tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN January 7, 2015 9:00pm-11:01pm EST
>> it's a debate question and the reason that the president is involved is because it is crossing an international border. >> otherwise he would not be involved at all. part of this pipeline already been built? >> from oklahoma to the gulf coast to the refineries themselves. >> did the president go down there when they opened that pipeline and hold a press event celebrating it? >> he did, in fact. >> may have slipped their mind at the white house as well. and are there any american-owned pipelines going through this country of canada? >> i suspect there are. >> isn't there something called the alaskan pipeline that we move oil from alaska to the lower 48. so it's ok for america to run a pipeline the entire length of canada with their consent and support but it's wrong for cappeda 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. >> i have no doubt about it because i have seen it and hypocrisy -- which they have no objection to and then refusing them the same opportunity, that is -- you want to call about the united states projecting a bad image in 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, amazing to me how almost every representative and senator in the state where the pipeline actually runs is in favor of it. there is almost no opposition.
so i'm delighted other parts of the country are worried about our water and environment. but we are really capable of making those decisions all by ourselves and most of these states do it on a routine basis. that's what you did for 10 years, make these kinds of decisions for the state of north dakota. >> that's right. that's why the presidential permit is confined to the point of crossing the border and the nation's interests. after that, it is up to every local jurisdiction. and not just states, it goes down to the township levels and land owner. all of that jurisdiction is preserved in this bill. so you are exactly right, we can look out for ourselves. >> my friend has considerable experience and background i know and so does my friend from pennsylvania and i'm friend from new jersey does, but with
canada, as a country, is it an environmentally sophisticated and advanced country. do canadians care about tear environment? >> that is one of the things we don't talk about -- if anything, the new premiere of alberta ran his whole campaign that he got legitimated on, on environmental protection. it is his number one platform he was elected and coming in a couple of weeks in washington to get this thing over the line. >> if i were living on the other side of the border, i would be mystified and i must say irritated that my country was regarded, a country like canada as a third world country that doesn't care about its environment. this is one of the most advanced countries in the world. one of the best friends this country has had. we 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. and it's making -- i would be looking and saying, when you needed help moving alaskan crude across the entire length of our country, we recognized that this is a pretty important thing. we worked with you. now when they are trying to do 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's not as if they make the decision. they can't run a pipeline in another direction across their territory and sell this someplace else, creating no jobs down in texas. >> important point. understanding that many we are a political body and that's real and the president has political considerations. that's real and i'm sympathetic to that and we all understand that.
and 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 take some of that extra political burden off of him and do it together. i think we don't view things -- sometimes we share away from political realities. it's why we are here. it's ok. we shouldn't apologize for it. >> sometimes issues become symbolic. the substance on this is so clear. 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 and better.
we've got billions of dollars worth of pipeline in this country running every which way and one of our issues that the environmental community has made into a symbolic issue. it's my view as much as the arctic wildlife preserve. just breathtakingly stupid. and it is 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 carrying the legislation and moving it along. there's a reason why -- when the american people ask about this and you are kind enough to stay on substance, but 60-odd percent favor, 20% oppose. it's jobs, energy security. fair to our friends. and for my friends who are reveling in the low price of oil which my chairman in part of the world is not always the best news, we're delighted you have it. but i will tell you this, and the oil business and i have learned this over a time, what goes up will go down and will go back up again.
and if you don't keep drilling and building infrastructure now, then i can assure you, you can expect higher oil prices. i had a friend of mine once who's in the business, and we were at a round table and had a group of discussions, what can we do to lower the price. you need to develop the arctic natural reserves. well, we can't do it politically. you need to build keystone. oil is a global commodity and when it glows on the global market, it brings down the price. well, we can't do that. well, you need to do some drilling offshore. well, we can't do that. and this guy looked at me and
drills in oklahoma, and he said the next time you go to washington and all these people are local producers, why don't you ask those people in congress how rich they would like us to be, because every time they do this, they lower the supply globally and increase the price domestically. none of us are going to make any money out of this suggestion. we are local independent producers. we aren't drilling in alaska. none of this stuff helps us, but if you want to constrict the supply and make everyone around the table a multi millionaire, go right ahead. we are trying to solve a problem in this country. and this is counterproductive to stop. i was on my high horse, but one of my -- one of the few issues that punches my republican buttons. >> i appreciate everybody being
we have a number of new members, 52 new members. committees haven't been constituted yet. hearings haven't happened. yes, you had hearings in the past. if you want to move forward with this, at least open the process up and allow some of the 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 the safety issues or the protection of water that mrs. slaughter brought up. but the idea that we are going to go to the floor with potentially a closed rule and say take it or leave it, knowing that the president is going to veto it, there has to be a better way to start the session off. and finally, look, we are at the beginning of a session and not the end of a session. you can't say we have to go home for the holidays and don't have any time left or must-pass bill tomorrow. the fact of the matter is, we have the 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. and 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 this to the floor. that we have a process which is much more open and allow all members to have the opportunity to debate this. if it takes a day, so be it, takes a week, who cares. we ought to do this the right way and i would hope we would all agree on that, if not on the substance, but on the process in which we bring it to the floor. with that, i yield back. >> i thank the gentleman very much. i stated earlier, we live in glass houses up here and the gentleman is making a good point. in the 110th congress when mrs. slaughter was chairman, the congress in the first year of the majority, the rules package had a consideration of five measures.
>> 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 bipartisan basis. we have been a couple hours. we're not running things through in a package. we are doing a rule. we're taking the time. we even welcomed mr. pallone today, and he feels very
welcomed. and welcomed mr. courtney, welcomed mr. levin. i made sure we were aware of what we were doing. we are trying to have a discussion, and we are going to do things differently and i think it's better. i thank the gentleman. >> with due respect, i would prefer little less welcoming but more opportunity to debate on the house floor. as i understand it, the rule is going to report out will mean that if i have an idea the 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 bring it to the house floor and debate it. given the fact that we have all these new members, i don't think it's a radical idea to suggest ta we try it. it is what it is and i yield back.
>> i thank the gentleman. goes back to where we were an hour ago. your team argued we should tell you ahead we are going to have a closed rule so you didn't waste your time to come up here. i think that's a darn bad idea. that's where we were going to come and i don't think we are going to do it. i'm delighted that you are here, frank. you know, it may or may not matter to some people but it matters to me and matters to people and i hope it matters to you. >> job suggested that he not be welcomed. >> i don't think that at all. >> that's not the point, it was to say there are a lot of members who come up here in late hours when we know it is going to be a closed rule. >> i hope it was worth mr. pallone's name time to come up
here. gentleman from florida seek recognition? >> the gentleman is recognized. >> i thank you. i perceive and believe that mr. pallone and mr. shuster, two good friends of mine here in congress and i'm deeply appreciative of them all the time. i hopefully getting to know you bet iron this subject. i would echo the sentiments of my good friend, mr. cole. 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 have done some initial work on it. understanding that the price of oil today -- and i'm not a
petroleum expert or i don't have any stock. i used to tell people the only stock i had was in over the counter and that is groceries. 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 that prices are low now, whatever our
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, it would seem 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, though, that it's going to be a 20, 25, 30-year process before you'll really see a lot of solar and thermal and wind and other things like that.
>> uh-huh. and investor, i'm -- >> as my friend know, 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 ovenes, you know, and i'm not uptight about that. i do have abiding concerns, for example, the national security argument, i could slip it, if we were in other areas, for
example, putin just shut down one he was getting ready to run across kazakhstan and no one satisfied me yet as if this is so good for america, why isn't canada running it through their own territory, which would be their option if by chance it does not ever live here fully operative, they'll wind up doing it in canada. but i don't want to belabor the point. there are several other airs, i too am concerned, as ms. slaughter pointed out, there will be spills. there will be concerns. litigation is contemplating and i hesitate because so many people are on the negative side of the endangered species argument, i don't know whether there are any 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's a beer, brewery, in brugges, belgium, that is running a beer pipeline two miles outside brugges, but he wanted to keep the family business manufacturing it where it is and i'd a health of a lot rather be at the end of that pipeline than at the end of this one. that's all. >> the gentleman yields back his time. in an effort to keep this committee hearing going, i know we've been here a listening time, i ask the gentleman from colorado, does he seek recognition? the gentleman is recognized.
>> where is the financing for the project coming from? >> quite honestly, i don't know where it comes from except i suspect it comes from shareholders and administration, the executives of transcanada, which is i believe a canadian company, not an american company. >> i recently read a report and i vvent seen this disputed that shows that the majority of the tar sands, about 90% of it require a price of $95 a barrel and the other 10% require a price of about $75 per barrel. given that the price of oil is 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 i approve it? >> first of all, that's not germane to this bill. obviously because it's not our decision to make whether they
build it or don't build it. our decision is whether it's in the nation's interest should they build it, or if it's not in the nation's interest, they shouldn't build it. the reality is, investors will make that decision. but there's nothing that precludes this going forward based on the financing of the -- the dwhofmente crude oil. -- the development of the crude oil. >> there's plenty of theoretical projects out there but i hope we wouldn't waste congress' time with a project that isn't feasible or likely to occur. hopefully there can be some evidence presented on the floor as to whether this is a viable project. >> they haven't withdrawn the project. >> these low oil prices are not good for the oil industry it's not good for the steel industry either. they've laid off workers. the mark -- market will provide and nobody has withdrawn. >> for the evidence i have seen
the idea of is it going to get built or not is not a concern, because we're still here. people keep coming back to this. it is amazing to me, we continue this conversation, let's move it by train, the least safest way we're arguing for, i had a professor at georgia tech who, the only argument was, there's other ways in the environment, we're scared of -- you're arguing to move it by a nonenvironmentally friendly way when you can look toward a pipeline? that's the part i struggle with. i want to take this moment to say, the one thing that shows process here is regulatory burden in this country.
i know we're going to be talking a lot about that. regulatory process. i'm not one who says there should be no regulatory function of government, state, local, or federal, but there has to be reasonable regulatory burden. this is an example of a massive bungling. i want to say also for my class, representative kramer, who comes with our class, it's good to see him here. his expertise has been acknowledged from the other side. it's refreshing to hear the concerns on both sides, there are valid concerns but there are also valid concerns that both democrats and republicans agree this is a good idea. it's time to bring it to the floor. i yield back. >> as as a young boy i remember studying about a boy scout ranch, as an eagle scout i read about the outer doors and the people behind that. the gentleman's name is wide phillips who gave fill mont scout ranch to the -- philmont scout ranch to the boy scouts of america. he had a saying that went like this -- take all the time you need and make a quick decision.
i think we've taken all the time . think we've taken all the time we feed. -- i think we've taken all the time we need. now let's make a quick decision. that's what we're trying to do today. i want to thank you for being before the the committee today. mr. pallone, i know you're business, mr. kramer, you enjoyed this way too much -- mr. cramer you enjoyed this way too much. we saw that. this concludes the hearing on h.r. 3, the keystone x.l. pipeline act. the chairman will be in receipt of a motion from the gentlewoman from north carolina. >> i move the committee grant the keystone x.l. pipeline act a closed rule, equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the committee on transportation and infrastructure and the chair and ranking member of the committee on energy and commerce. the rule provides that the bill
shall be considered as read. the rule waives all points of order against provisions in the bill. the rule provides one motion to recommit. section two of the rule provides for consideration of h.r. 30 the save american workers act of 2015. under closed rule. the rule provides one hour of debate equally divided and yoled by the chair and ranking minority member of the committee on ways and means. the rule waives all points of order against consideration of the bill, the rule provides that the bill shall be considered as read, the rule waives all points of order against provisions in the bill, finally the rule provides one motion to recommit. >> is there discussion or amendment to the motion? the gentleman from colorado. >> mr. chairman, i move that the committee make in order amendment nurment one by mr. kourtney to increase the number of full-time employees exempted from the employer penalty and
increase the exemption from 30 to 49 employeesened to the provide for a more rounded and pro-business way of accomplishing, i think, some of the goals of the deficit-busting version we otherwise would face. >> further discussion? the vote will now be on the amendment from the gentleman from colorado. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the noes have it. further amendment? seeing none, the vote will now be on the motion from the gentlewoman from north carolina. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the ayes have it. the gentlewoman asks for a roll call vote. the clerk will -- >> ms. foxx. ms. foxx aye. mr. cole. mr. cole, aye. mr. woodall. mr. woodall aye. mr. burgess. mr. burgess aye. mr. stivers. mr. stivers aye. mr. collins. mr. collins aye.
ms. slaughter. ms. slaughter no. mr. mcgovern. many mcgovern no. many hastings. mr. hastings, no. mr. polis. mr. polis, no. mr. chairman. >> indubitably, aye. >> mr. chairman, aye. >> that would make it e-i-o. >> clerk will reminority total. >> seven yays, four nays. >> the motion is agreed to. and the gentleman from lewis texas, dr. burgess will be handling this for the republicans. and mr. polis for the democrats. i want to thank not only the staff, the new staff, welcome them, but also all the people including our great stenographers who have taken a lot of time out of their day to be with us today this finishes the work for us for the day and i want to thank everybody for being here, this closes the
hearing. >> the senate energy and natural resources committee will be working on keystone xl oil pipeline legislation tomorrow. you will have live coverage at 10:00 a.m. later in the day, agriculture secretary tom ville sack along with members of congress will talk about u.s. trade with cuba, including the benefits and challenges. it is hosted by the group u.s. agriculture coalition for cuba. that is live at 2:00 eastern on c-span three. the senate is working on bipartisan legislation to allow the keystone pipeline project to move forward. it is cosponsored by senator john hoeven of north dakota and senator joe manchin of west
virginia who spoke about the measure. senate majority leader mitch mcconnell has said the bill is a top priority for the republican majority. the white house has issued a veto threat. here is some of wednesday's debate. . mr. hoeven: along with senator joe manchin and actually a total of 60 sponsors, i have filed s. 1, which is the keystone approval bill. it's a very simple, straightforward bill. this is legislation that we've seen before in this body. what it does is under the commerce clause of the constitution it authorizes congress to approve the keystone x.l. pipeline project. i have got this chart here to show you the project. it runs from hardisty in alberta, canada, all the way down to our refineries in texas along the gulf coast. this project will move 830,000 barrels of oil a day. some of that will be oil from canada. some of that will be domestic oil from the back an region --
bakken region in montana and north dakota. this is part of the building the infrastructure so we can build a comprehensive energy plan for our country. we're producing more and more oil and gas in our country from the shale place in places like the bakken and north dakota and montana. the eagleford in texas. natural gas from places like the barnett and the marcellus in new york pennsylvania and ohio. and what we're working towards is -- some people refer to it as energy independence, but really energy security for our country. energy security for our country. what does that mean? that means we produce more energy than we consume. obviously, energy is a global market. the market for energy is a global market. we know that. the market for oil and gas global market. but the point is working together with our closest friend and ally, canada, we can have
north american energy security where we produce more energy than we consume. why is that important? that's important because it's about creating jobs, it's important because it's about economic growth. it's important because it's a national security issue. why do we continue to rely on oil from the middle east? why are we continuing to send dollars to the middle east where you've got -- look at what happened in paris today with an attack by extremists, by islamic extremists. one of the ways that we fight back one of the ways we push back is we take control of our own energy destiny and we can do it. we are doing it. why are gas prices lower today at the pump? is it because opec decided to give us a christmas present? i don't think so. it's because we're producing far more energy than we ever have
before but to continue to produce that energy, we've got to have the infrastructure to move that energy from where it's produced to where it's consumed. that means pipelines that means roads, that means rail. for electricity that means transmission. but we can't have an energy plan for this country that really works without the infrastructure to move that energy safely and effectively. that's what this project is all about. so why are we here talking about it today? it seems like a pretty straightforward proposition. after all i think there is something like 19 different pipelines that cross the border. in fact, there are millions of miles of pipelines in this country. here's a map of just some of them. we have millions of miles of pipeline in this country. a lot of them you see crossing the border. so why are we standing here today talking about another pipeline project? because for the past six years
for the past six years the administration has held this project up. they keep saying there's a process. as a matter of fact, josh ernst just yesterday said oh, we have a process. congress shouldn't intervene in the keystone pipeline keystone approval because there is a process. really, mr. president, there is a process? the trans-canada company filed an application to build the keystone x.l. pipeline in september of 2008. september of 2008. now, if you do the math, that's more than six years ago. more than six years ago and there's a process somehow to get to a conclusion? so that company which has invested hundreds of millions already, wants to build an 8-point -- ultimately $.9 million project, that will move 830,000 barrels of oil a day, and here they are six years
later still waiting for approval. and that's why today we are asking congress to step forward and do what the american people want. keystone is not a new issue. the american people understand this issue. poll after poll shows the american people by a margin of about 70% to 20-some percent support this project. who do we work for mr. president? who do we work for? we work for the people of this great country and 70% of the people of this great country say approve the project. after six long years where all of the requirements have been met, approve the project. but the president of course continues to hold it up and even yesterday issued a veto threat. why? why is he wanting to threaten a
project, threaten veto on a project that 70% of the american people support? it's really hard to understand, isn't it? because every time an objection comes up, we work to address that objection. when there is an objection on the route the company rerouted. so the president says well, it's an environmental concern. he says well, it's an environmental concern. really? an environmental concern. this is about his own study found after six years of study. the state department, in multiple environmental impact statements three draft statements and two final environmental impact statements, this is what they found -- no significant environmental impact. according to the u.s. state department environmental impact statement. that's not something i did. that's not something the company did. that's something that the obama
administration did. repeatedly and came to the same conclusion no significant environmental impact. in fact, if you don't build the pipeline, you have to move that oil with 1,400 rail cars a day. now, canada is going to produce the energy. north dakota, montana other states are going to continue to produce the energy, so that energy is going to move. the question is how and where. if you can't build the pipeline, then it's got to go by rail car. so do we really want 1,400 rail cars a day moving that product around or do we want it to move more safely, more cost-effectively with better environmental stewardship through a pipeline? common sense. and then this idea that somehow well canada's not going to produce that oil if they don't have a pipeline, wrong wrong.
they'll move it like -- they will move it by rail, and they'll build other pipelines. here are several that are already in the planning stages. they will move it to the east coast for refineries they have there, or they will send it west and it will go to china. now, does that make sense? well it doesn't make sense to the american public, which is why the american public wants to work with canada as well as produce energy in our country to become energy secure. the idea that we would say no to our closest friend and ally, canada we're not going to work with you we're going to continue to buy oil from the middle east and we're going to have you send your oil to china makes no sense to the american people and it shouldn't. it shouldn't. that's why they overwhelmingly support this project.
so that here we are we're starting the new congress. i think very clearly in the last election the people said we support this project and you saw it time after time with candidate after candidate who supported this project that won their elections but on an even bigger issue of an even bigger message, the people of this great country said we want the congress to work together in a bipartisan way to get things done. we want the congress to work together in a bipartisan way to get things done. so here we have legislation that has passed the house repeatedly with bipartisan majority. here we have legislation that has bipartisan support in this body. here we have legislation that the american people
overwhelmingly support after clearly giving the message in the last election that they want us working together to get work done and the president issues a veto message right out of the gates. why? for whom? who's he working for? so it is incumbent upon us to work together in a bipartisan way to get this legislation passed and the way we're approaching it -- and i see that my good friend and colleague from the great state of west virginia is here. i want to thank and turn to him. but i want to do it in the form of a question. it was my very clear sense from the last election and i think the very clear sense that we all got from the last election is that they want to see congress working together in a bipartisan way, in an open process to get the important work of this country done. so with this legislation it's
not just that it's about important energy infrastructure. it's also that we want to return to regular order in this body, offer an open amendment process allow people to bring forward their amendments, offer those amendments debate them and get a vote on those amendments, and if they have amendments that can add and improve this legislation, great great and let's have that process let's have that debate, let's have those votes let's make this bill as good as we can possibly make it, and then the president needs to work with us. the president needs to meet us halfway and get this done for the american people. so i'd like to turn to my good colleague from the great state of west virginia and say aren't we doing all we can here to try to make sure that we're approaching this in a bipartisan way with an open, transparent process to try to build support for this legislation? mr. manchin: you're absolutely correct, and i thank you for
this opportunity not only to work with you but also to bring the facts to the floor. we have heard many times we're all entitled to our own opinion. we're just not entitled to our own facts. so if you start looking at what we are consuming today in america, at last count seven million barrels of oil is purchased -- crude is purchased every day in america from other countries. seven million barrels of crude a day. so this line would possibly furnish 830,000 barrels of that dependency that we have. let's look and see where it comes from right now. 2 1/2 million barrels we're already purchasing from canada. the best ally we could possibly have the best trading partner the number-one trading partner 35 of the 50 states have. so it's not unknown there. so let's look where we're purchasing the rest of the oil. we purchase 755,000 barrels a
day from venezuela. 755,000 of heavy crude from venezuela. and let's look at venezuela where it's -- where it's an authoritarian regime. it violates their citizens human rights and puts down protests with horrific violence. we also purchase 1.3 million barrels a day from saudi arabia. we all have our concerns about saudi arabia and a lot of the money we follow goes into the wrong hands. 42,000 barrels a day from russia. from russia. and we know what their intent and what they've been doing with their energy policies and their regime has invaded its neighbors and armed separatists in ukraine. so when you look at what we're doing, these are the facts. this is not just hearsay or rumors these are facts. we purchase 7 million. and i've said when i first was approached by this four years ago when i came to the senate, they said what do you think
about the keystone pipeline it will be bringing oil from canada into america? i said, where i come from in west virginia, it's pretty common sense. we'd rather buy from our friends than our enemies. i'd rather support my friends my allies, my trading partners month so than i would the enemies who use anything i buy from them and the money that they receive from that product that i buy from them and use it against me. it's pretty common sense. it's not real complicated. i know everybody's trying to really make this complicated. also they talk about exports. we just had a caucus talking about the different -- what would happen to the oil senator, and i know you've been watching this very closely. but they say the keystone pipeline will strictly be just an avenue and a vehicle for exporting this oil out. they're just going to use america to bring that oil through. well we checked into that a little bit further. that's not true. and i think even "the washington post" gave it three pinocchios it was so untrue. we found out basically the crude oil from canada is expected to
be mixed with a domestic oil from the balkans from your region, north dakota. the canadian oil is a heavier crude like venezuelan oil. it will be mixed with the light crude from the balkans which enables it to flow just easier and be produced. once it comingles, this oil is basically american oil. it lives and dies and basically is marketed with the policies of the united states of america. and our policy is not to export crude oil. so i don't know why people are using this argument and scaring people that we'll get no benefit. then we talked about the jobs. and they say well, there's not that many jobs. well in west virginia, you give us 42,000 jobs, we'd be very appreciative, we'll thank you. and these are all high-paying jobs. and they say well, they're only contractual -- they're only contract jobs but yet i hear everybody talking republicans and democrats about building roads and building bridges. those are also seasonal types of jobs.
those are all contracting jobs. they're not permanent jobs but we're tickled to death to get them. and that's the whole trades -- the whole trade union. all the unions that i know of are supportive of this piece of legislation. every working man that we keep talking about and woman who supports themselves and their family supports this legislation. and while we're running in such a roadblock, i have no idea. and then we put the map up and i think senator, you have the map there. but the other map we had, i said, you know when i first heard about this pipeline, i thought it was an anomaly. we just didn't have many pipelines in america. then we put this map up. this is what we have in america today. so this is not foreign to any of us. in any state, we have pipelines. many in west virginia and all through this country. so then you look at public support. you think here we are democrats and republicans and we look at the polls and we live and die by the polls they tell us or we should but the bottom line is, is that if you do
believe in the polls this has been a consistent poll. it has not varied for over five years, you have not seen the numbers fluctuate that much. overwhelmingly overwhelmingly you've got americans in all aspects of the political realm whether you're a democrat or a republican or independent overwhelmingly support this pipeline. so i cannot see the objections to it. i was very disappointed when the president said he would veto -- or the white house. once we said we would go through this process. and i think you and i talked about it, senator and we thought, well, it's going to be an open process, we have some -- i was encouraged by my colleagues on the democrat side who have some good amendments, i believe that should be considered and i believe would pass and enhance the bill. and we only need four more -- four more senators on my side of the aisle that can see the benefit of a good -- a good bill a good process with good amendments that strengthen this
bill to put us in a position to make it veto-proof. that should be our goal. so basically we shouldn't be deterred by the white house or the president saying already that they're going to veto this bill. let's see if we can make this bill so good and -- and that when we are finished with this product and this process two or three weeks from now that we'll have a product that basically we're all proud of that the american people are proud of and will support and maybe just maybe, the white house will change its mind. i'm hopeful for that. so i appreciate all the effort and work and we're working very well together. we have i think the last count we had nine democrats working with our republican colleagues. that puts us at 63. i'm hopeful to get four more at least that will look at the virtues of this and basically the assets and what it will do for our country. my main goal is this -- energy independence. makes us a secure, protected nation. any time that we do not have to go and depend on oil coming from other parts of the world and the
resources that we give them when we purchase their product and they use those resources against us time after time and again with he we can see now with the oil prices dipping the benefits that the consumers in america receive receive. the strength it makes our country. and i am so thankful thankful for that and that we are getting a break here and i think we can continue to make that happen for many years to come if we're able to be smart strategically what we do today. i think you spoke about the environment, too. you might want to touch on that again. but most of this oil is being produced now some way or another and it's also getting transported in different ways and means. and the bottom line is that no significant environmental impact. and i think the state department's even done five studies that shows that to be true. so -- and i said also 2 1/2 million barrels a day is being purchased from canada today. refineries in illinois are now refining this product they say that we shouldn't do. we've been doing it for quite some time. we're using this product and
with technology awe're using it better. -- we're using it better. and it has helped us be less dependent on foreign oil. that's the argument, the security of america. that's thes first and foremost think that we support. that's why i think you see a tremendous amount of people from the mountain state senator that support this piece of legislation. we're going to work diligently. we have a long way to go here but i think the facts are on our side. we are all entitled to our opinion but we can't change the facts, sir. mr. hoeven: i'd like to thank the senator from west virginia. and i want to thank him not only for his support on this project but for his willingness to work hard to work together to find bipartisan solutions, whether it's this legislation or other legislation. that is what is incumbent upon us to do. and it is not easy but we've got to be willing to engage in the hard work it takes to get this legislation to get these solutions in place for the american people. and so i again want to thank you for your leadership and i look forward to continuing to work with you and our colleagues on
both sides of the aisle to come to good solutions. that's what this effort is all about. and i want to turn to the senator from the state of montana. the pipeline project goes right through his state. here's somebody who has dealt with the issue on the house side of congress and who's got the project in his home state. so he's talking on behalf of people where the pipeline is right there. and i'd like to turn to him and say what do the people in montana say? you know, i mean, it's fine for something far removed from a project to say well, you know, i'm okay or i'm not okay with it. but how about the people that are right there on the site, they're directly affected? tell us, what's the sense in your home state? what are you hearing when you talk to people? a senator: mr. president i applaud first of all the senator from north dakota for his leadership on this most important issue and his commitment to making it a priority for this senate as the first bill introduced into this senate.
mr. daines: and i also want to applaud the senator from west virginia. one example as we sit in this chamber today republicans and democrats discussing and supporting the keystone x.l. pipeline. and i want to reiterate many of the comments expressed by my colleagues and convey the importance of this pipeline because, as the senator from north dakota mentioned and showed on his map the very first state the keystone pipeline enters as it comes from canada is the state of montana. and let me tell you something it's not just a pipeline, this is also changing the way of life and an economic stimulus for our great state. i spent a lot of time traveling around the state in my pickup, and as i drive around eastern montana, where the keystone pipeline will travel we recognize this is a lifeline for many of our rural communities. in fact, circle montana. now, circle montana is a small town of around 600 people. it's located in mccomb county
and its one of six montana counties that the keystone x.l. pipeline will route through. now, circle like a lot of small communities in montana, has experienced the same economic and population declines that towns have faced in recent years. in fact, the county has significant infrastructure needs that have gone unresolved in the wake of a shrinking tax base. now, for towns like circle, the keystone x.l. pipeline isn't just about energy. it represents economic opportunity and hope for the future. you see mccomb county alone would see $18 million in property tax revenues from the keystone pipeline construction and that's just in the pipeline's first year of operation. now, that's money for neighborhoods, it's for roads not to mention the influx of jobs for the area. now, another $45 million would be distributed among five other montana counties and $16 million
would go to montana's schools and university systems. you see these keystone x.l. pipeline means lower energy costs for montana families for our senior citizens and for small businesses. in glasco, montana, i remember traveling in my pickup and i met with the norval electric co-op. they told me if the keystone pipeline is approved, that they will hold electric rates flat for their customers for the next 10 years. that's several thousand montana families up in the northeast part of our state. the reason for that is because they will supply the electricity to the pump stations on the keystone pipeline. if the keystone pipeline is not approved those ratepayers will see an approximate 40% increase in their utility rates over the next 10 years. that's a potential increase of about $480 per year for the
average household in montana. now, as the senator from north dakota mentioned 100,000 barrels a day of the oil traveling through the keystone pipeline will be montana and north dakota oil. that supports the bakken formation which the revolution of hydraulic fracturing is creating now lower gas prices at the pump today. montanans know this pipeline isn't just a lofty idea or some kind of d.c.-based rhetoric. it is hope for the people of my state. it's a tangible result and a solution that montanans deserve. and i've got to tell you that's why it's so disappointing that once again we're seeing the president and some senate democrats playing political games and perpetuating the six years of gridlock that have held back this job-creating project. and rather than putting the american people first the president has threatened to refuse the people of montana their right to determine their
economic future. you know, it took the canadians -- it took the canadians just seven months to approve their end of the keystone pipeline. it's taken this president more than six years. that's six years without the hundreds of good-paying jobs that would be created in montana and thousands more across the nation. that's six years without millions of dollars in critical revenue for montana's schools for infrastructure, for teachers. that's six years without the answers and action that montanans deserve. you know, i think the pipeline checks every box of common sense sense. it's environmentally sound. it creates jobs. it's economic opportunity. and it's going to help us towards north american energy independence. so the question why are we still waiting? the people of montana, the people of this country have said they've had enough and that's why we're here today speaking out in support of this important project.
i am proud that the senate is taking steps to move forward the keystone x.l. pipeline and the house i know intends to do the same shortly. president obama can continue to obstruct progress on american jobs and on american energy independence but the american people have sent a strong message that they are ready to remove any roadblocks that president obama intends to put in the way. the time for partisanship the time for political games is over over. it is time this congress and this government gets to work for the american people and start getting results for this country. the polls are clear. 7% of the american people want the keystone pipeline approved. 75% of montanans wanted the keystone pipeline approved. prior to sesqui in congress, i spent 28 years in the private sector focused on getting results in the real world. only in d.c. are we outside the real world of doing something and getting results on behalf of
the american people and that starts with approving the stone to enstone. thank you mr. president. i yield back to the senator from north dakota. mr. hoeven: you're hearing from somebody who's there, who is a talking to the people, where this project is going to be located. one of the states that it passes through. so i thank him for his perspective and for his hard work and commend him for being here and for his continued efforts, not toll not only to work with our caucus but to reach out to the democratic caucus as well and find common ground on this important issue. something that the senator from west virginia said just a minute ago is let's focus on the facts. let's focus on the facts. because i think the more understanding we create as to what the facts are this gets done on the merits. so i want to turn to the senator from wyoming somebody who's got long experience with energy, somebody who comes from an energy state a state that
produces a variety of energy sourcessers and pose the same question to him and in terms of focusing on the facts whether it is the environmental aspect, whether it is the jobs, whether it's making our country energy-secure, talk to us a little bit about the importance of this kind of vital infrastructure projects like keystone for our country. mr. barrasso: mr. president let me first thank and congratulate the senator from north dakota for his dogged determination in fighting for these american jobs, for energy security for our country so i'm so grateful for his hard work. he's really just been tenacious in his fight to get this bill bill to pass the senate and to the president's desk. i also want to congratulate my friend and colleague tbr from montana. last year the american people elected 12 new senators to serve
in this body. he is one of them. i had an opportunity to travel with him in montana. a great background. he is creative, innovative, energetic. he has gone -- he is going to do a tremendous job not just for his state and the rocky mountain west but for at for the entire united states. we were able to hear from him today. he is going to be a remarkable addition to this body. mr. president, i know that all of these dozen new republican senators as eager as the rest of us in the new republican majority to start fulfilling our obligation to the people we represent. americans elected a republican congress because they wanted a chaifnlgt theychange. they wanted to change the direction that president obama and the democrats have taken the country. under the democrat leadership of the past several years the senate was a place of dysfunction and gridlock.
more than 40 jobs bills passed by the house of representatives in the last congress never even came up for a vote in the united states senate. many of those bills had over whelming bipartisan support just like this one we're debating today. those days are over. that is a completely unacceptable way to run the united states senate. all of us here in the senate, republicans and democrats, have been given an opportunity to work together and to get things done. that's what the american people told us on election day. it's what they are expecting from us, and i believe it is what they are demanding of us. now, the poster child for the gridlock and the dysfunction of washington has been the keystone x.l. pipeline. for more than six years it has been a symbol of out-of-control washington bureaucracy. the state department has absolutely refused to do its job
and to make any kind of decision on the pipeline's application. the keystone x.l. pipeline has also been a symbol of gridlock in the senate. a small group of extreme environmentalists with deep pockets has bullied democrat members of the senate to block a bill that would move this important jobs project further. according to the latest figures the americans' labor force participation rate have woefully low. it is just 62.8%. democrats in this body -- are democrats in this body, are they satisfied with that number? is the president of the united states, barack obama sophisticated with this pathetic level of participation in america's labor force? i can tell you that people in my state, republicans all around the country they're not satisfied. that's why we're determined to push job-ceefting legislation-- job-creating legislation like this hoeven bill to advantages the keystone
x.l. pipeline. now, the president has said there's no benefit to this important infrastructure project. during a press conference last month, president obama actually chaimed that the project is not even going to be of nominal benefit, he said, to the united states consumers. apparently that's what the president believes. he's wrong. just ask the obama administration's own state department. it says that the pipeline would support more than 42,000 jobs. some are construction jobs, some in the modification jobs, including jobs at hotels along the route. does president obama think that a good job that is not even a nominal benefit to america a country where we get 42,000 jobs by this pipeline? according to the congressional research service, there are already 1 pipelines 9 pipelines operating
across u.s. borders? why is this one not even a nominal benefit according to the president? why has the president not made a decision about whether to approve the pipeline or is not the president has taken a position on this bipartisan bill according to the press secretary on tuesday says the president will not sign this bill once congress passes it. the state department has done one study after another showing the pipeline would create jobs understand that it would have significant -- and that it would have no significant environmental impact. now, president obama a had been downplaying those benefits and threntsding to veto the bill. that's not presidential leadership. now republicans are going to show the leadership that the american people have been asking for and that they voted for last november. we're going to bring a bill to the floor force the president finally do to do something by putting it on the president's desk. democrats have been playing politics with this pipeline
bill. the republican majority will now get it done. we're going to allow a vote on this project. we're going to allow senators to offer amendments. what a unique situation in the united states senate. we're going to let everyone say which side they're on. this will be a bellwether decision. are members of the senate in favor of 42,000 jobs for american workers or are they in favor of more washington delay? democrats will have a chance to make their arguments. the extreme opponents of this project will make misleading claims try to discount the pipeline's benefits and they'll try to stoke people's fears. we've seen it all before. at the end of the day here's what this autoall comes down to: -- here's what this all comes down to. four things. first, the stone to enstone will support more than -- the keystone x.l. pipeline will appellate court more than 42,000 jobs in the united states. second, it will be a private
investment of $8 billion not taxpayer spending, private spending. third, it will have minimal effect on the environment. and, fourth, the pipeline is actually safer than other methods of getting that oil to manchetmarket. congress should approve this pipeline and pass this bill, and the president should sign it. the keystone x.l. pipeline is a job create he. it has bipartisan support and has been stuck in washington's bureaucratic gridlock. it's interesting when i listen to the president's comments about jobs and what the impact is going to be. it makes me think about what the president of the laborers international union of north america said a summer a year ago. he was scheduled to testify at today's hearing of the energy and natural resources committee a hearing that now the minority,
the democratic acting leader, senator durbin, objected to having yesterday. he objected to just a hearing and a discussion. and it's interesting. there was a press release from the president of the union who was quoted on the subject of the economic benefits associated with construction of the pipeline. he said, the president -- president obama -- seems to dismiss the corresponding economic opportunities that would benefit other laborers, manufacturers, smashings and -- small businesses, and communities throughout keystone's supply chaifnlt he said the washington politics behind the delay of the keystone x.l. pipeline are of little concern to those seeking the dignity of a good high-paying job. rhee we renewwe renew our call to the president. a job says something about someone's identity, self-worth. people take a lot of personal
pride in their work and in their job. i think we ought to approve t i'm ready to sphroart it. the american people have been clear. they are tired of washington's gridlock and delay. they are tired of the direction that president obama has been taking this country. the american voters demand change. they demanded action. and this republican congress is going to deliver just that. so i say to my friend and colleague from north dakota, and i see also that the chairman of the senate energy committee has arrived, thank you both for our leadership your leadership on energy in north dakota, to the senator from north dakota, former governor there and thank you specifically also for your leadership to the senator -- the senior senator from alaska, the chair of the energy committee and i look forward to working with both of you specifically on this project and on additional issues that will bring american
energy security and jobs to our nation. i'd like to -- mr. president, i would like to thank the senator from wyoming for his comments today and for his continued hard work on this important issue and i look forward to working with him again to get this done for the american. mr. hoeven: and i like to turn to our leader on the energy committee, the chairman of the energy committee the senator from alaska, certainly someone that understands energy, another state that produces a huge amount of energy for this country, and can produce more but only with the infrastructure to do it. this country can have more jobs, nor economic growth and more energy that we produce right here at home. but, senator don't we need the infrastructure to move that energy as safely and cost-effectively as possible? ms. murkowski: it is all about infrastructure. in alaska, in my home state, we
have boundless supplies of oil of natural gas but until we were able to build that 800-mile pipeline across two mountain ranges to deliver that oil from alaska's north slope to tidewater in valdez, that oil didn't do anybody any good. now that oil pipeline in alaska is less than half full, and so we're working to try to figure out how we do more as state to contribute to our nation's energy needs to allow us as a state to be producing more for the benefit not only of our state but of the nation as awell. but yet we're held back by policies that limit us. so it's policies and it's infrastructure. it's absolutely infrastructure. we're trying to move alaska's natural gas to market as well.
but, again if you don't have the infrastructure, it sits, it stays, it doesn't benefit the consumers, it doesn't create the jobs it doesn't help any of us out. so keystone truly is about infrastructure. and i thank my colleague from north dakota for leading on this issue for years now for reintroducing the legislation senate bill 1 the first bill to be filed in the senate this year. it will be -- it will be, mr. president, among the first bills to pass in this new congress and appropriately so. appropriately so. this is a measure that, again not only enjoys bipartisan support here in the senate, it enjoys broad support over in the house, but it enjoys support across our nation for great reason.
so you say why -- why are we where we are? why are we looking at the situation and saying, there's so much frustration going on here? senator mcconnell has promised to allow open and full debate on the keystone x.l. pipeline project, the legislation in front of it, i think we're looking forward to it. as the chairman of the energy committee, i'm looking forward to robust debate on the keystone x.l. and what it will provide for this country in terms of jobs in terms of opportunities. we're frawflted. we're frustrated by a president's decision. or unwilling in really, unwillingness to make a decision about this pipeline 2,301 days and counting since the companies seeking to build it submitted an application for this cross-border permit. 2,301 days.
that's more than six years ago. and then yesterday the president finally is able to make a decision apparently. he issues a statement of administration policy, and in his statement, he says that by advancing this measure it would cut short consideration of important issues. excuse me, mr. president? cut short a process that has been underway for over six years? that's -- that's just amazing to me. so again when we talk about -- about decisions let's -- let's get moving with this. let's get moving with this. the president seems to be advancing some pretty interesting things when it comes to the energy discussion. he was quoted in an interview just this morning. this was an interview with the
president in "the detroit news" and he basically told americans he says, "you know, we're enjoying lower energy prices right now but you better enjoy them fast because they're not going to last." he said -- he said "we've got to be smart about our energy policy." i'm with ya there mr. president. we do have to be smart about our energy policy. but to think that the suggestion here is just enjoy low prices while they last take advantage of the sunshine? no. mr. president, your energy policies need to make sense for today, they need to make sense for the midterm and for the long term. and for the long term and for the short term, we need to make sure that we've got infrastructure that will allow us -- allow us the energy supply that is so important to this country. it amazes me that we would be so defeatist with this approach.
so we've got an opportunity here in this congress. we had an opportunity this morning -- this morning in the energy committee. we had scheduled a hearing on the keystone x.l. pipeline. we were going to hear testimony on original legislation to approve keystone x.l., as we did last year, on a bipartisan basis, but as members in the body know, there was objection to that unanimous consent. we had to cancel or we had to postpone that hearing. i, quite honestly, was surprised by it. it would have been nice to know that an objection was coming before we had organized the hearing, before we had invited witnesses before we had completed all the preparations. so we're going to do our best in the committee to adhere to regular order. i'm hopeful that our colleagues will -- will work with us on that. but i would like to introduce for the record mr. president if i can some of the testimony
that we received from the three witnesses who graciously agreed to participate in our hearing that we had scheduled for this morning. andrew black who is the president and c.e.o. of the association of oil pipelines. he described pipeline safety issues, the gains that keystone x.l. would bring to the american economy in terms of jobs and payrolls. part of the excerpts from his testimony are as follows. he says "while there is much controversy associated with the keystone x.l. pipeline, the facts are that the pipelines are the safest way to transport crude oil and other energy products. a barrel of crude oil has a better than 99.999% chance of reaching its destination safely by pipeline safer than any competing transportation mode." a second witness that we had invited was david malino, who's the legislative director of the laborers international union of
north america. in his testimony he explored the positive jobs impact of the pipeline responded to some environment l aal concerns. an excerpt is "regardless of characterizations by the project's opponents, it is indisputable that jobs will be created and supported in the extraction and refining of the oil as well in the manufacturing and service sectors." and then we also invited greg dotson, who's the vice president for energy policy at the center for american progress. he submitted his testimony in opposition. we made sure that we had opposition testimony presented as well. he discussed climate change. he responded to the arguments in favor of keystone. and while he may be an opponent of the pipeline and as usual would have been outnumbered by the supporters of the project i will still submit his written testimony for the record here today. and, mr. president, i would ask consent that the testimonies of
mr. black, mr. malino and mr. mr. dotson be included as part of the record. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. murkowski: but i do believe mr. president, that had we been allowed to hold the hearing this morning, we would have heard very strong bipartisan statements in support of keystone x.l. from many members of our committee. the majority of our committee supports this pipeline and is already cosponsoring this bill. mr. president, i want to close my comments by assuring members of this committee, we are in -- we are in day two of this 115th congress. this is not going to be our only debate on energy legislation over the years. i know that it's been a long seven years since we have had comprehensive energy legislation. a lot has changed. a lot of people have great ideas to improve and reform our policies and i welcome those ideas. i'm looking forward to the
debate, to advancing these proposals through the energy committee. i think we can make a significant significant progress on supply, on infrastructure, on efficiency on accountability. and that -- those areas in particular should be the forum or the focus of an energy bill that we would hope to report out out. we're going to work hard in this committee. we're planning on legislating. keystone x.l. is a natural point for this congress because it has been delayed for so long. 2,301 days. it's clear that this president is not going to make a decision on this so the congress needs to make it instead. so i look forward to coming back to the floor in a couple days when we have senate bill 1 officially in front of us. we're going to have good debate on it.
i look forward to -- to working with my colleague who has been so so aggressive on this issue for so long. his leadership has been key in getting us here. but we need to finish it up. we need to make the connects so that we can move the resource and provide the jobs for this country and for our allies and friends in canada. and with that i again thank my friend and look forward to these next couple days and really the next couple weeks where we will have an opportunity to put this before the american people here on the floor of the united states senate. mr. hoeven: mr. president i'd like to thank the senator from alaska for her leadership on the energy committee but also for her willingness to work in an open way on these important issues. and i think that across this body on both sides of the aisle there should be a deep appreciation for her willingness to bring these bills forward so
that we can debate them and we can offer amendments and we can build the kind of energy future for this country that our people so very much want to have. and so, you know, the senator from alaska is somebody who really lives and breathes this topic. when we talk energy, somebody that's truly committed to it but truly committed to an open dialogue on all types of energy and giving everybody an opportunity to weigh in here and build the best energy plan for our country that we possibly can. and so i want to extend my thanks to her and also my appreciation and likewise, say that i really look forward to working with her on this issue but on so many important energy issues. and i'd like to turn to my colleague from the state of north dakota and ask her for her perspective on why this project is so important for our country
and for the energy future of our country. ms. heitkamp: thank you so much. mr. president, i rise to join my colleagues on the other side who represent states who know a little bit about energy and certainly my colleague from north dakota, who has led this effort from the first day that he arrived in the united states senate. no big surprise because we know that you can have as much oil out there you can know where the reserves are but if you don't have the infrastructure to move that oil to market what you do is you drive up prices and -- and everybody who is looking at what we're looking at right now -- i haven't checked today but oil prices below $40 a barrel -- if you don't think that's supply-demand economics 101, you don't understand what's happening. the fact that we have known reserves in places like north dakota known reserves in alaska, we have producible reserves in canada, we have an opportunity to the continue to develop these resources in a way
that benefit in -- in an incredible way american consumers. think about what's happening for the average american family today when they fill up at the pump. and think what that means and how that will ripple through our economy as discretionary income grows. but that is only possible when we have a known supply that is movable, it's transportable, it is, in fact, capable of reaching its market or reaching the refinery. and that's what we're talking about when we're talking about north american crude oil. now, you're going to hear a lot of stories over this debate about how this crude oil is more dangerous to the environment how it is different than bakken crude. guess what? it is different than bakken crude, but it's not different from the crude that's refined in the refineries in texas that will -- where we will be displacing crude that is refined
from venezuela and we are going to be replacing it with crude that is produced in our friends to the north canada. and so infrastructure is a huge part. in fact, that's why secretary moniz, when he declared the quadrennial energy review, he looked at not just where's the supply and the future of supply of energy, he focused on transportation of energy because that's a huge part of our challenge today. and as we look at the keystone x.l. pipeline -- and we say keystone x.l. because a lot of people don't know, we already have a keystone pipeline. we already have a pipeline that is bringing oil sands from canada into the united states for refining. a lot of people don't -- don't realize this. this is the second pipeline that will be named "keystone." and it is a pipeline that has
been in process for literally a decade from their planning process to the time that they actually asked for a permit. now, i'm going to address some of the concerns of some of my colleagues as -- as we hear them just so that we can kind of lay the groundwork. when you frequently hear the keystone x.l. pipeline will -- will be exported. all of the oil that's coming down will find its way directly into china. guess what? that gets said all the time. and guess what "the washington post" gave it? three pinocchios. not true. it's going to get refined. it's going to get refined in the united states of america. it's going to displace venezuelan crude. and it is going to find its way into the american markets and continue to provide that supply that is, in fact, today driving down costs. and so let's -- let's get rid of that first argument that this is -- this is going to somehow not benefit american consumers.
that this is going to somehow find its way, you know, on to a barge immediately upon arrival into the gulf. so -- so that's the first thing that we need to be talking about about, which is let's actually have a fact-based discussion about what this pipeline is. the second argument you will hear is that this somehow will have a huge affect on climate and on climate change. and for those reasons alone it ought to be rejected. well let's take a look at what the experts who have repeatedly looked at this very issue because one thing that we know that i think is beyond dispute when you talk to the officials in canada is that we are going to produce oil sand oil from canada regardless of whether we build a pipeline. and that oil is going to find
its way into the transportation system and quite honestly, is going to burden our rail transportation system because we haven't figured out how to build a pipeline. so all those people who want to confuse the issue about the pipeline versus the development in canada of the oil sands, you know, let's separate it. let's look at what in fact, is the decision before the united states of america and that is the decision of whether it's in our national interest to approve a permit for a pipeline. i will say this over and over again as we pursue this debate, this is a pipeline and not a cause. so many people have talked about it and i think in some ways this process has gotten exaggerated on both sides. it's going to be the panacea and prevent all unemployment, or it's going to be the worst thing you know, armageddon for the environment. and you know what? this is a pipeline. this is a transportation system. this is an essential part of the
infrastructure to bring an important fossil fuel into our country so that it can be refined and utilized by the american people. and, oh, by the way knowing those reserves are there that we've got the reserves that we from have in the bakken, that we're developing more and more untransitional pores of -- sources of supply has driven the price down, has created the situation that we have today that is saving consumers millions and billions of dollars in our country. the second thing i want to say is people say we got to respect the process. i respect process. that's part of what i've done my whole life. i'm a lawyer so you hear repeatedly about due process and the need to have due process. but you know what, occasionally the process is broken. guess what -- six years to site a pipeline. we were able to --. the presiding officer: the time reserved for the senator from north dakota has expired.
mr. hoeven: i ask for five minutes to wrap up the colloquy. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. ms. heitkamp: the process. back to the process. when you look at it, six years, we fought world war ii and defeated the greatest evil known to mankind, adolf hitler in four and we can't site a pipeline in six. so the process is broken. the other thing you're going to hear is, you know, this is going to somehow disrupt what's happening in nebraska. i think the senator from north dakota was absolutely correct as part of this bill in putting a provision in that says all bets are off if nebraska reverses the decisions that were made in nebraska but somehow that's getting forgotten in this debate. and so we're going to have a lot of hours of debate i think on keystone x.l. pipeline. we're going to have lot of the amendments. i'm grateful for the opportunity to go back to regular order.
i'm grateful for the opportunity to talk about amendments. but i want so badly that us to have a reasoned and factual-based debate. not an emotional debate but a debate that basically puts this pipeline in perspective. and so puts this issue in perspective. and so i want to congratulate my colleague from north dakota for the success in raising this issue and getting this issue its early debate. i hope we'll be able to move this along that we'll be successful in getting enough people to provide that momentum to achieve ready approval, and finally, i i want to say why it's so important that we do it now. for those of us who live in the northern tier, we know what a construction season is. and you can't begin to put pipe in the ground in september and october. not without a lot of additional costs which we've already burdened this pipeline with.
and so we need to make this decision, we need to get this decision done yet this spring as early as possible so that plans can be made so that people can begin their construction season and we can begin to rationally address the infrastructure need for development of our energy resources in north america. so with that, mr. president, i yield the floor. mr. hoeven: mr. president i'd like to thank my colleague from north dakota and pick up on an important point she made and that is the energy we're producing in this country is helping consumers at the pump by bringing down prices and i'd like to turn to my colleague from kansas who wants to close this colloquy and address that very point that we're producing more energy, we need the infrastructure to keep doing that to benefit our consumers at the pump. mr. roberts: i thank my colleague and pay credit to him for leading this colloquy and thank the other distinguished
senator from north dakota for her remarks. "the washington times" today the president of the c.e.o. institute, falling oil prices have empowered the united states and weakened opec and russia and increased u.s. reducing has fundamentally reordered the world's energy markets." this is a national security issue. this is an issue for russia, the break-even point is $110, now it's $48 they never dreamed this would happen, their economy is at steak and would cause mr. vladimir putin to think about his adventure some apartmentics around the world. and the pipeline represents not only the pipeline and everything that the distinguished senator has brought up but really a symbol that says we're going to go ahead with all of our energy production we're going to all of the above here.
this isn't an either/or with green projects or fossil fuels or whatever. if you vote for the pipeline, you're voting for something that affects our national security, think about our exports to europe and vladimir companies not have his choke hold on them if you will. there is a lot more going on that people haven't thought about. one of the other thing the president told us group of republicans, two years ago he would make a decision between two or three months. it was just a matter of tying down some legal matters. and now he says he's not for it and obviously he will never be for it. you can make whatever conclusion you want about that but it's not a good conclusion. i thank the senator. mr. hoeven: mr. president i'd like to thank the senator from kansas and with that will wrap up the colloquy and i'd like to thank my colleagues and we'll be back and again we're looking
to work with all of our colleagues here on an open process to offer amendments and pass legislation that's important for the american people. thank you mr. president. with that i yield the floor. the presiding officer: under the previous order the time until 4:15 will be controlled by the democratic leader or his designee. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from maryland. mr. cardin: thank you mr. president. i take this time and some of my colleagues will be joining me to express our concerns about the first major bill that has been brought to the floor under the republican leadership dealing with the keystone pipeline. i want to first start by talking about the so-called urgency for us to take this issue up and circumvent the normal process and the normal process would be
for this matter to continue through the regulatory revie which is there for to protect the public interest, and to short circuit that and in an unprecedented way for congress to approve a site for a pipeline. that's not the way it's done. so in order to consider this there must be some urgency. first let me just share with my colleagues what the american people are currently experiencing on the price of gasoline at the pump. it's at an historic low over the last five years. $2.19, the average price for gasoline at the pump. so there's certainly not an urgency if we're talking about trying to get more oil in the pipelines for the cost of energy and, by the way i think we all understand that our actions here in this congress will have very little to do with the availability of oil in the near
term. it will take some time to construct the pipeline and for it to have an impact on the level of oil that's available. the second issue that i find somewhat puzzling on the urgency of this issue and some of my colleagues have pointed it out on both sides of this issue there is already a pipeline that's available that could be used. admittedly it's not as efficient as what they're trying to do with the keystone and that is to make tar sand, the most dirty oils we have, more economically available, feasible to be transported. that makes little sense under today's economics and the price of gasoline makes it even more hard to understand. so this construction of this pipeline the approval by this congress will have very little to do with the consumer
availability of energy here in the united states. now, that's compounded by the fact that we're talking about canadian oil the dirtiest oil, tar sand oil that's being transported through the united states because canada doesn't want to transport it through their own country because of their concerns on the environmental side, which ends up in texas at the port arthur, texas refinery. now, for those who are not family that's a foreign tax zone which is tax-free. so the oil can therefore go into the international marketplace in a very easy manner. and valero, one of the potential users consumers of this oil is building export facilities in order to handle for exports in the international communities. none of us can speak with any
definitive judgment how much of this oil will in fact end up in the united states. but the fact that they're transporting it to a southern port they're not transporting it to a refinery this the midwest which would be a lot closer and a lot cheaper is a clear indication that this oil will end up in the international marketplace. and have very little to do with energy security here in the united states. i think we've got to make that clear. so here we are bypassing the normal process we're doing it for allowing canadian oil to enter the international marketplace more efficiently with risk to the united states with very little benefit. why are we doing all this? we hear jobs. i'm for job creation. i would like to see us work on a transportation bill where we can create millions of jobs in a far more harmonious way than we can with keystone. i'm for clean energy policies which have proven effect that
will create jobs here in the united states, permanent jobs here in the united states. but the keystone pipeline, the estimates are that it creates literally a few thousand construction jobs. they're temporary jobs. they're not permanent jobs. the number of permanent jobs are a handful. so this isn't about jobs here in the united states. it's not about energy security here in the united states. what is this all about? very little benefit for the risk factors who in the united states. let me talk about the risk factors. because this is what i think gets most of us most concerned. the risk factors are the environmental risk factors that have us the most concerned. the -- the way you extract tar sand -- and tar sand is again, is a murky type of product that is literally mined and then transported into a crude oil which is very very
thick and dirty. now, there are different ways in which you can get to that tar sand but one way to get to that tar sand is take the topsoil off the property and mine it through a strip mining process. that's been done in canada. it's still being done in canada. and it does cause tremendous environmental damage. it is in and of itself a process that i think most of us would want to avoid. and yet this legislation does nothing to prevent that type of processing of the tar sands. the tar sands produce a very thick oil product that can only make its way through the pipelines by it being processed, and it creates additional risk factors because of the way that it is processed. there have been oil spills of tar sand. we've seen it in arkansas, seen it in michigan. it caused devastating damage, devastating damage. it's not easy to clean up. it's not like normal crude.
it causes permanent type damages to a community as we saw most recently in michigan. so there are risk factors involved here for the united states to take canadian oil to make it easier to reach the international marketplace unlikely to end up in the united states creating few permanent jobs. quite frankly a lot of us don't understand this. and then as i said, it's dirty oil. the use of this tar sand oil produces a much larger carbon footprint than other crude oils. causing us additional problems in dealing with climate change. we have a serious issue with what's happening in our environment. i'm proud to represent the state of maryland. most of the people in my state live in coastal areas. they know the consequences of global climate change. they understand that. they know what's happening along
the coast. they know we're at risk. they understand the fact that we had inhabitable islands in the chesapeake bay that have disappeared and are disappearing. they understand that our seafood crops, the blue crab, is threatened because the warming of the water affects sea grass growth which is critically important for juvenile crabs to survive. they understand that, they get that and they want us to be responsible in dealing with climate change. they know we're getting a lot more extreme weather on the east coast of the united states. they know on the west coast they're getting the dry spell and the wildlife. they understand the risk factors, the cost to america of not dealing with climate change issues the cost that are involved not only in direct damage that's caused but also in the global consequences of climate change.
so we are worried about our carbon footprint. we are proud that the united states is joining other countries in dealing with the climate issues. i applaud the work of president obama in the most recent international meetings that dealt with climate change issues. we need to do a better job. so why is the tar sands an issue? because tar sands produce more carbon emissions than other types of oil. it's about 81% higher than the average use of crude oil and 17% higher than the well to wheels basis of producing oil. well that's of concern. that translates into millions and millions of cars, the difference between that and having millions of cars on the roads. it's an important part of our leadership. so if we're trying to establish international credibility and then we facilitate more of this dirty tar sand oil what message is that sending? what type of cooperation do we expect to receive?
so mr. president i'm trying to figure out why this is the priority of this new leadership in the united states senate, why this is the very first bill that we have seen come to the floor of the united states senate, which as i pointed out earlier there seems to be no urgency. i have been told well, it has been delayed and delayed and delayed. the reason it was delayed is because the construction operator firm changed the routes. they did their one route and they didn't check didn't have alternatives violated state laws didn't adjust routes, and now they are wondering because they have changed the route why it's taking longer. it's not the governmental process. it's the fact that the proposers of this route did not have their ducks lined up in order before they submitted the route that could be approved. and we're not so sure about that. and one of the points i want to bring out on process i said earlier for congress to dictate
where a pipeline should be is wrong. that's not our role. we should let the regulatory process which is there to protect the public go forward. but it would also tram bl on state rights. there are some serious legal challenges pending in state courts as to the actions of governors -- the governor in dealing with the location issue. that should be resolved by the courts. we're pretty close to having that. it's very unclear to me what impact this legislation would have on states' rights as it is currently being litigated in the state court. so why are we doing that? so delays have been caused because of the way this pipeline was suggested. the regulatory process is moving forward that will protect the public safety. there is no urgency considering where oil prices are today and gasoline at the pump.
there is serious environmental risk issues. i understand that state department reports that have been mentioned frequently, but look at the state department report. look at what it's saying about the price of oil the per-barrel price of oil was a lot higher when they did that report. lower costs have a major impact on what we're talking about here. so i would urge my colleagues to let the process go forward. i thank the president for spelling out his concerns and his desire to let the regulatory process reach its conclusion, let the court the state court decision go forward as to what the state believes is the right thing to be done here, and all of that i think will give us a much better process than us trying to substitute our judgment for what should be done through a regulatory process. and, mr. president i'm going to close by quoting from one of the individuals from nebraska who
has been very active on this, ben gashaw. he says the cowboy indian alliance shows our cooperation and our working together in mutual respect. that shared bond approves that we pipeline fighters are not just a few angry landowners holding out or environmentalists pushing a narrow agenda. we are people from all walks of life and include the people who have been here the longest and know the land best." i think that's pretty instructive. this is a broad coalition that is concerned about the actions that are being contemplated here in the united states senate, actions that would overrule landowner rights, actions that would take away state rights, actions that would short-cut regulatory process actions that
would help private companies directly without taking into account the regulatory protections that are provided under law. it seems rather unusual that this would be the very first issue where we could work together in a bipartisan way to expand opportunities for energy here in the united states. cheap energy produces a lot more jobs. we could be talking about incentives so we could have a larger production of clean energy here in the united states. there democrats and republicans would clearly work together, ways that we could have more efficient use of energy, democrats and republicans could clearly work together in that regard. there are so many areas that we could work on together and show the american people that we understood their frustration with congress' failure to deal with many issues in the last congress but instead it looks like we're picking an issue that is more special interest than it is one that will help deal with an energy problem in the united states and has the potential to
broaden our environmental challenges here in the united states. for all of those reasons mr. president, i hope my colleagues will reject this approach and let us go back to work together to find a common way that we can help deal with our environment. and with that, i would suggest the absence of a quorum. mr. president, i withdraw that request. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from massachusetts. mr. markey: i thank the president. i seek recognition to speak for ten minutes. the presiding officer: the senator's recognized. mr. markey: i thank you mr. president. mr. president, the -- the issue that we are going to be debating over the next two weeks here in the united states is really a story about two gasoline stations. in july of 2008, the average price of gasoline in america was
was $4.11 a gallon. in january 2015, in the united states of america the price is is $2.21 a gallon. now, that's great for every driver across our country. that's great actually, for americans that buy home heating oil. they're saving a lot of money this winter and the predictions are that it will continue throughout the rest of this year. that's great. however, it is not great for the oil companies. it is not great for the canadians. it's not great for wall street. they're not happy with this incredible benefit that is now flowing to americans all across our country who now have a
gasoline station ha-has $2.21 on average as what -- as to what people will pay. so what does the keystone keystone x.l. pipeline really stand for? well it really stands for the keystone export pipeline. that's right. what the canadians want to do is to basically construct a straw through the united states of america, bring that straw down to port arthur, texas, which is a tax-free export zone, and then export the oil out of the united states. now, why would they want to do that? because they advertise that it is all about north american energy independence. well there's a simple reason. that the price of oil in canada
right now for this tar sands oil is getting $13 less per barrel than it would get in the united states but ahh, it is $17 less than if they can get it into ships and send it around the world. so that's the very simple economic strategy of the canadians. now, how do i know this? because i asked the head of the pipeline for trans-canada in a hearing in the house of representatives would you accept an amendment to keep all of the oil here in the united states of america, and he said no. by the way i asked the same question of the head of the american petroleum institute. he said no. so there is a lot of false advertising going on here. on the world cup hand, they say this is great for american
energy independence, and on the other hand when you say let's keep the keystone oil here in the united states and we'll have an amendment on the floor of the senate that will accomplish that goal they say oh, no, absolutely opposed to that. and so that's why logically you have to reach the conclusion that their goal is to get the extra $17 per barrel that they will get if they can get it out and start selling it to china start selling it to latin america, start selling it to other parts of the world. that's the plan. no two ways about it. and by the way that should be their plan. that should be their plan. that's what their responsibility is. it's to the shareholders of their companies. but what's the strategy for the american driver? well that's who we have a responsibility to, to make sure that they get the lowest