as i'm pretty sure you're going to hear from some of the opponents of the project they're saying, oh, well based on environmental issues, that's why he should turn it down. and i understand and respect their views on some of the climate change issues, and they're certainly entitled to those opinions, but based on five studies three draft environmental impact statements and two final environmental impact statements done on this project, the obama
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administration state department in those environmental impact statements found this result. as a result of this project "no significant environmental impact." and i understand that they're going to spend a the love time talking about their views on climate change. that's fine. i understand that. but there is a difference between opinion and there's a difference between the general discussion and the science of this project. that's the finding by the obama administration. we'll have more discussion on this issue. in addition to the fact that canada is working to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from oil production in their country and in the oil sands since 19 90 on a per-barrel basis they've reduced greenhouse gas emissions impiemissionsby about 28% and they're continuing to do more. so they're addressing the environmental issue by investing in technology that not only produces more energy but does it
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with better environmental stewardship. so instead of empowering that investment here we want to block it in that's not? that's not the way. the way to do it is to encourage the investment that not only produces more energy but does it with better environmental stewardship. again, i want that thank my colleague and fellow member of the energy committee for deferring so i could wrap up and i look forward to continuing this debate and discussion on this person issue and that -- on this important issue and with that i yield the floor. ms. cantwell: mr. president, i will try to wrap up my opening remarks in this debate, too and then turn it over to our colleagues. some are wanting to speak on this subject and on other matters this morning. i wanted to respond to a couple of things bases i because i know our colleagues keep thinking this is something we have to do and expedite. the reason why this project hasn't been approved to date is because they haven't followed the process and people keep
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bringing up objections to that process. along those lines i'd like to turn back to the fact that the congressional involvement in this matter during the back-and-forth with nebraska on the pipeline change when there is a sensitive area of the sandhill region. during 2008 until 2012, the u.s. state department was reviewing the trans-canada initial application for the border and this required a national interest determination by the president. it's worth reminding my colleagues that this was a process laid out by president bush. in the review of that process in their initial application the state department in 2011 announced that an alternative route through nebraska needed to be done to avoid uniquely sensitive terrain of the sandhill area. so the president in the state department said we need to go a different route. okay? what happened next? you would think that most people would stop and listen and say oh my gosh, that is concern about this aquifer.
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well that's not what happened. that's not what happened. people came to congress and said, we should get the old route approved in the disastrous aquifer that provides 30% of the groundwater for irrigation through the united states. so at the same time the state department was telling the company we've got real concerns, you should go somewhere else, the company was coming here to congress trying to push the old route through. at the same time the state department was negotiating. so i will say to my colleagues if you think you're helping this process, you're hurting it. you are trying to take away the negotiating power of the state department to make sure that the environmental and sensitivity issues are addressed here. i know my colleague who i look forward to working with on the energy committee thinks that his legislation has protected something in the area of property rights, but let me be clear. this legislation ensures that
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the status quo in nebraska under the supreme court decision last week will stand. it simply affirms that the use of eminent domain on behalf of trans-canada will be the law. and so we're not doing anything in this legislation to protect them. so jamming keystone on to the temporary payroll tax cut bill was a mistake and so is this a mistake. don't try to answer all of these questions that we think the state department should decide in our national interest. the president should have the ability to say yes or no on this. so i would like the president to answer these questions as it relates to the tar sand oil in water, only because i had a chance to ask the commandant of the coast guard a year ago about this issue because we're very concerned about the transport of tar sands out of our northwest area and the commandant at that time said we have no solution.
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no solution. when my colleague from michigan talked about the $1.2 billion they had to spend on tar sand cleanup because it sank into kalamazoo river, i think these are issues that the state department has every right to raise with the company to get answers on. just recently trans-canada has been redoing some of its pipeline in other areas because it has also found that these the holes the wells on these projects were not sufficient. so the state department is telling them we want a third party validater. no other colleagues would lient lient -- like to interrupt that by saying we know best. i ask my colleagues not to urge the urgency of a process that has been failed from the beginning, that did not allow for the public interest to be
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adequately afforded their rights that basically is stopping the people who have objections now in south dakota from getting their day in court and a day in process. so i don't understand what the hurry is. i do want to hurry on energy policy but it has much more to do with getting the tax credits clean energy incentives in place that will unleash thousands of more jobs and give predictability. that is the prerogative and the responsibility of congress to look at these tax incentives to establish economic incentives. it is not our job to site pipelines when the local process is not played out. at least don't stop the president from making sure these environmental issues are addressed. i know my colleague from massachusetts has been waiting and i know he has been a leader in the house of representatives prior to his time in the senate making sure that tar sands should pay into the oil spill
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liability trust fund and i certainly appreciate his leadership on that, and mr. president, i yield the floor. mr. markey: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from massachusetts. mr. markey: i rise to, for recognition to speak on this issue. the presiding officer: the senator is recognized. mr. markey: i thank you mr. president, very much and i thank the gentlelady from washington for her great leadership on this issue. we are having the beginning of an historic debate here on the floor of the united states senate. we're debating whether or not the dirtiest oil in the world the tar sands from canada, are going to be brought through the united states in a pipeline like a straw and brought right down to port arthur, texas to a tax-free export zone so that it can be exported out of the united states. what's in it for our country? well when you think about it, we're going to take the environmental risk, but the
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benefits flow to the canadian company. the benefits flow to the oil companies. but this whole argument that it deals with american energy independence well, that's just false. and the way in which we're going to ensure that we are protected is that we're going to bring an amendment out here on to the senate floor to debate whether or not this oil should stay in the united states. we export young men and women overseas to protect these ships coming back from the middle east with oil. why should we export the oil that is already in the united states when it can reduce our dependence? that is our challenge and we must deal with that, as well the canadians under existing law are exempt from paying a tax into an oil spill liability fund. that can no longer continue as well. that's upwards of $2 billion over ten years to deal with oil
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spills in the united states created by canadian oil and they're exempt. that is wrong. that is just plain wrong. and so this is a very important debate, but it goes right to the heart, let's admit it, of energy independence in the united states. that oil should not come to our country, go right through it and out. we have a responsibility to young men and women that we send around the world to not provide any false advertising about this oil and where it's going to go. and secondly, i want to talk a little bit about net neutrality. we're coming up to the first anniversary of the d.c. circuit court of appeals striking down the rules that the federal communications commission put on the books to protect the internet to ensure that it's open that it's entrepreneurial. network neutrality is just a fancy word for nondiscrimination.
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just a fancy word for saying that it is open, that entrepreneurs, that smaller voices have access, that they can't be blocked by communications behemoths. this is an issue that goes right to the heart of job creation in the united states of america. consider this, in 2013, 60% of all of the venture capital funds invested in the united states of america went towards internet-specific and software companies. that's all you have to know. 60% of all venture capital money. that's why four million people have registered with the federal communications commission their views that net neutrality is central to this entrepreneurial activity in our country. the f.c.c. is going to promulgate announce probably the beginning of the promulgation of new regulations
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in february. we're on the first anniversary right now of the rules having been struck down. there's nothing. so from my perspective this goes right to the heart of the new generation of companies. yes, we have google and ebay and amazon and google and youtube and all the rest of these first generation companies but there are new companies like duala and etsy that at the heart of the new generation and we have to make sure that they and others like them are not denied access. in both of these issues -- net neutrality and on the pipeline issue coming down from canada -- it's all about job creation. it's all about making sure that if america is going to get -- if america is going to take the risk america should get the benefit. and it's not going to on the pipeline issue. it is not. this is the dirtiest oil in the world. this is going to contribute to dangerous global warming. and yet the oil companies are just going to be able to sell it
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out on to the open market. and why? because the price of a barrel of oil on the open market is $17 higher than it is up in canada. you don't have to go to the business school to figure out this model. get it out and on to the open season. sell it to china. sell it to latin america. sell it to other countries around the world. that's what this is all about. that's at the heart of what this entire keystone pipeline agenda is all about. it is wrong for us to be short circuiting a process that will guarantee that the environment of our country the environment of our planet is in fact protected by the president by the process that has been put in place. and i am so glad that we're finally having this debate to make sure that we put all of the facts out on the table and i yield back the balance of my time. the presiding officer: the gentleman from georgia. a senator: i ask to be recognized for up to four minutes and followed by senator
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shaheen. the presiding officer: without objection? without objection, the senator from georgia is recognized. mr. isakson: mr. president i'm very pleased to announce today that the biennial budget proposal introduced by senators isakson and shaheen has been dropped. there are 21 cosponsors, 15 republicans, 6 democrats and 1 independent and the number is growing as we speak. senator shaheen and i started this initiative two years ago. it received 68 votes and a test vote on the budget in 2013. we believe it will receive the necessary votes to become the law of the land in the united states of america. you might ask why a biennial budget or you might ask why a $18 trillion debt? we don't have the oversight necessary of the spending we do now to keep us from wasting money. it's time we ran our country like you run your home. it's time we held our agencies accountable. it's time our appropriations weren't just idle promises but our oversight was the rule of law in the united states senate. mr. president, 20 states in the united states out of 50 have
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biennial budgets. countries around the world have biennial budgets. this congress three years ago under the threat of a shutdown did a biennial budget to ensure we wouldn't have a break in funding if the government broke down. predictability in funding but the oversight is more critical. picture this, mr. president. you get elected in an even-number year, the year 2014. your first order of business in 2015 is to pass a two-year appropriations act and a two-year budget. then in the even numbered year that comes up when you're running for reelection, your job is not spending. your job is oversight. wouldn't it be nice instead of going home and promising you're bringing home the bacon to get reelected, instead you're bringing home the savings? biennial budget is an idea whose time has come and it's the only way we're going to be able to measureably and sustainably reduce deficits and reduce the debt of the united states of america and hold our spending more accountable. just last night on the floor of the united states house of
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representatives the clay bill was passed on suicide prevention a new program in the v.a. and the funding mechanism was existing funds and if you think -- fun ibility. we know we can pay for new ideas if we charge them to find them. some of the things we've been been funding problg don't need to be -- probably don't need to be done anymore. the way to do it is to do it the way the american taxpayers do back home. sit around the kitchen table set their priorities, make their funding predictable and from time to time go back and look at where they're spending the money and see if they can't improve it. senator had a sheen is a form -- senator shah sheen former governor from new hampshire. i'd like to yield to her describe her is expirp of -- her to describe her cosponsorship of this bill.
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mrs. shaheen: thank you. we reintroduce the biannual budgeting and appropriations act. i want to start by recognizing the good work of senator eye son because he started -- isakson because he started working on this issue in 2005 and he introduced this legislation in every congress since then. i've been pleased to be able to join him in the last two congresses and i think we really have an opportunity in this congress to pass this commonsense bipartisan reform. as he pointed out, there is no question that the budget process in washington is broken. since 1980 there have been only two budgets that have been finished on time, according to the process. in that time frame congress has resorted to more than 150 short-term funding bills or continuing resolutions. we all remember what it was like when the government shut down in october of 2013. it cost the economy $24 billion. it hurt small businesses. it hurt people across this
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country. that is no way to govern. and while we have made significant progress to reduce deficits in recent years we need a new way of doing business in washington. biannual budgeting won't fix everything but as senator isakson said it is an important reform that will allow us to work across the aisle to be better stewards of taxpayer dollars. and we know that biennial budgeting works. i can attest to that very personally coming from the state of new hampshire where we have a biennial budget, i served three terms as governor. we were able in each of those to pass a budget that was balanced, that allowed us to get the budget done in the first year of the election cycle and in the second year to be able to have oversight. it worked in new hampshire. it works in 20 states around the country. and it can work in washington. biennial budgeting offers a
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better process that encourages us to work together to pass budgets on time and to use taxpayer dollars more efficiently. as senator isakson says, in the first year congress and federal agencies would put together a two-year budget and the second year congress would have time to conduct oversight to give agencies the ability to focus on achieving their missions. you know, as we all know, there are regular reports from the government accountability office g.a.o., that identify areas of waste of fraud of duplicative programs within government. for example they've identified ways to reform the farm programs to cut down on inefficiencies in defense to reduce fraud in health programs. but the current budget process doesn't really provide an effective mechanism to regularly review g.a.o.'s recommendations. returned by biennial budgeting, we would be able on to take a close
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look at those suggestions to implement savings in the second year to figure out how we can more effectively provide programs to the american people and eliminate those that don't work and support those that do. as we've said, in 2013, we had a very strong vote with 68 senators voting to endorse the concept of biennial budgeting. it was a very strong bipartisan vote. a similar biennial budget bill passed the house budget committee last year with a bipartisan vote. so it's clear that momentum is growing for this concept because people understand we've got to do something to reform our budget process. the bill that we're producing today has 22 bipartisan cosponsors. i'm -- i know that we're both working to get more bipartisan sponsors on the bill and we think we have a great shot with support from this body, to pass biennial budgeting. we think there is support in the house to do that and i look forward to working with senator isakson and my colleagues here
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in the senate to get this done. thank you mr. president. mr. isakson: mr. president, i thank the support for her support and urge other members of the united states senate to join us in this reform effort of the spending of the taxpayers' dollars. and i yield back. mr. grassley: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from iowa. mr. grassley: before i speak, i have two unanimous consent requests. number one that senator whitehouse be allowed to follow me. and, number two that my remarks will not break up the debate on the pipeline bill. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. grassley: mr. president i rise to speak about the issue of e.p.a. regulation of waters u.s. rule. i see it as one of the biggest power grabs by an agency in a long time, particularly e.p.a. and before i speak to that issue, i want to bring attention to some headlines that appear
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both in iowa and nationally on this issue. i would quote the wall "wall street journal." quote -- "watch out. the puddle" -- let me start over again. quote -- "watch out for the puddle. soon it could be federally regulated." from the iowa farm bureau spokesman -- "water rule is really about control of land." another farm bureau spokesman headline later on, "water rule intrudes on property rights hurts conservation." farm bureau spokesman -- quote -- "e.p.a. proposal would regulate all water wherever it flows." farm bureau spokesman -- "water rule threatens u.s. agriculture." and the last one i would quote would be from the same farm bureau spokesman -- "rule a threat to conservation momentum. a flood of red tape."
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last spring the e.p.a. and the army corps of engineers published a proposed rule to define -- quote -- "waters of the united states." this is part of a long history of attempts to determine the scope of federal government's jurisdiction under the clean water act. the latest proposal has generated no shortage of rhetoric from those concerned about the rule as well as those defending the rule. however, you would be hard-pressed to call it a true debate. rather than making a serious attempt to address the numerous legitimate concerns with the rule the environmental protection agency and their allies in the professional advocacy community have attempted to push a narrative that tries to portray critics of the rule as misinformed nutty
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or in favor of water pollution. they the advocacy community claim that the rule simply clarifies the jurisdiction of federal agencies and they also claim it doesn't expand that jurisdiction any. the e.p.a. also promises that it won't interfere with farmers' routine use of their own land. now, given its history of ignorance and indifference towards the needs of rural america it's no wonder that e.p.a.'s assurances are met with skepticism by many in america but particularly america's farmers. the e.p.a. will have another chance to consider the concerns of farmers and many other americans as it reviews the
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formal comments that it collected before issuing the final rule. still, given the fact that e.p.a. officials starting with administrator mccarthy went out of their way to be dismissive of legitimate criticisms even while the comment period was still open i'm not going to hold my breath hoping for a change of heart on the part of e.p.a. first, it is important to understand that this debate is not about whether we should have clean water protections but which level of government is in the best position under our laws and the intent of those laws to manage which bodies on of water. despite what some interest groups would have you believe no one is arguing that farmers or anybody else should be allowed to dump pollutants in the waterways. there is also no question that
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there is a very important role for the federal clean water act to protect interstate bodies of water. however, the clean water act itself clearly states -- and i have a long quote -- "it is the policy of congress to recognize preserve and protect the primary responsibilities and rights of states to prevent reduce and eliminate pollution to plan the development and use including restoration preservation and enhancement of land water resources and to consult with administrator in the exercise of his authority under this chapter." that's in the law right now and has been there a long time. the complicated federal clean water permitting process is appropriate if a factory is
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looking to discharge waste into a river but does it make it -- but does it make sense to require a farmer to apply for a federal permit to build a fence on his own land? there is clearly a limit to where federal regulation is appropriate, where federal regulation is effective and where federal regulation is legal. in fact, expanding the cumbersome federal permitting process to cover lands that it was not designed for would actually be counterproductive in my state of iowa and probably a lot of other states. forcing farmers to file for a federal permit would add significant red tape for iowa farmers as they make routine decisions about how best to use their land.
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that ironically, could delay or deter farmers from undertaking projects to improve water quality. and referring to some of those stories that i quoted headlines there was one story that very specifically said that farmers in iowa were willing to spend a lot of their own money to do some conservation practices that everybody would be very happy with but they're not going to spend their own money because they can't even get an answer from the corps and the e.p.a. of whether they even need a permit. and they're not going to pursue their conservation practices and invest all that money if they could be violating some law. so you can see why we're very upset because e.p.a. under existing law can't even tell a farmer whether they need a permit and they want to assume a lot more responsibility.
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it's kind of ridiculous concerning the fact that they can't do their job right now. having to constantly apply for federal permits just to farm their land would be unnecessarily burdensome to farmers, a waste of federal resources and an intrusion on state and local land use regulations. but what about the e.p.a.'s assertion that its proposed rule simply clarifies its existing jurisdiction and restores it to what it used to be? the fact is that e.p.a. has attempted in the past to claim nearly unlimited jurisdiction, well beyond what the law says and well beyond even an expensive reading of the federal government's constitutional authority to regulate interstate commerce. however, those attempts were repeatedly struck down by our u.s. supreme court.
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those court decisions in 2001 and 2006 made very clear that the federal government does not have unlimited authority over all bodies of water but left the precise division between federal, state and local jurisdictions somewhat unclear. so in response, the u.s. corps of engineers and the e.p.a. issued guidance december 2008 in an attempt to comply with the supreme court's ruling but did not engage in any formal rule making. significant legislation was routinely proposed in congress by those who wanted to push aside the supreme court rulings and give the e.p.a. unlimited jurisdiction but it never garnered enough support. while legislation would not have resolved the constitutional limitations to e.p.a.'s authority, it is important to
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note that congress passed on several opportunities to amend the clean water act to expand federal jurisdiction. nevertheless, in april 2011, the obama administration proposed to replace the existing guidance with revised guidance that provided a very expansive reading of federal authority leaving very little land under state and local control. this unilateral reassertion of expansive authority in defiance of two -- of the other two branches of government was made even more egregious by being proposed through guidance outside of the formal rule-making process. unfortunately the outcry from the public and congress against this power grab caused the administration to scrap guidance and pursue formal rule with
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public comment. i do believe that we need clarity about what is and is not covered by the clean water act and particularly its permitting process, and that a formal rule with public comment is the best route. however, the proposed rule that was formerly published in april of 2014 once again asserted that extremely expansive view of federal authority. this would increase the federal government's jurisdiction to regulate waters that had previously been the sole jurisdiction of states and local governments. moreover, rather than clarifying points of uncertainty remaining from the original guidance, court decisions and precedence, the proposed rule would create a whole new definition of waters of the u.s. that opens up new areas of uncertainty and confusion.so rather than fixing the problem this rule would make it much worse.
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it would lead to another round of court cases and overwhelm the federal agencies with requests for jurisdictional determinations diverting scarce federal resources away from enforcement in more critical areas. the e.p.a. and the corps then should withdraw the proposed rule and work collaboratively with the states and other stakeholders to craft a sensible rule that will ensure clean water and provide much-needed clarity about the scope of the federal clean water act jurisdiction. i yield the floor. mr. whitehouse: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from rhode island. mr. whitehouse: mr. president may i ask unanimous consent that joseph micott, who is an american association for the advancement of science fellow in my office, be granted floor
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privileges for the remainder of this congress. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. whitehouse: thank you. mr. president, with all of the issues that our country faces here we are debating a canadian pipeline. what are we doing here? a new majority has taken over the senate, and their first bill their opening gambit, is the keystone pipeline. what is going on? is it about jobs? there has been an awful lot of talk about jobs in the last few days but this opening gambit both obviously and demonstrably, has nothing to do with jobs. if this were about jobs, bring up instead the shaheen-portman energy efficiency bill, the bipartisan bill that the republicans spiked last year.
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that bill has been estimated to produce nearly 200,000 jobs, more than quadruple the 42,000 jobs supported by the construction of the pipeline. if this were about jobs, bring up the highway bill which came out of e.p.w. unanimously last year. that bill was estimated to support three million jobs a year. 70 7-0, 70 times the number of jobs from keystone. 42,000 is a pittance compared to that. right now the economy is adding over 70,000 jobs every week. in the three weeks that we will argue about this bill, we'll add five times as many jobs as it provides. we match keystone in just four average days of job growth, and
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yet we're going to spend three weeks on this? if this were really about jobs, bring up an infrastructure bill, the kind our republican friends have relentlessly stymied when they were in the minority. set up an infrastructure fund. god knows wherever you look, american infrastructure is crumbling. schools, airports, trains, water, health information infrastructure smart grids broadband, all are yearning for activity. we could do really big things on jobs. you get 13,000 jobs on average for every billion dollars spent on infrastructure, and we need the infrastructure, but instead we're doing this. so it's definitely not about jobs. is it about the merits of the pipeline? hardly. with oil prices at $50 per
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barrel it's not even clear the pipeline is viable. the state department calculated that crude oil prices below $75 per barrel would limit development of tar sands crude. according to a recent report from the canadian energy research institute due to a steep increase in production costs, new tar sands projects require crude prices of at least $85 per barrel to break even. well we're around $50 per barrel. and the u.s. energy information agency predicts that crude oil prices will average below $65 well into twist. shell oil total and state oil have all canceled or postponed major tar sands expansion projects. southern pacific resources has nearly gone broke transporting
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heavy crude to the gulf by rail. the canexos terminal in alberta has run far below capacity, has been plagued by logistical problems has been full of problems with contractors, has been put up for sale. at $50 per barrel, this pipeline could already be a zombie pipeline dead man walking. moreover mr. president keystone x.l. would be an environmental disaster, notwithstanding the talking points to the contrary. the fact are otherwise. as a source of carbon pollution alone, it will produce the equivalent of as many as six million added cars on our roads for 50 years. that's enough added carbon pollution to erase 70% of the carbon reductions from the recent motor vehicle emission standards that the automobile companies agreed to.
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and the cost of that carbon pollution adds up. using official united states estimates of the social cost of carbon the economic damage of the emissions from the keystone pipeline will amount to $128 billion in harm over the lifetime of the project. these are enormous costs ones we will pay as parched farmland, as harms to our health, as flooded businesses and homes. so it's not really about jobs and it's not really about the merits of this pipeline. unfortunately, it's not even a venue, an opening for a serious discussion about climate change. for a conversation about what carbon pollution is doing to our atmosphere and oceans. in all of last week's
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conversation about the keystone pipeline tar sands bill, the republican mentions of climate change numbered exactly one and that was only when chairman murkowski summarized testimony submitted to her energy committee by an opponent of the pipeline. she used the term describing the witness testimony. one reference to a democratic witness' committee testimony that's it. zero serious witness conversation. we are long past time for a serious bipartisan conversation about carbon pollution and climate change. what a great thing it would be if part of the new majority's new responsibility was just to take an honest look at those issues. but for sure, this ain't that. republicans remain politically
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incapable of addressing climate change. forget addressing climate change. republicans remain politically incapable of even discussing it. so it's not jobs, it's not the merits of the pipeline it's not an opening on carbon pollution and climate change, and the president has already told us he's going to veto this bill. so what the heck are we doing here? i'll tell you what i think we're doing here, and i think the facts support this conclusion. but first what you have to understand to understand what's going on here is that the republican party has become the political wing of the fossil fuel industry. there has always been a trend of this within the republican party, but since the republican appointees on the supreme court gave the fossil industry --
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fossil fuel industry the great fat, juicy gift of its citizens united decision, fossil fuel industry control over the republican party in congress has become near absolute. the fossil fuel industry spent nearly 3/4 of a billion dollars over the last two years on lobbying and direct and third-party campaign contributions, according to the center for american progress, and that's just what's reported. that doesn't even count the anonymous dark money that is preferred by many special interest donors. and it certainly doesn't include the pungent fact that even if a print never spends the money just quiet private back room threats of attack ads can
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influence political behavior. we can argue this point more on another day. i have talked about it frequently and i think i have made the case pretty convincingly in other time to wake up speeches, that the evidence points to this as the president's state -- as the present state of affairs within the republican party. so for purposes of this discussion take it as my premise anyway that the republican party in congress is now effectively the political wing of the fossil fuel industry. that premise clarifies what's happening here. the fossil fuel industry has a shiny new republican senate majority and it wants to take it out for a spin. it wants to take its new republican-controlled congress out for a spin. that is what this keystone opening gambit is all about.
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this is somewhere between performance art a show of obedience and a show of force. well fine. take us out for a spin. have your fun. but the laws of nature that turn carbon pollution into climate change and into ocean acidification aren't going away. god laid down those laws, and they are not subject to repeal by man. ignore them all you want, worship at the altar of the fossil fuel all you want, but this will be a price to pay for this negligence and inaction. it is truly time for this body to wake up.
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i yield the floor. i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from new jersey. mr. menendez: mr. president i ask that the quorum call be lifted. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. menendez: mr. president i rise to say that nothing has changed in cuba since cuban arms were captured on this north korean ship going through the
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panama canal a year and a half ago, just after the obama administration started its secret negotiations with the cuban government. not the regime, not its mind set nor its oppression of its people. now, this is the essence of the regime. they put this missile systems and migs in a container ship going through the panama canal hid it under tons of sugar in violation of u.s. security council resolutions. the most significant violation of security council ruling as it relates to north korea in quite some time and certainly the biggest violator in all of the western hemisphere p. we could
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not trust the castro regime then and we cannot trust it now. what we can trust are the voices of those who promote human rights and democracy who have been arrested and rearrested time and time again year after year for demanding nothing more than their ability to speak their minds freely, openly, and without fear. voices like bertha solel a leader of the ladies in white. the ladies in white are a group of women who each sunday travel to mass dressed in white normally holding a gladioli peacefully. these are women whose husbands or sons languish in castro's jails simply because of their political views. simply because of their
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political views. and as they march to church, they are savagely beaten by state security. bertha soler the leader of the ladies in white said "sadly, president obama made the wrong decision. the freedom and democracy of the cuban people will not be achieved through these benefits that he's giving, not to the cuban people but to the cuban government. the cuban government will only take advantage to strengthen its repressive machinery to repress civil society its people and remain in power. or the voice of yoani sanchez a prominent cuban blogger and independent journalist who said "alan gross was not arrested for what he did but for what could be gained from his arrest.
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he was simply bait and they were aware of it from the beginning." castroism has won although a positive rule is that alan gross has left alive the prison that threatened to become his tomb. or the voice of rosa maria paya the daughter of oswaldo paya who was killed killed in what the regime calls an automobile accident, what many of us call an assassination. his whole effort was under the existing cuban constitution to petition his government under that constitution for changes in the government of which he amassed thousands of signatures of average cubans across the island and the regime saw that
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as such a threat that he was run off the road and sadly killed. his daughter rosa maria paya said the cuban people are being ignored in this secret conversation in this secret agreement that we learned today. the reality of my country is that there is just one party with all the control and with the state security controlling the whole society. if this doesn't change, there's no real change in cuba, not even with access to internet, not even when cuban people can travel more than two years ago not even that it is a sign of the end of the totalitarianism in my country." or another voice. the voice of sack aratify prizewinner guillermo farinas who said "alan gross was used as
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a tool by the castro regime to coerce the united states. obama was not considerate of cuban citizens and of the civil society that is facing this tyrannical regime. in miami obama promised that he would consult cuban measures with civil society and the nonviolent opposition. obviously this didn't happen. that is a fact, a reality. he didn't consider cuba's democrats, the betrayal of cuba's democrats had have been consummated." as you can see farinas is in the midst of being arrested by state security simply for a peaceful protest. or the powerful voice of the husband of bertha soler, angel moya a former political prison of the black spring in 2003 when
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fidel castro imprisoned 57 including librarians. he said the castro -- the obama administration has ceded. nothing has changed. the jails remain filled. the government represents only one family. repression continues civil society is not recognized and we have no right to assemble or protest. the measures that the government of the united states have implemented today to ease the embargo will in no way benefit the cuban people. the steps taken will strengthen the castro regime's repression against human rights activists and increase its resources so the security forces can keep harassing and repressing civil society. now, these are the voices of those who languish inside of the belly of the beast. these are the voices not of this
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row manneddic -- romantic image some have of companies tree cuba but the harsh reality. people simply to be able to promote the basic freedoms we enjoy here in the united states and most people in the western world are constantly thrown into jail for long periods of time beaten and oppressed. these are the voices of freedom inside of cuba. these are the men and women who have been arrested and suffered under the oppressive hand of the cuban regime for their belief in the right of all cubans to be free. these are the people who know that nothing nothing, has changed and the regime after reaping the benefits of what in my view is a bad deal is still arresting peaceful protesters, including more than 50 at the end of december.
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as a matter of fact, on new year's eve when most of us were celebrating the advent of the new year, there was an effort inside of cuba a series of human rights activists and political democracy activists were going to hold in revolution square a one-minute the country for any cuban who wanted to come forth and talk about what they aspired as to their freedoms, what the did they aspire for the cuba of tomorrow to be. and it was going to be a peaceful demonstration and an exposition of the hopes and dreams and aspirations of cuba's political dissidencey and human rights activists inside of their country. that peaceful effort dozens of human rights activists and dissidents including the organizers were arrested before they ever got to the event and the event was totally
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suppressed. weeks after the administration's deal with the castro regime, even then the simple act of speaking for one minute about what your views would be of the future were repressed. so let me say while i welcome the news that cuba has released 53 political prisoners and that the administration has finally shared the list of names it negotiated with the castro regime this entire process has been shrouded in secrecy. reuters reports that the administration officials said the list was created in june or july but some of the 53 were released well before june, before the list was supposedly put together. as a matter of fact, 14 to be exact were released six to eight months before the december 17 announcement and one was released over a year ago.
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so clearly the list that supposed toly was put together -- supposedly was put -- supposedly was put together by the regime could not take credit for those released well before the list was put together. many had simply finished their unjust prison terms. clearly, keeping the list secret provided the regime the flexibility to define mission accomplished. well the fact is the release of 53 political prisoners doesn't mean that there are no longer political prisoners inside of cuba. human rights groups had stated prior to the president's speech in december that there were over 100 long-term political prisoners in the country and there were 8 -- 8,900 8,889 political detentions in cuba last year, an appalling number.
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8,889. in short while 53 political prisoners have been let out of jail the same corrupt jailer is still ruling the country. the companies retros have a long history. i've followed this not only all of my career, 23 years in the congress but even before that, they have a long history of rearresting these political and human rights activists whom they previously released. mr. president, how much time do i have? the presiding officer: there is one minute remaining under democratic control. mr. menendez: i ask unanimous consent to be able to continue for about ten minutes. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. mr. menendez: thank you mr. president. the fact is as someone who has -- someone who has spoken out time and again on the
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repression of the cuban people under the castro regime, someone whose family has suffered the consequences, i believe the agreement the administration has reached with the castro regime is one-sided and misguided. it fails to understand the nature of the regime that has exerted its authoritarian control over the cuban people for over 55 years. now, no one wishes that the reality in cuba was more different than the cuban people and cuban americans that have fled the island in search of freedom. in december, the same month that the president announced changes to u.s. policies the cuban commission for national rights and reconciliation, a group that works within cuba, documented 489 political arrests, bringing the total number of political arrests during the first 11 months of 2014 to nearly 8,900. this is a regime that imprisoned an american citizen for five
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years for distributing communications equipment on the island. releasing political prisoners today in cuba is meaningless if tomorrow these individuals can be arrested again and denied the right to peacefully pursue change their own country. mr. president, it's a fallacy that cuba will change just because an american president believes that if he extends his hand in peace that the castro brothers will suddenly unclench their fizz. -- fists. as you've seen from the quotes i've read, a majority of the democracy activists on the island many whom i have met with in the past have been explicit they want the u.s. to become open to cuba only to open and when there is a reciprocal movement by the castro government. they understand the companies retros will not accede to change in any other way and in my view and in theirs the united states has thrown the cuban regime an
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economic lifeline. with the collapse of the veenas valleyian economy they are losing their been factor. this is a reward that the totalitarian regime tass does not deserve. it is a reward at the end of the day perpetuates the regime's decades of repression. the regulatory changes the regime has won which are clearly intended to circumvent the intent and spirit of u.s. law and the u.s. congress present a false narrative about cuba that suggests that the united states and not the regime is responsible for its economic failure. so let's be clear. cuba's economic struggles are 100% attributable to a half century of failed political and economic experiments that have suffocated cubans' entrepreneurs. in cuba, private businesses controlled by the cuban government. most significant the military with the benefits flowing
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directly to the regime's political and military leadership. cuba has the same political -- has had the same political and economic relations with most of the world but companies choose not to engage because of political, economic, an even criminal risks associated with investment on the island as exhibited by the arbitrary arrests of several foreign investors from canada, england and panama in just recent years. also to suggest that cuba should be taken off the list of state sponsors of terrorism is alarming. while cuba harbors american fujitives like joan a cop killer murdering a new jersey state trooper. she is not the oalt one who is a cop killer inside of cuba. -- from the united states. and despite cuba's colluding with north korea as i showed before to smuggle jets, missile
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batteries and arms to the panama canal and for giving refuge to members of the farc from colombia and members of etta from spain groups that the state department recognizes as foreign terrorism organizations. the with respect to the president's decision to attend the summit of the americas, i'm extraordinarily disappointed that we intend to violate our own principles laid down in the inter-american democratic charter of 2001 on the summit being a forum for the member is sphere's -- for the hemisphere's democratically elected leaders. this action dis-avows the charter and it sends a global message about the low priority we place on democracy and respect for human and civil rights. so in this new congress i urge my distinguished colleague the now-chairman of the senate foreign relations committee senator corker, to hold hearings
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on this dramatic and mistaken change of policy. and i'll keep coming to this floor to address at length all of the issues i've raised. and i'll come to this floor again and again to expose one of the most oppressive repressive, and undemocratic regimes in the world. to those of my colleagues who herald this agreement and for those in the press who still live with the mistaken romanticism of the castros' revolution and who speak out about human rights abuses and democratic movements all over the world it's so hypocritical to be so silent, a deafening silence, when it comes to the democratic and human rights movements inside of cuba. i've listened to many eloquent speeches of my colleagues about human rights violations and democracy movements in many parts of the world but on cuba
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the silence is deafening. this doesn't end here. it does not end today with one speech and it surely will not end until the people of cuba are truly free. with that, mr. president i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president i ask unanimous consent to speak for 15 minutes. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection the senator from oregon is recognized. mr. merkley: i rise today to address senate bill 1, which would approve construction of the keystone x.l. pipeline to transport tar sand heavy oil from canada to the gulf coast. the key consideration is whether this bill, by authorizing the pipeline would contribute significantly to global warming which is already damaging our
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rural resources and our future economic prospects the profound consequences for families in america and around the world. also are there better ways to create jobs that would enhance rather than damage our economy? in the words of president theodore roosevelt of all the questions that can come before this nation short of the actual preservation of its existence in a great war, there is none which compares in importance with the great central task of leaving this land even a better land for our de-seine dafntses than it is for us -- for our decendants than it is for us. let's start by examining the impact of the keystone pipeline on atmospheric carbon dioxide pollution and global warming. this chart displays the variations in carbon dioxide that have occurred over time, in
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fact through the last 800,000 years. we can see the carbon dioxide levels have gone up and down within a modest range until modern times and the industrial revolution. at that point whether they continue to oscillate as they have in the past, we see steady upward progress into a realm not unseen -- or not seen within these last 800,000 years. this is the impact simply of humankind pulling up a lot of fossil fuel out of the ground and burning it, whether it comes in the form of coal or it comes in the form of oil or it comes in the form of gas. now, let's take a look and see how the temperature of the planet has corresponded to levels of imongdz. -- of carbon dioxide. and what we find going back in time is a very strong
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correlation with the carbon dioxide in red and the temperature change in blue, very close correlation between carbon dioxide around our planet and the temperature of the planet. well this makes enormous sense since any high school student can establish in a will will laboratory that carbon dioxide has thermal properties in trapping heat. and if less heat radiates from the earth the earth warms. well this certainly bears upon our stewardship of this planet. but many estimates to contain global warming to 2% celsius -- that's justhat's just 3.9% fahrenheit -- human society must convention rapid a way from conventional fossil fuels and toward the use of nonfossil fuel energy. this is a challenge presented it by this circumstance in our
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stewardship to human civilization on this planet. but are we up to the task? do we have the political will to undertake responsible stewardship of our beautiful blue green earth? that is the test that stands before this body, this u.s. senate at this very moment. building the keystone pipeline, which opens the faucet to rapid exploitation of massive new unconventional fossil reserves, the tar sands takes us in the exact opposite direction from where we need to go. it locks us into the dirtiest fossil fuels on the planet for a generation. it accelerates human civilization down the road to catastrophic climate change. that is why building the keystone pipeline is a mistake. and there is a lot at stake.
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global warming is not some imagineimaginary concept based on computer models for something that might happen 50 to 150 years from now -- to 100 years from now. global warming is not only present right now but it's already making vast changes in state after state and nation after nation. the warmest ten years on record for global average surface temperature have occurred in the last 12 years. let me repeat that. the warmest ten years on record for global average surface temperature have occurred in the last 12 years. that's pretty powerful evidence that something dramatic is occurring. and the effects can be seen in every state. the average forest fire season in the u.s. is getting longer. since the 1980's, the season has
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grown by by 60 to 80 days. that's two to three months of additional fire sigh son. the average -- fire season. the average acreage consumed by fires has grown yearly. global warming through the combined impact of kind beetle infestation and more severe forest fires will decimate the western forests of the united states by the end of this century. that is not the only impact that we're seeing. in addition, the snowpack in our mountains, in our cascade mountains, is decreasing decreasing which means smaller and warmer trout strearnlings not good for fishing and it means less water for irrigation, not good for farming. the klamath basin a major basin in oregon, has suffered through many dry years and three
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horrific droughts just since 2001. in substantial part because of the lower snow packs. this chart which shows washington state oregon, idaho montana shows the area and the intensity of the decrease in the snowpack. well the decrease are circles in red and the increases in the snowpack are circles in blue. as you can see the decreasing snowpacks vastly, vastly outweigh the occasional spots where there have been reported increases. this translates to the type of drought we've been seeing in the klamath basin in this area in southern oregon, and the droughts we've seen in northern california a very, very significant impact on agriculture. so when some critic on this floor, some climate denier who chooses to ignore all the facts
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on the ground and say there's no impact no harm, well, they simply are putting forth a myth designed to serve the oil fossil fuel, coal industry in order to advance that powerful special interest. wcialtion i have a special interest. that expression interestthat special interest is the people of oregon who are being impacted by the longerrer forest fires, being impacted by the droughts. i have a special interest. it's called planet earth. and that trumps the koch brothers that trumps the coal industry that trumps the oil industry. and there are other impacts that we're seeing. and one is the impact on our oceans. as the high levels of carbon dioxide in the air interact through wave action with the ocean, the ocean absorbs some of
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that carbon dioxide and as it absorbs that carbon dioxide that carbon dioxide becomes carbonic acid. here we see some charts from hawaii. in the purple here we have the change in atmospheric carbon dioxide over a 50-year period. then we have measurements of carbon dioxide in blue in the water, and then we have the measurements over that same period of the ph or acidic content of the oceans. what we're seeing is, as the ph level drops that means that the oceans are more acidic. now, what happens when the oceans are more acidic? well it affects the reefs for one. coral reefs are vincennesive to this. -- coral reefs are vincennesive to this.
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one scientist from oregon state university who studies coral reefs around the world came here to d.c. and presented slides from his studies. he said, these are my babies and my babies are dying. and those coral reefs are at the base of the food chain for a significant amount of sea life that is harvested for human succumb shong. phut dumpily fishing families around the world often depend on the coral reefs to the their live i hadhood. off the pacific coast we're seeing a big impact on oysters. the whiskey creek shellfish hatchery in or started having trouble in 2008 with its baby oysters. i visited that hatchery three months ago. here r.to hear their story about what they had faced.
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at first i thought maybe this problem is from a bacteria. maybe this problem is from a virus. maybe this is from something else. and they brought in oregon state university to do research and they figured out that it was in fact the u.a.e. the acidity of the water. why? the acidity doesn't happen in just one place. it's happening broadly across the world. the oysters, they are having trouble fixing their shell because of the high acidity in the water. well then what else is going on? the oyster -- here are some headlines related to the oiforts. oysters. up in washington state the seattle times reports "oysters dying as coast is hit hard." in fact, i was looking through chance a month or two a it was the governor of washington over a hatchery on the koafort coast of washington just like visited the whiskey creek hatchery in
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oregon. same story. oysters are dying. why? because of the acidity of the water. a headline from the los angeles time "oceans rising acidity a threat to shellfish and to humans." and in oregon, "researchers scramble to deal with dying northwest oiforts." -- oysters." so for my colleagues who want to wreak this kind of harm to our farms and to our fisheries and to our forests, how about you figure out from the folks of your state how to pay for the damage being done in my state to our forests and our fishing and our farming. how about you figure out how to pay for the damage being done throughout the united states and throughout the planet, the damage being done. you want to unleash the dirtiest oil in the world from the tar sands and increase this damage,
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tell me how you're going to compensate those who are injured across this nation and across the world. i hear a lot of comments about responsibility. i hear a lot of comments from my colleagues across the aisle about accountability. put your actions where your statements are and show us some accountability for the damage you're wreaking by approving this pipeline, by voting for this pipeline. mr. president, does this bill before us, which would open the faucet on a massive new reserve of fossil fuels advance the stewardship of the planet? does it advance our rural economy? clearly the answer is no. stewardship, accountability, responsibility would insist that we not open this faucet to
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further damage of the kind we are seeing right now that we not unlock the tar sands. but proponents of the pipeline say wait, we have some arguments on our side. let's examine those arguments. first they say this will create 4,000 construction jobs. well let's take a look at this. this is a chart that shows the keystone roughly 4,000 construction jobs. that represents this little, tiny line at the bottom, if you can even see it. let's talk about the rebuild america act that colleagues across the aisle filibustered in order to kill it, even though it was revenue neutral. that's how many jobs rebuild america act creates. let's talk about a jobs bill.
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let's substitute the rebuild america act for the keystone act. let's have a real jobs bill, a real stimulus bill, a bill that would put people to work in construction across this nation in a way more intense fashion than would the keystone bill. proponents have a second argument. they say bringing this additional oil from canada down to the gulf of mexico will increase our national security because all that oil will get refined and utilized in the united states. now my colleagues are a little confused about this. they haven't thought about why it is canada wants to ship it to a gulfport so that it can have access to world markets so it can get the world market price that refineries on the gulf coast are largely fully occupied
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right now. you can export to our countries and refineries that are in short supply. that's profitable to canada, but that doesn't mean the oil gets used in the united states. they say wait, some of it might get refined and utilized in the u.s. system. well let's acknowledge that some of it might get refined albeit it's clear why the oil is being shipped to the gulf coast. because it is being shipped there to get into the world market and be available for export to the world. let's say some of it might happen to be utilized in the u.s. that little bit of impact is nothing compared to what we can do by investment in renewable energy that would decrease our reliance on fossil fuels at all. so a far better solution would be investing in renewable nonfossil fuel energy that doesn't have the affect on the
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fishing and the farming and the forests. but, say proponents, if the keystone pipeline is not built an alternative pipeline will be built through canada. well, that is certainly highly questionable. if it was easier and cheaper to go through canada, trans-canada would not be seeking to build the keystone pipeline. say they'll figure out a way to run a pipeline west to the pacific but you know that has to pass through first nation lands it has to have all kinds of approvals. and there are folks who canada who actually feel as deeply and passionately about being good stewards of our planet and not contributing to the assault on our forests and our farming and our fishing as much as many of us here feel the same. and they're going to be in intense opposition.
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and that's why trans-canada twoonts -- wants to punch this thing through canada and the united states. it is cheaper and easier and they have no confidence they can build a pipeline to substitute. oh but proponents say if it is not shipped by pipeline, it will be shipped by railroad, which of course is again way off the fact -- track because the railroads are already congested making additional capacity modest at best. in addition, the price point for shipping by rail is much higher than the price point than shipping by pipeline. you change the supply and demand curve and you don't end up producing the same amount of oil. so these list of arguments made are thin efforts to camouflage a fundamental fact that this is a great deal for trans-canada and
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it is a great deal for the oil industry, and it is a terrible deal for americans depending on rural resources terrible deal for our oceans and our fisheries, terrible deal for our forests, and terrible deal for our farming. so if you care about the future economy of the united states, if you care about rural america, if you care about all of us who depend on rural america for these wonderful and important resources, then you would oppose this pipeline. and make no question, this is a sweetheart deal. talk about accountability, trans-canada won't even have to pay into the oil spill liability fund. they're being exempted from that fund. not have to pay into the insurance fund that will help clean up when their pipeline leaks, and they all leak. they all leak. that's outrageous.
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you want accountability, put forward the amendment that says that they would have to pay into the oil spill liability fund the same as any other person or group pumping oil through a pipeline in the united states. say that they would be fully responsible for every bit of damage that local government and state governments and the u.s. government has to put out to compensate for the damage created by those oil spills. let's hear some responsibility and accountability from the proponents of this pipeline, not this sweetheart deal for a canadian company. tackling carbon pollution global warming is going to take an enormous amount of international cooperation. just recently the u.s. and china entered into agreement to address global climate change. president obama announced the goal of cutting net greenhouse gas emissions below 2005 levels
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by 2025. the china president announced that china would generate 20% of china's energy from nonfossil sources by 2030 and would seek to decrease china's co2 emissions thereafter. these goals would require significant efforts by the united states and massive investments by china. do they go far enough? no not in the context of the challenge faced by our elevated carbon dioxide levels around the globe, but this agreement by the two biggest carbon polluters among nations is a significant step forward. it's a type of leadership that the world has been asking for. we cannot simply wish for nations to work together. we have to do our part. and that is why we should be talking today not about how to turn on the tap for the dirtiest oil on the planet, but how to
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work with other nations to invest in energy conservation, to invest in nonfossil fuel renewable energy. let's turn back to the test president theodore roosevelt put before us. he said that there is no more important mission than -- quote -- "leaving this land even a better land for our descendants than it is for us." that's the challenge. let's rise to that challenge. mr. president, let's rise to that challenge. help lead your colleagues, all of us, in stopping this assault on our farms and our fishing and our forestry. stop this sweetheart deal for a canadian company and let's substitute a real jobs bill, a rebuild america jobs bill that will create more than a
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hundredfold more construction jobs than the jobs we have before us. when think about really the complete lack of accountability and responsibility embedded in this bill, when you think about the enormous damage that comes from turning on the faucet to the dirtiest oil in the world there really is only one way to vote on this bill, and that is to vote "no." thank you mr. president and i yield the floor. the presiding officer: under the previous order the senate stands in recess until 2:15 p.m. >> here is a look at debate on
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the keystone bill from earlier today on the senate floor. >> thank you, mr. president. address my comments to then keystone t pipeline approve the bill, that is approving the motion to proceed with this legislation. the cloture on motion to proceed on this legislation was passed 63 votes in favor to 32 votes last night. i want to thank my colleaguess for that tremendous bipartisan vote and of course the good news is that, that advances to the bill. v move to the bill, today we're working through. we're working to agreement to hold the vote. we're inpo a position where all o members of this body can offer amendments.publ republicans and democrats alike. we'll have an open amendmentment process. we will have regular order. we can have energy debate. members body will get to do whate they haven't been able to do, a offer their amendments, bring h
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forward their ideas and let's dis have the energy discussion. let's have these amendments brought forward debate them, if the they can garner 60 votes they will be passed and attached to the legislation. thisw is how the senate is and supposed to work and i encourage my colleagues to participate to t bringhe amendments to have thef debate and do the work of this imp body, the important work of people of this great nation. so i would like to begin the discussion today in support of the keystone xl pipeline, the keystone xl approvale legislation. that is the bill that we have inppro front of us, s-1. i note that my esteemed colleague from the great state of utah, the senior senator from utah is here. somebody who leads us on ahas variety of issues and for many years in our caucus.ucus the chairman of the finance committee, somebody that is certainly understands tax policy and fiscal policy for this country extremely well.
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and, this legislation that we're considering is a jobs bill. i mean it is about energy. it's about jobs.mic it is about economic growth. it is about national security. but for somebody like the senator from utah, who is working on reforming our taxe code and how can he can eco stimulate economic growth in this country i would like to turn to him here right at thend outset and say, somebody thatnder truly understands how oury economy w works and how we have to build a good business climate in this country. a we have to empower thef development of infrastructure,ds roads and rail and pipelines and transmission lines as part of building an energy policy that will truly make this energy, this nation energy secure, i would like to turn to him and ask him, if you would take a few minutes and address not onlyje thisct project on its on the broad basis of its merits butular particularly some of the economicec aspects that are so important when we're talkingre
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about growing our economy, and putting our people in this country to work in good jobs. >> mr. president?he >> the senator from out saw. >> mr. president, i want to thank my distinguished colleague fors leading this fight. f he has been leading it for years now. it is such a no-brainer that it is amazing to me we even have to go through this again. but i want to thank him foro m yielding to me and i would like to associate myself with many of the persuasive arguments made here by my colleagues, both democrat and republican urging a speedy passage of this legislation. to me the decision to approve this pipeline is an obvious one for a host of reasons. it will support more than 42,000 good-paying jobs. i didn't quite get what the assistant minority leader was saying here today on how few jobs it creates.l it actually will support more than 42,000 good-paying jobs during its construction phase.
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it will contribute more than t $3.4 billion to our gross. domestic product. in it will aid in the goal of north american energy independence. and as the state department'sg environmental impact statementel found, building the keystone xl pipeline will be better for the environment than not buildingthe it. therg energy resources that thes canadians produce will reach the market regardless of whether i this pipeline is built. and keystone xl is by far the safest, the cleanest, and the most efficient means of doing so. one of the arguments against it, my gosh, other than phonyronm environmental arguments?esid mr. president, it was the stateolle department controlled by them! mr. president, common earnings bipartisan jobs and infrastructure measure, this bill is exactly the sort of
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legislation that the senate should be considering as first order of business in this new congress but it should not have tost be.ut the story here is about more than a single pipeline no matter how many jobs its crux will create, no matter how important it is for our energy independence, no matter how environmentally sound it is.s a this is a story about a regulatory process that is clearly broken. this is a story about specialg interests manipulating theess bureaucracy to muck up the process t that should be very simple and uncontroversial and this is a story about just one of many examples of tragically mis missed opportunities to creates good-paying jobs and provideho reliefld for household budgets across the country.. pr mr. president, the application for approval of the keystone xlone pipeline was first filed in september of 2008, more than six
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years ago. the united states senators haves served more than a full term tha during that particular time. children born after the application was filed are now in first grade.t the notion that any infrastructure project should be held up for such a long period is disturbing, not just to me but i think anybody who loo carefully looks at this.he but the delay of keystone xl is even worse. given the strong anddocu well-documented economic and environmental case for the pipeline keystone is the sort of a project that should haveil beeny quickly and easily approvedt fo for construction but for some committed environmentalistsnmen inside and outside, the obama administration, common sense andnced balanced consideration of the facts no longer matter. instead to them the simple pipeline is political symbol regardless of what the science tells us. and they have directed their ample energies throwing up every procedural roadblock imaginable
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to the approval of the pipeline. as a result, this project has endured delay after delay after delay.ast mr. president, over the past few years, the american people have the rightly the developed the impression that washington is broken. there caner be no better examplemple than the consequence of thishe dysfunction than the hold-up of theth keystone xl pipeline sitting in bureaucratic purgatory. j when a project such as this that is good for jobs good for families, good for families budgets, gets bogged down in thes obama administration's red tape it isre absolutely the responsibility of the congressr to act. unfortunately for years the senate became a place like good ideas approving ski tone xl con became to die where control ofhe the calendar and amendment process prevented consideration of so many good bipartisan issues and ideas. not only was the administration the administrative processe
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broken but the senate was also paralyzed and unable to fix it. a mr. president, taking up thisf important bill as firstco matter thi of consideration in this first day of congress we're taking steps to restore the senate to the great legislative body itme wasan meant to be. it is meant to be. the place where senators work across the aisle to meet theed needs ofs the american people.g by coming together to propose a common senseco solution to get back on track this project thatymbo has become a symbol what isto wrong with washington, my friend from north dakota and west virginia are demonstrating exactly the sort of thoughtful inclusive, and bipartisan leadership that the american people have been demanding as they have watched this greatest deliberative bod commit world become the laughingstock of theause world because we have not gotten verye. much done.ot haven't gotten very much done
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because the way it has been run over the last number of years. we need to move quickly and desperately and deliberately, to approve this measure. o begin considerable regulatory reform to prevent sort of to a beginme the keystone xl project. the american people deservem efficient and regulatory process that works for them. del it is time for the senate to deliver. having said these few words i want to personally thank my distinguisheddi colleagues from north dakota and my colleagues from west virginia.t t for leadership they have provided on this issue. senator hoeven, former governor. he knows what he is talking about. he is one of the most reasonable decent honorable people in this body. he has shown a great willingness to work with both sides.
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he has continued to fight for this even though it has been uphill the last six years. better than six years.o he has continued to fight foright it, because it is right. it is right thing to do.ur and it is in our best interests to do it and to do it now. thank you. mr. president, i yield the floor. >> mr. president? the >> senator from north dakota. >> i would like to thank the distinguished senator from utah for his leadership. both today on this floor but,or for, many years.pick and, pick up on a point that he v emphasized and did so very eloquently, and in a unique position to comment on it and that is the importance of having this open amendment process having regular order on the senate floor allowing senatorsrepu to republican and democrat ide alike to come forward to bringnd their ideas forward bring theirt amendments forward and have their discussion to do it in a
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an open way.and, and you know, the whole effort here is to produce good energy legislation that will help thisward country move forward but also to foster bipartisanship, to foss tore bipartisanship on this bill and other legislation to we cane get the work done that this body need to get done on behalf of the american people. all that is what this is all about. this is about getting the work done for the american people on the important issues that are country faces and that is why this bill is s-1. not just because it is important energyat infrastructureve legislation. not just because we need to have this debate on energy, not just because we need to advance legislation to help build our energy future but because it is truly an effort to get this bodyworking in a bipartisan way on this and other importanthe issues for the american people. that is what the american people want. they want us to u get the job a done. so again i want to thank the u senator from utah for bringing i
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oumpt that important fact and discussing why it is so important that we approach tha legislation in that way. and i would like to turn to my good friend and a senior senator from the great state of arkansas somebody who, really i h think has not only a good understanding of our economy works what needs to be done but somebody who has good relationships with side of the aisle. . .mr. president by this project. and i know that you'll agree with me that it's very important on behalf of the state of arkansas that we move forward with the keystone x.l. pipeline project. i think some -- a very high percentage of the pipe that goes into this project about a 1,200-mile-long project, is actually manufactured and made in arkansas.
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so here's clear benefit for workers manufacturing indy an >> manufacturing industry and workers in the state of arkansas that correlates directly to this project and to this legislation, and so i'd like to turn to the senator, the senior senator from alaska and ask him -- from arkansas and ask him about that. say tell us about the importance of this project in terms of what it means to the great state of arkansas. >> mr. president -- >> senator from arkansas. >> mr. president, it is a pleasure to have the opportunity to talk about the keystone pipeline. i also want to thank the senator from north dakota for literally his tireless efforts, his leadership on behalf of getting the keystone pipeline project moving. for the past six years, i've urged the administration to approve the project, i've voted for legislation to speed up the pipeline construction. this pipeline makes sense for job creation and the future of our nation's energy supply. in a recent e-mail survey sent
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to more than 30,000arkansans, i asked what issues the new majority in the senate should focus on in the 114th congress. participants told me that one of their top priorities is an all of the above energy policy that creases current and future energy needs. the senate has an opportunity to pass legislation that is a common sense plan to improve our nation's energy supply by approving the keystone xl pipeline. tapping into these canadian oil sands will offer us a reliable source of energy from one of our strongest allies and trading partners. this is good news as we work to reduce our dependence on oil from regions of the world that are hostile towards our country and it's good news for arkansas. here's why. approval of the infrastructure projects means jobs. this is one reason it has
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support of both parties. organized labor has been very vocal in support of the pipeline. unions understand this infrastructure project will create well-paying jobs for skilled laborers, and it will do so at no expense to the taxpayers. it's not only just unions certainly businesses are supportive of the pipeline to do. pipeline too. as well as an overwhelming majority of americans. last month, as the senator from north dakota alluded to, i toured the well spun tubular the little rock-based company hired to produce pipeline for the project. company officers estimate that 150 jobs will be created just to load the pipe onto the rail cars for shipment. when the project gets the green light finally. the economic impact has wide reach to arkansans. the corporation was slated to make some of the steel for the
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pipeline, and there's a trickle-down impact throughout the state. the central arkansas caterpillar employee wrote to me about the importance of this project to his job. because of its impact to his livelihood. the keystone pipeline project would be a huge boost to us, he wrote. once built the infrastructure will provide a safe and reliable supply of energy. currently, this oil is transported from can by rail and truck. a new, modern pipeline poses less risk to the environment than these current modes of transportation. the project will help maintain lower fuel prices which is good for all americans. at every hurdle using science and common sense, this project gets the green light. last week nebraska's supreme court upheld the state's law approving a route for the pipeline through the state. time and again this project passes the test that the
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president has threatened to veto the bill. this isn't surprising considering the administration has spent more than six years analyzing this and punting a decision down the road until further studies have been conducted. the pipeline has been studied literally to death. it's ready to go. and yet the president is still looking for ways to stop it. the american people deserve this affordable energy, they deserve well paying jobs. both have been accomplished by building the keystone pipeline. and, again, i want to thank the senator from north dakota for his tireless efforts in the past six years trying to get this project off the ground. and the good news is i think we've made real progress. i yield the floor. >> mr. president? >> senator from north dakota. >> i'd like to thank the senator from arkansas and once again point out this is just another state that will benefit from this project. this is a state far removed from
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the route of the project. as i pointed out in earlier debate on this floor, all of the states on the route from montana to texas have approved the project. all of them. they've all approved it. the only entity still holding up this approval of the keystone xl pipeline is the federal government, the obama administration. all the states have approved it. those states on the route will realize tremendous benefits from the construction and the construction jobs, from the hundreds of millions of dollars that they'll receive in tax revenues payment in lieu of taxes with the state and the local level. they'll receive tremendous benefit from this project not to mention, of course, the benefit that the whole country receives as we become more energy independent by working with canada to truly achieve north american energy security. but here's a state arkansas far removed from the route of the pipeline. i don't think the oil will actually go to any of the -- i don't know about refineries in arkansas. i don't think that their refineries -- i think it will go
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to refineries in states like louisiana and texas so forth. but even still, even still arkansas will benefit directly from this project because they manufacture much of the pipe that goes into the project and those are good manufacturing jobs that not only benefits those workers, but then you have the secondary impacts as well. so again, i want to thank the senator from arkansas for coming down to the floor and just taking a few minutes to point that out, and we'll continue to talk about the benefits in other states as well. again, i want to thank the good senator from arkansas. and at this time, even though i have floor time reserved until about 11:15 or a little more, i would like to actually stop for a minute and allow the senator from washington to talk about her views on it. i know that she is not, of course i work with her on the energy committee, she's our ranking member, and i enjoy and appreciate working with her but i understand she shares
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different views in this case, so i'd ask unanimous consent that her time for the next 10-15 minutes as she needs not be counted against my time, and that i'd be willing to defer so that she can speak at this time. >> without objection. >> thank you, mr. president. and i thank the senator from north dakota. i know we're going to be going back and forth on this issue and that we have speakers coming later this morning, and we're going to have time divided but i appreciate the senator from north dakota allowing us to join in the debate this morning and make a few pointings. and i do want to say i appreciate the senator from north dakota's hard work on the energy committee in general. i look forward to working with him on many energy policies. he and i have worked together on a couple of different agricultural issues and i certainly appreciate his due diligence. but needless to say, i don't agree with the process moving forward with this motion to proceed to the keystone pipeline
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bill. many of my colleagues here are going to be coming down talking about the issues. two of my colleagues including the senators from utah and arkansas along with the senator from north dakota brought up a couple different points. but in my mind they are talking about a 19th century energy policy and fossil fuel instead of us focusing on what should be a 21st century energy policy for our country. so it's really unfortunate that f1 as people are heralding it as the new congress, to me, you know, i want us to be focusing on a broader energy debate in congress than what is a very narrow specific, special interest measure for a pipeline that really didn't go through the proper channels of a permitting process. and because of that it's flawed, and this process continues more today we people
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saying let's just give it more special interest attention and improve it. i believe that america should be a leader in energy policy and that our job creation is dependent upon that energy policy for the future. and we want to see america be a leader in this. i applaud the fact that the president did a deal with the chinese that u.s. and china entered into a clean energy strategy working together. we are over 60% of the energy consumption, and if the two countries work together on a clean energy strategy, i guarantee you that will be good business for the u.s. economy. in fact, i read a statistic that something like 50% of all energy is going to be consumed by the buildings in china the growth in building development and the fact that they don't have good building standards. so there's a lot to do on energy efficiency that will grew u.s. jobs and help us -- grow u.s. jobs and help us.
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and that's why we would rather or see us focusing on some of the energy policies that we did in 2005 and 2007. those things unleash huge opportunities for american jobs and huge opportunities for american consumers to get a better deal and not be subject to price spikes. the 2007 bill had fuel efficiency standards in it and laid the foundation for the growth in the hybrid and electric car industry and has added over 263,000 jobs in the last five years. that's the kind of smart policy we should be pursuing. we at had energy bill -- we also had energy bills that made investment in clean energy tax creditses, something i was just talking to my colleague from utah saying we needed to move toward on the energy track credits. if there's nothing else we are doing, we should be doing that because the predictability we would be giving to that industry would lead to jobs. so the 2005 and 2007 energy bills that we did in a
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bipartisan fashion helped foster an energy-efficient economy and helped support 450,000 jobs according to a 2011 brookings institute report. so these are examples of the types of things that we've done in the past that really have unleashed investment, really have grown jobs in the united states of america, and they are important milestones in the type of clarity congress can give to the private sector to spur growth and development. well i can guarantee you that this is just the opposite of that. this is about a special interest deal and overriding a process including the white house process and local goth -- government process that is so essential. so two examples of what we should be doing instead. as i said, the energy tax credits which have been delayed and as my colleague from oregon pointed out at the end of last year, we basically authorized them for about two more months. and that was about all the certainty we gave the industry.
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mckenzie report is estimated that providing the right incentives for retrofitting buildings and energy efficiency would help employ 900,000 people over the next decade, that the wind energy tax credit would employ 54,000 people, and there are other issues about modernizing our grid and new technology storage. there's also very, very important work to be done in the manufacturing sector. and that is to help unleash innovation by making sure that we set standards on improving efficiency and focusing on lightweight materials for both automobiles and aviation. we've seen huge job growth in the pacific northwest because we were able to transform aerospace into lighter weight materials, and is we're also working on lighter weight -- i'm sorry, more fuel efficient airplane fuel in a biojet fuel. so all of those things mean we have to get the r&d right, we need to get the tax credits
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right, and we need to help consumers from spiking energy prices. this is the evolution. i don't think anybody in america thinks that we're going to hold onto a 19th century fossil fuel economy forever. the question is whether congress is going to spend its time moving forward on a 21st century plan that gives the predictability and i certainty to unleash that leadership and capture the opportunities in developing markets around the globe, or whether we're going to hold onto the last elements of fossil fuel forever and leave our constituents more at risk. but i would like to take a few minutes and talk about this process that my colleagues are trying to describe here as why we need to hurry because i can guarantee you that's what people have been trying to do all along, hurry this along for a special interest. i don't believe that's good for the american people, and i don't think that it's good for this process. if you think about where we've been this process is about people who are trying to push a
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route through no matter what the circumstances. every state people are saying have approved this process. well i can guarantee you there's a lot of people in nebraska and south dakota that don't agree with that, and they are very concerned about the public interest. unfortunately, in the case of the xl project land owners and ranchers affected by the pipeline did not feel they were awe forded equal opportunity before -- afforded equal opportunity before the law. in their view, the process was set up to benefit the transcanada corporation. on three separate occasions the nebraska legislature passed carveouts to circumvent the role of the public service commission to approve the keystone pipeline. if this was such a great deal, why can't it go through the normal process like in every other state of a transportation and utilities commission on siting? why do you have to take the public interest out of it? the first carve included a major
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oil pipeline siting act of 2011. so this bill laid out the rules that the public service commission determined whether a new pupilline project was in the public's interest. so in making this decision, the legislature required that the commission consider a criteria. -- eight criteria. among them the environmental impact of water and vegetation the economic and social impacts, the alternative routes the impacts to future development and the pipeline's proposal, and the views of counties and cities. okay, that all sounds great, right? that's what the legislature said that they should be considering. but the legislature also required the commission to hold public hearings and have public comment, okay? we're still on the right track. and importantly, required the commission to establish a process of appealing the decision that any aggrieved party could have under the due process rights of the administrative procedures act. or here's the punchline. tucked away in that nebraska
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legislation was a special interest carveout that exempted transcanada, keystone, from having to comply with the public service commission process. so specifically the legislation stated quote: shall not apply to any major oil pipeline that has submitted an application to the u.s. department of state pursuant to executive order 1337 prior to the effective date of this act, end quote. there was only one company that qualified for this special interest exemption at the time of that legislation and that was transcanada. so you got it, the legislature basically exempted them from that process even though they're stating that these are the things that you should go through. so at the very time the legislature created new rules for due process on the pipeline, it exempted them from those rules. so i don't understand why transcanada can't play by the rules, but i guarantee you
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congress doesn't have to join in and make s. 1 a special interest bill along with a congress that seems more bent on rolling back rules of dodd-frank. they should make sure everyone plays by the rules. during the same legislative session, the nebraska legislature also passed the oil pipeline route certification act. this bill provided keystone xl with an expedited review process by the nebraska department of environmental quality and gave them the sole authority to approve the prompt resting with the -- the project resting with the governor. unfortunately for the legislature and for transcanada these carveouts quickly became irrelevant because president obama denied the application in 2012 and that in due part to the fact that congress had decided to try to intervene in the matter. that's when congress said this is important and we should go ahead and do this. and i'm going to get into more detail in that in a second.
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but this is important to understand because the initial nebraska legislation was so narrowly tailored, it was designed to benefit transcanada pipeline and its pending date of enactment. so what happened next? the legislature went back to the drawing board and created a third new special carveout for keystone xl pipeline. the following, the day following the president's denial of transcanada's application a new bill was introduced in the nebraska legislature and yet followed another path around the existing due process afforded to citizens in that state. the legislation allowed the company to choose whether the go through a formal process with the public service commission or seek expedited review with the governor. i am sure that a lot of u.s. companies would love to have that opportunity. these are people, u.s. companies, that have to pay lawyers, go through environmental processes, make
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sure all the issues are addressed. i'm sure american companies would love to know that any today of the week they could just go past the utility commission and just get the governor to stamp approval on their project. under this expedited approach, the legislature authorized the nebraska department of environmental quality to independently conduct an environmental impact report. however, unlike the due process required by the public service commission this process required only token outreach to the public. there was just one public hearing in 2012. so this special process provided no recourse for aggrieved parties. there was no formal appeals process other than the courts, there was no administrative process with the ability for stakeholders to challenge the fact as a matter of record to base their appeal on, and these are fundamental differences between an expedited consideration of the governor's office and a process requiring
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public interest determination by relevant decision makers at a commission. so i know my colleagues here would like to argue that somehow this has been a long drawn-out process. this has really been a process by one company constantly circump venting the rules on the -- circumventing the rules on the books and trying to get a special deal for approval. you have to ask yourself why why do they want to proceed this way? well i know my colleagues always like to thought about their neighbor -- to talk about their neighbors. my neighbors in british columbia, they're not so thinked in tar sands -- thrilled in tar sands policy. so i asked my colleagues, do you have confidence that the public interest was really taken into consideration? that you run over the interests of property rights owners on these issues? was the department of equality evaluation comprehensive? i can tell you one nebraska landowner describes the report as quote, an incomplete
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evaluation of natural resources with the magnitude of the aquifer, and now it is left in the hands of transcanada to do their own policing, end quote. so another family who's been ranching there for five generations said the process left land landowners with nowhere to turn with their concerns over erosion or eminent domain. another land opener had this to say about the process -- quote: i feel it is not in the best interests of nebraska nor the citizens of nebraska to have our legislators crafting special interest legislation to meet the specific demands of an individual corporation. i couldn't agree with them more. that's exact whey -- exactly what we're trying to do here today. the same stakeholders in nebraska have also questioned the appearance of conflict associate with the the nebraska department of environmental
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quality report. since it was prepared by a contractor who also worked for transcanada and exxon on different joint pipeline projects. so meanwhile a majority of the state supreme court, 4-7 justices just last week ruled that the legislature and governor's actions were unconstitutional. >> senator's consumed 15 minutes. >> i'd ask for an additional two minutes just to wrap up. >> without objection. >> i know my colleague i know my colleague would has already given me some time this morning and i certainly can come back and administer to the debate. but what i am outlining here is exactly how this process has circumvented the laws of this land. and one more action by this body is exactly what this special interest company is seeking. if congress had passed and implemented this before when you
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tried to push the president of the united states into agreeing with this this route would have been done and it would have been right through the aquifer that people are objecting to now. and forced the company to then change its route. so i don't know why we're being asked to push something through when we really should allow the state department to do its job. i'll have much more to say on this process in the circumventing of public interest about the devastating spill in kalamazoo the fact we don't know all we need to know about tar sands cleanup of water, to talk about the fact that midwest prices could be affected by this. there are many issues, so i gladly debate this with my colleagues throughout the rest of week. and, mr. president i yield the floor. >> mr. president? >> senator from north dakota. >> i'd like to are resume my -- i'd like to resume my time for the colloquy. >> senator's recognized. >> i just want to take a minute
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to respond to a couple of the points that my colleague on the energy committee just brought up in regard to both the process and also in regard to the timeline for approval of this project. and then i want to turn to my cosponsor, the senator from west virginia and get some of his input on the project. and i have to say this is -- now we're starting to get into the kind of debate that we've wanted from day one. i had the good fortune to serve as governor of my great state of north dakota, and the good senator here on the floor with me from west virginia at the same time was governor in his state of west virginia. we worked together on many different issues. i'm a republican, he's a democrat, and we found common ground on important issues as governors, and we've found common ground here. and that's what this is all about. that's what we want to have happen among our colleagues so that we can get this and other important legislation addressed and passed and help our country.
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ask so i just -- but before i turn to my colleague from west virginia, let me just touch briefly on a couple of the points that the ranking member of our energy committee brought up just now. as she said, she opposes the project, and i understand and respect her views. but she talked about the length of time that the approval process takes, and what i've got to point out is that we've been in this approval process now for more than six years. more than six years. so when she talks about needing more time to get the project approved, it's hard to understand how we're going to have a working functioning economy, how we're going to get the private sector to invest the billions of dollars it takes, this project alone. it's the largest shovel-ready project that's ready to go, just under $8 billion $7.9 billion and it's been held up for more than six years. you know, america got into world war ii and won the war in less
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thannics years.. -- less than six years. i mean, if we're going to create the kind of environment where we stimulate investment by the private sector really get our economy growing and going, get people back to work, we can't hold private investment up. remember, not one penny of federal spending here, almost $80 billion -- all private investment that'll create jobs, create hundreds of millions in tack revenue to help us build our energy future, help us with national security by being energy secure, all those things, and here the federal government's held them up for more than six years. how can we argue there's any kind of process there that works in any kind of realistic or common sense way when it's been held up for more than six years? and specifically as regards the state of nebraska in 2012 i put forward legislation which we passed in this body attached to the payroll tax holiday that required the president to make a decision. we didn't tell him what decision
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to make, we just said, hey you've got to make a decision. at that point the project had been under review for four years. we said long enough, mr. president, make your national interest determination. that's what the legislature said, we passed it with 73 votes. to the president at that time said -- so the president at that time said, no, i'm not going to make a decision now because of what he perceived to be the problem with the route in nebraska. remember this project goes through states from montana through texas. here it is. and also remember it's not just carrying canadian crude but there is crude from my state of north dakota and the state of mississippi, light sweet bakken. everybody talks about the canadian crude but this moves domestic crude as well. and we've -- my state alone produces 1.2 million barrels of oil a day. and we're moving 700,000 barrels a day on trains because we can't get enough pipelines. so here we want to put 100,000
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barrels a day into this pipeline, and we've been waiting for six years putting more and more oil on rail cars congestion on the rail. we can't move our ag products, and we've been held up for six years. in 2012 we passed this bill in this body, it went to the president, he said well the routeing wasn't just right in nebraska. here you see the pipeline goes through nebraska, so he said i'm not going to approve it at this point because they've got to square it away in nebraska. so in nebraska the state legislature, the elective body of the people went to work with the golf governor dave heineman a good friend of mine, and the senator from west virginia's as well. we served with governor dave heineman. the elected body of the people, the legislature went to work with the governor, they went through a long process, they rerouted the pipeline to address any concerns regarding the aquifer and other concerns that had been brought up.
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long laborious process. and approved it. every state on the route has approved the project. they've all approved it. they've all -- they've had six years to do it so it wasn't like they had to hurry. but they have all approved it. yet the federal government continues to hold it up and say, oh well, we have concerns. now, my esteemed colleague from washington says well, she was concerned about the supreme court decision can. well remember, the supreme court decision came up because after the state of nebraska approved the project, then opponents challenged it, forced it into court, went to the nebraska supreme court the nebraska supreme court found in favor of the governor and the legislature for the state of north dakota. excuse me, nebraska. for the state of nebraska okay? so they found in favor 06 the route -- of the route, and the state of nebraska said that's as it should be, okay?
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so that's all been covered at great length by the elected representatives of the state of nebraska and the supreme court of nebraska. i mean, how much more does this talk? furthermore, the point that my colleague was making was gee, if we'd rushed this would have been a problem. except if you look at the legislation, we put right in the legislation in section two under the private property savings clause to make sure that if there is any issue like that, it's addressed in this legislation so the very concern that she's raised is addressed in the legislation and the reason it's in there is because the good senator from montana -- also on the route -- senator tester wanted this provision in the bill. also a democrat. again, showing the bipartisanship of the bill, he said well, let's make sure we take care of that so we put language in the bill to make sure the very concern raised on the floor was addressed.
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and i'll read it, it's very short, section two subsection e. nothing in this act alters any federal, state or local process or condition in effect on the date of enactment of this act that is necessary to secure access from an owner of private property to construct the pipeline and cross-border facilities described in section a. so we tried to make sure -- and furthermore let me also read judicial review. we also provided for that section which is longer, i won't read it, but if any of these issues are concerned in addition to the language we put in to protect states' rights, you also have judicial review. so i don't know how much more we can do to make sure that any and all concerns she just raised in regard to the process of the individual states is protected. and, again, i make the case that they've all gone through great lengths to approve the project.
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we're still the only entity blocking it now after more than six years is the federal government. and one other point i'd make briefly before turning to the senator from west virginia, and that is the good senator from washington talked about alternative energy sources and renewable energy sources and other energy sources and how we need to develop them, and they create jobs. and that's great. and this is the note on which i'll turn to my cosponsor and distinguished senator from west virginia. we're for all of the above energy approach. but we've got to get over the idea that somehow they're mutually exclusive. because we go forward and build important infrastructure so that we can make sure that we don't have to import oil from opec or countries like venezuela or other parts of the world, to insure that we can be secure in energy that we can produce as
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much or more oil than we consume and canada we need this infrastructure, but that in no way precludes any development of any source of energy. they're not mutually exclusive. so to be saying we should be doing one and not the other, how does that make sense? let's do 'em both! let's do 'em both. and on that note, i want to turn to my colleague because he's going to, i think, ask anybody in this body -- particularly coming here as a governor -- he's somebody who not only is very bipartisan in his approach to all these issues, but somebody that really has not only advocated for producing all of the above in terms of energy, but somebody that's done it in his time as governor. so i turn to my colleague and say can't we do both? and isn't approving this part of doing it all? >> first of all i want to thank the senator from north dakota,
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my friend for taking the lead on this and working with him so closely. and i really am excited about the process we're in right now, an open amendment process. we're learning a lot in debates. a lot of good ideas will come out of this, and when it's all said and done, we should have a better piece of legislation. let me make sure we all understand, this is not about pipelines. if this was about an xl pipeline or any of the pipelines, we wouldn't have 100,000 miles of pipelines in america already. since the industrial revolution, we would not have built all the pipelines needed to carry the energy we need to run this country. so this is not about pipeline. this is about, basically the concerns that we all have with the greenhouse gas emissions and development of the oil sands in canada. nothing to do with the pipeline. and with that being said, we've got to be very clear canada's going to develop the oil sands whether or not the keystone
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pipeline is built. that's a fact. and we've talked about this. the state department, our own state department in this great country of ours, united states of america has conducted five environmental assessments of the keystone pipeline and has found in all of them that the project will not have a significant impact on the environment. now, these are the things that we have to be cognizant of. the state department also found that the pipeline is unlikely to significantly effect the rate of extraction in canadian oil development. that means that whatever we do here is not going to change the rate of development in the oil sands. so the state department also examined alternatives to the proposed xl pipeline. these turns included what would -- alternatives included what would happen if we do nothing here and nothing comes about with this pipeline. likely, the crude would be shipped westward by rail or by canker. that's happening today -- or by tanker. that's happening today.
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so we're going to ship it anyway. and if that can'ted, it would be considered if we take no action here and don't build this pipeline for whatever reason the greenhouse gas emissions -- which we're all concerned about and our debates are about that really, will be between 28-42% higher if we do nothing. so those people who are concerned about greenhouse gas emissions should say okay, why do we want to contribute to more? the pipeline decreases that. and if we don't do it, we've got 28-42% more emissions by how we're going to move this oil. so the pipeline addresses our energy security limits and i've talked about that before. and our dependence on foreign oil. i've said this many times. we all are entitled to our opinions, and i think you're going to hear all of our opinions in the next couple of weeks. what we're not entitled to is our own set of facts because the facts are what they are. and i've said this before, i'm going to repeat it again, i'm going to continue to repeat it.
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we buy with as of the 2013 figures from the department of energy eia, we the united states of america buy seven million barrels of crude oil a day. whether you like it or not we're buying it. i'm sure people says i wish we didn't. well, it's what it takes for our economy to run. we're buying that oil, seven million barrels a day. and then you need to look at where it's coming. we already buy 2.5 million barrels a day from canada right now. we're already dependent upon canada for 2.5 million barrels a day. we also buy oil from other countries. and i think you ought to question why we're buying oil from these other countries. venezuela, we buy 755,000 barrels a day from venezuela and they are an authoritarian regime impoverishes its citizens we know that. it's shown its willingness to
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put down political protests with horrific violence. but we're supporting that by purchasing a product from them that they grews the resources to continue this type of a yes -- of a regime. the same year, 2013, we bought 1.3 million barrels from saudi arabia. now, i don't know about you i'm going to question is that the resources from that or the proceeds from that oil that we paid saudi arabia for, was it used for the betterment of the united states of america? for our best interests? i have my doubt cans about that. we also buy over 40,000 barrels a day from russia. i think you all know that. the keystone pipeline would allow us to safely import oil from a stable ally, one of our best trading partners. our number one trading partner is canada can. canada. and it's the most stable regime the best ally we've ever had.
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a file capacity of a little more than 800,000 barrels per day, so right there we could prevent us and stop buying oil from venezuela or cut down dramatically the amount of oil we buy from saudi arabia and become less dependent. we can continue to produce energy in knot america while -- in north america while stabilizing global supply as well as benefiting our allies. last year as president obama's former national advisers, one of the president's former national security advisers which is retired marine general james jones told the foreign relations committee the international bullies who wish to use energy scarcity as a weapon against us all are watching intently. if we want to make mr. putin's day and strengthen his hand, we should reject the keystone. i repeat, if we want to make mr. putin's day and strengthen his hand, we should reject this keystone pipeline.
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but if we want to gain an important measure of national energy security, jobs, tax rev knew and prosperity to advance all on the spectrum of energy solutions that don't can rely on carbon, it should be approved. so you've got to decide which side you're on. do you want to make mr. putin's day? or do you want to find alternative to all of the above and be less dependent on foreign oil? in addition, this bill will also create thousands of jobs. i think we've talked about that. and i hear the argument. well, yeah but they're not going to be permanent. you know we've built a lot of bridges in america, a lot of infrastructure, a lot of roads. i don't know of any permanent jobs we have after we build a bridge, but we have a lot of good construction jobs and we're building the bridge. i don't know of any permanent jobs after we build a road but we have a lot of good construction high-paying jobs. when you start looking at that, the buildings and constructions trade, the teamsters the
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afl-cio, all of our friends, working americans the middle class, the hard working americans support this piece of legislation. they want these jobs. our own state department says it'll create about 42,000 jobs to construct the pipeline and thousands of other related jobs. so why don't we seize the opportunity? you know now, we talk about amendments. this is an open amendment process, and a lot of my colleagues, a lot of my democratic colleagues on my side of the aisle have some great ideas. i agree with my democratic friends in companies shipping oil should pay the excise tax to the oil spill trust fund. there's no reason they should be exempted from these payments. i'm going to work with them to put that amendment in. it's a good amendment. it needs to be -- it'll strengthen the bill. that's what the amendment process is about. i agree also with my colleagues on the democratic side that any still needed in the future on
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this project should be bought from american steel companies. that's great. let's promote t more jobs in america. buy american steel. don't let everyone dump on us. i also agree with our friends that we shouldn't export any of our oil abroad. if that oil comes to america then it should be subjected to the same laws that all the oil that's extracted in america. so if we extract from the balkans, if we extract from texas, we treat 'em all the same. those are all good amendments. i would like to think this process will strengthen a piece of legislation hopefully give us 68, 70 votes. it really is a good piece of legislation for the american people. we've been promised an open amendment process, and i'm so thankful for that which presents an incredible valuable opportunity to accomplish some of our democratic priorities. some of our democratic priorities that we talk about all the time. on my side of the aisle. i believe the process will improve the bill and i hope to improve my colleagues to support
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this important piece of legislation, and let's get the needed votes we need to make sure that we move our country forward, become less dependent on foreign oil and more self-sufficient and more secured as a nation. thank you, mr. president. >> mr. president? >> the senator from washington. >> mr. president, i know we have several colleagues who want to come down here and speak on other issues this morning and then we have some members who want to join back in on this debate, but i'd just like to make a few points and finish up my remarks from earlier and then yield it to our other colleagues. >> mr. president? i'd like -- >> senator from north dakota. >> i'd ask the speaker to yield for the purpose of a question. i'd like to understand the timeline. i need about three minutes, four minutes to wrap up. i did relinquish 15 minutes for their side so i would request three to four minutes to wrap up and then i'm certainly willing to turn the floor over to them. >> go right ahead. >> thank you.
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>> senator from north dakota is recognized. >> thank you, mr. president. i just want to wrap up. look, this is going to be an ongoing debate. i want to thank the senator from west virginia. i'm glad we are engaged in this debate. i think we should debate all aspects of it, as we are and look forward to that continued effort. i do though want to wrap up on a point as to the environmental impact. we've talked about a number of different aspects of this pipeline project. we talked about taking great care in the approval process to address all the issues at the state level. we talked about making sure that we put provisions in the bill to respect that state process. that's been going on for more than six years and, obviously now it's time -- well past time for the federal government to move forward and make its decision. but, again, back to that process if the president continues to oppose this legislation -- which he's indicated that he has, that
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he would see tote toe it because he has a process and he hasn't finished the process, then he needs to demonstrate and finish the process. he indicated that he was holding out for the decision in nebraska. well, the decision in nebraska's been completed. so if there is a process if there's a real process, then he needs to make a decision, and he needs to tell us when he's going to make that decision. and if he follows his process, he needs to make a decision in favor of the project. because as i'm pretty sure you're going to hear from some of the opponents of the project just saying, oh well, based on environmental issues that's why he should turn it down. and i understand and respect their views on some of the climate change issues and they're certainly entitled to those opinions. but based on five studies -- three draft environmental impact statements and two final environmental impact statements done on this project -- the obama administration's state
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department in those environmental impact statements found this result. as a result of this project no significant environmental impact. and i understand that they're going to spend a lot of time talking about their views on climate change. and that's fine, i understand that. but there's a difference between opinion, and there's a difference between that general discussion and the science of this project. that's the finding by the obama administration. we'll have more discussion on this issue. education in to the fact -- in addition to the fact that canada is working to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from oil production in their country, and in the oil sands since 1990 they've reduced greenhouse gas emissions by about 28%. and they're continuing to do more. so they're addressing the environmental issue by doing what? investing in technology that not only produces more energy, but does it with better
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environmental stewardship. so instead of empowering that a investment, here we want to block it? that's not the way to address better environmental stewardship. of the way to do it is to encourage that investment that not only produces more energy but does it with better environmental stewardship. again, i want to thank my colleague and fellow member of the energy committee for deferring so that i could wrap up, and i look forward to continuing this debate and discussion on this important issue, and with that, i yield the floor. >> mr. president? >> the senator from washington. >> i know, as i said, i know we have other colleagues here, so i will just try to wrap up my opening remarks in this debate, i know some are wanting to speak on this subject and on other matters this morning. but i wanted to respond to a couple of things because i know our colleagues keep thinking that this is something that we have to do and we have to expedite. but the reason why this project hasn't been approved to date is because they haven't followed
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the place -- process. the congressional involvement in this matter during the back and fort with nebraska on the pipeline change when there was a sensitive area of the sand hills region. during the 2008 until 2012, the u.s. state department was reviewing the transcanada initial application for the border and this process required a national interest determination by the president. finish and it's worth reminding my colleagues that this was a process laid i out by president bush. but in the review of their initial application the state department this 2011 announced that an alternative route through nebraska needed to be done to avoid uniquely-sensitive terrain of the sand hill area. so the president in the state department said we need to go a different route okay? what happened next? you would think that most people would stop and listen and say, oh, my gosh, there's a concern about this aquifer.
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well, that's not what happened. that's not what happened. people came to congress and said we should get the old route approved in the disastrous aquifer that provides 30% of the groundwater for irrigation to the united states. so at the same time the state department was telling the company we've got real concerns, you should go somewhere else the company was coming here to congress trying to push the old route through. at the same time the state department was negotiating. so i will say to my colleagues, if you think you're helping this process, you're huring it. -- hurting it. you are trying to take away the negotiating power of the state department to make sure that the environmental and sensitivity issues are addressing here. now, i know my colleague who i look forward to working with on the energy committee thinks his legislation has protected something in the area of property rights, but let me be clear: this legislation insures that the status quo in nebraska
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under the supreme court decision last week will stand. it simply affirms that the use of eminent domain on behalf of transcanada will be the law. and so we're not doing anything in this legislation to protect them. so jamming keystone onto the temporary payroll tax cut bill was a mistake and so is this a mistake. don't try to answer all of these questions that we think the state department should decide in our national interest. the president should have the ability to say yes or no on this. so i would like the president to answer these questions as it relates to the tar sand oil and water only because i had a chance to ask the commandant of the air force about this issue because we're concerned about the transfer out of our northwest area and the commandant at that time said we have no solution.
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no solution. so when my colleague from michigan talked about the $1.2 billion they had to spend on tar sand cleanup because it sank in the kalamazoo river, i think these are issues that the state department has every right to get answers on. just recently transcanada has been redoing some of its pipeline in other areas because it has also found that these, the holds the welds on these projects were not sufficient. so the state department is telling them we want a third party validate canner to validate whether you're actually meeting the standards that we want to see on pipeline. but, no, our colleagues would like to interrupt that and basically say we know beth just like we were to make it right through the sand hill aquifer we know best. so i ask my colleagues not to urge the urgency of a process that has been failed from the beginning, that did not allow for the public interest to be adequately afforded their
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rights that basically is stopping the people who have objections now in south dakota from getting their day in court and a day this process. so i don't understand what the hurry is. i do want to hurry on energy policy, but it has much more to do with getting the tax credits clean energy incentives in place that will unleash thousands of more jobs and give predictability. that is the prerogative and the responsibility of congress, to look at these tax incentives to establish economic incentives. it is not our job to site pipelines when the local are process has not -- local process has not played out. at least don't stop the president from making sure these environmental issues are addressed. so i know my colleague from massachusetts has been waiting and i know he has been a leader in the house of representatives prior to his time in the senate making sure that tar sands should pay into the oil spill liability trust fund and i
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certainly appreciate his leadership on that and, mr. president, i yield the floor. >> that was earlier debate on the keystone xl oil pipeline bill. the senate is in recess for their weekly party lunches. they're expected back at 2:15 eastern to continue work on that bill and debate could last well into the evening. the senate is out tomorrow and thursday for their party retreats. majority leader mitch mcconnell, meanwhile, had these comments this morning about his timetable for the more keystone bill. >> some of our colleagues on the other side continue to filibuster the motion to proceed to the bill. all senators should know that we'll get on this bill today, and we'll begin the amendment process. now, we can do it the easy way, or we can do it the hard way. either we'll get on it this afternoon by consent or shortly after midnight without consent, but we'll get on it today. it's surprising to me that some democratic senators are choosing to exercise their procedural rights in order to block their own colleagues from offering
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amendments to the bill. although at this point the only senators who filed amendments at the desk are republican senators. so i want to make it clear to everybody -- [laughter] you know, we're committed to an open amendment process but not an open-ended one. and so we are hopeful. democrats who i continue to read have a number of amendments will actually give us a chance to get on the bill and given to offer the amendments so the senate can work it will. now, mr. president, democrats and republicans cooperated last night to bring the keystone pipeline another step closer to construction. thanks to that bipartisan cloture vote the senate can finally begin an open floor debate on this committee vetted
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and is approved legislation. it's a debate in of us -- many of us have been looking forward to and not just because of the substance of what we're considering. we've also been waiting a long time to see a debate where individual senators actually matter again which is why i suggested earlier we wish our colleagues on the other side would let us get on the bill and begin to offer their amendments. this is going to be an open amendment process, but not an open-ended process, as i indicated. this is the debate where senators can actually offer amendments and have them considered by the senate. a debate where senators can actually make the voices of their constituents heard. that's just the kind of serious legislating many of us have been waiting a long time for. and the fact that we're finally seeing it today is a direct consequence of our constituents' calls for a funking congress. a functioning congress. it's a latest example of the
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republican majority put in congress back to work. getting congress back to work means working to pass legislation that's good for jobs and for the middle class. that's why we're focused on getting measures by the bipartisan infrastructure bill over to the president's desk. now, he may not sign we all know that he may not sign everything we pass but we're getting congress out of the business of protecting the president from good ideas. that's our commitment to the american people. and when it comes to the bipartisan keystone bill, it's hard to see a serious reason why president obama a would veto these jobs anyway. the nebraska supreme court just cleared the last pretense many of us could imagine, so we hope president obama will listen to the american people, and we hope in the end after due consideration he'll decide to sign it. but no matter we won't be dissuaded from our path of working for the middle class. the new republican congress isn't going to top working for
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more jobs and more opportunity. so let's get the debate started. let's see what members of both parties can accomplish actually working together. and let's continue trying to pass as many good ideas as we can starting with this bipartisan jobs and infrastructure bill. mr. president i yield the floor. >> mr. president? >> the assistant democratic leader. >> mr. president, it is ru that we are in the process of -- true that we are in the process of negotiating and discussing on democratic side the amendments that will be offered and, yes there will be amendments offered. senator boxer has been part of this effort, and she has, i just left the phone with her, she is working now with her staff to come up with amendments that she believes will withstand any procedural challenge on the floor. and, hopefully they'll be brought up soon. senator cantwell, who is the
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floor leader on our side on this particular measure isal open. there's no question -- is also open. there's no question that we will be prepared to and offering amendments. we are trying to finalize the language at this point and the order that the amendments will be offered. we are working with the republicans. once we have our own is set of amendments in place. there's no effort to obstruct we have generally agreed that we wouldn't be voting today on amendments. it is possible before the end of the day that we'll have an agreement to move forward in terms of the introduction and debate on the amendments, and the votes to occur perhaps next week, but that is still unresolved and we are still talking about it. what's interesting is to put this in perspective, because we're talking about this senate bill 1. the very first will that was offered by -- bill that was offered by the new republican majority in the united states senate. a bill as they say, to approve the keystone xl pipeline. the republicans' highest
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priority, their number one bill now that they have majority status in the senate is the approval of a pipeline project to benefit one company, a canadian company. to create 35 permanent job jobs. the highest priority of the republican majority in the senate is to do debate and pass a bill to benefit a canadian company to create 35 permanent jobs. this special interest, small ball effort is not a national economic or energy policy or plan to make america energy independent. the keystone xl pipeline, sadly, is going to have a negative impact on the environment not just of the united states, but literally of all adjoining
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countries. >> senator dick durbin from earlier on the senate floor and the majority leader, mitch mcconnell, as well laying out the timetable for the keystone xl pipeline debate. senator mcconnell was among the leadership at the white house this morning meeting with president obama. democratic leader harry reid back there, he was ordered by his doctor once again to stay home following his recent fall from an exercise machine. want to show you the comments from president obama just before that meeting got underway. >> everybody all set? good. well, i want to welcome the congressional leadership here to the white house. harry reid is absent because he is still convalescing from the mishap in the gym but i know he'll be back strong next week and i've had a chance to talk to him. i want to thank the speaker and leader mcconnell as well as dick durbin filling in for mr. reid and nancy pelosi and all the leadership that is here
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today. first of all, some of these folks i haven't seen so i haven't had an opportunity to wish them happy new year. to the speaker, i just want to point out i said there are going to be some things that we agree on. having a college football playoff is clearly something that we can agree on. [laughter] i called for it when i came into office. i think it turned out pretty well particularly for ohio so i want to congratulate your ohio state buckeyes for their outstanding victory and commend oregon as well for fielding a great team because their quarterback is from my original home state of hawaii. and i also want to just talk to all this leadership about how we can keep the progress going that we're seeing particularly in our economy. latest job report indicates that the recovery continues to move in a robust fashion. we've now created 58 straight
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months of private sector job growth about 11 million in the private sector. unemployment rate's come down faster than at any time in several decades, we now are seeing the strongest job growth overall as well as in manufacturing since the 1990s. we are producing more energy than ever before the deficit has been cut by two-thirds, and we're finally starting to see some movement last year in wages going up at a time when families are allen joying some lower -- also enjoying some lower gas prices. so we're in a position to make sure that 2015 is an even stronger year. and relative to our competitors, we are holding much better cards. the key now is for us to work as a team to make sure we build on this progress. obviously, there are disagreements around the table on a whole range of issues but
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there is also areas where we can agree, and that's where we're going to be focused. just to cite a few examples i've got a state of the union next week. one of the things we're going to be talking about is cybersecurity. with the sony attacks that took place, with the twitter account that was hacked by islamist jihadist sympathizers yesterday, it just goes to show how much more work we need to do, both public and private sector, to strengthen our cybersecurity and make sure that families' bank accounts are safe, to make sure that our public infrastructure's safe. i've talked to both the speaker as well as mitch mcconnell about this and i think we agree that this is an area where we can work hard together, get some legislation done and make sure that we are much more effective at protecting the american people from these kinds of cyber attacks. i think that there's going to be opportunities for us to work together on trade, there's going to be opportunities for us to
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work together on simplifying the tax system and making sure everybody's paying their fair share. there are going to be opportunities for us to streamline government so it's more responsive. and on each of these issues i'm going to be listening to everybody around this table, and i'm hopeful that with the spirit of cooperation for putting america first, we can be in a position where at the end of this year we'll with able to look back and say we're much better off than we were when we started the year. so i just want to thank everybody for being here, and i'm very much looking forward to not just this discussion, but some real collaboration over the course of the next several months. all right? thank you very much, everything. [inaudible conversations] thank you, everybody.
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[inaudible conversations] >> bipartisan congressional leadership at the white house earlier today. there are comments from leaders, we will have those for you later in our program schedule on the c-span networks. the senate is gaveling back in to resume deliberation preliminary deliberation on the keystone pipeline. pensions -- that's a mouthful -- but it's an important committee. senator ted kennedy who served for many years as chairman of the help committee as we call it, once said that the help committee had 30% of the jurisdiction of this -- of this senate. and if you think about it, health education labor and pensions the work that we do touches virtually every -- the lives of virtually every american. during the last two years i had
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the privilege of being the ranking republican on the committee. the senator from iowa, tosm tom harkin, was the chairman. i think most people would agree we have as ideologically diverse a committee as any committee in the senate but we worked very well together. where we disagreed, which was often, we simply stated our peace and we voted. and -- and but we looked for opportunities to agree and we produced 24 bills from it the committee that became law. i'm not sure any other committee can say that. and i look forward to the same sort of relationship with the senator from washington, senator murray. she's an experienced legislator cares deeply about education and health and labor and pensions and has proven she knows how to get a result. we're operating today under a budget agreement that she helped helped -- she helped negotiate with paul ryan in the house. so i'm hopeful that senator murray and i can work together in the same spirit senator harkin and i did. and i've now visited with almost
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all members of the committee democrats and republicans and i feel confident that we can -- we can do that. here are my goals for the next two years. now, i have the privilege of being chairman of the committee. as i understand the job of the majority and the job of the chairman, it is to set the agenda and then give all members of the committee a full chance to participate in the result of that agenda. and that means in this congress that in our hearings and before our hearings, we'll have a full chance to discuss and amend. that once we report a bill that it will come to this floor and senator mcconnell has said there will be an opportunity for a robust amendment process. then mr. chairman, i would hope that our bill would go to conference with the house of representatives and there we would discuss further. and since i hope to get a result on most of these pieces of legislation that will come up, i know that there will have to be 60 votes to move out of the senate 60 votes to go to
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conference and 60 votes to pass a bill in the end. that takes working with all senators here, including those on the other side. i also know, mr. president that if we want it to be a law it takes a presidential signature and that president today is president obama. and on the major issues that we hope to address we hope to work with him and we hope to gain his his -- his signature. so we'll set the agenda. that's our job. but we'll also listen and be open and inclusive and -- and give every member of our committee and every member of the senate to weigh in on the issues that touch virtually every american. the three areas that i will focus on as chairman and that i hope the committee will, will be number one fix no child left behind. i'll talk about that more in just a moment but that work is eight years overdue. we've been working on it six years. the law has become unworkable. states are struggling. and as a result, we need to act. the secretary of education gave
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a -- a fine speech yesterday saying we needed to act. i agree with him. and that will be the first thing we need to do. my hope would be that we can finish our work in the first couple of months of this year. second reauthorize higher education. i would like to deregulate higher education. maybe a more accurate way to say that is to simplify and make more effective the piles of regulations that we now impose on our 6,000 colleges and universities. if we have something that we want to regulate, we should take the 600 pages and narrow it down to -- narrow it down to two. one of the committee members is elizabeth warren, the senator from massachusetts. when she was at the consumer bureau, she said she'd like to have a one-page mortgage application. may have ended up being two or three pages but i thought that was a pretty good idea. because a multipage mortgage application doesn't really serve the purpose of informing the consumer of anything. if you can say it in one or two
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pages, well, maybe the consumer will learn something. and i think we could do the same with higher education. and there's substantial area for bipartisan agreement there. just last week senator bennet of colorado, senator booker of new jersey, senator king of maine, senator isakson and burr of north carolina and georgia and i introduced legislation that would make it simpler and easier for students to go to -- to higher education to fill out the complicated dreaded fafsa the 108-question application form that 20 million american families fill out every year. the president talked about this on his visit to tennessee on friday. he thinks it's too long. he'd like to see it become law. i think higher education is an area that we can work together on and work with the president on. and then the third thing i would like to do is to restructure and reform the food and drug administration. now, there's a great opportunity
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opportunity, working with the house and with the president to take a good look at the f.d.a. to take a good look at the modern world of medicines personalized medicines and to say, what do we need to do to make it easier to get treatments, medical devices and and -- and cures? through the f.d.a. process safely but quickly and effectively so they can help people. this sort of work literally would affect every single american. so with fixing no child left behind, we would affect 50 million schoolchildren. and millions of teachers and a hundred thousand public schools. with -- with reauthorizing the higher education act and making its regulations simpler and more effective, we'd affect 6,000 institutions of all kinds across this country. and if we were really able to take a look at the f.d.a., the house and the senate and the president working together, we could affect the lives of every american and americans -- and
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people all over the world by the kind of treatments and devices and cures that we'd bring to market. so that's -- that's -- that's the agenda that i hope for. of course we'll also want to deal with the affordable care act or obamacare. on this side of the aisle we'd like to repeal it and i'm sure there will be that vote. but that's not all i hope that we do. i hope, in the words of the senator from wisconsin ron johnson, we move as rapidly and as responsibly as we can to repair the damage that obamacare has done. and one example of that would be to redefine part-time work from 30 hours to 40 hours. that would give about 2 1/2 million low-wage employees in america a pretty big pay raise when they go from 27 hours or 28 hours to 37 or 38 hours which is what they would be able to do if part-time work were defined as it is for everything else as 40 hours. we'll have our first hearing on that on a bipartisan bill in the help committee on next thursday
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a week from thursday. it's a bill introduced by senators collins and murkowski and donnelly and senator manchin, a bipartisan bill. our committee has a great interest in this bill. the technical jurisdiction is with the finance committee. but by agreement with the finance committee we'll have this hearing and then we'll send to the finance committee our opinions and it will be up to the finance committee how to report the bill or whether to report it or what version of it to report. it helps that at least on the republican side of the aisle six of the members of the finance committee are also members of the health, education, labor and pensions committee. now, mr. president, let me talk about the first item on the help committee agenda and that is the plan to fix no child left behind. i see the senator from washington here on the floor today. she'll be speaking after i do. i look forward to hearing her comments. i said before she came how much i look forward to working with her that she's experienced that she's a leader, she's direct and she knows how to get
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results. and i hope that we're able to do that with everything we work on, including no child left behind. no child left behind was passed in 2001 the year before i became a senator. it's become unworkable because congress and the president failed to reauthorize and amend the law when it expired over seven years ago. under the terms of the law the original provisions continue but that's what's made it unworkable. those original provisions continuing today if strictly applied would label as a failing school almost every one of our 100,000 public schools. that would be clearly an unintended result of the bipartisan senators and house members and president bush who first worked on no child left behind . so to avoid that unintended result the united states secretary of education has granted waivers from the law's
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provisions to 42 states the district of columbia and puerto rico. this has created a second unintended result because in exchange for the waiver the secretary has told those states what their academic standards should be what accountability systems they should use to set performance standards, how many and what tests shall be used to measure the progress of students students, how to evaluate teachers and how to identify and intervene in low-performing schools. the department has become, in effect, a national school board. now, we've been working pretty hard over the last six years to try to fix the problems with no child left behind. in each of the last two congresses, the senate help committee, our committee held numerous hearings. i think the number of hearings we've held over the last six years on no child left behind and k-12 education totals two dozen. twice we've reported legislation
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from the committee to the senate floor. in the congress before last, it was a bill with a democratic majority on the committee that i didn't particularly like but senator isakson senator enzi and i all voted for it so that we could move it to the floor continue to work on it on the floor, hopefully in committee and then do our job and replace the law. but it didn't come to the floor. then in the last session of congress more hearings and we reported the bill again. so i think what is left to do on this bill is to start now that we're open for business, sit down with a specific proposal and it's our responsibility to lay out at least a staff working draft to work from consult with all the members of the committee committee, focus on it and see if we can get a bipartisan result in the committee. i hope very much that we -- that we can do that. as a result beginning tonight
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on the web site -- well, already i have distributed to all the committee members republicans and democrats copies of the chairman's working draft. i emphasize those words. not the chairman's bill. it's not a republican bill. it is the chairman's working draft because you have to have someplace to start. and it is the job of the majority and the chairman to start the discussion. so this is where i'd like to start it. what we would like to do is to meet virtually every day for the next -- rest of this week and next week with staff members of the various senators on the committee take each bill by -- section by section get feedback on the bill and begin the process of seeing where we agree and where we disagree. we began this process six years ago with secretary duncan, with leaders in the house and senate on both sides. chairman george miller gave us some pretty good advice at the time. he said, let's pass a lean bill
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to fix no child left behind. we found over the last four years that there are not many problems with the bill, maybe eight or nine. on four or five, for example the goal, which is unrealistic today we probably can agree pretty quickly. so we're really talking about differences of opinion we have on four or five major areas and there are real differences of opinion. i hope we can bridge them in the committee and i'm going to do my best to do that. and i'm willing to spend all the time we need to over the next several days or weeks to -- to do that. but if we can't then we should vote and then we should go to the floor and we know, as i said, that we have to get 60 votes to get off the floor. we go to conference. then we have to get the president's opinion. if we send him a bill that gets a result. so i look forward to the pros. process. my goal is to start it with this working draft and with our first hearings, which will be a week from tomorrow, on tests and accountability. that's a subject every member of
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the committee is interested in. the question is: are there too many tests and who should be in charge of the tests? who should decide what the tests should be? we need to answer some questions before we make a decision and in the draft working paper that i've circulated, i actually have options there. the current law and a version of the law that gives more flexibility to the states. the plan that i'm suggesting here is to set realistic goals keep the best portions of no child left behind and restore to states and communities the responsibility to decide whether schools and teachers are succeeding or failing. the help committee's draft working paper relies on and respects the 30 years of work by governors and chief state school officers to develop higher standards better tests
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stronger accountability systems fair and effective teacher evaluation and principal evaluation programs that will allow parents and communities to know how children in our country's public schools are performing. if i might say one other thing mr. chairman -- and this is more personal -- i've watched this development of goals standards tests teacher evaluation for a long period of time. i was governor of tennessee in 1983 when secretary carol bell and the reagan administration issued a report called "the nation at risk." it said that if -- if a foreign country had created our schools and the conditions the way they were we would have considered it an act of war. at the same time, governors all over the country were becoming energized by that knowing that while the federal government has some involvement in elementary
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and secondary education it only pays for about 8%, 9%, 10% of the bill, and that most americans feel like they should be in charge of their local schools, not washington. so governors began to work together. 1985 and 1986, all the governors spent an entire year on better schools. the first time in the history of the governors association that it happened. i was chairman of the national governors' association that year. the governor of arkansas, bill clinton, was the vice chairman. then in 1989, the first president bush held a national meeting of governors and set national education goals. then in 1991-1992, president bush the first president bush announced america 2000 to help move toward those goals. i was the education secretary by then and the important difference was that those goals were goals from the states, that the high standards that were talked about were voluntary
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standards adopted by states working together, that the teacher evaluation systems we're talking about were adopted by states like tennessee which in 1984 became the first state to pay teachers more for teaching well. not being told to do it from washington but for doing it ourselves, and other states began to model in the same way. governors then began to work together on higher standards on accountability systems. as i said on teacher evaluation. and that took us to the 1990's. and then it took us to president bush ii. governor bush who had been a strong education governor in texas brought many of his ideas to washington. and here we had the idea of reporting of annual tests to determine how students are doing in every school and reporting it in this aggravated form how they were doing so no child would be left behind. then later on in president
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obama's time, race to the top came along giving states incentives to adopt certain standards and certain tests and certain provisions, and then no child left behind became unworkable and secretary duncan said well, i'll give you a waiver so you can operate your schools under no child left behind but instead of -- but in addition to that, if i give you a waiver, i'm going to tell you what your academic standards should be and what your accountability system should be, and i'm going to tell you how to evaluate teachers and how to deal with low-performing schools. that's why i believe that we have had a trend toward a national school board and we need to reverse that trend toward a national school board and put the responsibilities back with state and local communities. there is a difference of opinion about what that balance should be. i hope we can seek that balance in the committee. i know of no way to do that except to start. we have been working on it six
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years, multiple hearings, reported a bill twice. 20 of the members of the 22-member committee were members last year when we had hearings and reported the bill, so i think what we need to do is roll up our sleeves go to work, identify the seven or eight issues pay attention to each other's points of view and see if we can fix no child left behind. so i look forward to that process. as i said, the chairman's staff working draft already distributed to committee members today will be on the web site tonight so that people can see it. we solicit that feedback. we'll work with staff over the next week or two. and the senators will talk and we'll -- we'll see if in the next few weeks we can turn that working draft into a bipartisan bill. and if we can we'll go to committee and we'll have amendments and we'll see if we can get a bipartisan result, and if we can we'll go to the floor and we'll work on it even more. if we can't we'll still go to the floor and we know we'll have to get a bipartisan result to
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get off the floor. that's the way the senate is supposed to work. i'm ready to get started. i have talked to almost all of my colleagues on the committee and i believe they are as well. so i thank the chairman. i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from tennessee. mr. alexander: i would like to ask unanimous consent to include following my remarks a list of the nine goals -- the nine problems that the chairman's draft identifies as the problems that we should be working on in trying to fix no child left behind. these problems generally come from the discussions we've had for the last six years with the house of representatives with the secretary of education. not necessarily the solutions but the problems are agreed upon problems and should help us move along more rapidly. i ask consent to include that following my remarks. thank you mr. president. the presiding officer: without
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objection. mrs. murray: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from washington. mrs. murray: thank you mr. president. i ask unanimous consent to speak as if in morning business. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. murray: thank you mr. president. mr. president, a half a century ago, president lyndon johnson returned to his old elementary school in rural texas with a major piece of legislation. at a picnic table on the lawn of his school and sitting beside his very first teacher president johnson signed into law the elementary and secondary education act or esea. now, our nation has always held the ideal of education for everyone. in 1786, thomas jefferson wrote and i quote -- "by far the most important bill in our whole code is that for the diffusion of knowledge among the people. no other sure mowngs can be deviced -- foundation can be deviced for the preservation of
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happiness and freedom." unquote. that was would woven into the fabric of this nation, but esea put that idea into action. it aimed to close the gaps between rich and poor, black and white, children growing up in the crowded neighborhoods of philadelphia to the rural districts of texas children with every advantage in the world and kids with disabilities. this law moved our country in the right direction but we still have a long way to go to close those gaps. mr. president, in the coming weeks and months, congress will have the opportunity to make sure we continue moving our country towards this ideal and work together to fix the broken no child left behind law because we as a nation still believe that every student should have access to a quality public education, regardless of where they live or how they learn or how much money their parents make. mr. president, education and
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fighting on behalf of what drew me into public service in the very first place. when my kids were much younger i found out that their wonderful preschool program might close because of budget cuts. i knew how valuable that program was and how much it was helping our local children, so i put my two young kids in my car and i drove off to the state capitol to explain to our legislators why they couldn't just cut this program. and when i got there, i was finally able to get one of the legislators to listen to me, and he said something that i'll never forget. he said to me you can't make a difference. you're just a mom in tennis shoes. well i couldn't believe it and i was furious and i drove all the way home telling my two little kids in the car that i was going to change that. so i got home and i picked up the phone and i started calling other parents and they called other parents and we held rallies, we wrote letters and finally after it was all said and done, the legislature voted to keep the funding for that
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preschool program. now, throughout my career as a preschool teacher i served on the local school board, the washington state senate and here in the united states senate. i have been committed to expanding educational opportunities and making sure every kid has someone fighting for them and their future. but that battle is far from over. now is the time to take another big step forward putting the ideals of our nation into action. mr. president, the current law no child left behind, is badly broken and it is time to fix it. the good news is this doesn't have to be a partisan issue. nearly everyone, democrats republicans, teachers, parents business leaders agree this law needs to be rewritten. so today i wanted to come to the floor to lay out some pretty basic but very important principles that i think should
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guide any bill to fix no child left behind. for one we need to work to reduce redundant and unnecessary testing so educators focus on preparing students for college and their career and also ensures that we know how all of our students are progressing. we need to continue to hold schools and states accountable for delivering on the promise of quality education for all our kids so that they can compete in the 21st century economy. we need to improve our schools and give them the resources that they need so every student does have the opportunity to reach their potential and i believe we need to expand access to early childhood education so students can go to kindergarten ready to learn. mr. president, what's clear to nearly everyone is that no child left behind is not working. for one the law required states to set high standards for schools but it didn't give them the resources they needed to make those achievement goals. in effect, this law set up our schools for failure.
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it set teachers up for failure. and it set our students up for failure, and that needs to change. i have heard from parent after parent after parent after teacher after teacher in washington state who has told me that not only are students taking too many tests often time the -- oftentime the tests are of low quality or redundant and that needs to change, too. mr. president, we're still facing inequality in our education system where some schools simply don't offer the same opportunities. for example african-american and latino students are significantly less likely to attend a high school that offers advanced math classes. according to the department of education, 30% fewer students from low-income backgrounds reach proficiency or higher on assessments compared with their peers from affluent backgrounds. and on average kids from low-income neighborhoods don't have access to qualified and
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experienced teachers like students from wealthier neighborhoods, and that needs to change. and, mr. president the current law is not working for our states either. i have seen firsthand how no child left behind is not working for my state of washington. the law's so bad that the obama administration began issuing waivers to exempt states from the law's requirements. washington state had received a waiver but last year it lost it, and as a result most of the schools in my home state are now categorized as failing. that means that hardworking parents sending their kids to schools in communities like spokane and eastern washington, tri-cities in central washington seattle tacoma, everett and many others in western washington are receiving a letter in the mail that says their children aren't getting the type of education that we expect in this country. not only that, but washington now has less flexibility in how to use federal investments in education, and that needs to
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change. you know, i recently heard from a woman. her name is lillian. she lives in washington. last year, her son was going into the fourth grade in the same school district where i used to serve as a school board member years ago. her son has a learning disability, but with the help of teachers and specialists at his elementary school, he has shown great signs of progress. but then lillian said she got a letter in the mail two weeks before school started describing the school as failing and that left her worried about her son's education. and because no child left behind is broken, so many parents and schools and districts across the state of washington are facing similar uncertainty and that's not fair to our students and that needs to change, too. so mr. president, it is time to rewrite the no child left behind with something worthy of this nation's children and their future. in the coming weeks and months, those are some of the -- these are some of the core principles
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i'm going to be fighting for. let's work with our states and districts to reduce unnecessary testing, especially by targeting redundant and low-quality tests. this is an obvious step we need to take and one that you won't find much disagreement on, but mr. president, that doesn't mean we should roll back standards or accountability for schools to provide good quality education. we need to make sure that we establish expectations for our students that puts them on a bath to competing in the 21st century global economy. and let me be clear on assessments. we know that if we don't have ways to measure students' progress and if we don't hold our states accountable the victims will invariably be the kids from poor neighborhoods children of color and students with intabilities. -- with disabilities. these are the students who too often fall through the cracks, and that's not fair. true accountability makes sure that we are holding our schools up to our nation's promise of
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equality and justice. this is a civil rights issue plain and simple. another reason assessments are important is they help parents monitor their kids' progress, and if a school is consistently failing to provide a quality education year after year, parents deserve to know. and we shouldn't forget that this law provides the nation's largest federal investment in k-12 education. it would be irresponsible to ask our taxpayers to spend billions of dollars on education without knowing if it's making a difference in our students' lives. that is a good-government principle that democrats and republicans should be able to agree on and that taxpayers should have every right to expect. so let's maintain strong accountability that measures the students' growth with statewide assessments. i believe that annual assess seasments are one of the most important tools we have to make
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sure our schools are working for every student. mr. president, we need to make sure that these assessments don't lead to unintended consequences but i would be very concerned about any proposal that rolls back this key student and taxpayer protection and accountability tool. and i believe we need statewide assessments that allow parents and civil rights groups and policymakers the ability to see how students are going from district to district, and furthermore, mr. president to make sure we are meeting our obligations to all of our students let's increase funding for schools that have high numbers of children from low-income backgrounds. rich or poor, every child should get a high quality education and the ones on the front lines of this noble work, let's make sure that our teachers and our principals have the resources they deserve to continue building their skills so they can best help the students that they care so much about. and let's improve schools through innovation and with
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coursework that challenges our students, not just so that they earn a diploma but so that their diploma means they are truly college and career ready. and, mr. president, i believe that congress should only pass an education bill that expands access to preschool programs. this is a particularly important issue to me. as a mom and when i was a preschool teacher i saw firsthand the kind of transformation that early learning can inspire in a child not just to start kindergarten ready to learn but to succeed later in life. that's why law enforcement business groups, military leaders, and so many others all support expanding access to early childhood education. congress needs to catch up with the democratic and republican governors and legislators around the country who support investments in early learning and we need to make sure the investments in our youngest kids
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that will pay off for generations to come are part of this bill. so mr. president those are just some of the 0 core principles i'm going to be focused on. providing an excellent education to all students is a national priority not just because our children deserve it but because it is one of the best investments we can make to ensure long-term and broad-based economic growth. businesses and entrepreneurs need the next generation of workers to come in and help them innovate and invent and build and grow. it's something i hear from my washington state businesses all the time, making sure all students are able to take on the jobs of the 21st century is the only way our nation will stay economically competitive in the years to come. other countries are investing massively in education and their students and we cannot afford to fall behind in this country.
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mr. president, let me be clear on another point. the only way congress will be able to fix this law is by working in a bipartisan way. and that means that republicans should come to the table ready to work with democrats to get this done. i know that republicans are the majority in the congress and i welcome our new committee chair, senator alexander i listened carefully to his remarks and thank him for reaching out to begin this process. but parents across the country are expecting us to put partisanship aside and work together for the good of our children. and secretary duncan and president obama and so many of us here in congress have made it very clear that we aren't going to accept a bill that hurts students or doesn't live up to the ideals of a great nation. there's no question, as senator alexander said, there's some serious differences in the way the two parties approach this. but i'm confident that just like we did with the budget last congress, we can find common
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ground and move forward if both sides are willing to leave their partisan corners and work across the aisle. everyone should be able to agree this law needs to provide every student in every school in every state a quality education and that's what i'm going to be fighting for. when president johnson signed the education bill, he said he envisioned -- and i quote -- " full educational opportunity at as our first national goal." our nation's commitment to that until was so important to me and my family, i would not be here in this senate chamber without it. when i was 15 years old my dad was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. in just a few short years he could no longer work at the five-and-dime store that he ran. without warning my family had fallen on hard times. instead of falling through the cracks my six brothers and sisters and i got a good education because of our public schools. and we all went to college with support from the program that we
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now know as pell grants. and my mother was able to get skills sheened he she needed to get a job through a worker training program at lake vocational schools. we need to continue to make education a national priority, so more families can seize the opportunities that are only possible with access to a good education. so mr. president i am glad to be here on the floor today with the chairman of our committee and call on democrats and republicans and republicans to work together to fix this law. for the child who may not live in the best neighborhood or the kid whose parents are struggling to make ends meet, for every student who deserves the chance to learn and grow and thrive, i hope we can work together to write a bill that makes sure every child in this country gets a quality education. let's make sewer our country continues to have -- sure our country continues to have the best work force the world over
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and let's deliver on jefferson's promise of education as the foundation for freedom and happiness. thank you mr. president. i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? mrs. murray: mr. president before i yield the floor -- the presiding officer: i'd like to remind the gallery expressions of approval and disapproval are not permitted. the senator from washington. mrs. murray: others behalf of the democratic leader i ask that naysa cala regranted floor privileges for the remainder of the 114th congress. the presiding officer: without objection. the senator from tennessee. mr. alexander: i thank the senator from washington for her remarks. in the spirit of her remarks i'm delighted to have the privilege of working with her in congress because of her leadership position, her background and her caring for children and her reputation for getting results. i like all of those things. our first hearing i neglected
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to mention, will be on the 21st a week from wednesday on testing and accountability. i'm working with senator murray to see if perhaps we can agree on the witnesses. but the purpose of the hearing is to ask the questions that she asked, are these the right tests, are they redundant tests, are there too many tests, what are we hearing from across the country. i thank the senator for her comments. i took careful notes. i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from pennsylvania. mr. president toomey: mr. president, i have one unanimous consent request for a committee to meet during today's session of the senate. it has the approval of the majority and minority leaders. i ask unanimous consent that this request be agreed to and that this request be printed in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. too many: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from pennsylvania. mr. toomey: mr. president, i
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rise to speak about law enforcement in pennsylvania and throughout the country. we just finished up the holiday season and in my family as with many of us, i'm sure, we had a wonderful christmas in our homes, had a wonderful meal, got to watch the kids open their presents. there are a lot of pennsylvanians and americans who didn't have the chance to do what we got to enjoy and they were the law enforcement men and women who were out on the streets in the cold protecting us as they do day in and day out because their work goes on 24/7 24/7, 356 days a year. just this past saturday, a number of us gathered on the independence mall in philadelphia several hundred people braved a very very cold and windy day to let the law enforcement officials of pennsylvania and beyond he know just how much we appreciate the
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sacrifice they make for us day in and day out. we had a terrific turnout a very enthusiastic crowd that rallied in support of our police officers. but, mr. president being a police officer is not just often inconvenient. sometimes it's very very dangerous. last year, there were 115 police officers died in the line of duty. so far we're 13 days into a new year, and 10 officers have already been shot and wounded. often, these police officers have been targeted and shot just because of the uniform that they wear. and, unfortunately pennsylvania is not immune to this problem. last year on september 12, late at night two pennsylvania state troopers coming in for their shift at work, and eric
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frein was lying in the woods with a high powered rifle. he shot and killed corporal bryon dickson and shot trooper alex douglas who was grievously wounded. the killer, eric green didn't know the troopers. he shot the two police officers simply because they were police officers. and he thought somehow that by killing a cop he would help spark a revolution. mr. president, such is the madness that police officers have to face on a regular basis on any given day they don't know what they won't have to run into just that kind of insanity. it's important for us to remember that these victims in this case corporal dickson wasn't just a number, wasn't just a badge he was a dad father of two young boys, he used to enjoy making toys for
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his responsibilities he was a devoted husband had recently celebrated his 10th wedding anniversary. he was a proud marine corps veteran. now, i'm proud as pennsylvanians generally are of the response of law enforcement to the savage and despicable shooting of these two state troopers. officers from all across pennsylvania surrounding states and even around the country joined in a very intensive tireless seven week-long manhunt and in the end they found eric freend and they brought him into custody wearing the handcuffs of corporal dickson. he will meet justice. but, of course the story doesn't end there. there was another tragedy last month. in brooklyn, just five days before christmas officer rafael ramos and officer wenjian
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lew both murdered in the line of duty. broad daylight, agama approached their vehicle while they sat in the vehicle and shot each police officer point blank range in the head, killing them both instantly. the motivation of the gunman was very clear. he just wanted to kill any police officer that he could. that day the gunman posted messages such as take one of ours let's take two of theirs. another message he posted used the hashtag advocating shoot the police. ourselves ramos and officer liu weren't just nameless people in african-americans, either -- uniforms either. officer ramos was described as a puerto rican kid who grew up in queens and never stopped trying to help the people in his community. officer ramos spent the last 10 years of his life studying to become a chaplain and he was
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murdered just an hour before his graduation ceremony. officer ramos joined the police force at the age of 37. he explained that he saw the streets as his ministry and that by protecting and searching his community, he was serving god as well. officer ramos left behind his wife and two sons, 19-year-old jaden and 13-year-old justin. officer liu was the other victim and is the epitome of the american dream. he was a young boy who at age 12 came to america with his family from china. he was a teenaged boy who left the game occasionally so that he could do the shopping for his family's groceries. he was a young man who was so inspired by the heroism he saw on september 11 that he decided that he would become a police officer. he was the police officer who called home every night to let his dad know that he had finished a day of work safely.
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every night that is, except until december 20 when the phone call never came. officer liu is survived by his wife who he had married just three months before. the response of law enforcement to the savage murder of officers ramos and officer liu can also make every american proud. there were over 25,000 police officers who traveled from across america and canada to attend the funeral services last month. so mr. president, we can never really fully repay the debt of the men and women who sacrifice their very lives in protecting us but there are small things we could do to help the families that they leave behind. and i want to call on congress to take one small step toward that goal. we should pass the children of fallen heroes scholarship act. and we should do so soon. the children of fallen heroes scholarship act simply says, any
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child whose parent dies in the line of duty as a member of armed services or as a public safety officer such a child will be entitled to the maximum permissible pell grant scholar scholarship for their attendance in college. now, five years ago the house of representatives unanimously passed this legislation. my fellow pennsylvanian senator bob casery, senator casey plans to reintroduce this legislation. i will be cosponsoring this legislation when he does. and i call on done pick up where it left off back in 2010 and to promptly enact the children of fallen heroes scholarship act. mr. president, i also want to take a brief moment to address the recent spade of protests that we have seen, people who have gone to the streets across the country often harshly criticizing police officers. and let me be clear. people want to protest?
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they have a right to protest. and i would never challenge their right to say what's on their mind to convey whatever message they'd like to convey. but i would hope that they would keep a few basic facts in mind as they consider or, in fact, carry out a protest. one is, any human institution is going to be imperfect. that is the nature of humanity. it consists of human beings, so it will be imperfect. the fact is that the overwhelming majority of police officers are honest, hardwork being, decent americans and they're motivated by the desire to serve and protect the community in which they live, and they don't have a racist bone in their bodies. so my message to law enforcement is i understand how de-moralizing it must have been recently to see some of these protests, to hear some of the outrageous and slanderous statements that have been made. but these protesters don't speak
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for most americans. the fact is, a big majority of pennsylvanians -- and i spicts i suspect a big majority of americans know that every day the men and women who put on a blue uniform and put on their badge are answering the call of the people in need when we need them most and they put themselves in great danger to serve all of us, when other people choose to run away from danger. they're the ones of that have to run toward it. so just as the law enforcement community of america has stood by the family of corporal dixon and officer ramos and officer liu, i want you to know that america stand with you. thank you mr. president. i yield the floor. mr. sessions: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from alabama. mr. sessions: first i would like my colleague from pennsylvania for his thoughtful
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remarks. as one who had been involved in law enforcement for a number of years and having great friends in the law enforcement community, i'm well-aware of what their duties are like. i remember we had a dangerous event here at our capitol and one of the police officers raced around that building to the scene of the event. what would he know that happened to him? could there be a team of terrorists waiting to assassinate him as he came around the corner? what happens when a police officer responds to a domestic violence call at their home? they don't know what's behind that door, what might happen to them. it is a tough job. they have a right to go home to their family, their children. they do not have to allow themselves to be murdered by someone who is a danger. and so i -- it is a tough issue. police departments work a the at it really hard. senator toomey, thank you for your beautiful remarks.
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i think it is very appropriate at this time. mr. president, with regard to the keystone pipeline issue and the discussion we've been having here, i want to associate myself with a series of very important and valid concerns raised in support of that pipeline. we have pipelines that chris cross--that chriscross my state -- that crisscross my state. i can't remember when somebody has raised a problem environmentally of the pipelines. we know they're less likely to cause environmental damage than transportation by train or truck. we know they're less likely -- there are less likely to be accidented. we know there is less energy consumed in that process. so but there's something that's been bothering me for quite a long time, and i want to raise
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that point today because i think it's so valid and i think it's important for all of us to understand. the reason this senator -- and i think others -- have advocated for more production of american energy advocated for these issues and production effectively is not to benefit some oil company as we've been wrongly attacked, not to benefit some rich group; it's to benefit the american consumer. the more energy we produce in america is good for the american people. we gort import a great deal today. it's less because we're producing more, through the new technology of fracking and other things. we've seen a reduction in the amount that we import. and much of it has been imported from places like saudi arabia and venezuela and libya and
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places many of which we have not very good relations with. so we have made a transfer of wealth from the american people to foreign nations weakening you strengthening them -- weakening us, strengthening them. many of us as i said, have not been friendly to us over the years. so we have a choice in this vote to help supply a shortage that we have from our perhaps closest ally in the world canada. i was at the canadian-american interparliamentary. i was surprised mr. president how deeply our canadian friends feel about this. they can't imagine why we wouldn't want to buy oil from them as opposed to other countries around the world. they purchase all kinds of products from us. we have a good and fair and honest trading relationship with canada. they support us throughout the world consistently in the u.n. and other places on important issues, important to the american people.
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we have so many common interests. so number wurntion i just one, i just want to say, if we're going to import oil from around the world to meet our needs there's no better country that we could ever choose to import it from than canada, our friend and neighbor. second it provides -- well, you're doing this to help some business. that's not the way the system works really, the free market system. bringing in this oil provides another source of oil for consumers. they don't have to buy the canadian oil if it's not cheaper. they wouldn't build this pipeline if they didn't think they could sell the oil cheaper than saudi arabia or venezuela could produce it, or even america could produce it. they believe they can sell it, and they have to sell it for a lower kooft cost or they won't sell it. so what would the lower cost mean?
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it means good things for mama, for children, for families, for fathers, for businesses. all over america we have lower-cost energy. it makes america a stronger, more vibrant world economy. we're able to compete in the world market, if our energy costs are below other nations' energy costs. it helps us overcome the wage differences that americans have compared to other places around the world. and this reliable source of america is important. i guess what i would want to say to my colleagues is that this is an opportunity for us to make a statement and the statement is, we are going to help the american people by reducing the cost of their energy, so they may have more money each month
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maybe to go to a movie, to go out to eat and a person -- and it can make quite a difference. well they say the price is fixed. you know, these guys, they got these powers and people try to manipulate prices. i don't deny that. and all this goes on in the world. but one of the most powerful forces in the world is supply and demand. if the oil companies were so powerful why has oil fallen from $110 a barrel-plus this summer to now $46 today why? why did this happen? because there's a supply from fracking, from other sources around the world. it's brought up the supply, created some surplus and the price has collapsed. there's a lot of oil companies out there that are hurting today. so if you don't like big oil if you don't like the companies that -- why would you want to
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oppose importing oil that would be cheaper? this is the way the free market system works. so i would say the market system is working. i saw an expert yesterday in baron's indicate that it could fall to $20 a barrel. that would be great for the american consumers. and one old map i teased man i teased him a little bit. i hope you've saved some money because i like this low-priced oil. don't ask me to come in here and ask oil to go up on my constituents on american consumers. i appreciate that people go out there and drill these multimillion-dollar wells and sometimes they're dry and sometimes they hit. that's the great american free market system. a lot of people have gotten rich. a lot have gone broke. there's been boom and bust in the oil industry since the beginning of time. it is documented by daniel gergen in the book "the prize" and other writings.
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this is the way it's always been. so we benefit when the price falls. importing good oil, a good source of oil from our neighbor canada at a competitive price just provides one more source that helps keep the price down and gives more options to the american people. it's the right thing to do, colleagues. i can't imagine that we would want to favor importation of oil from other countries over canada. i believe we should go forward with this, and i'm concerned that the president and his allies are not in agreement. but, look ... this is the true facts, as many of us who have been involved in these issues for some years have come to understand. there is a large group of folks out there activeist environmental extremists -- not
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just good environmentalists but people who have an extreme view -- who want the price of energy to go up. president obama even said it during the campaign when he ran that first time and said, with regard to coal, the price -- we're going to basically block the coal industry and the price of electricity would necessarily skyrocket. that's not my policy. that's not a policy of a good public servant in my view, for america, for the american working person. i want their electric bill as low as we possibly can keep it, consistent with good environmental and clean activities. i want their gasoline bill as low as we can get it. that's what we should do. that's how we can make this country better, and it'll make it tougher for a lot of these guys that have been sitting on oil at $100 a barrel and now it is $46. so who's the loser with more
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supply in it's the guys who have been sitting on the energy. so i don't have any -- bear any grief for them. i'm happy if they make money. they have to go through tough times, just like everybody else. i want to thank the people who have worked so hard on this. senator hoeven and oh, they've worked so hard and documented the facts behind it. i believe we're in the position to see some positive action occur in the next few days and look forward to creating an additional supply of oil from an ally of the united states that will bring down the price of oil perhaps even further in the world -- in the united states manchet i thankmarket. i thank the chair and would yield the floor and i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call
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the presiding officer: the senator from vermont. mr. sanders: i ask that the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. sanders: mr. president, i wanted to take a few moments to speak about an amendment that i will be offering as part of the keystone pipeline legislation. it is an extremely simple and straightforward amendment. it's a brief amendment but it basically raises a very fundamental issue. and that issue is whether the united states senate will abide by scientific evidence, will come down on the side of science as we debate this enormously
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important issue of climate change. and the amendment is very brief and i'd like to read it and then explain why i believe it is such an important amendment. this is what it says. "it is the sense of congress that congress is in agreement with the opinion of virtually the entire worldwide scientific community that, one climate change is real; two, climate change is caused by human activities; three, climate change has already caused devastating problems in the united states and around the world; four a brief window of opportunity exists before the united states and the entire planet suffer irreparable harm, and; five, it is imperative that the united states transform its energy system away from fossil fuels and toward energy efficiency and sustainable energy as rapidly as possible. that's it.
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that is the entire amendment. and i would say that for the scientific community around the world, there is nothing in that statement that smacks of controversy. these are simple statements of fact agreed by the overwhelming majority of scientists who have written and studied climate change. mr. president, climate change is in fact, one of the great threats facing our country and the entire planet. it has the capability of causing severe harm to our economy to food supply to access to water and to national security. the intergovernmental panel on climate change, the leading international scientific body on this issue reported yet again this past fall that -- and i quote -- "warming of the climate
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system is unequivocal as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures widespread melting of snow and ice and rising global average sea level." mr. president, more than 97% of the scientific community in the united states and across the globe agrees with these findings findings including among many, many other organizations the american association for the advancement of science the american chemical society the american meteorological society the american geophysical union to name just a few. in fact, mr. president at least 37 american scientific organizations 118 international
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scientific organizations and national academies and 21 medical associations all agree that climate change is real and is being caused by human activities. and, mr. president what i would like to do is submit to the record a list of 37 american scientific organizations 135 international scientific organizations 21 medical associations and some religious and teacher organizations that understand that climate change is real and it is caused by human activity. and i would ask permission to enter into the "congressional record." the presiding officer: without objection. mr. sanders: thank you. mr. president, let me read from an excerpt of a letter signed by
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virtually every major scientific organization in this country sent to the u.s. senate way back in 2009. and this is what the letter states. it states 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 lines of evidence and contrary assertions are inconsistent with an objective assessment of the vast body of peer-reviewed science. moreover, there is strong evidence that ongoing climate change will have broad impacts on society including the global economy and on the environment. the united states climate impacts include sea level rise for coastal states, greater threats of extreme weather
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events and increased risk of regional water scarity urban haiti waves western wildfires and a disturbance of biological systems throughout the country of the the severity of climate change impacts is expect to increase substantially in the coming decades." let me repeat that one sentence. "the severity of climate change impacts is expected to increase substantially in the coming decades." mr. president, we know that the earth's climate is warming and warming quickly as a result of industrial greenhouse gas emissions, as the 2014 national climate assessment reported -- quote -- "the most recent decade was the nation's warmest on record. u.s. temperatures are expected to continue to rise." according to noaa, october august, june and may were the hottest -- october august, june
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and may months ever recorded. 2012 was the warmest year on record in the contiguous united states. and 9 local69 local heat records set. the consequence of this rapid and dramatic global rise in temperatures -- the impact -- the consequence of this rapid and dramatic rise in global temperatures what does that mean, what is going to happen? and what the answer is, it's going to mean more severe storms more flooding and destructive storm surges, heat waves, drought forest fires and inundation of water supplies and agricultural land with salt water. as the "new york times" reported in august, droughts in the western and southwestern united states appear to be intensifying as a result of climate change. quote -- "over the past decade, droughts in some regions have
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rivaled the epic dry spells of the 1930's and 1950's. the country is in the midst of one of the most sustained periods of increasing drought on record." china's heat wave a year and a half ago was the worst in at least 140 years. fire suppression costs in the united states have increased from roughly a billion dollars annually in the mid-1990's to an average of more than $3 billion in the last five years adjusted for inflation reports the national climate assessment. and our oceans are not just warming, they are becoming more acidic threatening fish, coral reefs and other sea life. as the study reported in the journal "science" reported, carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere are driving a rate of change in ocean asidity --
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acidiy which was already thought to be faster than at any time in the past 50 million years. the authors warn that we may be -- quote -- "entering an unknown territory of marine ecosystem change." extreme storms are also becoming more common and more intense with extraordinary impacts. for example when typhoon hiyan struck the philippines a year ago, it displaced over 4 million people, killed thousands and cost the country at least $15 billion in damages. and what happens mr. president if we fail to cut back dramatically on greenhouse gas emissions? and climate change continues to accelerate? what will that reality mean for our country and for the globe? the ipcc estimates that without additional efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions -- quote -- "warming is more likely
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than not to exceed four degrees celsius 7.2 degrees fahrenheit, by the end of the century." let me repeat that. if we do not begin the process to dramatically reverse carbon emissions and slow down the warming of this planet, by the end of the century warming is more likely than not to exceed four degrees celsius which is 7.2 degrees fahrenheit a planet which is over seven degrees fahrenheit warmer. similarly, just last year, the white house released the national climate assessment, emphasizing that global warming is already happening and warning that global warming could exceed 10 degrees in the united states by the end of the century 10 degrees fahrenheit. mr. president, the world bank, which is a pretty conservative
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organization put it -- talked about a world in which temperatures increase by just four degrees celsius that that would be one of unprecedented heat waves severe drought and major floods in many regions with serious impacts on human systems ecosystems and associated services. this is the warning that we hear from the world bank a fairly conservative international organization. the ipcc reports that sea levels are likely to rise another 10 to 32 inches by the end of the century. some studies have reported projected increases of more than six feet during that time period. as "the new york times" reported, a rise of less than four feet would inundate land on
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which some 3.7 million americans live -- miami new orleans, new york and boston are highly vulnerable. similarly, according to the ipcc -- quote -- "many small island nations are only a few meters above present sea level. these states may face serious threat of permanent inundation from sea level rise." mr. president, reuters has reported that experts estimate that if the sea level rises by one meter over the next 50 years, that 20 million additional people will be displaced from their land. the army corps of engineers predicted that the entire village of newtok, alaska, could be underwater by 2017 and more than 180 additional native alaskan villages are at risk. parts of alaska are literally
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vanishing. as reported in the journal "forest ecology and management," u.s. forest service researchers reported that wildfires are expected to increase 50% across the united states under a changing climate and over 100% in areas of the west by 2050. huge increase in forest fires. the world health organization reported in august that the number of weather-related natural disasters has more than tripled since the 1960's. more than 60,000 people now die each year in weather-related natural disasters. by 2020 food production is estimated to drop by 50% in some african countries and by 2090, the world health organization anticipates that climate change will double the frequency of drought and the duration will be
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six times longer. in 2003, a heat wave in europe killed an estimated 70,000 people as a constituted i did published in the "nature climate change" projects, however europe will likely experience severe heat waves once every five years now which is 10 times more frequent than just a decade ago. the need to act quickly is profound and pronounced. in its fifth assessment, the ipcc found that -- quote -- "without additional mitigation efforts beyond those in place today and even with adaptation warming by the end of the 21st century will lead to high to very high risks of severe, widespread and irreversible impacts globally." mr. president, in order to prevent irreversible and severe impacts we must quickly reduce
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greenhouse gas emissions in order to keep warming below two degrees celsius and to do that, we must transform our energy system away from fossil fuel and into energy efficiency and sustainable energy. mr. president, in terms -- in the face of this overwhelming evidence, in the face of deep concerns all over this planet, what is the united states senate going to do over the next few weeks? well i hope very much that we do not go forward with a keystone pipeline which moves us exactly in the wrong direction by expanding the production and transportation of some of the dirtiest fossil fuel on this earth. i think that that would be a terrible terrible mistake.
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but maybe more importantly mr. president, i would hope that the united states senate goes on record in strongly supporting the overwhelming scientific evidence which tells us loudly and clearly that climate change is real, that climate change is caused by human activity and the emission of carbon, that climate change is already causing devastating problems in our country and around the world that we have a short window of opportunity in order to move dramatically to reverse climate change and cut carbon, and that we must transform our energy system away from fossil fuel to energy efficiency and sustainable energy. so mr. president i intend to offer an amendment which
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basically urges the entire united states senate to go on record in making it clear that they understand what scientists are talking about. they are going to listen to the scientific community and they are going to take actions which our kids and our grandchildren will be proud of so that we do not leave them with a nation and a planet substantially less habitable than the planet into which we were born. so with that, mr. president i want to thank senators bennet and senators carper for cosponsoring this amendment. i hope we can have more cosponsors and look forward to seeing the passage of this important amendment. and with that, mr. president i would yield the floor.
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mr. nelson: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from florida. mr. nelson: mr. president i want to speak on the keystone pipeline but before i do, i want to alert the senate that i am filing today legislation to try to protect the average american from the breach of data in an individual company and therefore the loss of their personal identification. we have had a number of cases that there have been these wide data breaches in companies with hundreds of thousands of records being stolen and of course woe is you if, in fact, your
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personal identity is stolen, and it may manifest itself in so many different ways, not the least of which we have seen particularly in the tampa and the miami area of my state. the use of stolen social security numbers to file false income tax returns seeking refunds. and believe it or not, there was a ring in tampa that was actually doing this so successfully that street crime actually dropped the burglaries, the robberies the breakings and enterings, all of that dropped because suddenly the criminals found that it was so easy to use a laptop instead once they had secured the stolen i.d. and to
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generate these false income tax returns, and that's just one example. well the fact is if your identity is stolen because of a breach in a corporation you should have a right of having the knowledge that your security has been breached and therefore we are filing today with a number of cosponsors simple legislation that i have filed before in previous congresses. that if data is stolen from a company, it is incumbent upon that company to notify its customers within 30 days that their secure information has been stolen.
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that's it. plain and simple. now, i want to talk about the keystone x.l., and i would first remind anybody who is not familiar with this issue, this is the keystone x.l. pipeline. what does x.l. stand for? it stands for extra large. well if this is an extra large pipeline that would indicate that there is a smaller pipeline and in fact there is. and there is a smaller pipeline that is in existence from canada coming across the northern part of the united states, coming down to a terminal in southern missouri and it was about two
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years ago that the president announced that he was going to start and allow the extension of that southern terminus all the way to the gulf where there are the refineries. that is under construction. i don't know the completion date. it may be already completed. so there is a pipeline from canada all the way to the gulf coast so if what the oil interests in canada want is a larger pipeline, x.l., a lot of this environmental debate could have been avoided if simply you just ran it along the same route
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as existing pipeline, and in fact there wouldn't have been all the controversy about all of the aquifer and the recharge area right across the middle of nebraska that the state of nebraska got so exercised about and at first they -- the governor and the various state officials took the position they did not want this. finally, a new route was negotiated and the route was further to the east, not right across the middle of the recharge area which supplies a lot of the aquifer not only for nebraska but a lot of the midwestern states, and yet it is still running across part of the
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aquifer. we would have avoided all of that had you just run the x.l. pipeline right along the existing pipeline. there wouldn't have been all of this siting problem the environmental problems associated with the pipeline wouldn't have been there but why was it done? this is all politics. it was done in the middle of a presidential campaign going back coming up to the middle of the 2012 campaign, and it was supposedly to show that the president was anti-entering, -- anti-energy, anti-energy independence because he wasn't in favor of creating more oil production in north america. well that's clearly what played
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out, but then along the way then the question came well, assuming you put this pipeline there what's going to happen to that canadian oil? where is it going to go? and so it was a legitimate question and the answer to that was it was going to go right out to additional foreign countries. and so this particular senator said now, wait a minute, do i understand that you want canadian oil to have a conduit right through the center of the united states to a port in the gulf of mexico then to be
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exported to foreign countries? and the answer to that was yes. and i said well, since it seems like it would be in the interests of the united states that we at least keep part of that in the united states for consumption so it would lessen our dependence on foreign oil coming from the middle east or coming from places like that we used to get some 12% to 20% of our oil -- thank goodness we don't today but used to from a place like nigeria. you know how troubled that area is now. my question was well, wouldn't it make sense that we keep some of that oil in the united states for domestic uses so we didn't have to rely on oil coming from saudi arabia, the persian gulf area, from the west coast of
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africa? and the answer was that they would not entertain an amendment that would prohibit that oil from being exported. and likewise, if the oil is refined on the gulf coast it's not prohibited from being exported. now, i'm just a country boy. i'm just a little country boy from florida but i can put two and two together, and it simply does not make sense to me that you would want foreign oil to come in a conduit through the united states right through the heartland to go right out to other oil-thirsty nations in the
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world. if that were the case, then why doesn't canada just take an oil pipeline and build it themselves to the west, to the pacific coast? or why wouldn't canada use the existing structures and end up in the great lakes and send the oil out through the great lakes. and yet what did i say? this is politics. now, since the motion for cloture on the motion to proceed last night was passed, this is going to be in front of the senate and there are going to be opportunities for amendments and i can tell you that this senator is going to support the
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amendment that prohibits this oil from being sent out to other countries. if we're really interested about the united states security, national security, our independence from foreign oil since canada is such a close friend and ally, this would be in the interests of the united states. the fact is that it's coming at an interesting time. it is getting all the more complicateed. it used to be that oil -- and you think back a half a year, three quarters of a year ago oil was selling in excess of of $100 a barrel. yesterday it was just over $46 a
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barrel. it is said that canada cannot efficiently produce this oil and have any break-even point unless oil is selling in the range of $70 a barrel. so why in the world would canada even want to do this right now particularly at a time that oil is at 46% and may -- $46 and may stay down for some period of time even a year or two. so i think if we just apply some country-boy logic to this there is sufficient significant questions. first of all, to kill the bill and if that's not possible certainly to amend it
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so that it complies with the interest financial and national security interests of the united states. and that is the intention of this senator. and, mr. president, i yield the floor.
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ms. murkowski: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from alaska. ms. murkowski: i ask unanimous consent that all postcloture time on the motion to proceed to s. 1 now be expired and the senate proceed to a vote on the motion to proceed and that if the motion to proceed is adopted, the bill be reported and that my amendment be
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recognized to offer a substitute amendment, the text of which is at the desk. i further ask that the following amendments be in order to be offered during this week's session by senators cantwell and murkowski or their designees and that would be markey, related to oil exports amendment number 13, portman amendment number 3 franken amendment related to u.s. steel, and that consideration of these amendments be in the order listed and the bill be for debate only during this week's consideration of the bill. the presiding officer: is there objection? a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from washington. ms. cantwell: reserving the right to object, i just want to note for my colleagues that this agreement has been worked out on both sides that instead of staying here until midnight and having a great deal of uncertainty as we approach the next two days for both of our caucuses conferences to have
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retreats and giving people predictability about friday and next monday being a holiday working out back and forth on these agreements, i think this is a good way to proceed so i hope that people will feel free on friday to come here and dialogue about these or other amendments but this process is one that i think we should pursue at this point so i will not object. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. ms. murkowski: thank you mr. president. i've discussed the process going forward on this bill with our leader, the majority leader, and senator cantwell, and it is our intention to work together so that the two bill managers or their designees continue to offer amendments in an alternating fashion. the presiding officer: all time is expired then. the question is on the motion -- the question is on the motion to proceed. all those in favor say aye. those opposed, no.
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the ayes appear to have it. the ayes have it. the motion is agreed to. the clerk will report the bill. the clerk: calendar number 1 s. 1 a bill to approve the keystone x.l. pipeline. ms. murkowski: mr. president at this time i would call up my amendment number 2. the presiding officer: the clerk will report the amendment. the clerk: the senator from alaska ms. murkowski for herself and others proposes an amendment numbered 2, strike all after the enacting clause -- ms. murkowski: i ask unanimous consent to dispense with the reading of the amendment. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. murkowski: mr. president thank you. and i am pleased that we are at this point in time when we can actually start debate on the keystone x.l. pipeline. we've had some good conversation on this floor as we have gone through procedural issues, and i appreciate that we have been able to avoid a midnight vote
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that we were able to work agreement, and i thank my colleague and the ranking member senator cantwell, for her assistance in getting us to this point. where during the daylight hours we can begin debate on amendments. amendments that i think are particularly timely, particularly important to where we are today from an economic perspective, from an energy perspective, from an energy security perspective and keystone keen keen fits in with that -- keystone x.l. fits in with that. i have with us the first amendment to the keystone x.l. pipeline senate bill 1 and it is in the nature of a committee substitute. and what i will assure members is that the substitute that we have in front of us is almost a mirror image of the bill that we
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reported from the energy committee just last week, we reported it in a bipartisan basis, we had good discussion at that point in time, but we have in front of us that substitute amendment. but when you look to the amendment itself, it's pretty simple. we are truly talking about a two-page bill a bill that is simple in content a bill that is really very clear very readable in terms of what it does and what it does not do. it's hardly 400 pages long, again, expands just over two pages, would whet pretty wide font pretty large margins you can read it in a couple minutes and better yet understand it.
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and that's because the bill itself is very simple. what this measure does is approve the cross-border permit that is needed to construct the keystone x.l. pipeline. and it does this with important provisions. it fully protects private property rights, it requires all state and local obligations be met including those related to siting. there has been some discussion that somehow or other the senate is engaging in in routing engaging in siting. this bill does not approve a pipeline route. we are not a planning board. our bill only approves the pipeline's cross-border permit. and it only does that, it only does that because we have been sitting, we have been waiting for some six years
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2,300-some-odd days waiting for this cross-border permit. some have suggested this is some big giveaway. there is no subsidy in this bill it doesn't evade any regulations, it does not preempt any environmental study, it will not cost taxpayers a single dollar. again, i would encourage my colleagues look critically at the language of this bill. what this authorizes is that cross-border permit. there's been a lot of discussion about the jobs created and the environmental pros and cons on both sides. we've had good, strong debate already, already just as we have moved through the procedural process of this. but what i think is important for us as a body to appreciate is the point that we are at
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now, the point where we as members can take this simple, straightforward bill and offer up amendments that we believe would make it better or enhance it. and so as we go forward in these days i am encouraging members on both sides bring your amendments forward. let's have the give and take, the back and forth that this sentence was once so famous for. i've been asked how are you going to handle amendments on the floor? is it going to be a situation where the majority determines what the minority will introduce, what we will have an opportunity to debate and decide? that's not how we are handling it. the majority leader has promised a full debate, and he's also gone so far to say it's not
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unlimited, we're not going to be on this for months, but we are going to give members an opportunity to speak to the issue of the day. the issues of the day that are so important to our nation's economy. mr. president, you come from an energy producing state as do i. we know the significance of the jobs that come to our states and our local economies. we know the independence that comes when you are not reliant on others, particularly others who wish you ill for a resource that powers your country, that allows you to be great. we can see it firsthand but we're seeing the benefits of good energy throughout the entire country. so why would we not want to allow for a piece of
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infrastructure -- because that's what a pipeline is, the a piece of infrastructure, to cross a border from our closest friend and ally in canada, moving a product to our refineries in the gulf coast where they are set up, set up to handle this type of crude oil. there's been a lot of discussion that this is just going to be a transference of oil from the north in canada through the united states and out the other end. but i think if you look to the facts that are laid out in the state department's report in their environmental assessment, you appreciate the fact that it makes no sense to use the united states just as a conduit when our refineries, those refineries that are designed to
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handle the heavy crude will be in a position to refine that crude for our benefit here in this country. and, and for those in canada who are looking to, again move their product. what we're effectively going to be able to do here, mr. president, is replace what we are currently receiving from venezuela, which provides us with that heavy crude currently, which we refine in the gulf coast areas in those refineries. we'll be able to replace that with oil from our friend and ally canada. i don't know about you but i'd much rather have a tighter relationship with canada and i would with venezuela. so, again, the benefits, the merits of this legislation
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are -- are very substantive and the fact that we have been held back in the ability to advance this pipeline -- keep in mind this is not a case of first impression. this is not the first pipeline we have seen come across from the canadian border. there are 19 cross-border pipelines currently operating today. so as we -- as we work to develop not only a relationship around our energy, i think it's important to recognize that the relationship that we have with our friends to the north is important as well. one of the -- one of the things that we will see come forward here on the floor through the opportunity for robust debate and amendments is a discussion about the environmental aspects
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of the keystone x.l. pipeline and the oil sands from which they stem. we'll have an opportunity to discuss the issue of export and the significance of our energy exports in terms of the benefits to our economy, trade perspective, balance of payments the significance of that. the opportunities that we have in other areas related to energy energy efficiency and know my friend and colleague from ohio wishes to speak to an amendment that he will introduce today. but this is a long time in coming for us to not only have the chance to talk energy but the opportunity for us to vote on energy-related amendments. mr. president, i have much that i want to relay and convey in response to some of the comments that have been made by my colleagues on this floor in the
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past couple days. we will have an opportunity to speak directly to that. as was noted in the agreement we will have this measure in front of us, we will put some amendments forward this afternoon, we will not be voting on any amendments today nor will we be voting on any amendments on friday. but we will have an opportunity for good considered discussion on friday and going into next week. and on behalf of the majority leader i've been asked to announce that the next roll call vote will occur on tuesday january 20. but what that allows us is an opportunity, -- again beginning today, again now -- to encourage members to come forward with their amendments and based on
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the agreement that we have outlined two on the republican side today two on the democratic side today get those out there get them on the table, get them up, let's talk about them, have the opportunity on friday to do more of the same. again, on tuesday and then we can actually start moving through a process that i hope is good and robust and encouraging -- encouraging not only for the american public who the vast majority of americans are supportive of the kin. keystone x.l. pipeline. i think it will be good for us here in the senate to get back to a habit of advancing amendments of allowing the
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floor managers to work together, to decide a process to lay initiatives out to have the back and forth to take some tough votes -- it's what we do or it's what we should do -- and to get back to what we know to be regular order. that i want to be a terminology that all members understand instead of just some who have been around for more years than others. so to get back to a process feels pretty good today so i'm pleased to begin with just that. and, with that, mr. president senator portman was here on the floor as we began our unanimous consent request. i understand that he would like to bring up his amendment and
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then that will be followed by senator markey and his comments. portmr. portman: mr. president? ms. murkowski: excuse me, mr. president. i need to -- thank you mr. president. i have noted that senator portman was here first but based on the order we will defer to senator markey to first bring up his amendment and then turn to senator portman for his. the presiding officer: the senator from massachusetts. markaz e taibamr. markey: [inawbled] the presiding officer: the clerk will report the amendment. the clerk: mr. markey for himself and ms. baldwin proposes an amendment numbered 13 to amendment number 2. at the end of section 2 added following: mr. markey: i ask consent that further reading of the amendment be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection.
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mr. markey: mr. chairman, if i may be recognized to -- the presiding officer: the senator recognized. mr. markey: -- speak briefly on the amendment. i thank the chair of the energy committee. i thank her for her courtesy and the gentleman from ohio as well. and while we will not be having the full debate at this time on the senate floor, we are in fact beginning with a critical issue an issue that relates to climate change american energy independence the impact that legislation can have upon consumers, drivers in our country in terms of how much they are paying at the pump. it deals with actually the mission of young men and women in our country who go overseas in order to protect tankers of oil that are brought back to our country. and so the first question that
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will be asked in this debate is whether or not the oil, which is going to be delivered through this pipeline from canada, is going to stay in the united states of america. the canadian tar sands oil is the dirtiest oil in the world. the pipeline, like a straw is going to be built through the united states down to port arthur texas a tax deduction-free export -- a tax-free export zone. so you don't have to be an m.b.a. from a business school to figure out what this 3x5 card looks like. it is something that basically says that since the price of a barrel of oil on the global market is $17 higher than what the canadians can get for the tar sands oil that they want to get it out of the country, which is why it is going to end in port arthur, texas.
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an sport zone. an export zone. so what the amendment says that i'm going to be making out here on the floor of the senate is that if the oil is drilled for in canada, put through a pipeline in the united states, that that oil cannot be exported that that oil stays in the united states, that the promise of energy independence in our country is, in fact, what this agenda is all about. because otherwise the united states is taking all of these environmental risks. the planet is taking all of these environmental risks. but the economic benefits are not flowing to consumers drivers in the united states who finally feel some relief at the pump that they're not feeling that they're being tipped upside down and having money shaken out of their pockets on a daily basis. so the oil companies have made many claims about this pipeline. they have sthaid it said that it was
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for north american energy security. but it's really about exporting oil. they've said it's about reducing prices, but it's really about getting the highest profits. they said it would not harm the environment, but it in fact will worsen climate change and risk dangerous oil spills. they've been trying for six years to get this pipeline built, even when it's clear that we do not need it. and so this is really the keystone export pipeline, the k.x.l. export pipeline. so this amendment this first amendment that we will be debating is one that says, no, you cannot export it. we must keep that oil here in the united states. we must ensure that it is in fact something that benefits the american people. otherwise the canadians are just ripping this oil this dirty oil from their soil up from canada and putting it into a pipeline
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that then will be exported, which will only ensure that the planet gets hotter, that it becomes more dangerous for future generations. ladies and gentlemen, this is a very important debate. the plan set running a fever. there are no emergency rooms for planets. we have to engage in preventive care. if this action takes place and all we're doing is allowing canadian oil to go out right through our country and out the other end then we haven't done anything for the american consumer or for the climate. so mr. president i look forward to a more complete debate on this issue and i at this time yield back the balance of my time. mr. portman: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from ohio. mr. portman: mr. president i rise today to call up portman amendment number 3. the presiding officer: the clerk will report the amendment. the clerk: the senator from ohio mr. portman for himself and mrs. shaheen, proposes an
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amendment numbered 3 to amendment numbered 2. after section 2 insert the following cloosh mr. -- mr. portman: i ask that the amendmentreading of the amendment be disposed of. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. portman: the chairman said we were going it ahow amendments. this amendment is one that relates to energy efficiency. i strongly support the underlying bill and will talk about it in a moment. but i also support the strategy of saying let's produce more energy but let's also use the energy that we have more efficiently. i believe those are complirmttory and i believe it is consistent in making our businesses more competitive and improving the environment. i appreciate her willingness to allows us to move forward today. this is a key part of this all-of-the-above energy
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strategy. whether it is nuclear or renewables or coal or oil ar gas, efficiency ought to to be part of t it's an amendment that's the result of a lot of years of work of senator shaheen and myself but also senator h.o.v. in ayotte, franken, many others in this body. our cosponsors of it this afternoon are senator collins gardner, manchin ayotte. and this is legislation that is clearly bipartisan and legislation that really shouldn't be controversial. it takes part of the broader shaheen-portman, portman-shaheen legislation that has already passed the house of representatives and brings it to the floor. this is also legislation that has passed the committees in the senate and the committees in the house, energy committees, with wide bipartisan margins and actually was on the floor of the house last yeerd year and passed with the support of the president of the senate today. but it's four provisions, and
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they're all pretty straightforward. none of them has a mandate none of them has a cost. the c.b.o. has told us they don't score. all of them are voluntary. the first one is kind of an important one. it's called tenet star. it tries to align the interests of commercial buildings owners and their tenants. a lot of the real estate folks out there would like to have the ability to say this has the housekeeping seal of approval. it's like an energy star seal of approval that enables people to know this is an energy-efficient building. it is voluntary. it is not a mandate. but it will help a lot in terms of reducing energy consumption. the second provision is one that's very timely. this is one that a lot of us have worked on over the years. senator hoeven has been out talking about this. we talk sometimes in this place about the unintended
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consequences of regulations. this would be a great example of that. the here you have the department of energy promoting a regulation that if we don't stop it now will actually make our country less energy-efficient. it's unintended, perhaps but it's something we have to deal with now. if we don't then we're not going to be able to help save these particular products, which are water heretos. under the country there are hundreds of cooperate that i was use electric-resistant water heretos. they use them to store energy at night. and then during peak demand period they don't have to turn these electric water heaters on. so it is an energy-efficiency effort. it is the kind of grass-roots kind of innovation we want to see more of. but this kind of regulation establishes a new standard for water heaters that effectively undermines the program. it makes it impossible for companies to produce these kind of water heaters that the co-ops
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are using. so the legislation allows these co-op programs that are good for energy efficiency to continue. you've probably heard from your electric rural co-op because it is very important that it be handled and handled now. if it it is not then these companies will stop producing these water heaters and they won't be able to continue these prasms the third provision has to deal with the effect. the federal government ought to practice what it preaches. the federal government talks a lot about energy efficiency and yet it is probably the biggest energy user in the world and probably one of the most inefficient. this says simply, that federal agencies have to coordinate with the offs of management and budget with the department of energy to develop an implementation strategy that includes best practices measurements and verifications for the maintenance purchase, and use of energy-efficient and energy-saving technologies. i.t. has been a source of great inefficiency in the government. this legislation says let's require these agencies to
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actually clean up their act to be more energy-efficient in the area of information technologies. again, it's a nonpartisan approach. it's one that's been supported by both sides of the aisle. finally, along the same lierntion the fourth provision requires the federally leased buildings without energy star labels obama and disclose their -- benchmark and disclose their data. these are not federal building that have to report this information. these are buildings that the federal government leases. so in effect, all of us as "federalist papers" should have an -- all of us as taxpayers should have an interest that these leased buildings also have the energy efficiency provisions to ensure waste and taxpayer money. these are really important provisions. these are really not controversial provisions. they're consistent again with this idea that, yeah, let's process more energy, have the infrastructure to bring the energy to the consumer, but let's do it in a way where we are using more energy you go also using it more efficiently.
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i hope we'll see the kind of strong bipartisan support on the floor we've seen in the past in these provisions as they're part of this underlying legislation. i'd like to talk for a moment about the underlying legislation. this is the keystone x.l. pipeline construction. it seems like we've been talking about this forever and frankly we have. this has been going on for almost seven years now, i believe. think about that. this is just -- to get the approval of the pipeline. not to actually build it. just to get the approval it's taken almost seven years. it's time to stop talking about it and move forward on it. the keystone x.l. pipeline has taken almost seven years. by comparison we built the hoover dam in less than five year. the empire state building was built in one year, 45 days. a railroad was built by hand in six years. there is no reason we shouldn't move ahead with this. we've learned a thing about this keystone x.l. pipeline when
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we've been debating it and everything we learned leads us to the conclusion that this makes sense to move forward. we know we can do it safely. we know we can do it in an environmentally sound way. we know we can create jobs during its construction. yet as we stand here today with the keystone x.l. pipeline as a source of debate rather than a source of jobs we're not moving the country forward. i think we've waited long enough. there's been debate on the floor. i've heard it over the last couple of days and last week, is this going to create jobs? yeah, it will. the state department has said it will and the state department is in the obama administration and they are the ones that tell us it will increase the economy by about $3 billion increase the g.d.p. of america but also create more than 45 million jobs during construction through the sourcing of pipeline contracts through american manufacturers. a bunch of those manufacturers are in my home state of ohio. ohio produces pipe. ohio produces are the kind of steel that, the the structural steel that goes into the
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construction of the pipeline. ohio produces the monitors that go on this pipeline. we produce other things like pumps and compressors. this will create jobs in my home state of ohio. i've toured these factories i've talked to these workers who are going to have the opportunity to roll that steel build these compressors and for them this is important too. some of the critics of the pipeline attempted to undermine these numbers by claiming the jobs related to the pipeline are not permanent. i don't know what to say about that except that are any construction jobs permanent by that definition? we certainly want construction jobs. the obama administration talks all the time by the need for more infrastructure projects to create more jobs. this is an infrastructure project. by some measure it may be the biggest infrastructure project in america over the next couple of years if we approve this thing. it will create not just jobs but good jobs. this is the kind of work that we want to have more of. this is why a lot of labor unions including building trades are excited about this because they know it's going to be able to lower that unemployment, to
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be able to get people back to work who have lost their jobs. others have expressed environmental concerns. let's look at the facts. let's look at the science. every environmental study that has been conducted the pipeline passed. we know the pipeline is safer and more environmentally sound than the alternative. what's the alternative? it's what's happening now. it's transporting this oil by truck, transporting this oil by train. as we know, and as the c.r.s. report has said, a lot of this oil doesn't come from canada. it comes from the balance can. the balkan is in america. it is in north dakota and other places. some of that oil is being moved by truck and plane. better that it go by pipeline. it is more efficient less costly and also safer environmentally. let's debate this issue. i'm happy to do that but let's try to stick to the facts. the fact is this thing makes sense. for those who oppose it, i would ask them why is it so different than all the other pipelines
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we've constructed in this country? in all of our states we have pipelines. wh we build this we won't -- it won't be the first to carry oil across international boundaries. it won't be the second or third. it will actually be the 20th, the 20th pipeline to carry energy across the international bound try. just to give you some idea of how the permitting process of x.l. has been of the three other canadian pipelines approved it took the federal government 15 months on one another 28 months. the permitting process for this one, keystone x.l. has dragged on for 76 months and counting. i've heard people say why are we rushing it? i don't think we're rushing it. i think this makes sense as we've approved other pipelines to go through a process around now have the ability to move forward with the jobs and energy security it provides. when this debate is over, we need to think about our permitting system. to me, this is really an indictment of our entire
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permitting system in this country. we need to do something about it where you can't get a project approved -- by the way i'm not just talking about oil and gas projects. i'm talking about other energy projects, solar projects. i'm talking about siting windmills. i'm talking about hydroprojects. i first got involved in this issue because there was a hydro project on the ohio river of all places, that was being held up by federal regulations. and the folks trying to get this through came in saying we can't believe how complicated to get a permit from a federal government. as soon as we get one permit from a federal agency another agency comes in, they require it be done sequentially and it's taking us forever and we're losing investors and those investors are going not just across the ohio river to another state, they're going to another country because the federal permitting system is so bad in this country. that's why i've improved bipartisan legislation called the federal permitting improvement act. senator mccaskill is my
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cosponsor. the american government shouldn't be standing in the way of good projects, particularly energy projects that are so important. the american government shouldn't be standing in the way of good american jobs, and that's exactly what's happening. we need to streamline the approval process and it can be done and be done in a bipartisan way. it comes down to this. we hear a lot about an all-of-the-above energy strategy in the senate. everybody seems to be for it. it is a position the american people support overwhelmingly, by the way. i've been to the floor many times to express my support for energy policy that includes everything from nuclear to oil natural gas renewables, coal and increased energy efficiency as we talked about earlier. we need all of those if we want to continue to see energy prices fall and continue to see a reliance on dangerous and unstable parts of the world decline. an all-of-the-above energy strategy includes the keystone pipeline and other projects like this. if you want to be able to say you support all of the above support keystone. if you don't support the
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pipeline you have to explain to the american people why you stood in the way of 40,000 good-paying jobs, you have to explain why you opposed an all-of-the-above energy strategy that can keep prices low and help secure north american energy independence which also affects our national security. for us not to be dependent on volatile projects is good for national security. let's stop sending the money to the mideast. let's keep the money right here in north america and let's stop the delay. let's make construction of this pipeline a reality. the american people are watching. we've all spent time in our states over the last month. we've heard over and over again that the american people want us to work together. they want us to cooperate where we can particularly on issues that relate to jobs and the economy and getting things moving in this country. i think this current legislation can be a model for how the senate can operate and a sign that we've heard the message the voters sent in november. this final bill will be the process, as i said earlier of an open process where people
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come out on this floor and debate as i have today not just on the underlying legislation but on the amendments, on energy efficiency. that's good. at the end of this process it will likely contain some policies that i fully support. and by the way the final bill will probably contain policies i don't support because that's what happens when you have an open process. people will be able to come out here make their best argument and people will vote yea or nay depending on how they feel it affects them, their states and their constituents. that's what's happened here on the senate floor and that's a good thing for our country and a good thing for getting to the right policy. when the amendment process is complete i believe we will have produced a bill that advances this goal of implementing a true all-of-the-above energy policy while creating more jobs for the american people and protecting our environment in better ways. that's what we all want and that's why this legislation is a win for all americans. madam president, i yield back my time.
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madam president, i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call:
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a senator: madam president. the presiding officer: the senator from indiana. a senator: madam president i ask that the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. coats: madam president throughout history a single picture has revealed the political reality of the moment. before we had photography, it was artist's depictions of caesar entering rome, general washington crossing the delaware napoleon crossing the alps and when photography came, we could see the images that define america's role in the
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pivotal moments of existential threats to our values, our faiths and our way of life. roosevelt and churchill sitting beside stalin in tehran and later yalta. president kennedy at the city hall in berlin uttering those famous words. and ronald reagan at the brandon gate uttering equally famous words. the picture that defines the moment the picture that is seared into our minds an image that stays with us through our life all powerful images, and the photographic ones have the common theme and the common purpose of confirming america's essential leadership role in global affairs. in all these examples and thousands of others, we can see the world looking on americans with a respect and with expectation that we are there at
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moments critical to the world's future. there not just to participate but there to lead, where u.s. leadership is essential to the success of the endeavor. today possibly the most powerful image that evokes most clearly the new reality of this moment in history is this image right here. here many, as we see leaders of major nations in the world some of the most significant influential leaders walking arm in arm down a paris boulevard as a united protest against the grotesque barbarism that threatens us all. the leaders of europe, leaders from africa, leaders from the
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middle east and even those who in circumstances other than this are not united, they are united. united arm to arm marching in front of literally millions of europeans, french and other countries, and yet something there is tragically missing. the most profound significance of this picture which has been shown around the world and which has been seared in our minds as a defining moment, america is nowhere to be seen. looking at this picture with the world's leaders some diametrically opposed ideologically to others, but uniting. and we're told that throughout the millions of people that were there, if there was a presence of an american representative,
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that person was not seen. if the world needs any further demonstration of america's decline and our growing irrelevance, is this utter absence at this potentially defining moment in rallying the nations of the world to address this existential threat to the most basic of our values and our freedoms and it is just -- just not an image problem although the image itself carries a message, it is a substance problem. this group of rural leaders and millions of others joined together in paris last weekend to show the entire world that a threat to our principal freedoms is entirely unacceptable to us all and will not be resisted by all of us, an unacceptable mortal threat to freedom of
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expression freedom of conscious, freedom of religion and freedom of the press. my friend and former colleague joe lieberman wrote a piece in today's "wall street journal" that articulately defines this threat and how we must respond and i would like to quote from that. in his piece he wrote -- "in rapid order the three attacks in france last week showed more clearly than ever that the international movement of violent islamist extremism has declared war on western civilization's foundational values which are embraced by so many people throughout the world. the murders of police officers, cartoonists and jews were attacks against the west's most central values and aspirations. the rule of law freedom of expression freedom of religion. radical islam will continue to threaten what we hold dear unless it is fought and eventually defeated. these millions gathered not only
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because 16 people died so tragically they also gathered because those who would pervert their faith in order to lure defunded and deluded young people into violent extremism must know that we will all oppose them, no matter what it takes. so how can we reconcile this vital mission with america's utter absence? no excuses are sufficient. no apologies or explanations about bureaucratic ineptitude will be enough to undo the damage caused by our absence and depicted throughout the world. now, some may say the president didn't attend because of security concerns. writing for "the wall street journal," peggy noonan said in response to white house stated concerns about security, life is a security concern. you must do what is right.
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sadly, the president's absence is, in fact, an accurate reflection of how this administration sees our role in the world. during the past year, we have seen a long list of foreign policy disasters. the rise of the most potent and violent terrorist organization in history continued disintegration of syria destroyed by a civil war with multiple combatants, most of them simply evil. american hostages beheaded in full public view on social media. a resurgent taliban conducting more attacks on afghanistan than at any time since 2001. and the government of iraq losing control of a third of the country including cities and provinces soaked with the blood of american troops. we have seen our old enemy al qaeda and its affiliates metastasize throughout the middle east in north affect to
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mount attacks in sudan yemen and elsewhere and now even france. we have seen the islamic state mount media campaigns that have persuaded thousands of americans, europeans and others to flock to their black banners. we have seen an ill-conceived and poorly prepared middle east peace initiative collapse under the weight of unattainable expectations. all of these problems and many others some colossal disasters have been aggravated by u.s. policy failures, and those failures have come from a white house isolated in a wasteland of confusion. the obama administration has no coherent strategy for dealing with the world other than in a now famous paraphrase don't do stupid stuff. shrouded in this fog of indecision and failures, is it any wonder that we could not find the vision to join with the
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rest of the world to show purpose in paris? it is deeply ironic and appropriate that the events in paris were all generated by the power of imagery cartoons no less. those events have now produced this new imagery a picture of global common action in which the united states is tragically absent. madam president, i yield the floor. ms. murkowski: madam president. the presiding officer: the senator from alaska. ms. murkowski: thank you madam president. we are waiting the arrival of senator franken to bring up the amendment relating to u.s.-made steel that is part of the agreement that we entered into just a little bit ago that would
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allow for a series of amendments to be brought forward to the floor. the first was my substitute amendment to senate bill 1. senator markey has brought forward his amendment number 13, senator portman his energy efficiency bill, and what i would like to advise members is that these are the matters pending before the body at this point in time. we certainly welcome debate on these issues. obviously, energy efficiency is very key to any energy debate. the aspect of -- of export is one also that is -- is worthy of discussion and i hope good debate on both sides as we go forward. i would encourage members to
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speak not only to these issues but if there are other issues that they would like to have brought before, while we won't be in a position to allow other members to offer up their amendments at this time under this agreement, there is certainly plenty of time to be talking about these. and prior to the entry of the agreement, senator sanders came to the floor and spoke about his intention to -- to offer an amendment at a later point in time so i -- i again invite members to be engaged be part of -- of this open amendment process that we are part of. i think for some it is new and it may take a little bit of getting used to, but that's a good thing. it's a good thing because again, these are areas that are worthy of debate on the senate
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floor when we're talking about jobs when we're talking about our energy security and we're talking about the strength of our economy, it is always timely to have this debate. so again, i will remind colleagues that our next opportunity to -- to be discussing these issues is friday morning when we will be in session to -- to take these up and again look forward to more discussion from across the aisle, and with that, madam president, i yield the floor, suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call:
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a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from washington. ms. cantwell: i ask the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. cantwell: madam president i on behalf of senator franken call up his amendment number 17. the presiding officer: the clerk will report the amendment. the clerk: the senator from maine, ms. cantwell for mr. franken proposes amendment numbered 17 to amendment numbered 2. after section 2 insert the following -- section use, -- ms. cantwell: i ask that the reading be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection.
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ms. cantwell:: thank you madam president. we've made some progress in proceeding with this very important issue and members are obviously coming to the floor to talk about their amendments and offer their viewpoints on this legislation. i would just point out that i hope that we have a chance to consider some of the other amendments we've been talking about, the issue of whether companies who are in the tar sand business should be paying into the oil spill liability trust fund, and we talked earlier today about how the oil spill liability trust fund which u.s. companies are required to pay into is critical for cleanup. and i want to add some documents to the record that in this case we had in kalamazoo that the company may have hit its cap and so it may for that kalamazoo spill on tarred maybe -- tar
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sands maybe asking the liability trust fund to actually recoup benefits that they had to pay out. so to me this is a very important issue. here's a company we have tar sands spilling into the kalamazoo river and actually costing i think it was something like $1.2 billion and instead of this company paying into the trust fund and paying for costs on this, they basically are going to take money that u.s. companies paid into the trust fund and be recouped because of this. i just want to get this right and i hope that we can work with our colleagues on another amendment on that process. and i'd also like to enter into the record an article that just appeared in the paper from the a.p. about how trans-canada is said to -- quote -- "offer landowners a price for their land in nebraska at which point if they don't come to an
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agreement by this friday but that the company can use imminent domain to take the land. while i think this is very interesting that congress is trying to expedite a process by which the trans-canada pipeline is approved and the nebraska supreme court made a decision basically on standing, and had four of the seven justices say that this was unconstitutional what the legislature did in trying to make away the public interest standard, this company is not waiting one second to say that property owners who never got the public interest standard met are going to get short shifted again and they're just going to go ahead. so i don't see why congress is trying to help a special interest hurry and make a decision when they're not trying to give any landowner the benefit of a process or give landowners the ability to negotiate. they're just going to go ahead with imminent domain. so it's are a very interesting
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tale we'll talk a lot more about in the pursuing days about all the special attempts that trans-canada has done to try to move ahead with this pipeline without following due process and as i noted earlier this morning i found it very interesting that at the very time the state department was saying to trans-canada your current proposal goes through an aquifer and really should status quo go somewhere else, trans-canada was lending support no in congress to say go ahead and approve the pipeline through the aquifer by saying the state department had to approve it. here's someone who clearly wants this pipeline no matter what, no matter where and is going to use every attempt to not follow the rules so we hope that we'll have a very healthy debate about why congress shouldn't be entering this kind of special interest deal on behalf of this company. i thank the president and i yield the floor.
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the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from north dakota. mr. hoeven: i ask that the quorum call be suspended. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. hoeven: mr. president, i'd like -- madam president i'd like to make a number of points in regard to the keystone x.l. pipeline aproof bill, legislation we're currently considering but before i do so i'm planning to introduce a resolution on behalf of the north dakota state university
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bison who won their fourth national championship on saturday against the illinois state red birds. it was a spirited and wonderful game in frisco, texas and i know that, madam president, you had a team that was in the hunt so to speak and played a tremendous game in new hampshire against the illinois state red birds. and it's a testament to the quality of the teams in the fcs championship that the division 1 playoff series teams like university of new hampshire had a tremendous year, outstanding coaching great student athletes and i watched the game between the illinois state red birds and the university of new hampshire on television, a fantastic game went right down to the wire and speaks to the fact there are excellent increases this division, tremendous athletes, a lot of teams that had great seasons.
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i want to begin commending all the teams that were in the playoff, including our opponent in the championship game, the illinois state red birds. they did a great job but north dakota state university, the coaches, everybody on staff leadership in the university -- of the north dakota state university and these student athletes had just a fantastic year and so i want to congratulate them. four years in a row is unprecedented. nobody has won the national championship in division 1 football in their division in the playoff division -- in the history, and so this was certainly a great achievement and so i'm planning to introduce the following resolution to honor the north dakota state bison. and it goes whereas the north dakota state university referred
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to in this preamble as the n.d.s.u. bison won the 2014 national collegiate athletic association referred to as ncaa football championship subdivision title game in frisco texas on john 10, 2015 in a hard-foot victory over the illinois state red birds by 29- 27, where's ndsu has won 12 championships, whereas has won four consecutive ncaa football championships since 2011, an unprecedented achievement in division 1 history, whereas the ndsu bison have had 58 wins to only three losses -- so 58 wins three losses, including a streak of 33 consecutive winning games. whereas so much chris clyman and
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his staff have continued the excellence of the bison football program, whereas the leadership of president dean bushanny and the athletic director matt larson has brought athletic excellence to ndsu whereas an estimated 17,000 fans attended the championship game, a fantastic game, reflecting the tremendous spirit and dedication of bison nation that has helped propel the success of the team, whereas the 2014 ncaa title was a victory not only for the ndsu football team but the entire state of north dakota now therefore be it resolved that the senate, one, congratulates the north dakota state university football team as the champion of the 2014 national collegiate athletic association division 1 football championship subdivision title two