tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN January 8, 2015 1:00am-3:01am EST
like to express our gratitude to the families and the victims and those who have been injured and their loved ones and all those who are suffering today. in from this cowardly assassination, this cowardly attack. today, to the victims, they are our heroes. i declare tomorrow a day of national mourning. at noon tomorrow, there will be a moment of silence and i invite the population of france flags will be lowered for three days. today it is the republic of france which has been attacked. the republic expresses freedom of speech, culture, creation. democracy, that is what they
were attacking. the ideal of justice and peace that france defense across the world stage and this message of peace, tolerance that we also defend through our soldiers to fight against terrorism and fundamentalism. france has received messages and expressions of support and brotherhood from all over the world. we must measure the importance of this. we must rise to the challenge that has been thrown down to us. first of all by bringing to justice the authors of this infamous act and have them arrested and brought to justice and punished very severely. everything will be done to arrest them. the investigation is progressing under the auspices of the justice system. we must protect all public spaces. the government has put in place the national security alert
system at its highest level, the attack alert and this is what we do when there is a threat. we must remain what we are. aware of the fact that our best weapon is our unity. the union of all our citizens in the face of this challenge nothing can divide us, must divide us in the face of this challenge. tomorrow, i will be holding a meeting with the speakers of the two houses of parliament and they representatives of all the political parties to show our determination. france is a great country and one that is capable of reaching the highest possible level, the highest level of excellence which has always enabled france to overcome the tests of history. freedom will always overcome barbarity.
france has always overcome its enemies when it has rallied around its values. i invite you to rally around our values in every way. we it should be our response. rally around together and we have all the resources to believe in our destiny. nothing will divert us from our determination. let's seek together. long-lived france and long live the republic. >> and reaction from president obama to the terrorist attacks on the french newspaper "charlie hebdo." he made the remarks while meeting with members of his cabinet. >> i reached out to president hollande of france and hope to have the opportunity to talk to him to do but i thought it was
appropriate for me to express my deepest sympathies to the people of paris and the people of france for this terrible terrorist attack that took place earlier today. i think that all of us recognize that france is one of our oldest allies, our strongest allies they have been with us at every moment from 9/11 on in dealing with some of the terrorist organizations around the world that threaten us. to see the kind of cowardly, evil attacks that took place today i think reinforces once again why it is important for us to stand in solidarity and they stand in solidarity with us. the fact that this was an attack on journalists, attack on our free press, also underscores the
degree in which these terrorists fear freedom of speech and freedom of the press. the one thing is the values that we share with the french people, a belief, a universal belief of expression is something that cannot be silenced because of the senseless violence of this group. our counterterrorism in cooperation with france's excellent. we will provide them with every bit of assistance that we can going forward. i think it will be important for us to make sure that we recognize these kinds of attacks that can happen anywhere in the world. and one of the things i will be discussing with secretary kerry is that we remain vigilant not
just in respect to americans living in paris but americans living in europe and the middle east into the parts of the world and making sure we stay vigilant and trying to protect us and to hunt down and bring down the perpetrators and to roll up the networks that help to advance these kinds of plots. in the end, though, the most important thing i want to say is that our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who have been lost and with the people of paris, the people of france what that beautiful city represents, the culture and the civilization that is so central to our imaginations.
that is going to endure. and those who carry out these attacks on civilians -- we will stand with the people of france through this difficult time. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> now, secretary of state john kerry. expressed support for the french people. secretary kerry made the remarks following a meeting with the polish foreign minister.
>> i am pleased to welcome the polish foreign minister here to washington today. he has come here specially to meet with us and talk about the important relationship between poland and the united states, a very important nato member. we are working on many issues in a very close, bilateral way. before i do talk, however, about our relationship, both of us, we were just talking about the horrific attack in paris today. the murderous attack on the headquarters of "charlie hebdo" in paris. i would like to say directly to the people of paris and france that each and every american
stands with you today not just in horror or in anger or outrage, for this vicious act of violence. that we stand with you in solidarity and in commitment both to the cause of confronting extremism and in the cause which the extremists fear so much and which has always united our countries. freedom. no country knows better than france that freedom has a price because france gave birth to democracy itself. france sparked so many revolutions of the human spirit born of freedom and of freedom of expression and that is what the extremists fear the most. they may wield weapons but we and france and the u.s. share a commitment to something that is more powerful. not just a pen but a pen that
represents an instrument of freedom, not fear. free expression and a free press are core values, they are written of -- they are universal. principles that can be attacked would never eradicated because brave and decent people around the world will never give in to the intimidation and the terror of those seeking to destroy those values. i agree with the french imam who today called the slain journalists martyrs for liberty. today's murders are part of a larger confrontation, not between civilizations, no. but between civilization itself and those who are opposed to a civilized world. murderers dared proclaim "charlie hebdo is dead." make no mistake they are wrong. today, tomorrow, across the
world, the freedom of expression that a represented is not able to be killed or this kind of act of terror. on the contrary, it will never be eradicated by any act of terror. what they do not understand, what these people who do these things do not understand is they will only strengthen the commitment to that freedom and our commitment to a civilized world. i would like to say a quick word if i may directly to the people of france -- [speaking in french]
understand these acts of terror and this challenge as well as any people, not just in europe but on the planet, and so i'm pleased to be standing here with the foreign minister today. poland is a strong stalwart, advocate for and supporter of freedom and of democracy, and they've stood on the front lines for a long time in that effort. they understand the price for freedom and they understand the cost. we are delighted to have their support and to work with them in their commitment to ukraine, to freedom and sovereignty of that nation, to the rule of law that has stood up so well in all of
our global affairs that was defined by world war ii in which poland paid such a price for freedom. and we value enormously the very robust economic relationship that we share, the investment in defense modernization, a commitment to nato and we restate once again our commitment to article 5 and to our nato obligations and to the important relationship between poland and the united states with respect to the rule of law. and finally, we appreciate poland's strong commitment to the ttip, trans-atlantic trade investment partnership, which is a key component to our future in terms of jobs and our economies. so poland is a very important ally and an important guest today. i think symbolically as we have
poland standing by after the events that took place in france should not be missed. thank you, mr. foreign minister. we appreciate you being here. thank you. >> thank you. first of all, let me express my condolences to france and to its people. we are deeply touched by terrorist act in paris a few hours ago. we stand together with france today. but we will talk -- we arranged our meeting a couple weeks ago and we established that we would talk about our fight against terrorists and terrorism. last year it was really fruitful with our relations between poland and the united states. and i'm convinced that it will continue for the next months and years we will be talking about. warsaw and washington is
cooperating bilaterally within and without of framework and for us very important. we will be talking about decisions made in new port about implementation decisions -- which will help through 2016 and about this issue, about support for international support in all regions all over the world like ukraine, middle east afghanistan, all the places there's a problem with terrorists and terrorism. for sure we can say today that washington can count on warsaw and i'm confident that warsaw can count on washington. thank you very much. >> thank you very much. thank you so much. >> thank you.
>> secretary ban ki-moon spoke about the attack in paris that killed 12 people, saying the shootings were "despicable" and "a horrendous crime." he made remarks at headquarters in new york city. >> good morning. thank you very much, secretary general, for coming today. a very sad day for journalists after the massacre in paris. also pleased for this reason you are here to talk about that. thank you very much. >> thank you. good morning, everyone. it's a great pleasure to see you and happy new year to you all, your families and your companies. in fact, i had planned to exchange greetings to you at the
beginning of the new year. but as you all understand, today is a very terrible terrorist attack happened, so i'd like to say a few words first before i begin to say something. i want to express my outrage at the despicable attack today against the french magazine, "charlie hebdo." it was a horrendous, unjustifiable and cold-blooded crime. it was also a direct assault on the cornerstone of democracy on freedom of expression. i extend my deepest condolences to the families and my best wishes to all those injured. we stand with the government and people of france. i trusted that the french authorities will do all in their
power to bring the perpetrators to justice quickly. this horrific attack is meant to divide. we must not fall into that trap. this is a moment for solidarity. around the world we must stand strong for freedom of expression and tolerance and stand against the forces of division and hate. ladies and gentlemen -- \[speaking french]
[speaking in french] [speaking in french] ladies and gentlemen, i will speak to you tomorrow afternoon after i brief the member states of the general assembly on the way forward for this year 2015. and i will have an opportunity for engaging questions and answers tomorrow afternoon. as the year begins, i do want to make a plea for you to keep focusing on all those in need around the world so that those are not forgotten.
whether they are migrants or stranded on ships in the mediterranean or young girls kidnapped by boko haram, extremists in nigeria, families struggling through in syria and the wider region, they are people who deserve the world's attention and support. thank you for all you have done to bring their stories to light. i'll be counting on you to do even more to give voice to the voiceless. again, it's a great pleasure to see you. for the second mandate and conversations on your very important responsibility. and i would like to pay my tribute and thanks to [indiscernible]
and for what she has been doing for unca these past years. and to all of you, members of unca, thank you for your strong and productive relationship and strong support for the united nations. and i count on your engagement all the time. this is going to be very important year for humanity. we have to meet the target of development goals and shape the 2015 development agenda and adopt universal, meaningful climate change agreement in december in paris. again, with all these priorities, i look forward to seeing you again and working very closely with you and i'll be very happy to make myself available. thank you very much. >> thank you.
>> this bill is sponsored by todd young of indiana, a republican with support from democrats and what it would do is change the definition of a full-time work week. currently the definition is 30 hours so employers have to provide health insurance for employees who work 30 hours or more. this would change that definition to 40 hours and republicans glommed onto this as an issue. >> why is that 10 hours a difference? >> the big difference is republicans say this is to incentivize employers to cut hours to 28 whereas with 40 hours, most employers were already offering coverage. they say a 30 hour threshold
hurts employees. >> the white house is not happy about proposed changes and is issuing a veto threat against this particular legislation. what in particular does the white house say they do not like? >> there are two things, number one, it would add to the deficit, and number two, they say it would hurt the 40 hour worker as well. democrats have supported this a little bit on the house side and senate side but they labeled it as more strengthening the law as opposed to weakening it which is what the white house stance has been. >> this issue has come up before in the 113th congress, last april when the bill passed the house, what can we expect this time around? >> house to my credit support --
house democratic support, there seems to be some, when last i checked there were 18-20 cosponsors. but in the senate there should be democratic support as well. >> you covered the news conference with collins and donnelly tweeting about that saying they have reintroduced legislation to redefine the work week under the health care law that likely faces a veto, tell us about the dynamics in the senate. >> in the senate they have introduced their version of the 40 hour work week which is similar to the legislation in the house. i think there will be some democratic support but there could be problems with republican senators as well especially those running for reelection in 2016. those who view any change to the law as fixing something that is
inherently flawed. >> you talked -- tweeted earlier about undercutting house rules for the 114th congress and they talk about changes they would like to see, what other sorts of changes might republicans propose? >> next on the list might be illuminating the medical device tax -- eliminating the medical device tax which has drawn democratic support. but in addition to elimination of what you mentioned, we could see legislation to eliminate some of the financial losses of insurers. we have seen some movement to repeal the him individual mandate or employer mandate altogether. >> the house rules committee worked on legislation to push
the key's tone -- keystone xl pipeline forward. the house will take up the bill friday. the white house has threatened to veto legislation. the committee approved the rules for debate for the bill on the house for by a party line vote 7-4. >> thank you very much. i welcome our second panel that is here.
and i know you have been waiting for quite a while and thank you for coming. we have mr. shivers and we are delighted you are here. thank you very much for taking time to be with us today. we are going to move to the h.r. 30 save america's workers act of 2015. excuse me, we are moving to the keystone pipeline, which is building america's workers, some number of thousands of jobs and the consumers who would benefit. h.r. 3, keystone x.l. pipeline. i would note that we have two gentlemen that are with us who care very much about this bill and one who has concerns about it from energy and commerce committee, mr. pallone. mr. chairman, i'm going to defer to you first. and have you open. any without objection, anything you have in writing will be entered into the record. mr. shuster is recognized.
>> thank you for having me to discuss the rule in consideration of h.r. 3 to approve the keystone pipeline act. it is based on the cassidy keystone bill that we passed in the last session. the keystone pipeline is the most extensively studied and vetted pipeline in the history of the country and we know the arguments that have been made by both sides. pipelines are essential part of our energy transportation infrastructure. they are the energy lifelines that power our daily activities. they supply 2/3 of the energy used in the united states. keystone will be a critical addition to this extensive network. increasing our nation's supply of oil, reducing the cost of oil. the state department concluded its final statement a year ago but there has been no action by the administration on the pipeline. there have only been excuses and
the last is pending litigation in the state of nebraska. h.r. 3 takes that into account. given the numerous benefits it will provide our nation. it will be a boon to the economic development and one that doesn't require a single federal dollar. the very nature of the infrastructure improvement creates jobs and keystone is no exception. the project will produce over 42,000 jobs and $2 billion in employee earnings. some say these are temporary jobs, keep in mind all construction jobs are temporary and we have a list of unions that are very supportive of this. the teamsters have endorsed it. international brotherhood of electrical workers, the operating engineers and united association of the plumbing and pipe fitting industry in united states and canada. has significant union backing. i hope my colleagues take that
into consideration. all infrastructure jobs are temporary. this pipeline is no exception, but will add to the economy of $3.1 billion in construction contracts, materials and support services. further, it will help keep the price of oil low which puts money back into the pockets of americans and they can buy new cars or improvements. this will help the economy. further, this provides more opportunities to expand the current north american energy renaissance and this project will be safe. 95 special mitigation measures and 57 recommended by the department of transportation to prevent spills and make this the safest pipe lynn ever built. i look forward to moving h.r. 3 through the congress. with that, i yield back. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i appreciate you for being here.
this is not your first time to be here on this issue and we are glad you are here. mr. pallone, you are recognized. >> good to see some new members of the committee. although this is a new congress, the keystone bill approval is not new. less than two months ago under an emergency rule and the republican majority will send to the house floor without any committee process and probably without any opportunity for members to offer amendments. that's my fear. my main -- i want to make two points here, mr. chairman and members, and that is, as a process argument and a substantive argument. this bill should be considered under regular order by the committees of jurisdiction.
we should hold hearings and markups and when the bill is brought to the floor, it should be considered under a rule that allows for amendments rather than under the new rules. we have over 60 new members who deserve a right to provide input and all members have a right to consider new information on legislation to approve the pipeline. right now, the nebraska -- and i use it as an example. the nebraska supreme court has yet to rule on the route of the pipeline. how do we deal with a bill on the floor without going through committee and hearings where we don't know what the route is going to be, because the court in nebraska hasn't made that decision yet. i know the chairman mentioned oil prices at one point. and you know, this should not be perceived as a bill -- again i'm not trying to put words in
your mouth, but there are some saying this is so important because of oil prices. and somehow it's going to reduce oil prices. we all know oil prices fell to their lowest prices just this last week. u.s. production of oil has skyrocketed. get away from the process. my concern and the concern of many of us is if you go ahead with this bill which deems approval of the pipeline basically says we don't have to go through the environmental process, then, i want to weigh the fact that it doesn't appear to be any real positive benefits in terms of this bill in terms of oil production and oil prices, versus the fact that we have this very dirty tar sands supply of oil, that is going to have a major impact on the environment and greenhouse gases. to give you some statistics here. canada projects that its
greenhouse gas emission will grow by 25% and emission will be the single largest contributor accounting to 44% increase. all studies estimate shifting from conventional oil to tar sands fuel substantially increases greenhouse gas emissions. we are concerned about greenhouse gas emissions. the president has put forward various proposals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but the problem is still growing. we are trying to make it less of a problem, but still a huge problem. so we shouldn't be, in my opinion, and i know for many democrats, we shouldn't be increasing these tar sands productions of oil, which has a negative impact on the environment, at the same time when we don't have a problem with oil supplies and oil prices at an all-time low.
the bill grants basically -- deems the pipeline approval without any need to go through the federal regulatory process environmental process, environmental protections, if you will, that apply to every other construction project in the country. the president has said, i still need some time to decide whether this is in the national interests. and we have a court out there that still hasn't decided on the route of the pipeline. so why are we pushing this automatic approval of this thing with all these concerns out there. i think it makes no sense if you weigh these things back and forth, mr. chairman. so, basically, my opinion is, we don't need tar sands because of the carbon pollution that comes from it. we have our own sources of oil.
and using less oil because cars are more efficient. the pipeline isn't going to enhance our energy security or fight climate change. for these reasons, i oppose the bill and request the committee to allow amendments. >> mr. pallone, i appreciate you being here and taking time to be a witness today, but also it's good to see you. i hope you have a good new year. mr. cramer. you have been with us on the resources committee and now a member of the energy and commerce committee. >> i am. i'm the prime sponsor of the bill. >> we are delighted that you are here. and the gentleman is recognized. >> thank you very much. i appreciate the issues raised
in opposition to the bill and have sympathies towards them. i think it's important for the committee to understand prior to coming to congress, i spent 10 years on the north dakota public utilities commission. when we sighted the original keystone pipeline. 217 miles, 600 land owners and yet, we sighted it after the president's permits were signed. we routed it after. that's common ta the permit would be signed by the president prior to the routing taking place because routing takes place not just in a hearing in advance but as you are building a pipeline because you come across things that you didn't know that were there or the scientists. so the routing of a pipeline
doesn't happen prior to the presidential approval. i want to make that point. i appreciate the gentleman's point about price. and the issue of price at the pump. that said, first of all, we have to understand these arguments are built on a false premise that somehow the oil sands aren't going to be developed apart from the united states. whether it is developed is not our call. our call is are we going to approve a process of transporting it that benefits the united states work force the united states economy, and frankly, the environment. frankly, the environment. putting oil sands on barges and shipping it to china clearly has a greater negative impact on the climate and greenhouse gas emissions than putting it in a pipeline to the gulf coast. putting it on trains has a lot of negative impacts. trucks, certainly many more.
we studied this in great depth in north dakota. from an environmental standpoint, it's better. with regard to the price of oil, that is a compelling reason to approve more pipelines. the difference in moving oil by train versus a pipeline is a difference of $10. you have that margin -- you have a little bit of wiggle room at $100 a barrel and you have none at $40 or $50 a barrel. one of the negotiated deals between the states of north dakota and montana in support of this process, 2,301 days ago that at least 100,000 of barrels a day would be reserved for bark and crude. we move 71% by rail. we have seen the challenges with rail. safety is a major one.
but 71% that is equipped and frankly required to move food to hungry people, commodities to markets around the world. so that 100,000 barrels per day freed off of our railroads is 10 trains a week. i'm for trains. all of the above transportation is important, but 71% is an inappropriate i think imbalance. for those reasons, 2,301 days is long enough for the president and congress. we know plenty about this issue and i appreciate the opportunity and i encourage a good rule that moves the bill move -- forward and passed this week. >> we are products of our environment where we are from or where we are from.
i remember when i was in high 1973 oil embargo and held hostage by people that had something that we not only needed but wanted. it was the life blood of america back then and i don't think we have gotten a long way from that yet. as much time and technology and opportunity that comes around, we still need to have resources that are energy related. i remember when the big discussion was going on about alaska and there are people who said they are going to ruin everything about alaska. the caribou, by the way. and the pipeline works and once you begin taking something out perhaps you are into diminishing circumstance. i think this is common sense for jobs. it is common sense for safety. i think it's common sense to say
if we don't take our friends up on it, somebody else is going to. we should quit giving so much money that we have to some people that we don't know how they would use that money. canadians are our dear friends. they are loyal to the united states and this is a great new relationship that we would have with the canadians. i met with a member of the parliament and he said we are going to stick with you because we think you are going to get this done. we know this is the right thing. >> i have no questions. >> the gentlewoman from new york is recognized. >> i ask unanimous consent to put the policy's statement in the record. h.r. 3 conflicts with long standing executive branch procedures regarding the authority of the president and thorough consideration of
complex issues that could bear on national interests, including security, safety and other ramifications if presented to the president, his senior advisers would recommend he veto the bill. i want to welcome you gentlemen and ask what would happen if this were to pass and the nebraska court would then rule that it cannot be used -- will not be able to cross nebraska. >> nothing in this bill supersedes nebraska or any other local jurisdiction. >> that would kill it not? it needs to go across nebraska? >> at some point, just as the original keystone pipeline is. i think it's an important question and frankly, if i was routing the pipeline, it wouldn't go through nebraska. i suggested a much more
politically palatable route. they'll find a route through or around nebraska. the presidential permit is not based on any individual state's routing. the presidential permit determines that you can cross the international border and there is no argument of where it would cross the international border. >> i understand that you are north dakota. because of the fracking and drilling there, you can now see your state from space. that is a new wrinkle that you weren't planning on? >> you raise a very important point and why we need even more pipeline construction, because what you are seeing from space is the natural gas which is the secondary product from the oil and the holdup on public and tribal lands has resulted in the very unfortunate outcome of
bringing the gas in the atmosphere and the greenhouse gases with it. another good reason why we need more pipelines, not fewer. >> i'm very much aware nebraska's concern that the aquifer could be destroyed if -- which covers most of the midwest, could be destroyed if there were spills from the pipeline. >> i'm familiar with it. and it has become the main area you try to avoid and covers much of nebraska which is why i think a different route might have been better. the chairman knows how many millions of oil and gas and petroleum pipelines are underneath the earth and there are safeguards in place should there be an accident. the original keystone pipeline
early on after it was running, there was a problem at the pumping station. and the alarms worked and shutoff valves worked. and they fixed it all in very fast fashion. they did a great job coming in. >> did it damage the water supply? >> it did not. this pipeline in particular is the latest greatest state of the art as the chairman's testimony referenced, they have met over 50 specific recommendations by the department of state and department of transportation as a result of the e.i.s. process. could it happen? sure. but the safeguards are there to prevent it from becoming worse. >> i'm a great friend of the canadian parliament as well. new york is of course very closely involved.
and i have been hearing rumors that because the price of oil has fallen so steeply, they may not find it practical to build this pipeline. >> the low price of oil is more reason to build it because of the margin lost in high price will require them to move it as economically and feasibly as possible. pipelines are by far the most efficient way to move oil. >> i'm not sure how safe they are. i'm not convinced at all about that, nor the fact that if it is completed, it will only need 35 employees. but 15 contractors to run it. but the major fact for us that we are being used as a pass-through. they want to get to the houston refineries and on tankers and throughout the rest of the world and not through the united states. >> it passes through the united states to the refineries.
all of those employees are u.s. employees. all of the restaurants -- the jobs question -- you can say 15, 30 or 42,000 but our economy is built on all kinds of jobs permanent, temporary or otherwise. with respect to the export of the product, that is allowed by law. the fast majority won't necessarily be exported -- nor do i have a problem with exporting. we ought to be do more of it. the chairman would like to address that well. >> 2.6 million miles of pipeline in the united states. it is by far the safest mode of transportation in moving the oils and hazardous materials. we should be building more, not less. the statistics show you have a greater chance of getting hurt by lightning than being affected negatively a pipeline. i thought of a bill to outlaw
lightning strikes, but that doesn't happen. the only way you can say there won't be any pipeline accidents is to have no pipeline. and then we are going to have all kinds of other problems. it is very safe. this pipeline is going to be the safest pipeline ever built. >> i think we have to weigh the question of whether or not we want to be the conduit to get oil from canada to the rest of the world. one other thing in the legislation that i would like you to explain to me and that is all claims against that pipeline have been filed in the d.c. circuit court of appeals. and tell me why people find it difficult to get here? >> we felt it should come to the d.c. court. >> matter to get there quickly
huh? >> to not get there quickly. to get there -- >> being in the same town with the supreme court. just run across the street. >> your point of moving oil through the united states to other parts of the world. there is venezuela and russia. we ought to be helping the world by getting oil. >> we are. we are doing great. >> i would also add to that and we are not here to debate about lifting the export ban on crude oil. but right now our drop in price, the oil drop in price is a clear demonstration of our vulnerability to opec and their ability to oversupply and drop the price comes with the very real understanding that they have the same ability to shrink supply and spike the price. the more security we can have the better. greenhouse gas emissions from
rail are 1.8 times that of pipelines. trucks, 2.9 times of that of pipeline industry. and spills from truck transportation are three to four times the rate of spills from pipelines. so, again if it's the economy or the environment we are looking out for in safety, pipelines is definitely the way to go. and we want to be price makers not price takers. stabilizing price while stabilizing supply and ensure a good trade relationship with our best friends in the world, the canadians and i appreciate your friendship with canadian parliament. and i'm going to miss bill owens. and i'm meeting with the ambassador next week. this is so important to our relationship. >> i hope not. rob meriwether is one of our best friends and he understands
i am on the wrong side -- the right side from my constituency. >> depends on which side. >> mr. pallone. >> i listened to the questions and comments that you posed and the responses by republican colleagues. and the point i'm really making here going back to the process here, the president has said because of the state department's concerns and the state of nebraska's concerns that we should need more time to study this. the jury's out and after listening to the debate back and forth, i'm convinced that's the case. why are we deeming this approved? this is something that needs more study. i think the very debate that you brought up here, ms. slaughter, supports the reason why we shouldn't be moving forward. this is something that the
congress shouldn't be acting on without further hearings in a new session without getting rid of the president's ability to say whether this is in the national interests, ignoring the extreme supreme court of nebraska. it shouldn't be handle this way. >> we had 15 hearings in the congress on this very issue. 10th time on the house floor. just the opposite. 2300 -- that's like six years isn't we have been studying this. i listen to my republican colleagues making arguments that my democratic colleagues make on the floor. jobs energy, safety -- i just don't understand. >> let me throw one thing out for you. i have a masters in public health and you can't survive
more than four days without water. anything that has the potential to destroy drinking water in the united states is one of the reasons why we take care of the great lakes because it's 20% of the planet's fresh water. and it seems to me that we really need to wait until the court acts and find out what we're going to do. but i do agree with the president's action. i really want to see -- >> with regard if i might, to the process. understanding this is the 2,301 day since the application was made. and the issue of the nation's interest is the president's decision. but this body in december of 2011 passed a bill unanimously that passed the senate unanimously and the president signed that said a decision has to be made within 60 days unless the president deems it is not in
the nation's interest. >> i think he has, don't you? >> i want to read a beautiful piece, and this is a quote increases -- this pipeline increases the diversity of available supplies among the united states world ward -- worldwide crude oil sources in a time of considerable political tension in other countries and regions, shortens the pathway tore crude oil supplies and increases supplies from a major opec producer. canada is a reliable ally for the united states and goes like that for a few more lines. this quote, as much as i would like to take credit for it comes from president obama 's permit that carries the same oil sands through the country of the united states through parts of north dakota, i sighted it as well. his same arguments are more relevant today than they were then.
>> i don't see them the same way given the fact that we are almost energy sufficient here. >> further discussion? the gentleman from oklahoma is recognized. >> i'm delighted that my friend from north dakota is carrying this because i don't think there is anybody with more background and practical experience but coming from a state thinks that pipelines are sort of a good thing and i appreciate the expertise. couple points i want to make. why is the president involved in this decision at all? >> that is a great question and the reason is because it requires a presidential permit. >> otherwise he would not be involved at all? as part of it and built? >> it has an from the gulf coast
to the refiners themselves. >> did the president go down there when they opened that type line -- >> 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 here today. and let me say, i love canada, too. and -- >> prove it. >> you know what? i think there are people like
myself and others who have concerns where those concerns are based on substance. you don't have to agree with it, but people have concerns, which brings me to the point i want to make here, this is a process committee. 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. not a hearing, not about the substance. the original day the rules package, five measures.
111th congress. >> that was consideration of the rules package. >> they were in the original package, not individual hearing. 6-6. we all live in glass houses. i'm not trying to call anybody's bluff. just remember, you are trying to get your work done. >> if this is all you saying you did it, we are going to do it. that's tine. what i'm trying to suggest maybe at the beginning of this new year we change the nature of the way we do business. if the answer is, you don't want to do it, fine. but the fact of the matter is there is no reason at all for this to be brought up under a closed rule and we could do it in a day or two days.
you have 57 new members and we could debate whether it was the right or wrong thing to do when the democrats did it. what i'm suggesting what we all should do democrats and republicans, try to approach things differently. we might have bills that have enough bipartisan support where you might get the white house to sign a few bills. but if the issue is just sending things to the white house and veto it and close the system up and business as usual, fine. i think it's a missed opportunity. but that's the direction we are going. >> 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 while prices are low now, whatever our, meaning the
american oil reserve is it should be if it not already maximized, certainly should be maximized. 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. they're in progress but we are not getting there fast enough for me. let me also put on the table an area that i have a measure of expertise. i don't agree with the notion of requiring the litigation to be held in the circuit court here in d.c. article 3 courts were set up for a reason and among them was to ensure that litigants would be able to access the courts and insofar as as efficiency is concerned, if it's in an area that requires expedition, the
courts are fully in a position to do that, whether it's at the district court level or at the circuit court level, when appropriate. i might add, there's no assurance because it's in the d.c. circuit court that it's going to be done rapidly either, it depends on a given day, on a given issue, as to whether or not it would even be deserving of going to the supreme court, as it were. i do have a question, and that is, again, following on my friend from oklahoma, when he pointed out i had written on my little notes i wanted to ask how much of the pipeline has already been built, then i heard the discussion on that. i do have an american question on that, and that is, do any of you know whether the steel that has been utilized in the building of the pipeline is american steel? >> will the gentleman yield? >> yes. >> it certainly is a lot of that pipeline is built in our former colleague mr. griffin's district in arkansas, american steel, american products. >> and that goes well for your position. now let me get to a stickier subject. i too have friends in canada. i served with terry grasteen a
senator, i served with the former defense minister and foreign minister of canada. but we're making this sound like this is a canadian thing. and when the argument is made about it won't cost american taxpayers anything to build this, while i agree, that suggests to me, knowing my canadian friends, that there are private investors that are in transcanada. and it's kind of ironic that they're never talked about. the who they are. they're not all canadians. some of them are american. and i'm not grudgeful of folk who had great genetic accidents and abilities as a result thereof but the fact of the matter is, that some people that
are involved in transcanada, they are givers to canadian parliamentarians under their particular structure and givers to some of us as well. >> will the gentleman yield? >> yes. >> just by way of information and i probably should double check but i'm almost certain transcanada is actually an american company, actually based in the united states. >> 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. i'm not sure what the nebraska litigation is contemplating and i hesitate because so many people are on the negative side of the endangered species 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. >> 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 here, nobody wants to pay for or build this pipeline we're talking about here. i don't know -- i don't know why we're talking about it. maybe it's, again, a little deja
vu. it had been talked about when it was $110 a barrel. perhaps it was a more relevant discussion. >> there's no taxpayer money going into this. it's private people. >> that's the question is there private people who want to build this pipeline? for this to be a topic of serious debate it would be nice to have some evidence that somebody wants to build a pipeline as opposed to talking about a phantom pipeline. i yield back to the chair. >> thank you very much. i've never heard a stronger argument for the cart coming before the horse. the chicken or the egg, this is the cart before the horse. dr. burgess. >> thank you, mr. chairman. you're correct, we've observed a lot of things on this but i do feel it's important to reiterate, part of this pipeline from cushing, oklahoma, to houston, texas, is built. people have put up with the pipeline being built in their back yards and now it's waiting for the rest of the connection and my personal feeling is
they've waited long enough. i'll be happy to talk about this a lot tomorrow and i yield back my time. >> thank you very much. mr. stivers. >> thank you mr. chairman. i appreciate you recognizing me. i appreciate all the members for being here. i think this is a national security and energy security issue for america and to the point the gentleman from colorado made, you know, we don't know what the price of oil will be tomorrow. what we do know is there's a pending application. this is -- it's a good opportunity for taos start to create a national energy policy which we desperately need in this country and we need secure trading parking lot for thes with whom we agree on international issues. we buy a lot of oil from venezuela and other countries we don't agree with on many things internationally. i don't know why we wouldn't want to buy our oil from a country we've agreed with since the french and indian war. i feel very comfortable with this. i want to thank you all for being here. i think there were great
exchanges of ideas. but i think this is a great idea that needs to move forward. i appreciate the gentleman from north dakota for all his efforts on it. >> thank you, mr. stivers, welcome to the committee. mr. cull lins. -- collins. >> i appreciate being here and being recognized. one of the things that was cussed. the process. how much more process does this need? how many more times do we need to practice on the field when the comeback of jobs, secondary jobs, money invested, it is sort of interesting that i believe there was no interest in the pipeline, there would not be an interest in the permit. 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 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 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 wade 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 we feed. 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 understood that. thank you very much. this closes the hearing portion of 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 divide and controlled 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 report the total. >> seven yays, four nays. the motion is agreed to. and the gentleman from lewisville texas, dr. bunch es 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 energy and keystone
pipeline bill tomorrow. later in day. agriculture secretary along with members of congress an representatives of fruit companies will talk about u.s. trade with cuba including the benefits and potential challenges. it is hosted by the group u.s. agriculture coalition for cuba. that's live at 2:00 eastern also on c-span 3. >> here are some of our featured programs for this weekend. on c-span 2 saturday night at 10 cass sunstein. and we talk with professors at johns hopkins university on the influence of hip-hop on politics and the u.s. government's efforts to cure malaria during world war ii.
anderson university professor brian dishing uses abraham lincoln's life to understand the vurse white americans on race in history. and a discussion on birth control from margaret sanger. find our complete television schedule at c-span.org and let us know what you think about the programs you're watching. call us, email us at comments at c-span.org or send us a tweet at c-span hash tag comments. join the conversation. like us on facebook. follow us on twitter. >> the senate is working on bipartisan legislation to allow the keystone pipeline project to move forward. it is co-sponsored by senator joe mansion. mitch mcconnell said the bill is
a top priority for the new republican majority. here is some of wednesday's senate 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