tv Politics Public Policy Today CSPAN January 8, 2015 9:00am-11:01am EST
at the same time, when we don't really have a problem with oil supplies and oil prices at the all-time low. but beyond that, the bill grants basically -- deems the pipeline approval without any need to go through the federal regulatory process, environmental process, environmental protections, if you will that apply to every other construction project in the country. the president has said, i still need some time to decide whether this is in the national interest. and we have a court out there that still hasn't decided on the route of the pipeline. so why are we pushing this automatic deeming approval of this thing with all these concerns out there? i think that it really makes no sense, if you weigh these things back and forth mr. chairman.
and so basically, my opinion -- i'll conclude -- that we don't need tar sands because of the carbon pollution that comes from it. we have our own sources of oil. we're using less oil because our cars are more efficient. the pipeline isn't going to help lower gas prices or enhance our global security or fight climate change. for all these reasons i oppose the bill and request that the committee grant an open rule allowing amendments to be offered, at a minimum. thank you. >> thank you very much. i appreciate your consciousness, not only being here and taking time to be a witness today, but also it is good to see be. i hope you're going to have a good new year. >> you too. >> mr. kramer welcome. previously when you've been with us you've been on the resources committee. i don't know if you still are, but you are also a member now of the energy and commerce committee. >> i am. thank you, mr. chairman. i am the prime sponsor of the bill. >> that was what i was going to
say. we're delighted that you're here. the gentleman is recognized. >> thank you very much mr. chairman, and members of the committee. i, too, appreciate the issues raised in opposition to the bill and have some sympathies toward them. i think it is important for the committee to understand that prior to coming to congress, i spent ten years on the north dakota public service commission and carried the pipeline portfolio when we cited the original keystone pipeline through north dakota. 217 miles, 600 landowners, greenfield. yet we cited it after the presidential permit was signed. we routed it after. that's common that the permit would be signed by the president prior to the routing actually taking place because routing takes place not just in a hearing in advance, but it takes place literally as you are building the pipeline oftentimes because you come across things
that you didn't know were there that the geologists didn't know or that the archaeologists. so the routing of a pipeline doesn't happen prior to the presidential approval. so i just want to make that point. i also appreciate are the gentleman's point about price. and the issue of price at the pump. that said, first of all, we have to understand that these arguments are built on a false premise that somehow the oil sands aren't going to be developed apart from the united states. whether they're developed or not is not our call. what is our call is are we going to approve a process of transporting it that benefits the united states workforce the united states economy, and, frankly, the environment. frankly, the environment. putting tar sands or oil sands on barges and shipping it to china clearly has a greater negative impact on the climate and on greenhouse gas emissions than putting in a pipeline
through the gulf coast. putting it on trains has a lot of negative impacts beyond even greenhouse gas emissions. trucks, many more. we've studied this in great depth in north dakota. so from an environmental standpoint it is better. with regard to the price of the oil, that is a compelling reason to approve more pipelines. the difference in moving oil by train versus a pipeline is the difference of $10. now you have that margin -- you have a little bit of wiggle room at $100 a barrel. you have none at $50 a barrel, or $40 a barrel. the other thing we haven't talked about is that one of the negotiated deals between the states of north dakota and montana in support of this process 2,301 days ago with transport with canada at least 100,000 barrels of day for
capacity would be reserved is for bach and crude. we now move 70% of bach and crude by rail. we've all seen challenges with rail. safety is a major one. but 71% clogs a transportation system that is equipped, and frankly, required to move food to hungry people, commodities to markets, around the world. that 100,000 barrels of capacity a day freed up off our railroads is ten trains a week moving food rather than oil. i'm for trains. all the above transportation is important. but 71% is an inappropriate, i think, imbalance. so for those reasons, 2,301 days is long enough both for the president and for congress. we know enough about this issue. i appreciate the opportunity and encourage a good role that moves the bill forward expeditiously and gets it passed hopefully this week.
>> mr. kramer, thank you very much. look, we're all products of our environment, where we're from or our background. i remember when i was in high school and when we had the 1973 oil embargo. we were held hostage by people who had something that we not only wanted but needed. energy was the lifeblood of america back then and i don't think we've gotten a long way from that yet. as much time and technology and opportunity that comes around, we still need resources that are energy related. i remember when the big discussion was going on about alaska. and there are certainly people who said oh, they're going to ruin everything about alaska. the karacaribou loved it, by the way. and the pipeline works. and like everything else, once you begin taking something out,
perhaps you're into a diminishing circumstance. i think this is common sense for jobs. i think it is common sense for safety. i think it is common sense to say if we don't take our friends up ron it somebody else is going to. we should quit giving so much money that we have to to some people who we don't necessarily know how they would use that money. the canadians are dear friends of ours. they are loyal to the united states and i think this is a great new relationship that we would have with the canadians. i met with a member of their parliament lately, few weeks ago. he said we want to stick with you because we think you're going to get this done. we think it is the right thing to do. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i have no questions. >> gentle woman yields back her time. >> first let me ask unanimous consent to put the administration policy in the record. >> without objection. >> let me just quote from it.
"hr-3 conflicts with long-standing executive branch procedures regarding the authority of the president. prevents thorough consideration of complex issues that could bear on u.s. national interest been including syria security safety, environmental and other ramifications ramifications. if presented to the president, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill." now i want to welcome you gentlemen and ask what will happen if this were to pass and the nebraska court would then rule that it cannot be used -- will not be able to cross nebraska with the pinepeline? >> sure. nothing in this bill supersedes nebraska or any other jurisdiction. >> that would kill it would it not? you need to go across nebraska. >> at some point, just as the original keystone pipeline is -- i think it is important point and important question, and frankly, if i was routing the pipeline it wouldn't go through nebraska where it is going
through. i suggested a much more politically palateable route to transcanada but they chose a shorter one. that said i think the supreme court will determine whether that route is appropriate or not but they'll find a route either through nebraska or around nebraska i suppose at some point. but the presidential permit is not based on any individual state's routing. the presidential permit is simply determines that you can cross the international border. and there's no argument over where would cross the international border. >> well, i understand that you're north dakota. >> yes, ma'am. >> that because of the fracking and drilling there that you can actually see your state from space. that's a new wrinkle i suppose that you weren't planning on? >> well i will tell you that you raise a very important point and another very strong reason why we need even more pipeline construction. what you are seeing from space
is the flaring of natural gas which is a secondary product from the oil. the hold-up especially on public and tribal games in permitting lines for that is the very unfortunate outcome of burning the gas in the atmosphere and all the greenhouse gases with it without adding in he value to that gas. another good reason why we need more pipelines, not fewer. >> i'm very much aware of nebraska's concerns that the aquifer that covers most of the midwest which reallyc/jd makes it possible for the midwest to be the bread basket for the united states, could be destroyed if there were spills from that pipeline. >> again i'm very familiar as well with the aquifer. it has become sort of the main area to try to avoid. it does cover much of nebraska which is again why i think a different route might have been better. that said, there are lots -- thousands -- i'm sure the chairman will know exactly how many millions of miles of oil and gas and other petroleum
product pipelines there are underneath the earth. there are safeguards in place should there be a leak, should there be an accident. in fact, i'll tell you a story about the original keystone pipeline. early on after it was running there was a problem at one of the pumping stations that created a leak. all the alarms worked the way they were supposed to do. shut-off valves worked the berms held the oil where it was supposed to be held and they fixed it all in very fast fashion. . so the safety -- >> did it damage the water supply? >> it did not. it did not. and this bill -- this pipeline in particular is the latest, greatest state of the art as the chairman's testimony referenced, they have met over 50 specific recommendations by the department of state and department of of transportation as a result of the eis process. so could it actually happen? sure. but the safeguards are there to prevent it from being worse than it could be. >> i'm a great friend of the
canadian parliament as well. new york is of course very closely involved with them. >> sure. >> and i've been hearing rumors in any case that they think because the price of oil has fallen so steeply, that they may not even find is practical to build this pipeline. >> i actually think the low price of oil is even more reason to build it because of the margins -- the margin lost in high price will require them to move it as efficiently and economically feasibly as possible. pipelines are by far the most efficient as well as the safest way to move the oil. >> i'm not sure how safe they are. i must tell you, i'm not convinced at all about that. nor the fact that when -- if it is completed it will only need 35 employees. plus about 15 contractors to run it. but the major fact for us is that we're just simply being used as the pass-througher. most of this oil they went to get to the houston refineries then put it on tankers and go
elsewhere in the world but not in the united states. >> as a matter of fact, it certainly passes through the united states obviously from the northern border -- >> to the refineries. >> -- all the way to the refineries. all of those employees at the refiners are u.s. employees. all of the restaurants. jobs yes, you can say 15000, or 40,000, but hourwe're built on all kinds of levels temporary or otherwise. but the vast majority of this product won't necessarily be exported and nor, by the way do i have a real problem with exporting. i think we ought to do more of it. i think we ought to be price makers, not price takesrs. >> there is 3.6 million miles of pipeline in the united states today. it is by far the safest mode of transportation especially moving the oils and some hazardous materials. as mr. kramer said, we should be
building more pipelines, not less. statistics show that you have a greater chance of being hit by lightning than you do being affected negatively by a pipeline. i've thought about offering a bill who outlaw lightning strikes but that doesn't happen. the only way you can say there is not going to be any pipeline accidents is have no pipelines. then we're going to have all kinds of other problems. it is very safe. this pipeline that mr. kramer pointed out is going to be the safest pipeline ever built in the history of the world probably. >> i think we have to weigh the question of whether or not we want to be the conduit to get oil from canada to the rest of the world with the risk of what we might do with pollution. but there's one other thing in the legislation that i need you to explain to me and that is all claims against that pipeline have to be filed in the d.c. circuit court of appeals. and tell me why is that. people find it too difficult to get here or to be able to pay
the price of d.c. lawyers to be able to bring a claim. >> they felt they should come through the d.c. court to end up at the supreme court. that's just the typical route. >> that's just a plaert to get there quickly? >> to not get there quickly to get there efficiently. >> you be in the same town with the supreme court. just run across the street with it. okay. >> also to your point about moving oil through the united states and other parts of the world, there's venezuela out there, there's russia today. we ought to be helping the world by getting oil to other parts pft world. >> we are. i understand we're doing great exporting job. >> i would also add to that -- we're not here to debate lifting the export ban of course on crude oil but, right now our drop in price the oil drop in price is i think a clear demonstration of our vulnerability yet to opec. quite frankly, their ability to oversupply and drop the price comes with the very real understanding that they have the same ability to shrink supply
and spike the price and the more north american energy security we can have, the better. i just want to quote a few other specific things. trucks, 2.9 times emission that of pipeline transportation. and spills from truck transportation are three to four times the rate of spills from pipelines. so again if it is the economy if it is the environment that we are looking out for and safety pipelines are definitely the way to go. we want to be pricemakers, not takers, stabilize price and supply. as well as ensure the best trade relationship with our best friends in the world i appreciate your interest with canadian parliament. >> couldn't have a better neighbor. >> i'm co-chair. i'll miss bill owens tremendously in his leadership on the northerner border caucus. i'm meeting with the ambassador
week. this is so important to our relationship. >> i hope not because rob merriweather is one of my best friends and he understands i'm on the side of my constituents. >> i just wanted to say i listened to the questions and comments that you posed and the responses by republican colleagues and the point that i'm really making here going back to the process again, is the president has basically said, because of the state department's concerns, as well as the state of nebraska's concerns, that we simply need more thyme to study this, that the jury is out. after listening to the debate back and forth here today i'm more convinced than ever that that's the case. so the point i'm trying to make here again is that, why are we deeming this approved? this is something that needs more study. i think the debate that you
brought up here is very -- supports the reason why we shouldn't be moving forward here. this is something that the congress shouldn't be acting on without further hearings and a new session without getting rid of the president's ability to say whether this is in the national interest, ignoring what the supreme court of nebraska -- we shouldn't be doing these things. it shouldn't be handled in this way. thank you. >> if i could respond to my colleague, we've had 15 hearings in the congress over the past couple years on this very issue. this will be the tenth. time it will be on the floor debated on the house floor. just the opposite. 2,301 -- that's like six years. isn't it? it's like six years we've been studying this. the time has come. again, i listened to my republican colleague here making arguments that i hear my democratic colleagues making all the time on the floor. jobs, energy safety. i just don't understand. >> let me just throw one thing
out for you. as a microbiologist by training master in public health and i know you can't survive more than four days without water. anything i think that has potential to destroy drinking water in the united states, which is one of the reasons we fight so hard to take care of the great lakes. right? because that's 20% of the planet's fresh water. and i just -- it just seems to me that we really need to wait until certainly the court acts and find out what we're going to do. but i do agree with the president's action. and i really want to see -- >> with regard, if i might, mr. chairman, to the process understanding this is the m 2,301st day since the application was made. and this issue of the nation's interest really is the president's decision. but this body in december of 2011 passed a bill unanimously
that passed the senate unanimously that the president himself signed that said that a decision has to be made within 60 days unless the president deems that it is not in the nation's interest. i want to read a beautiful piece -- >> i think that he has don't you? >> not that i -- i want to read a beautiful piece about the nation's interest. this is a quote. says, "this pipeline increases the diversity of available supplies among the united states worldwide crude oil sources in a time of considerable political tension in other major oil producing countries and regions, shortens the transportation pathway for crude oil supplies and increases crude oil supplies from a major opec producer. canada is a stable and reliable ally in trading partner of the united states." it goes on like that for a few more lines but i'm going to jump to the point. this quote as much as i had's like to take credit for it comes directly from president obama's presidential permit in 2009 of the alberta clipper pipeline that carries the very
same oil sands through the country, the united states, through parts of north dakota. i sited it as well. his arguments are more relevant today. >> i don't see them the same way given the fact that we are almost energy sufficient here. thank you. appreciate the conversation. >> further discussion gentleman from oklahoma is recognizeded. >> first of all i'm delighted that my friend from north dakota is carrying this bill because i don't think there's anybody with better background and more practical experience in actually doing this. but coming from a state that also thinks pipelines are sort of a good thing i appreciate the advocacy and expertise. couple points i want to make. why is the president involved in this decision at all? >> well, that's a great question. the reason the president is involved with it at all because it crosses international border therefore it requires a
presidential permit. >> so otherwise he would not be involved at all. >> that's correct. >> as part of this pipeline already been built? >> it has. in fact, the portion from oklahoma to the gulf coast, to the refiners themselves. >> did the president actually go down there when they opened that pipeline and hold a press event celebrating it? >> he did, in fact. >> it may have slipped their minds at the white house as well. are there any american-owned pipelines going through the country of canada? >> i suspect there are. >> isn't there something called the alaskan pipeline where we move oil all the way from alaska to the lower 48 which helps keep the price low for our friends? so it is okay for america to run a pipeline the entire length of canada, with their consent and their support, but it's wrong for canada to be able to run a pipeline through america?
>> i think we understate the importance of this pipeline project and these deliberations to our relationship with our friends in canada. >> oh, i have flo doubtno doubt about it. because i've had multiple conversations with people in canada and the hypocrisy that they see of us running oil through their -- which they have no objection to and cooperate in. then refusing them the same opportunity, that is disturb want to call about the united states projecting a bad image and conducting a double standard in the world, this is one of them. i look at the states through which the pipeline runs and i happen to look at where the support for the pipeline is, and it is amazing to me how almost every representative and senator in the state where the pipeline actually runs is in favor of it. there's almost no opposition. so i'm delighted that people from other parts of the country are worried about our water or our environment but we're really capable of making those
decisions all by ourselves. and indeed most of these states do it on a routine basis. as my friend pointed out, that's what you did for ten years, were make these kind of decisions for the state of north dakota. >> that's exactly right. that's why the presidential permit is confined to the point of crossing -- crossing the border and the nation's interests. after that, it is up to every local jurisdiction. by the way, not just states. it gets right down to the township level right down to the individual landowner. all of that jurisdiction is preserved in this bill. some you're exactly right. we can look out for ourselves just fine. >> and my friend has considerable experience, background, i know, so does my friend from pennsylvania. i'm sure my friend from new jersey may well, as well. but with canada as a country is it an environmentally sophisticated and advanced country? do canadians care about their environment? >> that is one of the other
ironies that we don't talk about very often is that if anything -- in fact, the new premier of alberta ran his whole campaign that he recently got elected on on environmental protection. it is his number one platform plank. he was elected and he is coming in a couple of weeks to washington to hopefully get this thing over the line. yeah. >> if i were living on the other side of the border, i would be both mystified and, i must say, irritated that my country was regarded -- a country like canada as a sort of third-rate third-world country that doesn't care about its environment. i mean this is one of the most advanced countries in the world. this is one of the best friends this be country has had in -- we've fought together in defense of freedom all over the world. it's the largest longest unguarded border in the world. it's a remarkable friend and neighbor to the united states of
america. it is making -- i'd be looking and saying, gosh when you needed help moving alaskan crude across the entire length of our country, we recognized you're a good friend. this is a pretty important thing. we worked with you. now when they're trying to do precisely the same thing, and in a way as my friend points out, will increase the energy security of the united states, will create jobs in the united states. it is not as if if they make the decision they can't run a pipeline in another direction across their territory and sell this all someplace else creating no jobs down in texas. >> no. that's an important point. i might say understanding that we are a political body and that's real and that the president has political considerations. that's real. i'm sympathetic to that. i think we all understand that. getting back to process and why this process in lieu of the presidential permit which the president could have signed any
time in the last five years, let's look at it this way. let's provide the president both the political muscle and if he feels the need political cover to do this jointly as a nation of the people's representatives and allow the -- and take some of that extra political burden off of him and do it together. i think we don't view things sometimes -- sometimes we shy away from political realities. political realities are why we're here. it's okay. i don't think we should apologize for them. let's just find a way to get it done. >> sometimes issues become symbolic. the substance on this is so breathtakingly clear. again, half this pipeline is built. we run pipelines across canada. the transportation of oil by train and truck as compared to pipeline is night and day, safer and cheaper around better. we've got billions of dollars of
pipeline in this country running every which way. this is one of those issues in my opinion, the environmental community has made into a symbolic issue. it is as much my view as the arctic wildlife preserve is on many occasions. it is just breathtakingly stupid not to do this. i think that's where the frustration comes. it is breathtakingly unfair to one of our best friends and neighbors who has never treated us this way and yet we're doing it to them. i want to commend my friend for the legislation and moving it along. there's a reason why this -- when the american people are asked about this and you were kind enough to stay on substance, but 60% favor, 20% opposed. well, it is jobs it is energy security, it is kind of fair to our friends, and for my friends who are reveling in the low price of oil, which in my chairman and my part of the world is not always the best
news, we're delighted you have it. but i will tell you this. the oil business -- i've learned this over a lifetime. what goes up will come down and will go back up again. if you don't keep drilling, drilling infrastructure now then i can assure you, you can expect higher oil prices later. i had a friend of mine once who's in the business and we had a roundtable and had a group of suggestions. what could we do to lower the price. well, you need to develop the arctic natural reserves. well we can't do that politically. well, you need to be build keystone because oil is global commodity and when it goes on the global market, whether we are using it or not, it brings down the price everywhere. well, we can't do that political. well, you need to do some drilling offshore and open up -- well, we can't do that. finally this guy looks at me. and he drills in oklahoma. he doesn't drill in any of these
places. he said, well, the next time you go to washington -- and all these people were local producers -- he said why don't you ask those people in congress how rich they would like us all to be? because every time they do this, they lower the supply globally and they increase the price domestically. none of us are going to make any money out of this suggestion. we're all location ol independent producers. we don't drill offshore. we're not drilling in alaska. none of this stuff helps us. but if you want to constrict the supply and make everybody around the table a multi-multi-millionaire, go right ahead. we're trying to help you solve a problem for the country. that's what you guys are doing in this legislation and this is very counterproductive to stop. sorry, i mr. chairman, i was on my high horse but this is one of those few issues that just punches all my republican buttons. so yield back. >> mr. chairman, thank you very much. foreign policy. >> just very briefly look. i appreciate everybody being
here today. let me say i love canada, too. >> prove it. >> you know what? i think there are people like myself and others who have concerns about this pipeline where those concerns are based on substance. you don't have to agree with it but the fact of the matter is people have some concerns which brings me to the point i want to make here, that is, this is a process committee. we have a number of new members. i think 52 new members that got elected. committees haven't been constituted yet. hearings haven't happened. yes, you had hearings in the past. fine. and if you want to really move forward with this, then at least open the process up. allow some of these 52 members to have an opportunity to be able to bring some suggestions to the floor. maybe there are some issues that we might be able to find some bipartisan consensus on that
might address some of the environmental issues or some of the safety issues or the issue of the protection of water that mrs. slaughter brought up. but the idea that we're going to go to the floor with potentially a closed rule and say take it or leave it, knowing the president is going to veto it it just seems to me there has to be a better way to start the session off. finally, look. we're at the beginning of a session. we're not at the end of the session. can't say we have to go home for the holidays so we don't have any time left. or this is a must-pass bill by the end of tomorrow otherwise the whole world comes to an end. . fact of the matter is we have an opportunity at the beginning of this session to respect the new members who have come in democrats and republicans and have a more open process. i hope in a bipartisan way that you will all suggest to the members of the rules committee that you don't bring a closed
rule on the floor, that we have a process that is much more open and that allows all members to have an opportunity to debate this. if it takes a day, so be it. if it takes a week, who cares? we ought to do this the right way and i would hope that we can all agree on that if not on the substance of the underlying bill. at least on the process in which we bring it to the floor. with that mr. chairman, i will yield back my time. >> i thank the gentleman very much. i stated earlier we live in glass louses uphouses up here around the gentleman is making a good point. in the 110th congress when mrs. slaughter was chairman the first year the majority, the rules package, had a consideration of five measures. not a hearing. not about the substance. the original day of the rules package. five measures. 111th congress same thing.cxith congress,
same thing. they were in the original package, not in the individual hearing. 6 for 6. right in there. we all live in glass louses. ima he no the trying to call anybody's plouffe. just trying to say, just remember, you're trying to get your work done. >> and we can argue -- if this is all going to be about you did it so we're going to do it -- >> that's not what i'm trying to do. >> that's fine. what we're trying to suggest is that maybe at the beginning of this new year we change the nature of the way we do business. if the answer is you don't want to do it fine. but the fact of the matter is that there is no reason at all for this to be brought up under a closed rule. and we could do it in a day. we could do it in two days. but you have 57 new members and we could debate whether it was the right or wrong thing to do when the democrats did it. i'm suggesting that maybe -- >> gentleman yield.
>> i will in one second. what i'm suggesting is that what we all should do democrats and republicans, is try to approach things a little differently. we might get more done. we might actually have bills have have enough bipartisan support that you might get the white house to sign a few bills. but if the issue is just sending things to the white house so they can veto it, we can score political points we're going to close the system up and it is business as usual fine. i think it is a missed opportunity but i think that's the direction we're going and it troubles me very much. i yield to the gentleman. >> thank you very much. as a matter of fact, we are doing things differently. we didn't put it into the rules package. we held a hearing. we put a notice out. we had other members on a bibasis. we've been here a couple hours. we're not running things through in a package. we're doing a rule. we're taking the time. we even welcome mr. polone today and he feels very welcome here. we welcomed mr. courtney.
we welcomed mr. lefb. i levin. i made sure that we were aware of what we're doing. we're trying to have a discussion and we are going to do things differently and i think it is better. >> with respect mr. chairman, i would just say, i would prefer a little less welcoming and a little more opportunity to be able to deliberate on the house floor. so as i understand it the rule, we got to report out will mean that if i have an idea on a way to improve this bill on the issue of safety, or protecting water, or any number of things, that i will not have that opportunity to be able to bring that to the house floor or debate it. i think given the fact that we have all these new members i don't think it is a radical idea to suggest that we try it. we're not. it is what it is and i yield back my time. >> i thank the gentleman. kind of goes back to where we were about an hour ago. what your team argued is that we
should tell you ahead of time that we're going to have a closed rule so you didn't have to waste your time to come up here. i think that's a darn bad idea. i'm making a statement to the gentleman. that's where we were going to come. i don't think we ought to do that. i'm delighted that you're here frank. and i think you having a chance -- well, you no he what? it may or may not matter to some people but it matters to me and i think it matters to people and i hope it matters to you. thank you very much. >> mr. chairman, nobody suggested that he not be welcome. >> i don't think that pat all. i think that -- >> that's not what the point of his comment was. it was to say for a lot of members who come up here to wait hours to offer amendments when we know in advance it is going to be a closed rule they ought to have the opportunity to decide whether that's worth their time or not. so i thank the gentleman. >> you're always welcome up here. >> thank you. >> gentleman from florida seek
recognition? >> yes, thank you. >> gentleman is recognized. >> mr. chairman first thank you, and our presenters. i perceive and believe that mr. pa palone and mr. schuster will good friends of mine. i'm hopefully, mr. kramer, of getting to know you better. on this subject i would echo the sentiments of my good friend, mr. cole. it does appear just listening to you -- and this is the second time i've had that opportunity -- that you certainly do know your subject and i, for one, am appreciative of our members who make their presentations in a manner that is not abrasive but makes it in a persuasive manner from the
perspective that you hold. i also would like to borrow from my good friend from oklahoma mr. cole a notion of something that i believe he and i would be able to work on right away, and i've done some initial work on it. understanding that the price of oil today -- i'm not a petroleum expert, or i don't have any stock. i used to tell people the only stock i have was in over ,icounter and that was groceries. so i'm not in the market and i don't understand truly, the spot market and how oil is transmitted. but in a general way, i do. but it would seem to me while prices are low now, whatever
our -- meaning american -- oil reserve is it should either be if it is not already maximized, it certainly should be maximized. and if the potential exists and if legislation is required to increase the maximum amount of our oil reserve, two seem to be that this would be the perfect time to do it because we probably have about a six-month or one-year window before that price is going to go back up. and then regrettably -- not in my lifetime i won't get to see the full thrust of alternative energy. all of us that are advocating know that it is going to be a 20, 25 30-year process before you will really see a lot of solar, thermal and wind and other things like that. they are in progress, but we are not getting there fast enough for me.
let me also put on the table an area that i have a measure of expertise. i don't agree with the notion of requiring the litigation to be held in the circuit court here in d.c. article 3 courts were set up for a reason and among them was to ensure that litigants would be able to access the court. and insofar as efficiency is concerned, if it is in an area that requires rexexpedition, the courts are fully in a position to do that whether it is at the district court level or at the circuit court level. when appropriate. might add, there is no assurance because it is in the d.c. circuit court that it's going to be done rapidly either. it depends on a given day on a given issue, as to whether or not it would even be deserving of going to the supreme court
as it were. i do have a question, and that, again, following on my friend from oklahoma, when he pointed out, i had written on my little notes that i wanted to ask how much of the pipeline has already been built. then i heard the discussion on that that. i do have an american question on that, and that is do any of you know whether the steel that has been utilized in the building of the pipeline is american steel? >> is the gentleman yield? >> yes. >> it certainly is. a lot of that was built in arkansas. it was american steel, american products. >> right. that all goes well for your position. now let me get to a stickier subject. i, too have friends in canada. i served with a senator in the
organization for security and cooperation in europe. i served with the former defense minister and foreign minister of canada. but we are making this sound like this is a canadian thing. and when the argument is made about it won't cost an american taxpayer anything to build this while i agree then that suggests to me, knowing my canadian friends that they are private investors that are in transcanada. it is kind of ironic that they are never talked about the who they are. they're not all canadian. some of them are american. and i'm not grudgeful of folk who have great genetic accidents and abilities as a result thereof, but the fact of the matter is that some people that
are involved in transcanada they are givers to canadians parliamentarians under their particular structure, and givers to some of us as well. >> will the gentleman yield? >> yes. >> just by way of information i probably should double-check, i'm almost certain transcanada is actually an american company. it's actually based in the united states. although been again -- >> and the investors. >> as my friend knows there's considerable cross border investment between canada and the united states. >> sure. and i stay away from pointing out -- i've read the articles as to who owns. you know. i'm not uptight about that. i do have abiding concern -- for example, the national security argument. i could flip it. if we were in other areas, for example, putin just shut down one he was getting ready to run
across kazakhstan. no one has satisfied me yet as if this is so good for america then why isn't canada running it through their own territory, which would be their option if by chance, it does not ever lift here fully operative, then they're going to wind up doing it in canada. but i don't want to belabor the point. there are several other areas. i, too, am concerned, as miss slaughter has pointed out there will be spills. there will be concerns. i'm not sure what the nebraska litigation is contemplating. and i hesitate because so many people are on the negative side of the endangered species arguments. i don't know whether there are any that are contemplated here, or need to be. and so i'll be listening.
i do want to end with just a moment of humor. we spend our time here with the keystone pipeline and there is a beer brewery in belgium that is running a beer pipeline two miles outside bruje belgium. but he wanted to keep the family business manufacturing it where it is. and i'd a hell of a lot rather be at the end of their pipeline than at the end of this one. that's all. i yield. >> gentleman yields back. in an effort to keep this committee hearing goings, i no he we've been here a long time. i'd defer and ask the gentleman from coll if he seeks recognition. gentleman is recognized. >> yes. where does the financing for the pipeline project coming from? >> quite -- if i might, quite
honestly, i don't know where it comes from except i suspect it comes from the shareholders and the administration, the executives of transcanada which is i believe a canadian company, not an american company. >> i recently read a report and i haven't seen this disputed. it shows that the majority of the tar sands, by 90% of it require a price of $95 a barrel and the other 10% require a price of $75 per barrel. given that the price of oil is substantially lower than that, is there any evidence that this would even move forward as a construction project even if the president or congress were to approve it? >> well i guess -- first of all, that's not germane to this bill obviously because it is not our decision to make whether they build it or don't build it. our decision is whether it is in the nation's interest should they%0f@z build it.
or if it is not in the nation's interest interest, that they shouldn't build it. there is nothing that precludes this from going forward based on the financing of the development of the crude oil -- >> look, there's plenty of theoretical projects out there but i hope we wouldn't be wasting congress's time with a project that is not likely to occur or is not feasible. hopefully there can be some evidence presented on the floor whether this is even a viable project and whether anybody is serious about moving forward with this. >> these low oil prices is it good for oklahoma? u.s. steel in pittsburgh just announced they were eliminating 400, 500 jobs in hoe oweohio and in texas because the market is not there for the pipe that goes into the ground. so the market will decide this. nobody's withdrawn and i haven't heard anything at this point. >> again if the evidence i've seen here in the reports there's nobody who actually
wants to pay to build this pipeline that we're talking about here. so i don't know -- i don't know why we're talking about it. maybe it is again a little bit. deja vu. it had been talked about when oil was $110 a barrel. perhaps there was more relevant discussion at that point. >> there's no taxpayer money going into this. this is private people that will decide whether to spend it or not spend it. >> that's my question is there actually any private people that want to build this pipeline. again, for this to be a topic of serious debate, it would be nice to have some evidence somebody actually wants to build the pipeline rather than have a phantom pipeline. zplif's >> i've never heard a stronger argument for the cart coming before the horse. dr. burgess. >> thank you, mr. chairman. you are correct weaver's observed a lot of things on this but i do feel it is important to reiterate the part of this pipeline from curbshing, oklahoma
to houston texas is built. people have put up with the pipeline being built in their backyards and now it is waiting for the rest of the connection. long enough. i'll be happy to talk about this a lot tomorrow and yield back my time. >> thank you very much. >> thank you mr. chairman. i appreciate you recognizing me. i appreciate the members for being here. i think this is a national security and energy security issue for america and to the point the gentleman from colorado made. we don't know what the prize of oil will be tomorrow. we know there's a pending app application application. it's a good opportunity for us to start to create a national energy policy which we desperately need this country. we buy a lot of oil from venezuela and other countries we don't agree on many things. internationally, i don't know
why we wouldn't want to buy from a country we've agreed with since the french and indian war. i feel comfortable with this. i want to thank you for being here. great exchanges of ideas, but i think this is a great idea a that needs to move forward. i appreciate the gentleman from north dakota for all his efforts on it. >> thank you very much. welcome to the committee mr. cullens. >> i appreciate it. appreciate being recognized and being here on the committee and being a part of this because one of the things that was discussed as one of my colleagues from across over there was this is a process. this is a committee process but also an issue and congress process. how much more process does this need. how many more times do we need to practice on the field when reports keep coming back of secondary jobs money invested? it is sort of interesting i believe there was no interest in the pipeline there would not be interest in the permits.
the idea it's going to get built or not is really definitely not a concern because we're still here. the people keep coming back for this. the issue again is amazing to me when we continue this conversation about let's move it by train. let's move it by the least safest way we're arguing for. i had a professor at georgia tech. our only argument was when talking about this well there's other ways in the environment we're scared. i said you're arguing to move it by non environmental friendly way when you can look more toward a pipeline? that's the part i struggle with. i want to say the one thing that shows process here is regulatory burden in this country. as republicans we're going to talk a lot about that. regulatory process. i am not one that says there should be no regulatory function of government, state, local federal. there has to be reasonable
regulatory burden. this is an example of a massive bungle. i want to say for my class, representative cramer, it comes with our class. it is good to see him here. his expertise is acknowledged from the other side. it's refreshing to hear. there are valid concerns on both sides. it is valid concern democrats and republicans agree this is a good idea. time to put this on the floor. >> thank you very much. as a young boy i remember studying at the scout ranch. as a young eagle scout i read about the outdoors and also the people behind that. the gentleman's name is wake phillips who gave the scouts of america. he had a saying that went like this. take all the time you need then make a quick decision. take all the time you need. well i think we need to make --
i think we've taken all the time we need. we need to make a quick decision. that's what we're trying to do today. i want to thank you all three for being before the committee. i hope your time is worth it. i know you're busy. mr. cramer, you enjoy this way too much. we understood that. thank you very much. this now closes the hearing portion of hr 30 save america workers act of 2015 and hr 3 keystone pipeline act. we'll be in motion from the committee from north carolina. >> i move the hr 3 keystone pipeline act, debate equally among the members on energy and commerce. the waives all points of order against consideration the bill. the rule provides the bill shall be considered as read. the rule waives points of order
against provisions in the bill. the bill provides one vision to recommit. consideration of hr 30 save americans worker act of 2015 under closed rule. the rule provides one hour debate equally debate and chaired by the committee on ways and means. it rules all waives of order consideration of the bill rule provides the bill shall be considered as read. the rule waives all points of order against provisions on the bill. the rule provides one motion to recommit. >> now the motion from north carolina. any motion on that? >> i rule number one exempting employees from the employable care act 30-49 employees to provide for a more rounded and
pro business way of accomplishing i think some of the goals of the deficit busting version that we otherwise would face. >> further discussion?. vote now on the amendment. those that agree say i. those that oppose say no. seeing none, the vote will be on the motion from the general woman from north carolina. those in favor signify by saying i. those opposed no. i's have it. we'll have for a roll call vote. >> mrs. fox, i. mr. cole i. mr. woodall i. mr. burgess, i. mr. stivers i. mr. cullens, mr. mcgovern no.
mr. hastings no. mr. polls no. mr. chairman, i. >> that would make ei and ioeio. >> clerk reports the note total. seven fours, seven yeas. the motion is agreed to. gentleman from lewisville, texas will be handling this for republicans. >> and mr. poles for democrats. i want to thank the new staff on welcoming them but also all the people including our great stenographers who have taken time out of their day to be with us today. this finishes work for us for the day. i want to thank everybody for being here. this closes the hearing.
here are some of our featured programs this weekend. on cspan 2 saturday night at 10:00, book tv afterwards, the pitfalls of group decision making and what to do to avoid them. sunday at 1:00 we talk to professors at john hopkins university on the influence of hip hop on politics and government efforts to cure malaria during world war ii. and cspan 3, saturday at 8:00 p.m. slavery before and during the civil war. sunday afternoon at 4:30, a discussion on birth control advocate and her legacy and the impact on social race politics
had on the birth control movement. find our schedule on cspan.org. call us and tell us what you think about the programs you're watching. call us 2026263400, e-mail us or send us a tweet. like us on facebook follow us on twitter. friends, colleagues, country men, especially the people of ohio's 8th congressional district, thank you for sending me here. let's today welcome all of the new members and all their families to what we all know to be a truly historic day. >> today is an important day for our country. many senators took the oath this afternoon, 13 for the first time and a new republican majority
accepted the new responsibility. we recognize the enormity of the task before us. we know a lot of hard work a waits. we know many important opportunities a wait as well. >> follow the gop led congress and see the new members. the best access is on cspan television cspan radio and cspan.org. new congress best access on cspan. a live picture from the office building on capitol hill this morning as the senate, energy, natural resources kple is meeting to mark legislation to authorize construction of the keystone pipeline. the full senate is expected to take up the bill next week. the house rules committee we showed you marked the bill yesterday. we covered it live here as it happened yesterday. that bill expected to hit the house floor tomorrow. both republican leaders in the house and senate have said that after the november elections this would be one of the first
. a waiting the a start of the mark up from senate resources committee of the key stone pipeline you see the chair of the economy, alaska senator. this should get underway in a moment. from from an article from wdaz tv this bill focussing in on the sponsor of the bill senator from north dakota, identical to one that failed in november. he introduced tuesday with joe mansion. bill would authorize transcanada to build pipeline from canada to gulf coast transporting 30,000 barrels of oil a day. if it passes a presidential
the economy will come to order. it is good to be together. the first hearing of this 115th congress. i welcome our new members to the economy committee. it's good to see such good attendance and packed house. my prediction for this new year is that energy will be a subject, an issue an area that we'll draw great attention. it not only is important here in this congress but it is important to our nation's economy. it's important to our nation's security. the issues we will take up in this committee are issues that will be front and center moving forward. i am pleased that we've got an opportunity today to talk about energy in a broad perspective
but recognizing that we have members that have other issues in front of them, other committees they will go to i want to give you just a brief outline in terms of how i'd like to conduct the hearing this morning. i would like to lay a little bit of ground work here for where the committee will proceed in this congress. not going on too long but giving you as committee members my focus, my perspective. obviously this is a business meeting taking up the keystone pipeline. we need to process that. there have been a couple of amendments presented by members. i want to make sure we have an opportunity to get through the business portion of this meeting. i also wanted to make clear to each of you that i want to
extend the courtesy to you to make your statements and comments not only about the keystone pipeline and the legislation before us but the committee itself and perhaps your interests with that. i just wanted to lay that out to you that i would like you to know that this is not just an opportunity for me as your chairman to have the microphone and to my partner and ranking member senator cantwell and to each of you as well. i'm extremely honored to be the second chairman murkowski for this standing committee. it is quite an honor and privilege to me. i've been a member of this committee since i came to the senate. it has been my number one priority. when you come from a producing state like alaska, that's
understandable. it's also been an extraordinary opportunity to come to embrace all aspects of the energy sector whether be try to figure out how to deal with nuclear waste and dispoes dissupposal issues, move toward a more energy efficient system, how we work to build out energy infrastructure and grid security, how we deal with issues of cyber security. there's so much included within this energy sector. it's not just the natural resources that we deal with. it is the other aspect of our portfolio here within this committee that sometimes people forget. the public lands piece is huge particularly those of us in the west. the territories. we have the senator from i hawaii who has joined the committee, and i welcome her. i also recognize as someone from
the other states, sometimes committees get overlooked. we will not forget them. i do again thank you for the opportunity to help direct our energy agenda for these next couple of years here. i look forward to working with senator cantwell who to have someone who is our geographic neighbor so to speak with shared interest between the states of washington and alaska. we have a lot we can be working on collaboratively. i had a strong collaborative relationship with my friend and colleague from oregon when the senator was chairing the committee. i think we set a good tone for this committee in terms of how we build things and how we work to advance initiatives
throughout the process. having said that as we em bah bark on our first business meeting, markup, it's unfortunate we have moved to mark up first and didn't have the opportunity for the hearing that was scheduled yesterday. we had already kind of laid the ground work circulated a background memo i hope each of you had the opportunity to read and review. it was written by joint staff in preparation for the hearing. we had already gotten testimony from witnesses, the association of oil pipeline center for american progress, labors international union of north america. i submitted on the floor during a colloquy yesterday the testimony from three individuals that is part of the record. i will also submit for this
morning's committee record the testimony of each of those witnesses so that it does become part of that record. we are here today to consider and report to the full senate an original bill to approve the keystone excel pipeline. the text of this bill is identical to the original bill reported by this committee last year on a bipartisan vote. it fell one vote short in the senate. it's fair to say the world -- the country but also the world -- is watching the united states to see if we are ready to lead on as a global energy super power which we recognize we have become. we are viewed in the eyes outside this country. the energy super pow their
respects its neighbors, trade with allies, builds necessary infrastructure such as the pipeline. i think the congress is ready ready to send this signal on a bipartisan manner in a way that's strong. i think the american people are ready, but we continue to be blocked by this administration. there's already a veto threat out there, but i don't think that threat did deter us from our initiative both as a committee, as a senate, and as a congress. this long delayed keystone excel project is far from being the only issue that demands our attention today. in my state of alaska we've got a considerable oil pipeline, 800 mile pipeline that's been around 35-40 plus years. it's surrounded by literally
billions of untapped oil on federal lands and out in our federal waters. but we appear to be butting heads with federal government at every step and every turn limiting our ability to bring on new production. what we have seen within that pipeline is that the flow has declined dramatically. we're less than half full in the transalaska pipeline. it's costing us jobs,ábym threatens our state's budget prompted the new york times to write about the economic anxiety that a flicks alaska. this is not just alaskans thinking we have issues. it's recognized by others outside as well. i think you all know, those of you that worked with me for a period of time i'm passionate about alaska. i'm very passionate about my
state. but alaska will not be my only priority. having said that i'm going to be working hard with each of you to remind you all that we are an arctic nation because of alaska. what that means to you, whether you are in maine and i welcome my friend and colleague senator king with his interest on the arctic issues and the ranking member senator cantwell also, has keen interest in how we're going to build out our arctic opportunities. i think you should expect the committee to devote january and february on hearings for a wide variety of issues. one thing to expect next week will be notice for legislative hearing to be held closer to the end of the month on senator barasso bipartisan export legislation. i think that is clearly an issue that is timely and has been teed
up. other potential topics for hearings include electric grid innovation. this is something senator cantwell and i have discussed. nuclear waste policy something alexander has been working on with a small group of us, authorizers and appropriate yea tors. an appropriate issue. i want to make sure we don't use traction there. revenue sharing from louisiana. our new member senator cassie. we'll continue to build on work senator ran drew has done for years there. the administration review something of interest to many of us. critical minerals. then of course the oversight hearings. we're also going to be holding budget hearings to consider the president's request. i want us top get back to practice we bring in secretary of energy, bring in secretary of
interior and do it regularly to appear before the panel, just just once when the budget is presented. i've been asked as i have wandered through the hallways here in the past few days what are the priorities? what are your priorities? >> i don't think it's think secret to those of you who have been on the committee, my energy 2020 book. i'm kind of proud of my energy 2020 book. it is not out of date yet even though we pubbish ishlished it couple years ago. it outlines much of my philosophy philosophy. it's pretty simple. 115 pages but i'll distill to one bumper sticker for you. energy is good. it's vital the to prosperity it's an asset to use to help our allies.
ilk it's to continue making our energy affordable, clean diverse, secure. there's no acronym. it's arranged alphabetically. remember a that. i do think that we should be confident as a committee as a congress that we can make progress towards ss goals by strengthening supply modernize infrastructure supporting efficiency and securing credibility. these four focus areas. supply infrastructure efficiency, accountability will form the basis of the bill i'm hopeful our bill can kmpt to that end, i'm going to sit down with each and every one of you to understand your priorities for legislation both within the four categories and within our committee's jurisdiction and your interests. then based on that feedback, i intend to assemble a chairman's
mark for each of the four titles. those will then be the subject of legislative hearings, considered, voted on by our committee. this is going to be good work. it will take work from each and every one of us. i'm hopeful we'll be able to spend good focus and energy in these months ahead so that towards the end of the spring we're prepared to actually move on a work product. i know this is an aggressive schedule. i think it's very achievable. as we move ahead with it, i'm optimistic. we're going to find common ground. we're going to find common ground as a starting point. we know there's going to be areas we're butting heading on, that we're not going to find the unanimous support. that's why we engage in negotiation, conduct votes, have a process here. we carry out institutional
functions expected of us as a legislative body. as i mentioned we've got a multitask here. i'll note for the record that it's two women that are leading this committee. i'm not going to say women are better at multitasking than men but most women i know are better at multitasking than men. we're going to help you along here. when you think about the jurisdiction of this committee, it's more than energy, more than minerals. we've got public lands water forest ri grazing hunting territories, other issues. all of them command our attention. just a couple quick examples as they relate to those forest land management reform. we left that on the table in the last congress. i think we've got to get back to work on it. there's bipartisan agreement we have to improve the management of our forests. that includes getting the timber harvest up something senator
widen has led on. we've got to get a handle on the wildfire problem. we all know we don't want too wait for the next catastrophic wildfire. we've got to protect our water supplies and work to sustain our rural communities. although there may be a need for based solutions i think we need nationwide forest ri reformed legislation. securing schools is another area i've talked to many about. we didn't extend next congress. communities and schools dependent on that support are watching us closely. we've got to do right by them, find those responsible fixes. then one point that i would be remiss if i didn't mention after our work on the defense authorization bill is this national park reform. something that senator co burn even though he wasn't a member of the committee really did serious review of our national parks. as you know, our park seasonystem
is celebrating the anniversary next year. this is a historic anniversary to celebrate. we need to recognize this is also an agency that is struggling with multiple systemic issues. this would be a good time for us to focus on this and send national parks reform legislation to the president. so throughout all this, i intend to uphold the reputation of this committee that through history has done some very good things. good for the congress, good for the country. working in a very collaborative member. our ranking member senator cantwell and i agree there are good opportunities for us to be engaging in productive work product that will make a difference for the long term.
i want to insure each of you feels that you have shared weight and responsibility as we address the energy issues for our country and our nation. i can promise you that i will never have as long an opening statement as i have just given this morning. i felt it important to kind of lay out some of where i believe the committee is headed in the next couple of years. with that i am pleased to turn to my ranking member senator cantwell for her comments. >> thank you madame chair. congratulations on your new chairmanship. this is the second time i've called a murkowski chair of this committee. i'm sure your father is very proud at this moment. i'm sure all alaskans are happy at the outcome of your taking over this committee. we recognize that special moment for all of them. i look forward to working with
you on this committee on opportunities and issues you just mentioned. i too want to welcome the new members to the committee on our side. senator warren senator king, senator horono obviously from different parts of the united states. i am certainly going to count on senator warren's help in implementing if you recollect, market manipulation authority that continues to allow them to police markets with senator king on issues of bio mass and keen interests in making sure we continue to have a leadership role in keeping energy prices down in his region of the world by looking at bio mass alternatives and senator horono who as you mentioned as a unique perspective because of hawaii and hawaii's interest and very keen on diversification of their energy sources given the dependence they have in electricity grid on the bio
fuels they currently have. i look forward to working with new members on your side. senators danes, cassidy, gardener and capido. i want to express my feelings of prayers and heart spoken sorrow to senator capido for the loss of her father. i know she couldn't be with us today. i so appreciate what you've had to say about the energy agenda moving forward for the committee. we certainly will look forward as you said. there's a lot washington and alaska have in common. everything from sustainable fisheries to the interests in the arctic to our public lands to hydro power. i actually think i read somewhere your father was born in seattle and migrated up to alaska. to say our states are inner connected with the economies is a big understatement.
there's years and years and decades of inner dependence between our regions. hopefully our energy policy we can work together and put forth will represent not just the interests of our region but the entire country. i certainly look forward to proposing ideas as part of that. our clean energy solutions do two things. help the united states accomplish a leadership position in energy issues and protects consumers from unnecessary energy price spikes. so, you mentioned a lot of those things as very broad range of issues we'll be addressing. i look forward to working with you on those. obviously needless to say this week didn't go as we would like. i apologize to our colleagues for the changes in the short notice. i hope that we will adhere to regular order. this is something that we all know is very important the for our congress moving forward.
we're here today to discuss whether congress should prematurely intervene from the pipeline setting process for a special business interest, transcanada corporation. the keystone excel proposal has changed over the years and has an updated route through nebraska. this has been much debated topic here in this committee and at local governments public service commissions, state governments, and now state courts. i think it's been much debated for good reason. if a u.s. company tried to side a pipe line it would have to go through local laws and environmental regulations. so a foreign business should do the same. all the discussion started to happen when transcanada's first proposal went through and a lot of local interests in the state of nebraska objected. the pipeline travels through 875 miles of america's agriculture
heart land including sensitive areas like the sand hill region of nebraska. this has some of the richest agricultural lands in the country and act inquiry fer supplies fresh drinking water to eight states and provides the ground water use for irrigation. that is why transcanada corporation had to revise its original route. this new route through nebraska is also challenged because the nebraska legislator gave their governor the authority to site the pipeline over the regulatory commission in the state the nebraska public service corporation. that is the state agency that is dedicated to protecting the public interest, not special interests, the public interests on issues of safety, environment, imminent domain. now the nebraska supreme court is set to decide whether this proposed route through nebraska will stand depending on their
interpretation, whether the legislator and governor acted according to their constitution. if we want to place the blame today about a slow process, we should start thinking about transcanada corporation and what proposal should have been in the first place n. congress had succeeded in trying to premature li deciding what's in the state's interest before this pipeline which is what congress proposal would have been before, we would have approved the sand hill pipeline route. so i think that what we need to realize is what is the emergency here for congress to assert the process and become a siting committee and approve a pipeline for a route that is not yet approved. there are too many important environmental issues to consider instead of giving a foreign country, special interest, sweetheart deal from congress that u.s. businesses haven't gotten. my message to transcanada corporation is to play by the
rules. my colleague from michigan knows well that we don't know how to clean up tar sans oil spills in water. in her state in 2010, the tar san spilled in what is called the biggest inland oil spill in u.s. history. a pipeline owned by a different canadian company ruptured and spilled 800,000 gallons of tar sans into the kalamazoo river. in that spill the inbridge found that tar san sank to the bottom of the river. the only way to clean was dredge the river costing $1.2 billion. the bill in front of us would put the act inquiry fer at risk the same thing that kalamazoo went through. the canadian corporation behind it wouldn't have to pay a penny as part of the american oil
spill trust fund. that's because currently there's a loophole in our law that says se that tar sans don't have to pay into the oil spill trust fund. so the keystone project would escape paying hundreds of millions of into that trust fund. i plan to introduce legislation that those tar sans have to pay into the oil spill trust fund. even the current keystone project environment there are many questions. recently, i'd like to submit -- i don't know if we're going to have a record this morning because it's an exec session not a hearing, but i'll pass out to colleagues a recent story in business week saying of the current sister keystone project during a week in september, three quarters of the wells on the safest pipeline in the world required redoing. so as we are expanding tar sans
and pipeline expansion, we're also finding lots of safety issues and concerns. so again i say why the hurry? americans are bearing the risk of transporting canada's dirty oil to a world market. the oil industry is pushing to allow u.s. crude oil ek ports the same time they say the pipeline is vital to u.s. interests. the fact that transcanada is going to export lots of oil through our country, their goal is to sell oil to the highest bidder. this could ultimately raise the price of gas. in fact, i at the last markup pointed this out to many of my colleagues because currently the midwest and industrial base has a better price and i'm sure is very concerned about what the price would be in the midwest if so much of that oil was exported out of the country. for those that think the safety issues have been resolved to
think that all these issues about getting rid of tar san oil spills has been resolved, according to the state department impact, oil can also emit global warming pollution, 81% higher than the average use in the refineries. madame chairman, i simply ask today this is a premature effort, us trying to as a congress decide a siting issue that has taken a long time for very important environmental and safety and public issues to say nothing of imminent dough main debates to be resolved. like nebraska is finding out, wherch you try to push those law, it takes longer because of the processes we have to go through. madame chairman, i thank you for the opportunity to make a statement about this. i would just add that i really do look forward to working with you on the legislation that this
committee could put forward in a comprehensive way to lead to real job creation. when i think about the 2005 and 2007 energy bills from this committee, they are quite remarkable. i encourage colleagues on both sides to look at what was accomplished in a bipartisan effort during that time period. we were able and working with other colleagues to help bolster a hybrid and electric vehicle industry that added 260,000 jobs in the last five years. that 2005 and 2007 bills also henned support 450,000 jobs with energy efficiency laws we passed. we also helped save clean energy technology development through efforts of the wind energy tax credit working with our colleague on the finance committee, the former chair of this committee, senator widen that has helped increase 50,000 jobs in the united states of america. so i really think this 21st century energy strategy for our country will help produce that
cleaner energy help us not be so subject to price spikes of the future, and help us lead our country forward. i know it's unfortunate how all of this week came together and that at this first meeting we're having such a contentious issue but i think you and i working together after this legislation moves through will really embrace working across the aisle in a bipartisan fashion with all of our colleagues to show we can move our country forward on comp es hencive energy strategy. thank you. congratulations. >> thank you. and i think with the challenges that we have in front of us, it just makes the opportunities to make some good things happen that much better. i appreciate the opportunity to be working with you on really weighty things. as far as moving forward with
amendments, i do want to make sure we are respectful of member's times and recognition that we're all busy. but i do want to again give members an opportunity to speak to the measure in front of us, the keystone excel pipeline. ordinarily i would operate by the early bird rule, he or she comes first gets recognized first. we all came in about the same time so today i'd like to recognize members by order of committee seniority going from side to side. if there are members that do have to leave early, please let me know so that we might be able to accommodate you as well. looking around the table, this could be a long morning for us to get to amendments so i ask for your enindulge ens.
>> deferring to others. already being the complete gentleman and recognizing. >> thank you. my remarks will be shorter than the time it takes for the oregon ducks to score on ohio state. >> well wait a minute. wait a minute. >> and i will also say stay tuned for the friendly wager that will soon be announced between the oregon senators and ohio senators and my friend senator portman and i are going to be part of that. being the me news la of this committee at this point i look forward to all new members democratic side, republican side, and i think senator murkowski and senator cantwell have great opportunities to lead us in a bipartisan way. i want to make a few comments with respect to this issue before us today.
we've sat in this room for years, and the argument has been made that america greatly needs keystone because prices at pump were too high for consumers. fortunately our country has become the babe ruth for oil and gas production. prices at the pump now represent the best tax cut that working families have seen in a long time. now, i think it's important to acknowledge the debate involves differences between reasonable people. some experts are saying build keystone, and prices at the pump will fall further. there are other experts who make a pretty persuasive different case and say prices at pump are going to rise in some parts of the country. my colleague mentioned the
midwest. my question is, and i think we've got to ask it today, why does it make sense for the congress to do something that could put at risk the better days that consumers are seeing at gas pumps across the country right now? that's number one. number two, and i'll wrap up with these two quick additional points madame chair. there are a number of us who have been involved in the whole debate with respect to jobs. senator franken has been concerned and eloquent with respect to the project being built. i've had the finance committee staff working on it. at some point, whether on the committee or floor and i'm open to this, there ought to be annual reporting by the transportation on safety used on the project by disclosing origins of products used.
the amendment assures americans get the facts about how much u.s. steel is utilized in construction and maintenance of the pipeline. this provides real transparency and would help the congress insure the claims being made about jobs and opportunities are actually born out tomorrow. second, it seems to be important to create requirements for transcanada to follow. this would insuppliers of steel for project that paid duty import taxes and fees and not vieding u.s. antidumping and counter vailing duty laws. recent trade cases involve oil country tubular goods reminder of the risk this particular project presents inviting more unfairly traded goods in our country. certainly, it is not in the interest of our country for this project to be#k that themselves do not a bide by our nation's trade laws to unfairly compete with american
manufactures by taking the steps prescribed here, i'd be happy to show this to colleagues of both sides. finance staff has been working on. congress will insure this encourages the path toward job creation and does not become a pipeline for unfairly goods that skirt american trade rules. point number two deals with oil spills. this is a matter senator cantwell that involves finance jurisdiction and energy jurisdiction. nobody is given a good reason why oil sans refiners do not share responsibility for oil spills like every other refiner in the united states. this ought to be corrected. it can be done by the finance committee and energy committee on a bipartisan basis. the last point i make, it's important to insure the public gets full value for oil and gas produced on federal lands. at some point i'm going to offer amendment to that effect. having been involved in this for a number of years i've been
pushing bureau of land management to add viesz onshore order number nine to reduce the waste of natural gas on public lands, make sure the taxpayer gets full value for public resource. i think i think this is can be tackled in bipartisan way. chair and ranking member, good wishes. i look forward to the session. >> thank you senator widen. and i'm going to use chairman's discretion here and change the order already. if my good friend from idaho will allow me to recognize the sponsor of the keystone excel pipeline to perhaps go ahead of you. i'm looking at you. if you're -- >> i'll yield the floor. i'm anxious to hear when he has to say. >> we are all anxious although we have had years of listening to the well articulated kmebtdscomments
from the sponsor who have encouraged many of us to see the broader picture of the benefits keystone excel will bring us. with that, i would ask the senator for his comment this is morning. >> thank you madame chairman. congratulations as the chairman of this energy committee. look forward to working with you as well as ranking member cantwell. i'm particularly pleased we're starting out with approval of the keystone pipeline project. the legislation that we're marking up is legislation that i developed some time ago and have had a variety of cosponsors and many cosponsors. right now the leading cosponsor on the democratic side of the aisle is senator from the great state of west virginia, senator mansion. i want to thank him for his leadership and bipartisan ship. i truly appreciate it. and for our other sponsors on
the legislation, we have 60 sponsors on the legislation. so it truly is bipartisan. it's an effort not only to approve some important energy infrastructure, it really is an effort to have an open amendment process on the senate floor where we can get back to regular order and all of this senators can offer their amendments on the floor. we can debate them and have a vote. if you can get 60 votes it gets added to the legislation. whether it's good senator from oregon who just laid down the gauntlet against my good friend from ohio, or anyone else. let's go to the floor. let's have that debate on this legislation. then let's you know approve the best bill we can and move this project forward. it's interesting to listen to some of the discussion that's
already been put forward about how, why are we taking up this measure rather than just letting it continue to go through the process. it's gone through the process for six years. for six years and it's still not through the process. americans won world war ii in a shorter amount of time. to hear about how gas prices are lower now. how do you think that happened? it happened because we're producing more oil and gas in this country in places like north dakota balkin eager ford and texas. with our best friend and ally in the world canada oil is produce there had. as we increase supplies simple economics says more supply helps bring down prices. every consumer is benefits at pump to the tune of billions of. but you know what? we've got to get that gas, oil
from where it's produced to where it's consumed. how you going to do that? to do that you need energy infrastructure and the right mix of energy infrastructure. you need pipelines rail, roads electricity, transmission. that's part of our job isn't it? making sure we create a business climate where entrepreneurs and companies can invest and build the infrastructure we need to get this energy to market. and others have rightly said every consumer then benefits. energy is a foundational industry. we not only create jobs and economic growth and national securities, we produce more energy here at home and work with canada to have north american energy security. but it's the foundational industry that benefits every other industry but lowering costs makes our country more competitive in the global economy where we have to
compete. it's so important that we develop that energy here at home, that we develop it with canada so that we don't have to buy energy from places like opec. look what's going on in the world. to think that gas and oil prices are lower because opec gave us a christmas present. that's just wrong. that's not the case. we're producing it here but we can't keep producing it here if we don't have the infrastructure to do it. that's part of building the right plan for the country. that's what this bill is all about. it's common sense. most recent poll i've seen shows the american public supports this project by about 68%. i think that's the most recent poll. so almost 70% of the american people wants this done. after six years, after more than six years. transcanada originally filed this application september 2008. a lot of us weren't even here
then. six years and we're talking about rushing something? how are we going to have a functioning economy for this nation? how does greatest place in the world to do business? how do we, you know, have that rising tide that lifts all boats? how do we foster entrepreneurship and the ingenuity of america if we're holding up our business people for six years and saying somehow that's rushing the process? what's going on? what happened to doing business in america? so when we say well, you know, this is just one project, it's a case in point. it's one project. but it's part of are we going to build the infrastructure we need to truly have north american energy security? it's also a test case to see if we can come together on the senate floor offer amendments in open process, have debates vote and find bipartisanship and get something done for the
american people. and they're watching. toiptd thank again all of the co-sponsors on this bill particularly starting with senator manchin. it's not always easy to step up and lead but he's somebody who does that in a bipartisan way. and i just want to say i really appreciate and respect everybody that's joined us in this endeavor. and i hope we can mark this up, take it to the floor, and have that debate. so let's do that. i mean, everybody's got their point. make your point. but let's get the bill to the floor. let's have that debate on the floor. and let's get the important work of this congress started. let's debate let's vote, let's get it done. >> thank you, senator ohio valley. we'll turn to senator sanders. i will remind people in an effort to try to get to the actual bill itself we are keeping the clock moving. so senator sanders. >> let me begin senator murkowski, by congratulating you
on becoming chair of this important committee and welcoming all of our new members to this committee. madam chair, much of what we do here in congress is often forgotten pretty quickly. it's hard for members to remember what we did last year let alone the american public. but i have a feeling that this particular issue, the keystone xl pipeline, is not going to be forgotten. it is not going to be forgotten by our children and our grandchildren. it is, in fact, not going to be forgotten by history because i have a feeling that our kid and our grandchildren 20 30, 40 years ago -- 40 years from now they're going to be asking us and hopefully we'll all be here, they're going to be asking us what were you guys thinking about? what were you doing?
did you not hear what the scientific community all over the world was saying that climate change is in fact the most serious environmental crisis facing this planet? that's not bernie sanders talking. that is virtually every major scientific organization in this country and throughout the world. and virtually without exception, what they are saying is climate change is real climate change is caused by carbon emissions and human activity climate change is already causing devastating problems in the united states of america and around the world. i don't have to remind anybody here that just a year or two years ago we voted $60 billion in order to deal with hurricane sandy. and what the scientific community tells us, if we don't get our act together and start
reversing climate change we're going to have more extreme weather disturbances. that's what they're telling us. and then i listen to this debate today. and is this this debate about, okay, how do we go forward in transforming our energy system, moving away from fossil fuel into energy efficiency and into sustainable energy. is that the debate that we're hearing today? is the debate about how we invest more in technology so that we can come up with transportation systems that are more energy efficient? is that the debate we are hearing today? no. what the debate is that we are hearing today and where i fear a majority of the members of this committee will vote is to reject science. and i am very worried about the united states congress turning
its back on science, turning its back on those people who tell us that we have got to cut carbon emissions rather than give a green light for the exploration and the production of some of the dirtiest oil on this planet. i think frankly that is crazy. i think we are moving in exactly the wrong direction. i want to thank president obama for telling us that he will veto this legislation, and i certainly hope that we will have the votes in congress to sustain that veto. and more importantly, i hope very much that we get our act together, transform our energy system, move to energy efficiency, move to weatherization, move to solar, geothermal and other sustainable energies. thank you very much madam chair. >> thank you, madam chairman. i'll be brief. you know, this exercise we've
gone through over the last six years on this bill is a poster child for what's happened in america over the last 30 or 40 years. it just amazes me that we have to pass a law to force the government to get out of the way so that the free market system can work. the decision as to what happens with this pipeline shouldn't be the government's. it ought to be the free market system. let the free marketplace work. if this is a good thing, it's going to get built if it's a bad thing it's not going to get built, and like i say, it's for those people who want to control every single aspect of our lives, this is a poster child for how you do it. we knee to get out of the way pass this, and let the marketplace work. thank you, madam chairman. >> thank you very much, madam chair. fwlagss to you and our ranking member. i look forward to working with you on a broader energy strategy pip think we've got important
work to do. i would just first of all just comment on my friend's comments in terms of the private sector. i think the folks in nebraska who are concerned about safety would like to make sure that they have some input. it's not just private interests in canada or private interests in the united states that should decide what happens in communities in terms of public safety. i think that's something our states feel very strongly about and local communities and that we need to be paying attention to as well. maybe it's taken six years because it shouldn't be built, because there's been concerns that have been raised about a wide variety of things that have already been mentioned including safety. i do want to start though by stating the good news that others have said. the reality is that gas prices are down. $1.98 at the pump in lansing. $1.95 at the pump in grand rapids. $1.69 for my friends in marathon in detroit. that's because we have more american production, and we thank the obama administration
for more american production and more energy-efficient vehicles, and i'm proud to say a lot of those are made in michigan. so we are seeing us moving forward. we in 2005 had 60% of the oil we were using coming in from opec and other countries, 60%. next year it's going to be 25%. that's a good thing. so the question is how do we move forward in the future in terms of energy or do we go backwards. i woulding a i would argue this goes backward, not fwarlds. as someone from michigan, we are deeply concerned about prices rising as a result of this. there are certainly many economists who are saying that will happen as well as the concern about unleashing unlimited exports of natural gas which will certainly raise prices for our manufacturers, which is also a concern of mine. but i do want to take a moment to speak to the fact that this bill has a lot of risks and very few rewards for americans. and that's my biggest concern. we talk about the oil.
we need more oil production to bring prices down. let's look at this. transcanada. canada's going to take the oil through our country to a tax-free zone in the gulf and ship it to china where they'll pay more. we're not going to get that oil. there's no requirement in here we get that oil. in fact, in michigan the estimates are that our prices are going to go up. not a good deal. secondly, we have no requirement that the materials, the steel, the manufacturing, the jobs will be american. and we know that even though there are important construction job, and believe me, i don't take that lightly, we are looking at about 35 permanent jobs, 15 contractors, as opposed to, when we look at the private sector right now businesses have added almost 11 million jobs in the last 57 months and i'm pleased to say a lot of those in manufacturing, and if we were to look at clean energy whether it's biofuels or wind or solar, i've said so many times
in the committee but it's true, in terms of construction and manufacturing. there's 8,000 parts in a wind turbine. 8,000. somebody's got to make those. we can make them in michigan. in alaska i've seen an american-made, a michigan-made wind turbine in alaska. now, we want big-job production and i appreciate so much our ranking member and everything she said, but talking about moving forward on a big jobs plan, that's wind and solar and energy efficiency and biofuels and a whole bunch of other things. let me say finally -- and i appreciate very much senator cantwell raising the pipeline issue in michigan -- we've had unfortunately a couple of cases very serious pristine river, kalamazoo river, fishing canoeing, 20 years of renewing this river one fell swoop, 800,000 gallons of tar sands. i had the du