tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN January 8, 2015 3:00am-5:01am EST
. 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 possible prices. my goodness they were tipped
upside-down and had money shaikd out of their pockets at gas stations all across our country for years and finally finally the day of deliverance has arrived and they have $2.21 on average for the price and now we're told the price of oil is too low. we've got to get it back up again. and so the best way of accomplishing that is to start exporting oil because the less there is here, the less there is in north america is the higher the price is going to be for american drives, for american home heating oil consumers. very simple plan. it's not about helping americans at the pump. it's about pumping up the prices for new profits for the oil companies. very simple. and if it's not then just accept an amendment that keeps all the oil here.
simplest thing to do and then your rhetoric matches up with the reality of what it is that's going to happen. the fuel will stay here. they're not going to accept it. they have already made it very clear. so this is all smart of a wish list that we're going to see out here on the senate floor for the rest of this year. this is the big oil wish list of 2015. we start with the keystone extra large export pipeline to take oil and send it out of the country. then they want to lift the ban on the exportation of u.s. crude oil, which is now on the books a ban on u.s. crude oil. this is canadian oil. there are no laws against that. then they want to begin exporting our natural gas even as again consumers businesses natural gas vehicle firms are enjoying really record low prices and transforming the
american manufacturing sector and our relationship with natural gas here in america. and then to declare war on the environmental protection agency and their authority to protect americans against pollution to make sure that the fuel economy standards of the vehicles which we drive continue to rise and rise because honestly, if we want to tell opec that we're serious, if you want to keep them awake at night then we keep the oil here, the price drops. we increase the fuel economy standards, we consume less oil we have to import less oil but that's not going to be the agenda that comes out here on the senate floor from the majority. it's going to be just the opposite. and so that's why this first debate is actually in a way a preview of coming attractions of what's going to be happening out here on the floor of the senate throughout the course of this entire year.
this is kind of a keystone kabuki theater that is debuting here this afternoon on the senate floor because the reality is that this bill will never become law. the president's going to veto this bill. there aren't justice votes here to override the veto. so what we have instead is just the preview of this entire agenda notwithstanding the fact that they're not going to be supporting a national renewable electricity standard, dramatically increasing the energy efficiency laws in our country, making sure that the canadians finally have to pay the taxes for the oil liability trust fund, which they are now exempt from. american oil companies have to in the event that there is an oil spill at a pipeline, but the canadians don't have to. th
-- that's $2 billion over ten years that canadian companies have to -- that american companies have to pay but canadians don't. when the democrats took over the senate we worked together to together a comprehensive energy bill. what was in it? having a new biofuels law to expand that production, making sure that energy efficiency in america was enhanced dramatically. and we worked on a bipartisan basis and president bush, a republican signed that bill because it was done in a bipartisan "all of the above" approach. that's not what this is about. this is not all of the above. this is oil above all. that's the strategy that the keystone pipeline embodies.
shouts. it's not balanced. it's not where we should be as a country. so i say let's have an amendment on a bill -- to the bill that keeps the oil here in the united states. let's have this debate out here on the floor. let's match up the rhetoric of the oil stays here for protection of the american economy and the american driver within the reality that we voted for that to keep it here. let's have that debate. i think it's important because otherwise the canadians the american petroleum institute continue to engage in false advertising about where this oil is going to be used. and so from my perspective, this is the dirtiest oil in the world that's going to contribute mightily to an expansion of global warming.
2014 was the warmest year ever recorded in history not withstanding the fact that it snowed here in washington d.c. yesterday. the warmest year in history. that, ladies and gentlemen is what i think the green generation out there knows as they look at this issue. what are we going to do to make sure that we avoid the catastrophic consequences of a dangerously warming planet? we have to engage in preventive care of this planet. there are no emergency rooms for planets. we have to engage in the preventive care that makes sure that we do not pass on this ever increasing danger to future generations. we're going to get a chance to debate it. the keystone pipeline is a good example of how there is not in fact a balanced policy. so i ask for an amendment on the
floor so that we can debate whether or not the oil goes through a pipeline from canada, the dirtiest oil in the world like a straw potentially causing environmental catastrophes across our country and then have it exported around the rest of the planet without the benefits -- the presiding officer: the senator's time has expired. mr. markey: and i think that this is the kind of debate that the american people expect the united states senate to engage in. and i yield back the balance of my time. mr. sanders: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from vermont. mr. sanders: thank you mr. president. mr. president, i request floor privileges for my science policy fellow adria wilson, and ask unanimous consent that she be granted floor privileges throughout the remainder of the session.
the presiding officer: without objection. mr. sanders: thank you mr. president. mr. president, the truth is despite our rather big egos here in the united states senate, much of what we do here is pretty quickly forgotten. people have a hard time remembering what we did two months ago or yesterday let alone last year. but i have a feeling that the bill that we are now discussing -- the keystone pipeline -- and decisions that will be made about that bill will not soon be forgotten not by our children or our grandchildren and not by people throughout the world. and in fact, not by history. in fact, i believe that decades from now our kids and our grandchildren will scratch their heads and they will say what world were these people, members
of congress, living in in 2015 when they voted for this keystone pipeline? how did it happen that they did not listen to the overwhelming majority of scientists who told us that we have got to cut greenhouse gas emissions not increase them? and i think our kids and our grandchildren will be saying to us why did you do that to us? why did you leave this planet less habitable than it could have been? the issue that we are dealing with today is of huge, huge consequence, and i fear very much that a majority of the members here in the senate and in the congress are poised to make a very, very dangerous and
wrong decision. and in that light, i am more than delighted that president obama has indicated that he will veto this bill, this keystone pipeline bill if it is passed. mr. president, climate change is one of the great threats not only facing our country but facing the entire planet. it has the capability of causing severe harm to our economy to our food supply, to access through water and raises all kinds of international-national security issues. now let me just read an excerpt from a letter sent to the u.s. senate back in october 2009 -- and i quote -- "observations
throughout the world make it clear that climate change is occurring and rigorous scientific research demonstrates that the greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are the primary driver. these conclusions are based on multiple independent lines of evidence and contrary assertions are inconsistent with an objective assessment of the vast body of peer-reviewed science. moreover, there is strong evidence that ongoing climate change will have broad impacts on society including the global economy and on the environment. for the united states, climate change impacts include sea-level rise for coastal states, greater threats of extreme weather events and increased risk of regional water scarcity, urban heat waves western wildfires and a disturbance of biological
systems throughout the country. the severity of climate change impacts is expected to increase substantially in the coming decades." end of quote. mr. president, this statement was signed by virtually every major scientific organization in this country including the american association for the advancement of science the american chemical society the american geophysical union the american institute of biological science, the american meteorological society and many many other scientific organizations. mr. president, scientists are not the only people warning us about the danger of climate change. hear what the department of defense has to say about the impact of climate change on
international and national security. what they point out -- and i think what every sensible person understands -- is that when people are unable to grow the food they need because of drought, when flood destroys their homes when people throughout the world are forced to struggle for limited natural resources in order to survive this lays the groundwork for the migrations of people and international conflict. that's what the department of defense tells us. now, one would think given all of the scientific evidence, given the concerns raised by our own department of defense and national security experts all
over the world one would think that given the fact that the most recent decade, last ten years, was the nation's warmest on record, one would think that when the national climate assessment warns us that global warming could could exceed ten degrees farenheit by the end of the century. can you imagine this planet becoming ten degrees farenheit warmer and what this means to this planet. when sea levels have risen nearly seven inches and expected another ten inches to 2.6 feet by the end of the century when all of that is on the table one would think that this senate would be saying, all right we've got an international
crisis. how do we reverse climate change? and instead what the debate is about is how we put some of the dirtiest oil in the world and more carbon emissions into the atmosphere. and i suspect that our kids and our grandchildren will look back on this period and say what world were you living in? why did you do that to us? mr. president, it would seem to me that what we should be debating here is how we impose a tax on carbon so that we can break our dependence on fossil fuel. that's what we should be discussing not how we increase carbon emissions. we should be discussing what kind of legislation we bring forward that moves us
aggressively toward energy efficiency weatherization and such sustainable energies as wind solar and geothermal. that's the kind of bill that should be on the floor. we should be having a debate about legislation which makes our transportation system far more efficient expands rail, helps us get cars and trucks off the road. we should be having a debate about how we can create the kind of automobiles that run on electricity and make them less expensive and how we can get cars running on 80 to 100 miles per gallon. those are the kinds of debate and that's the kind of legislation we should be having on the floor. not how do we expand the production and the transportation of some of the
dirtiest oil on the planet. so mr. president in my view, the united states congress in a very very profound way should not be in the business of rejecting science because when we reject science we become the laughing stocks of the world. how do we go forward? how do we prepare legislation if it is not based on scientific evidence? and to say to the overwhelming majority of scientists we are ignoring what you're telling us, and in fact we're going to move in exactly the wrong direction i think makes us look like fools in front of the entire world. how do we go forward and tell china and tell india and tell russia and tell countries around the world that climate
a huge planetary crisis at the same time as we facilitate the construction of the keystone pipeline? so mr. president, i am delighted that the president will veto this legislation if it happens to pass the congress. our job now is not to bring more carbon into the atmosphere. it is to transform our energy system away from coal, away from fossil fuel, into energy efficiency and into sustainable energy. that should be the direction of this country and we should lead the world in moving in that way. and with that, mr. president, i would yield the floor and note the absence of a quorum.
today is an important day for our country. many senators took the oath this afternoon, 13 for the first time, and a new republican majority accepted its new responsibility. we recognize the enormty of the task before us. we know a lot of hard work awaits. we know many important opportunities await as well.
>> the idea of fleedm, i would like to express your recognition to the families, to those who have been injured and all those who are suffering today from this cowardly assass nation this cowardly attack. today the victims are our heroes. that's why tomorrow i declare tomorrow a day of national mourning at noon tomorrow there will be a moment of silence in all public services. and i invite the whole of 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, different opinions, democracy. that is what they were
attacking. the ideal of justice and of peace that france defends across the world stage. and this message of peace, of 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, and 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 then brought to justice and punished very severely. and everything will be done to arrest them. the investigation is progressing under the offices of the justice system. we must protect all public spaces, the government and put in place the national security
alert system at its highest level the attack alert and this is what we always do when there is a threat, a serious threat. finally, we must remain what we are. we must be 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 the representatives of all the political parties to show our common determinations. france is a great country when it 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 bar
baret. france has always overcome its enemies when it has rallied around its values. i invite you to rally around our values in every way. that 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 stick together. long live france and long live the republic.
>> i hope to talk to him today but i thought it appropriate to express my deepest sympathy to the people of paris, the people of france fror the 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 when we have -- from 9/11 on in dealing with some of the terrorist organizations around the world that threaten us. for us to see the kind of cowardly evil attacks that took place today i think reinforces once again why it is so important for us to stand in solidarity with them just as they stand in solidarity with us. the fact that this was an attack on journalists an attack on our
free press, also underscores the degree to which the terrorists fear freedom of speech and freedom of the press. but the one thing i'm confident about is the values that we share with the fretch people, a belief universal belief in freedom of expression is something that can't be silenced because of the senseless violence of the few. and so our counter terrorism cooperation with france is excellent. we will provide them with every bit of assistance that we can going forward. i think it is going to be important for us to make sure that we recognize these kinds of attacks can happen anywhere in the world and one of the things
i will be discussing with secretary kerry today is to make sure that we remain vigilant not just with respect to americans liing in paris but americans living in europe and in the middle east and other parts of the world, and make sure that we stay vigilant in trying to protect them. and hunt down and bring the perpetrators of this specific act to justice and to roll up the networks that helped 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 in france and with the people of paris and the people of france. what that beautiful city represents, the culture and the civilization that is so central to our imaginations.
>> i am very pleased to welcome polish foreign minister here to washington today. he has come here especially to meet with us and talk about the important relationship between poland and the united states, very important nato member and we are working on many, many issues in a very, very close bilateral way. before i do talk however, about our relationship both of us were just talking about the horrific attack in paris today, the murderous attack on the headquarters of the newspaper in paris. i would like to say directly to the people of paris and of all of france that each and every american stands with you today not just in horror or in anger
or anger or outrage for this vicious act of violence burks 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 two 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 free expression, and that is what the extremists fear the most. they may wield weapons but we in france and in the united states share a commitment to those who wield something that is far 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 universal values. principles that can be attacked but never eradicated because brave and decent people around the world will never give in to the intimidation and the terror that those seeking to destroy those values employ. i agree with the french imam who today called the slaying journalists martors for liberty. today's murders are part of a large cler frontation, not between civilization, no. but between civilization itself and those who are opposed to a civilized world. the murderers dared proclaim charlie abdo is dead. but make no mistake. they are wrong. today, tomorrow, in paris, in france, across the world, the freedom of expression that this
magazine, no matter what your feelings were about it, the freedom of expression that it represented is not able to be killed by this kind of act of terror. on the contrary, it will never be eradicated by any act of terror. what they don't understand, what these people who do these things don't understand is they will only strengthen the commitment to that freedom and our commitment to a civilized world. i would like to just say a quick word, if i may, directly to the people of france. snfment speaking in french
stand in strong solidarity with them. i know our friends in poland understand these acts of terror in this challenge as well as any people not just in europe but on the planet. and so i am pleased to be standing here with the foreign minister today. poland is a strong stallwart 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 of freedom and they understand the cost. we are delighted to have their support and to work with them in their commitment to ukraine, to the freedom and sovereignty of that nation, to the rule of law that has stood us 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, 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. finally, we appreciate poland's strong commitment to the ttip, to the transatlantic trade investment partnership which is such a key component of our future in terms of jobs and our economies. so poland is a very important ally and an important guest today. and i think symbolically to have poland standing by our side as we talk about the events that
have taken place in paris is something that should not be missed. so thank you mr. foreign minister we thank you for being here. thank you. >> thank you. first of all let me express my condolences to france and the people. we are deeply touched -- who were deeply touched by the acts of terrorism a while ago. we stand together with frand today. but we will talk our meeting a couple of weeks ago and we established that we will talk about our fight against terrorism. and terrorists. and i would like to talk that last year it was really fruitful with our relations between poland and the united states. and i am convinced that it will continue for the next month and years. we will be talking about. and so in washington close
allies intensively cooperating bilaterally and in and out for us very important. we will be talking about decisions made about implementtation of these decisions, about the agreement which will head into 2016 and about the issue about support for international efforts in other regions all over the world, like ukraine, middle east afghanistan. all the places where it is a problem with terrorists. and for sure we can say today that washington can count on wars awe and i'm confident that warsa can count on washington. thank you very much. >> thank you very much. thank you so much.
>> good morning. thank you very much, secretary general, for coming today. again, thank you very much secretary general, to be coming to the unca room today. thank you for being here even though it's 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 foreign language] >> 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 [inaudible] 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
i'd like to welcome -- i think we have several ambassadors here, plus a number of our cabinet members. i think the ambassadors from from italy and lithuania are here. we're thrilled to have secretary moniz here today. he also joined us last october for an event on collaborative research targeting the amazon and he co-authored a chapter for one of our books, energy and security, about which i believe you've already heard. and that book frames this event. we're glad he's becoming such a wilson center regular. he's back to address the global energy picture for 2015. it's not an easy future to forecast. who could have predicted that oil prices would slide as much as they did in 2014? but the geopolitical implications of that are huge. for russia, for iran and for consumers pumping gas here in the united states. and for those extracting fuels here in the united states. s.u.v.'s are back. used hummers are on the market again. i never thought i'd see the day. and don't know that anyone saw it coming. but it's where we are.
so, where are we going? some pundits want to boil the energy outlook down to one number -- the market price for a barrel of oil. but one number can't begin to capture the complexity behind global energy economies or international energy security, something very, very relevant to some of the problems in the middle east and unfortunately those bubbling up in paris and other capitals today. you have just heard a nuanced view of this problem from our panelists and you'll hear a very nuanced view, i believe, from secretary moniz. because this is what the wilson center does best. getting beyond the usual snapshots and caricatures. too often my former employer congress, tries to legislate without the whole ground truth. without a sense of difficulties and challenges.
i served there for 17 years as a member and five years, decades before, as a senior staffer. so it's the wilson center's job to promote a sharper understanding, which is the best basis for actionable ideas. as the new congress wrangles over keystone x.l., over iran sanctions, over cuba, this town needs creative, nonpartisan wisdom, the kind ernie has offered during a long and distinguished career. a rock star, of course, but also a star nuclear physicist, a committed public servant, and a center regular, there's no one better equipped to address this topic. please join me in welcoming secretary ernest moniz to speak to us. you're welcome to speak from there or here. >> i'll speak from here. >> ok. >> that makes sense. thanks, jane, for the introduction. i interpret nuanced remarks to be referenced to the fact that this is a public hearing. and i will be very nuanced in that sense.
no, we'll try to spell out, not forecast, but spell out some of the issues of course that we are dealing with and looking forward to the 2015 agenda. as jane mentioned, my colleague who is sitting there and i contributed to this very fine book, a second edition, and on energy and security and jan and dave, the people who pulled that together, they were always very calm and not pushy at all in terms of our meeting deadlines. i'll talk on four things briefly because i think we have about 15 minutes, then we'll open it up to q and a. but the chapter we wrote in this book was called energy and security or something like that.
it was laid out in a way that i would make some brief comments on. its central construct was to lay out what we called energy security challenges, then to talk about policy responses to those challenges and then finally what are representative technology pathways to address those policy approaches to challenges. so, for example, if one looks at the first challenge in terms of concentration of natural resources and all the implications thereby, then, for example, some of those policy responses to that, fairly obvious, increased domestic oil , check. reduced demand for oil, check. provide alternatives to oil, i don't have to keep saying check every time. vehicle -- alternative vehicles,
drive trains. we are seeing e.v.'s, for example, coming in faster than hybrids did in the comparable time period, etc. on gas, of course, again domestic gas exports, working towards at least a global market. and a third area put in in terms of concentration of natural resources were critical elements. rare earths, etc. you've seen just recently, very recently, how quotas have been lifted on that, because frankly the attempt to control that market has in some sense backfired both in terms of development of alternatives and in d.o.e.'s case the establishment of an innovation hub specifically around the issue of addressing critical elements. so the technologies attached to those are pretty obvious. what i want to say is i think, a, we're trying to think about
these issues. i think, b, and i'll address the other challenges briefly as well, b, i think we are making tremendous progress actually across the board. and, c, as a broader issue, and this is again now part of getting to the issues of 2015, as we continue a very, very strong focus on technology development, and specifically on the cost reduction of the technologies that we need to meet our environmental, our climate and our energy security challenges. so my first point is that i think you all know we have obviously very robust technology programs at the department. what i want to emphasize is i believe they are central to having the policy developments that we are looking for, because when the costs come down of those technologies, jane's
former colleagues can have a much easier job in terms of addressing the policy issues, be they on the climate or on the energy security side. i just mention without going into detail now that the other three overarching security challenges that we used in this chapter were climate change, as a security issue, in addition to being an environmental issue. third, the potential challenges around nuclear power development, nuclear fuel cycle development and nonproliferation. and finally issues around energy infrastructure and supply chains. i will not go into the remainder unless there are questions, the nuclear power and nonproliferation issues. but i will address climate. i will say more about our energy security agenda for 2015, and
then on the energy infrastructure side, i'll tell you where we stand on what's called the energy review and where we are heading in terms of recommendations for energy infrastructure, resilience and other challenges that we face. so let me first turn in my limited remarks to climate and give you an update and look forward to 2015 in terms of addressing and implementing the president's climate action plan, the plan that was issued in june of 2015 -- 2013, that plan has three pillars. the one is mitigation. the second is adaptation. and the third is the international dimension that we need, particularly on the road to paris.
mitigation goes back to a theme i've already touched upon, a big part of that at least is in fact the technology agenda. one of our programs, arpa-e, was created in 2009 and we think it's been very successful. we will be strongly moving forward again with arpa-e and today i'm pleased to say that we will be announcing the third -- 2009, 2012, now 2015, there's a pattern, this will be our third so-called open solicitation. put out $15 million for new -- for novel technology ideas across the entire spectrum as long as the technology is, quote, clean, that is, advances a low emissions agenda.
these open solicitations, you might ask why they aren't done all the time. for one thing, because they generate a lot of applications. the first round in 2009 had well over 3,000 initial submissions for what ended up to be 35 awards. so you can understand these are a challenge. however, we believe they are crucial in really opening up the apperture to all the good ideas that may come in. if you look at 2009 open solicitation, for example, there were some very innovative work on wind turbines using jet engine-inspired designs. but just a few days ago one of the initial awards -- perhaps the largest of the initial awards happens to be at m.i.t. where i was at the time.