tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN January 9, 2015 1:00am-3:01am EST
energy if the structure -- energy infrastructure and our energy grid. there is so much of that is included in this energy sector. it is not just the natural resources that we deal with. it is the other aspect of our portfolio here within this committee. sometimes people forget that the public lands piece is huge particularly those of us in the west. the territories. we have a senator from hawaii who has a -- who has joined the committee, and i welcome her. i also recognize as someone from the other noncontiguous states, hence our territories get overlooked. we have jurisdiction over them and we will not forget them. i do again thank you for the opportunity to help direct our energy agenda for these next couple of years here.
and i look forward to looking -- to working with senator cantwell. our geographic neighbors so to speak with so much shared interests between the states of washington and alaska. we have a lot that we can be working on collaboratively. to -- i have a very strong collaborative relationship with my colleague from oregon senator wyden, from the committee. i think we set a good tone for this committee, in terms of how we build things and how we work to advance initiatives throughout the process. having said that, as we embark on their first business meeting, our markup, i think it is a little unfortunate that we move to markup first, that we did not have the opportunity for the hearing was scheduled yesterday. we had already laid that
groundwork, we had invited our agreed-upon witnesses, we circulated a background memo that i hope each of you had an opportunity to read and review. it was written by joint staff in preparation for the hearing. we had already gotten testimony from our witnesses, the association of oil pipeline, the center for american progress and the labors international union of america. i submitted on the floor during a clue the -- during a color look the -- a colloquy yesterday that it would become part of that record. we want to submit an original bill to approve the keystone xl pipeline. the text of this bill is
identical to the original bill reported by this committee last year on a pipe part -- bipartisan vote. it fell one vote short in the senate. i think it is fair to say that the world, and the country, but also the world is watching the united states to see if we are ready to lead on -- as a global energy superpower, which i think we recognize we have become. we certainly are viewed in the eyes of many outside this country. and an energy superpower that respects its neighbors, and the trade with its allies, else necessary if the structure -- necessary infrastructure such as
the pipeline. i think the congress is ready to send the signal on a bipartisan manner in a way that is strong. i think the american people are ready, that we continue to be blocked by this administration. there is already a veto threat out there, but i don't think that the threat did to deter us from our initiative both as a committee, as the senate, and is a congress. this long-delayed keystone xl project is far from being the only issue that demands our attention today. in my state of alaska, we got a considerable oil pipeline, 800 mile pipeline that has been around for 35-40 plus years. it is surrounded by literally billions of untapped oil on federal lands and out in our federal waters. but we appear to be butting heads with federal government at every step and at every turn, limiting our ability to bring on new production. what we have seen with that pipeline is that the flow has
declined dramatically. we are less than half full in the transatlantic -- trans-alaska pipeline. it is costing us at. it threatens our state's legend. it has prompted "the new york times" to write about the economic anxiety that afflicts alaska. this is not just alaskans thinking about these issues. it is recognized by others outside as well. i think you all know that those of you who worked with me for appearing of time that i am passionate about alaska and i am very passionate about my state. it alaska will not be my only priority. having said that, iowa going to be working very hard with each of you to remind you all that we are and arctic nation because of of alaska -- because of alaska. what that means to you, whether you are in maine, or elsewhere
is i welcome my friends and colleague, and senator king with his interest on the arctic issues and the ranking member senator cantwell. also, we have keen interest in how we are going to build out our arctic opportunities. the queue should expect the committee to devote january and february on hearings for a wide variety of issues. one thing to expect next week will be a notice for legislative hearings to be held closer to the end of the month on senator barrasso's bipartisan expert legislation. i think that it is clearly an issue that is timely and has been teed up. other potential topics for hearings include electric grid innovation. this is something that senator cantwell and i have discussed at length. also, nuclear waste policy which is something that senator alexander has been working on with a small group of us, authorizer's and appropriators
-- authorizers and appropriators. i want to make sure that we don't use traction there. revenue-sharing from louisiana and our new member senator kassie. we will continue to build on work that senators have worked on for years there. and i want us to get back to the practice where we bring in the secretary of energy, we bring in the secretary of the interior, and we do it regularly to appear before the panel, not just once when the budget is presented. i have been asked as i have wondered through the hallways here in this past few days, what are the priorities? what are your priorities?
i don't think it has been any secret to those of you who have been on my committee, my energy 2020 book, i am kind of proud of my energy 2020 book but it is not out yet even though we have published it a couple of years ago. it outlines much of my philosophy and it is pretty simple. 115 pages, but i will distill it to one per sticker for you. energy is good. it is vital to the prosperity and to the assets for us to help her allies. we want to continue to make our energy of abundant, affordable clean diverse, and secure. so there is no acronym of there but it is arranged alphabetically, so you can remember that. but i do think that we should be confident as a committee confident as a congress, that we can make progress towards these
goals by strengthening supply, modernizing our if a structure and supporting efficiency and securing accountability. these four focus areas, supply infrastructure efficiency, and accountability will form the basis of the hill that i am hopeful that we can get to an end. i'm going to sit down with each and everyone of you to understand your priorities for legislation, both within these four categories and within our committee's jurisdiction and your interests. taste on that feedback, i intend to assemble a chairman's mark for each of the four titles. those will then be the subject of legislative. subsequently considered, amended, voted on by our committee, and this is going to be -- subject of a legislative legislative hearings, and considered on, and voted on by our committee. this is going to be good work.
it will take work from each and every one of us. we are prepared to move on a work product. i know this is an aggressive schedule. i think it is very achievable. if we move ahead with it, i am optimistic that we are going to find common ground. we are going to find common ground as a starting point. we know there is going to be areas that we are butting heads on, and that we are not going to find the unanimous support. that is why we engaged in negotiation, conduct both, and have a process here. we carry out institutional functions expected of us as a legislative hottie. as i mentioned, we have got a multitask job here. i will not for the record that it is to women that are leading this committee. i'm not going to say that women are better at multitasking than
men, but most women i know are better at multitasking than men. so we are going to help you along here. when you think about the jurisdiction of this committee it is more than jurisdiction, it is more than minerals, we've got public lands water forests grazing, hunting territories and other issues. all of them command our attention. just a couple of quick examples as they relate to those of forest land management reforms we left that on the table in the last congress and i think we have got to get back to work on it. there is bipartisan agreement that we have to improve the management of air force. that includes getting the timber harvest up and that is something that senator wyden has led on. we have got to get a handle on the wildfire problem. we all know we do not want to wait too long for the next catastrophic wildfire. we've got to protect our water supplies and work to sustain our rural communities. although there may be a need
for-based solutions, i think we need a shaun white forest reform legislation. and securing schools is another area that i have talked to many about. we did not extend the next congress, and communities and schools are dependent on that support and they are watching us closely. and one point that i would be remiss if i did not mention is the defense authorization bill. that would be the national park reform something that senator coburn even though he was not april of our committee, really did some serious review of our -- he was not a part of our committee, really did some serious review of our park system. it is celebrating the anniversary next year. this is a historic anniversary to celebrate. we need to recognize that this is also an agency that is struggling with multiple systemic issues. this would be a good time to
focus on this and said national park reform legislation to the president. so throughout all of this, i intend to uphold the reputation of this committee that, through history, has done some very good, good things. good for the congress, good for the country, working in a very collaborative member. our ranking member, senator cantwell, and i agree that there are good opportunities for us to be engaging in productive work product that will make a difference for the long-term. and i want to ensure that each of you feels that you have shared weight and responsibility as we address the energy issue for our country and our nation. i can promise you that i will never have as long an opening statement as i have just given this morning, but i felt it important to kind of layout some
of where i believe the committee is headed in the next couple of years. and with that, i am pleased to turn to my ranking member, senator cantwell, for her comments. >> thank you madam chair and congratulations on your comments. thank you and congratulations on your chairmanship. this is the second time i have called a murkowski chair of this committee. i am sure your father is very proud of you at this morning -- this moment. i'm sure all of alaskans are happy at the outcome of your taking over this committee. we recognize that special moment for all of them. i look forward to working with
you on this committee on opportunities and issues you just mentioned. i want to welcome the new members to the committee on our side. senator warren, senator king, senator barrasso, obviously from different parts of the united states. i'm certainly going to count on senator warren's help in implementing if you recolor, market manipulation of authority, that continues to allow them to police markets with senator king on issues of biomass and keen interest in making sure we continue to have a leadership role in keeping energy prices down in his region of the world by looking at i/o mass alternatives. and i look forward to working with new members on your side, senators daines, cassidy gardner, and capito. i want to express my feelings of prayers and heartbroken sorrow to senator capito for the loss
of her father. i know she could not be with us today. i so appreciate what you had to say about the energy agenda moving forward for the committee. we certainly will look forward as you said, there is a lot of what is in common between washington and alaska, everything from sustainable fisheries to the interests in the arctic, to our public lands, to hydropower. i actually think i read somewhere that your father was born in seattle and migrated up to alaska. to say that our states are in her -- to say that our states are interconnected with the economies is a big understatement. there are years and years and decades of interdependence between our regions. hopefully our energy policy we can work together and put forth will represent not just the interest of our regions, but the entire country. i certainly look forward to
proposing ideas as part of that. our clean energy solutions will do two things, to help the united states accomplish a leadership position in energy issues and to protect consumers from unnecessary energy price spikes. so you mentioned a lot of those things as very broad range of issues that we will be addressing, and i look forward to working with you on those. obviously, needless to say, this week did not go as we would like. i apologize to our colleagues for the changes in the short notice. i hope that we will adhere to regular order. this is something that we all know is very important for our congress moving forward. we are here today to discuss whether congress should prematurely intervene in the pipeline setting process for a special business interest, transcanada corporation. the keystone xl proposal has changed substantively over the years and has an updated route through nebraska. this has been much debated as a
topic here in this committee and a much debated topic in local governments, state commissions and now state ports. i think it has been much debated for good reason. if a u.s. company tried to find a pipeline, it would have to go through local laws and environmental regulations. so a foreign business should do the same. all of the discussion started to happen when transcanada's first proposal went through a lot of local interest in the state of nebraska and it objected. the pipeline travels through 875 miles of america's agricultural heartland's, including sensitive areas like the sand hill region of nebraska. this is some of the richest agricultural lands in the country and has a fresh drinking water and supplies eight states and provides the groundwater for irrigation. this is why transcanada
corporation had to revise its original route. this new route through nebraska is also challenge because the nebraska legislation give their governor the authority to cite the pipeline over the regulatory commission in the state, the nebraska public service corporation. that is the state agency that is dedicated to protecting the public interest, not the special interests, but the public interest on issues of safety environment, and eminent domain. now the nebraska supreme court is set to decide whether this proposed route through nebraska will stand, depending on their interpretation, whether the legislation and governor acted according to their constitution. if we want to place the blame today about a slow process, we should start thinking about transcanada corporation and what proposal should have been in the first place. congress has succeeded in trying to prematurely decide what is in
the state's interests for this pipeline, which is what congress proposal would have been before, and we would have approved the sand hill pipeline route. so i think that what we need to realize is what the emergency here is for congress to assert a process and become a exciting committee and approve a pipeline for a route that is not yet approved. the are too many important environmental issues to consider, instead of giving a foreign country special interest, a sweetheart deal from congress that u.s. businesses have not gotten. my message to transcanada corporation is to play by the rules. my colleagues know well that we don't know how to clean up car stands and oil spill's in water. in michigan in 2010, the tires -- the tar sand spill is has -- has been called one of the biggest inland oil spill's in
u.s. history. a pipeline owned by you different canadian company ruptured and spilled 800,000 gallons of tar sands into the kalamazoo river. in that spill, the in bridge found that tar sands sank to the bottom of the river. the only way to clean was to dredge the river and that cost want to get dollars. the bill in front of us would the act -- is back at the same risk. the same thing that kalamazoo went through, the canadian corporation behind it would not have to pay a penny as part of the american oil spill trust and. that is because currently there is a loophole in our law that says that tar sand spill don't have to pay into the oil spill trust funds. so the keystone xl pipeline would escape pain hundreds of
millions of dollars into that trust fund. i plan to introduce legislation that those tar sands have to pay into the oil spill trust fund. even the current keystone project environment, there are many questions. recently, i would like to submit -- i don't know if we are going to have a record this morning, because it is an executive session and not a hearing -- but i will pass out to colleagues a recent story in "business week" saying that the current sister keystone project during a week in september was three quarters of the well on the safest pipeline in the world and it required redoing. so all we are expanding is lots more safety issues and concerns. so again i say, why the hurry? americans are bearing that risk of transporting canada's dirty oil to a world market, and the oil industry is pushing to allow u.s. crude oil to export it at
the same time and they say the pipeline is vital to u.s. interests. the fact that transcanada is going to export lots of oil through our country and their goal is to sell oil to the highest bidder. this could ultimately raise the price of gas. in fact i am at the last markup, and i pointed this out to many of my colleagues because currently the mid west and industrial base has a better price and i am sure it is very concerning about what the price would be in the midwest if so much of the oil was exported out of the country. are those that think that safety issues have been resolved, to think that all of these issues about getting rid of tar sand oil spill's have been resolved, according to the state department impact, will can also him it global warming pollution and it is 81% higher than the average use in the refineries. so today madam chairman, i asked today that this is a premature
efforts. we are trying as a congress to decide a sighting issue that has taken a long time for a very important environmental and safety and public issues, to say nothing of imminent debates to be resolved. like nebraska is finding out and you try to push those environmental laws it ends up taking a longer because the support processes and the processes that we have to go through. so madam chairman, i thank you for the opportunity to make a statement about this, and i would just like to add that i really do look forward to working with you on this legislation that this committee could afford in a comprehensive way, to lead to real job creation. when i think about i encourage colleagues on both sides to look at what was accomplished in a bipartisan effort during that time period. but we were able and working with other colleagues to help
bolster a hybrid and electric vehicle industry that added 260,000 jobs in the last five years. that 2005 and 2007 bills also hope -- helped support 450,000 jobs with energy efficiency laws we passed. we also helped save clean energy technology development through efforts of the wind energy tax credit working with our colleague on the finance committee, the former chair of this committee, senator widen , that has helped increase 50,000 jobs in the united states of america. so i really think this 21st century energy strategy for our country will help produce that cleaner energy, help us not be so subject to price spikes of the future, and help us lead our country forward. so i know it's unfortunate how all of this week came together and that at this first meeting we're having such a contentious issue, but i think you and i working together after this legislation moves through will really embrace working across
the aisle in a bipartisan fashion with all of our colleagues to show that we can move our country forward on comp comprehensive -- comprehensive energy strategy. thank you. congratulations. >> thank you. and i think with the challenges that we have in front of us, it just makes the opportunities to make some good things happen that much better. so i appreciate the opportunity to be working with you on really weighty things. as far as moving forward with amendments, i do want to make sure we are respectful of member's times and recognition that we're all busy. but you do again want -- but i do again want give members an opportunity to speak to the measure in front of us, the keystone excel pipeline.
ordinarily i would operate by the early bird rule, he or she thought -- that comes first gets recognized first. but we all came in about the same time so today i'd like to recognize members by order of committee seniority going from side to side. but if there are members that do have to leave early, please let me know it so that we might be able to accommodate you as well. looking around the table, this could be a long morning for us to get to amendments, so i ask for your indulgence with brief comments. i turned my colleague from wyoming. >> deferring to others. already being the complete gentleman and recognizing. >> thank you. madam, colleagues my remarks , will be shorter than the time it takes for the oregon ducks to score on ohio state. >> well, wait a minute. wait a minute. [laughter] >> and i will also say stay
tuned for the friendly wager that will soon be announced between the oregon senators and ohio senators and my friend senator portman and i are going to be part of that. being the methuselah of this committee at this point, i look forward to all new members democratic side, you know, republican side, and i think senator murkowski and senator cantwell have great opportunities to lead us in a bipartisan way. i just want to make a few comments with respect to this issue before us today. because we have sent in his room now -- sat in this room now for years, and the argument has been made that america greatly needs keystone because prices at pump were too high for consumers. now fortunately our country has , become the babe ruth for oil and gas production. prices at the pump now represent
the best tax cut that working families have seen in a long time. now, i think it's important to acknowledge the debate involves differences between reasonable people. some experts are saying build keystone, and prices at the pump will fall further. there are other experts who make a pretty persuasive different case and very -- they say prices at pump are going to rise in some parts of the country. my colleague mentioned the midwest. my question is, and i think we've got to ask it today, why does it make sense for the congress to do something that could put at risk the better days that consumers are seeing at gas pumps across the country right now? that's number one. number two, and i'll wrap up
with just these two quick additional points, madame chair. there are a number of us who have been involved in the whole debate with respect to jobs. senator franken has been very concerned and very eloquent with respect to the project being built with americans do -- american steel. i've had the finance committee staff working on it. at some point, whether on the committee or floor, and i'm open to this, there ought to be annual reporting by the transportation on safety used on the project requiring disclosure of the origins of products used. the amendment assures americans get the facts about how much u.s. steel is utilized in construction and maintenance of the pipeline. this provides real transparency and would help the congress insure the claims being made about jobs and opportunities are actually born out tomorrow. second, it seems to me to be
important to create requirements for transcanada to follow. this would insuppliers of steel -- ensure suppliers of steel for project that paid duty import taxes and fees and not vieding u.s. antidumping and counter vailing duty laws. recent trade cases involve oil , country tubular goods reminder of the risk this particular project presents inviting more unfairly traded goods in our country. certainly, it is not in the interest of our country for this project to be used by companies that themselves do not a bide by our nation's trade laws to unfairly compete with american manufactures by taking the steps prescribed here, i'd be happy to show this to colleagues of both sides. the finance staff has been working on. congress will insure this forges and path toward job creation and does not become a pipeline for unfairly goods that skirt american trade rules. point number two deals with oil spills.
and this is a matter senator cantwell mentions that involves finance jurisdiction and energy jurisdiction. nobody is given a good reason why oil sans refiners do not oil sands every other refiner in fact -- refiners do not share responsibility for oil spills like every other refiner in the united states. this ought to be corrected. it can be done by the finance committee and energy committee on a bipartisan basis. the last point i make, it's important to insure the public gets full value for oil and gas produced on federal lands. and at some point i'm going to offer amendment to that effect. having been involved in this for a number of years, i've been pushing bureau of land management to revise its onshore order number nine to reduce the waste of natural gas on public lands, make sure the taxpayer gets full value for public resource. and again, i think i think this is can be tackled in bipartisan way. again, to the chair and the ranking minority member, good wishes.
i look forward to the session. >> thank you senator widen. and i'm going to use chairman's discretion here and change the order already. if my good friend from idaho will allow me to recognize the sponsor of the keystone excel pipeline to perhaps go ahead of you. but i'm looking at you. and if you're -- >> i'll yield the floor. i'm anxious to hear when he has to say. >> i think we are all anxious although we have had years of listening to the well articulated comments from the sponsor of this legislation who has encouraged many of us to see the broader picture of the benefits the keystone excel will bring us. with that, i would ask the senator hogan for his comment s this morning. >> thank you madame chairman.
congratulations as the chairman of this energy committee. i look forward to working with you as well as ranking member cantwell. i'm particularly pleased we're starting out with approval of the keystone pipeline project. the legislation that we're marking up is legislation that i developed some time ago and have had a variety of cosponsors and many cosponsors. right now the leading cosponsor on the democratic side of the hotel is the -- aisle is the senator from the great state of west virginia, senator mansion. i want to thank him for his leadership and bipartisanship. i truly appreciate it. and for our other sponsors on the legislation, we have 60 sponsors on the legislation. so it truly is bipartisan. and it's an effort not only to approve some important energy infrastructure, it really is an effort to have an open amendment process on the senate floor where we can get back to regular
order and all of the senators can offer their amendments on the floor. we can debate them and have a vote. and if you can get 60 votes, it gets added to the legislation. so whether it's good senator from oregon who just laid down the gauntlet against my good friend from ohio, or anyone else. you know, let's go to the floor. let's have that debate on this legislation. and then let's you know, approve the best bill we can and move this project forward. it's interesting to listen to some of the discussion that's already been put forward about how, why are we taking up this measure rather than just letting it continue to go through the process. well, it's gone through the process for six years. for six years and it's still not through the process. americans won world war ii in a shorter amount of time. and to hear about how gas prices are lower now.
how do you think that happened? it happened because we're producing more oil and gas in this country in places like north dakota, balkin, eager ford eagle ford -- eagle ford and texas. with our best friend and ally in the world, canada, oil is produce there had. as we increase supplies, simple economics says more supply helps bring down prices. every consumer is benefits at pump to the tune of billions of. -- billions of dollars. but you know what? we've got to get that gas, oil from where it's produced to where it's consumed. how you going to do that? to do that you need energy infrastructure and you need the right mix of energy infrastructure. you need pipelines, rail, roads, for electricity, transmission. that's part of our job isn't it? making sure we create a business climate where entrepreneurs and companies can invest and build
that infrastructure we need to get this energy to market. and as others have rightly said, every consumer then benefits. and energy is a foundational industry. we not only create jobs and economic growth and national securities, we produce more energy here at home and work with canada to have north american energy security. but it's the foundational industry that benefits every other industry because energy costs makes our country more competitive in the global economy where we have to compete. and it's so important that we develop that energy here at home, that we develop it with canada so that we don't have to buy energy from places like opec. look what's going on in the world. and to think that gas and oil prices are lower because opec gave us a christmas present. well, that's just wrong. that's not the case. we're producing it here, but we can't keep producing it here if
we don't have the infrastructure to do it. that's part of building the right kind of comprehensive energy plan for the country. that's what this bill is all about. it's just common sense. the most recent poll i've seen shows the american public supports this project by about 68%. i think that's the most recent poll. so almost 70% of the american people wants this done. after six years, after more than six years. transcanada originally filed the application and and -- in september 2008. a lot of us weren't even here then. six years, and we're talking about rushing something? how are we going to have a functioning economy for this nation? how does america continue to be made greatest place in the world -- readthe greatest place in the
world to do business? how do we, you know, have that rising tide that lifts all boats? how do we foster entrepreneurship and the ingenuity of america if we're holding up our business people for six years and saying somehow that's rushing the process? what's going on? what happened to doing business in america? so when we say well, you know, this is just one project, it's a case in point. it's one project. but it's part of are we going to build the infrastructure we need to truly have north american energy security? it's also a test case to see if we can come together on the senate floor, offer amendments in open process, have debates, vote, and find bipartisanship and get something done for the american people. and they're watching. and i want to thank again all of the co-sponsors on this bill particularly starting with senator manchin. it's not always easy to step up and lead, but he's somebody who does that in a bipartisan way. and i just want to say i really appreciate and respect everybody that's joined us in this endeavor.
and i hope we can mark this up take it to the floor, and have that debate. so let's do that. i mean, everybody's got their point. make your point. but let's get the bill to the floor. let's have that debate on the floor. and let's get the important work of this congress started. let's debate, let's vote, let's get it done. >> thank you senator: openhogan. we'll turn to senator sanders. i will remind people in an effort to try to get to the actual bill itself we are keeping the clock moving. so senator sanders. >> let me begin, senator murkowski, by congratulating you on becoming chair of this important committee and welcoming all of our new members
to this committee. madam chair, much of what we do here in congress is often forgotten pretty quickly. it's hard for members to remember what we did last year let alone the american public. but i have a feeling that this particular issue, the keystone xl pipeline, is not going to be forgotten. it is not going to be forgotten by our children and our grandchildren. it is, in fact, not going to be forgotten by history because i have a feeling that our kid and our grandchildren 20, 30, 40 years ago -- 40 years from now they're going to be asking us and hopefully we'll all be here they're going to be asking us what were you guys thinking about? what were you doing? did you not hear what the scientific community all over the world was saying, that climate change is, in fact, the most serious environmental crisis facing this planet? that's not bernie sanders talking. that is virtually every major scientific organization in this country and throughout the world. and virtually without exception,
what they are saying is climate change is real, climate change is caused by carbon emissions and human activity, climate change is already causing devastating problems in the united states of america and around the world. i don't have to remind anybody here that just a year or two years ago we voted $60 billion in order to deal with hurricane sandy. and what the scientific community tells us, if we don't get our act together and start reversing climate change we're going to have more extreme weather disturbances. that's what they're telling us. and then i listen to this debate today. and is this this debate about, ok, how do we go forward in transforming our energy system moving away from fossil fuel into energy efficiency and into sustainable energy.
is that the debate that we're hearing today? is the debate about how we invest more in technology so that we can come up with transportation systems that are more energy efficient? is that the debate we are hearing today? no. what the debate is that we are hearing today and where i fear a majority of the members of this committee will vote is to reject science. and i am very worried about the united states congress turning its back on science, turning its back on those people who tell us that we have got to cut carbon emissions rather than give a green light for the exploration and the production of some of the dirtiest oil on this planet. i think frankly that is crazy. i think we are moving in exactly the wrong direction.
i want to thank president obama for telling us that he will veto this legislation, and i certainly hope that we will have the votes in congress to sustain that veto. and more importantly, i hope very much that we get our act together, transform our energy system, move to energy efficiency, move to weatherization, move to solar, geothermal and other sustainable energies. thank you very much, madam chair. >> thank you, madam chairman. i'll be brief. you know, this exercise we've gone through over the last six years on this bill is a poster child for what's happened in america over the last 30 or 40 years. it just amazes me that we have to pass a law to force the government to get out of the way so that the free market system can work. the decision as to what happens with this pipeline shouldn't be the government's.
it ought to be the free market system. let the free marketplace work. if this is a good thing, it's going to get built, if it's a bad thing it's not going to get built, and like i say, it's for those people who want to control every single aspect of our lives, this is a poster child for how you do it. we need to get out of the way, pass this, and let the marketplace work. thank you, madam chairman. >> thank you very much, madam chair. first, congratulations to you and our ranking member. i really look forward to working with you on a broader energy strategy. i think we've got important work to do. i would just first of all just comment on my friend's comments in terms of the private sector. i think the folks in nebraska who are concerned about safety would like to make sure that they have some input. it's not just private interests in canada or private interests in the united states that should decide what happens in communities in terms of public safety. i think that's something our states feel very strongly about
and local communities and that we need to be paying attention to as well. maybe it's taken six years because it shouldn't be built because there's been concerns that have been raised about a wide variety of things that have already been mentioned including safety. i do want to start, though, by stating the good news that others have said. the reality is that gas prices are down. $1.98 at the pump in lansing. $1.95 at the pump in grand rapids. $1.69 a gallon for my friends in marathon at detroit. that's because we have more american production, and we thank the obama administration for more american production and more energy-efficient vehicles and i'm proud to say a lot of those are made in michigan. so we are seeing us moving forward. we in 2005 had 60% of the oil we were using coming in from opec and other countries, 60%. next year it's going to be 25%. that's a good thing. so the question is how do we move forward in the future in terms of energy or do we go backwards.
and i would argue this goes backward, not fwarlds. -- forwards. first of all, as someone from michigan, we are deeply concerned about prices rising as a result of this. there are certainly many economists who are saying that will happen as well as the concern about unleashing unlimited exports of natural gas which will certainly raise prices for our manufacturers which is also a concern of mine. but i do want to take a moment to speak to the fact that this bill has a lot of risks and very few rewards for americans. and that's my biggest concern. we talk about the oil. we need more oil production to bring prices down. -- ok, let's look at this. transcanada. canada's going to take the oil through our country to a tax-free zone in the gulf and ship it to china where they'll pay more. we're not going to get that oil. there's no requirement in here that we get that oil. in fact, in michigan the estimates are that our prices are going to go up. not a good deal. secondly, we have no requirement
that the materials, the steel, the manufacturing, the jobs will be american. and we know that even though there are important construction jobs, and believe me, i don't take that lightly, we are looking at about 35 permanent jobs, 15 contractors, as opposed to, when we look at the private sector right now, businesses have added almost 11 million jobs in the last 57 months, and i'm pleased to say a lot of those in manufacturing, and if we were to look at clean energy, whether it's biofuels or wind or solar, i've said so many times in the committee but it's true in terms of construction and manufacturing. there's 8,000 parts in a wind turbine. 8,000. somebody's got to make those. we can make them in michigan. i have been to alaska and seen an american-made, a michigan-made wind turbine in alaska. now, we want big-job production, and i appreciate so much our
ranking member and everything she said, but talking about moving forward on a big jobs plan, that's wind and solar and energy efficiency and biofuels and a whole bunch of other things. let me say finally -- and i appreciate very much senator cantwell raising the pipeline issue in michigan -- we've had unfortunately a couple of cases very serious, pristine river kalamazoo river, fishing canoeing, 20 years of renewing this river, one fell swoop 800,000 gallons of tar sands. i had the dubious distinction of going in a helicopter over this with the epa administrator right after it happened. stunning. now. the company has come in and, you know, cleaned up most of what was there. we still can't fish. we still have, people along the river can't use their property their back yards. this is going to take tens of
years to clean up. then you can go to the other side of the state where we have in detroit mounds of what's called petcvoke, petroleum coke from tar sands that was sitting on the detroit river, now not only blowing into the river, blowing into the school, neighborhoods, churches of the southwest side of detroit. now, thanks to my colleague senator peters who's now with us and i was proud to join with him, that pet coke's not sitting there anymore, but it was pet coke from tar sands that blew in two huge areas of detroit. and now we have, madam chair, a real concern in the straits of mackinaw going across our beautiful state from the upper to lower peninsula where we have a very old pipeline. and, again, concerns about the fact there haven't been upgrades since it was first installed very few upgrades since 1953 and what will happen as we see more happening there. so we have a lot of experience with this. and i certainly want jobs, but i
can create ten ways in energy that we can create more jobs and less risk for people in michigan and the american people. and i hope -- i'm looking forward to working with you on that. thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you, madam chair. i'll be brief. it's my strong belief that hardworking americans desperately need the jobs that would be provided by this legislation, that would be created if this legislation were to take effect. they also need the energy, the reliability that will come from that energy. our energy demands are what they are. we'll continue to buy energy from whatever place we can get it. it might as well be from sources in north america. and i think that's what energy independence is all about. this would help that. this would facilitate that. this would give hardworking american what is they need which is jobs and energy security. i strongly urge my colleagues to support it. thank you.
>> thank you, senator. senator? >> i just want to congratulate you, madam chair. i've been working with you on this committee and admire you and i am looking forward to working with you on all sorts of things including, as senator hogan mentioned, the bakken and the oil and gas that we're getting there. and i point this out a lot. we are able to do that because of research done by the department of energy. and in all kinds of technologies, horizontal drilling, microseismic imaging all came from either directly from the department of energy or from work between the department of energy and the oil and gas industry.
and that speaks to the kind of research and the kind of job that we're going to have on this committee in terms of funding the research that is going to be the answer to what senator sanders brought up, because there's no way to ignore this. i have a grandson who's now 19 months old, and i want to be able to say to him that when he turns what will be 90-something at the turn of the century, i want to -- well, i probably won't be talking to him then but i want him to look at the work they did and know that, you know, we've been around a while and are going to be around a while longer. and we need to have a short-term, a midterm, and a long-term strategy to avoid the
tragic consequences of something that's very real and that we ignore at our own risk. finally, i just want to say that senator widen brought up american steel. we put american steel into our water projects in the werder bill. i don't understand why this can't be built with american steel if, in fact, it gets done. so i look forward to, if this goes to the floor, we'll be talking a lot more about it. but, again, congratulations. >> thank you, senator franken. senator flank. senator danes. >> thank you, madam chair. congratulations and ranking member cantwell, and thank you for holding this hearing. there has been an lot said
already about jobs, economic growth, the environmental soundness of the keystone pipeline, energy independence, but i want to share what it means for the state of montana. the keystone pipeline enters the state of montana, the first tone it enters, -- how it enters that town -- town it enters, morgan, montana, a small little town. montana is 49th or 48th in some surveys in per-capita income in our country. i'll tell you, as i travel around the state in my pickup, you see that not everybody has a fly rod in their hand or is on the ski hill. there's a lot of folks who are struggling month to month to make ends meet. senior citizens, hardworking montanans. what this means for montana, first of all, it's 100,000 barrels a day of montana and north dakota oil that enters that pipeline in a small town called baker, montana. it's not just about canadian oil coming to the u.s. it's about north dakota and montana oil. second, as i was traveling one day to a rural co-op in glasgow, montana, there in my pickup, i show up in my jeans and my jacket, they told me that the
keystone pipeline's approved electric rates for their co-op payers -- folk who is don't have a lot of money, thousands of montana families in eastern part of our state -- their rates will remain flat for the next ten years because of the keystone pipeline? why is that? because they will supply electricity to the pump stations in the pipeline. accused on pipeline is -- is the keystone pipeline not approved the electric rates for those hardworking montana families will go up 40% in the next ten years. it's $80 million a year in tax revenues for the state of montana and for these rural counties that desperately need infrastructure to pay for roads, for bridges, for teachers, for schools. so this is not just about the good arguments already made. i want to make sure we had perspective of what this means to hardworking montanans who are struggling literally month to month to make it work. madam german, i ask unanimous --
madam sherman, i asked unanimous consent to submit letters from montanans in support of the pipeline. one states they could receive up to $3 million for improvements to their roads and bridges alone. >> those will be included as part of the record. >> threee petroleum association of montana talks about how adequate pipeline capacity has been a problem at the bakken and to continue to allow this miracle of this made in america energy we need this infrastructure because that is what the keystone pipeline provides. i have letters from the eastern plains economic development corporation and the montana electric co-ops. >> those are will all be included. >> yield back my time. thank you. >> thank you. we'll turn now to senator manchin. and i, too, want to recognize these advertising -- three said passing over senator o's father just yesterday. she was due to join us at the committee, her first committee
hearing here in the senate, and very sad day for her and her family and we want to acknowledge that and certainly offer our prayers. with that, i will turn to senator manchin. and then when senator manchin has concluded, i know that we have members that have other committee meetings that started at 11:00, and i'd like to know if we've got indulgence to perhaps move to any amendments that may be offered and move to take up the bill and at its conclusion, then, have an opportunity for members to provide additional comments. but i know that we're going to have some pressures on our time. with that, senator manchin. >> thank you very much. first of all, also my condolence s to senator capito and her family, which i have known most of my life. he was the only three-term governor we had in west
virginia. he's definitely a force inway west virginia politics so, our heartfelt sorrow and condolences to them. and to you, madam chair, i congratulate you. we're all a product of our environment. i've been all over my state in west virginia, spoken to everybody at open meetings talked about the issues. i've not had one person come up to me, hardworking, most of all west virginians are hard working, come up to me and say i'm opposed to this. so even if i was opposed personally, i'm thinking i'm sick to by -- sent here by the people i represent. there's not one association that represents working americans not one association that represents working americans that's opposed to this. not one that i've heard from that says, ok, our organization is opposed. not one. so when you start looking at why are we here and who do we represent and whose voices are we speaking for. you would think that -- and i respect those who have difference of opinion because i know that that must be where your constituents lie, because i'm sure you're all communicating with them. i've always said we're entitled to our own opinion, we're just not entitled to our own facts.
and the facts are this -- we purchased ♪ 7 million barrels of crude a day. 7 million. we're purchasing. this is not some fact mn some misnomer out there. it's a fact. and let me tell you where we're purchasing it from. and if that's what we're going to continue because we refuse to build this line -- and make no mistake about it, this line is already 40% constructed. the line will be built. this line will be built sooner or later. we're just delaying the inevitable. but with that being said, we buy 1.3 million barrels a day from saudi arabia. now, i'm not convinced that the resources and the tremendous wealth that saudi arabia has gotten from us is being used to the benefit of the united states of america or our citizens. i'm not convinced of that. next of all we buy 755,000 barrels a day of heavy crude from venezuela. from venezuela. i'm not convinced that their
human rights and also the way they oppress their people is something that we condone. we have a chance to be dealing with a country who's our best trading partner. 35 states out of 50, number one trading. the best ally any country could ever have. and we have a chance to do more business with them. we already buy 2.5 million barrels a day from canada. we're already using this oil. and you know what, we're all benefitting from it. but we're being told right now that if we don't, i mean, if we don't build this line, that the prices -- if we build the line the price will go up. i've never -- i don't understand economics. i understand one thing. read security of our nation -- threee security of our nation depends on us having the ability to have control of our own destiny. and if you have your own energy source, i'm so proud to say to west virginia what we've contributed to this great country, we've had one of the
first oil finds in the united states of america was in west virginia. we supplied basically most of the coal, most of the best metallurgical coal that's built the steel, that's built the ship that have defended the country. we've done it all. we're willing to continue to do the heavy lifting. and you know what, we have some of the biggest wind farms east of the mississippi. we're doing developing solar. we have an energy portfolio that encourages use of everything. we're for all energy policy. but by golly the facts are we need this oil and i'd rather buy it from canada than i would from venezuela, than from saudi arabia, than i would from russia. and we're buying oil from russia. crude. and when they say it's going to be shipped straight down and loaded on a ship, that is not factual. that will not happen, because we will have control of that. this heavy crude has to be mixed in order to ship it. if you were putting in a pipeline, basically it commingles and comes under american law. so if you want to prohibit any shipping of any petroleum product that is refined in
american, stop exxonmobil, bp, stop them all because they all do it. you're shutting the whole system down. i mean, the economics are they are -- what they are. until we find let's say commercial hydrogen that changes our dependency on fossil, in a perfect world that's fine. i'm ready for it. we don't have it yet. and next of all, i will end on this, we have an opportunity to have a piece of legislation that we can have input. i've been here for four years. this will only be the third time they've had a chance in my career as a united states senator to have input on the bill. i agree 1,000% with senator cantwell that i believe that the canadian oil should be paid into the fossil oils and -- i mean into our oil spill liability trust fund. i believe that. it's a good piece of -- a good amendment. american steel. believe that. we could have a good piece of legislation that we could have 67, 70, 75 votes on, a good product when we get done because we have that opportunity up.
we nevered a had it before. i'm excited about this. i would hope the people would look at the facts. we're entitled to know the facts even though we're also entitled to our own opinion. and right now my opinion is we should build this as quickly as possible because the american people need it and i want to quit depending on venezuela, saudi arabia, and russian oil. thank you. >> thank you, senator manchin. appreciate your leadership on this. and, again, the very keen reminder that this is not just the united states in an internal issue. this is clearly global, clearly a national security issue. i mentioned that we have members who need to be in other places but i also recognize that there are some of you who definitely want to make a comment before we take up any of the amendments,
potential amendments or a vote. and so i would ask those of you who perhaps can wait a little bit, if you would be willing to defer and those that would like to make a statement -- i know, senator gardner, you have another committee that you are looking to move off to. if you feel that you need to jump ahead, i'm certainly willing to make that happen. i know senator hinrich, you might want to, to make a statement prior to amendments. so i would ask if there's any on either side that would like to do so at this time and we will certainly advance that. senator hinrich. >> i'll make a quick statement. then we can get moving along if that's ok. or i'll wait until after the vote. either one. >> i want to make sure that you have time to make your statement. >> i will make time. >> ok. i appreciate that. with that, then, and indulgence
of the members ss who have not yet spoken, and thank you for allowing us to move to to the amendments, as we all know, we are here to consider the original bill to approve keystone xl pipeline. this was listed on the agenda, circulated to members on january 2nd. copies of the text and the agenda are on the dais in front of each member. last night senators portman and sanders filed some amendments. at this time, i would ask you, senator portman, if you want to offer your amendment at this time and speak to it.
>> thank you, madam chair. i appreciate the opportunity to offer it. and congratulations to you. and just want to make the point that i'm strongly supporting the underlying bill. there's a study out there showing it's a $3 billion boost to the economy. and coming from ohio, i can see how that's possible because whether it's tubular product, made in ohio, steel pipes, or whether it's structural steel that's made in ohio or whether it's moderning equipment made in ohio or pumps or compressors made in ohio, keystone is about jobs and it's about jobs far outside of the states that are directly involved in the pipeline in states like ohio that will benefit. earlier senator widen talked about the importance of american steel and mentioned the fact we have some challenges on the trade front. we sure do. we had two big victories last year, one in february, one over the summer. we were able to get anti-dumping tariffs against countries unfairly trading their steel in this country. we have to continue to fight to be sure that american steelworkers are protected, and we'll do that. we have got to be sure that this
steel is used in projects like this. so i'm interested in continuing to fight on that. i will respond further to senator widen by saying that i saw that he said he thought the ducks were going to score within the time it took him to talk. he talked for 6:15. i don't doubt that the ducks might score in that time period. i'm also confident that the buckeyes will score at least twice during that time period. >> twice! [laughter] >> so -- and we will have a little wager on it to see who's right. the amendment today, as you know, madam chair, is one you've worked on for a long time. it's a very simple amendment. senator manchin, by unanimous consent, if it's ok would like to join us to co-sponsor today and i appreciate him, if that's acceptable. it's an amendment that has to do with energy efficiency. we've talked a lot about producing today, and i'm a strong advocate of producing more as my colleague, senator alexander said years ago produce more, use less. that's a good philosophy. this committee has voted twice overwhelmingly to support energy efficiency measures in the previous couple congresses. i'm confident we will again based on your comments this morning, madam chair. this amendment is not the
broader shaheen/portman legislation many are familiar with and have been involved with and supported. this is simply for provisions from that legislation but really important provisions all four of which have passed the house with overwhelming support. in fact, all the members here, senator cassidy, gardner, and danes supported the legislation. senator gardner was one of the authors of the legislation on the house side, is voluntary. there are no mandates. congressional budget office tells us these four provisions do not score. however, they are incredibly important. they have not only, you know passed the house but they have passed this committee and they have been on the floor before, we were not able to get them done previously because a few senators frankly objected. otherwise they would already be law in my view. so i hope we will be able to add this amendment to the keystone effort. the first provision is one that is incredibly important to many of the members of this committee and the congress because it's a market-driven approach to aligning the interests of commercial buildings owners and
their tenants. it is called tenants star. senator ayotte has taken the lead on that over the years. the second is timely and has to do with water heaters. senator hogan has taken the lead on this. here we have a department of energy regulation if we don't stop it now with actually make our country less energy efficient. and it is urgent because the manufacturers of these water heaters are saying if you don't act now we won't be able to continue to produce these water heaters. we have got hundreds of electric co-ops around the country that operate these voluntary programs that use these electric resistance water heaters to store energy at night and they do so to reduce energy demand during peak energy demand periods. so, you know, it's the kind of legislation that we ought to pass because unfortunately the regulation we got from d.o.e. establishes a new standard that undermines this program and again makes our country less energy efficient. that's probably why you're hearing from the rural electric
co-ops who are very interested in getting this done as soon as possible. finally, there are two more provisions that half to do with making sure the largest energy user in the world practice what it preach, and that's the united states government. and this is two of the provisions that are out of the broader bill that we believe should be totally noncontroversial and, again, ensure that we are taking what we preach at the federal level and actually put it into place. it requires the federal agencies to coordinate, to develop an implementation strategy, best practices, measurement verification, and so on for the use of energy initiate technologies. there's a final fourth provisions that requires disclosure of energy usage data. and this again will be incredibly important to deal with this program of having such an inefficient federal government as it comes to the use of energy. so, as you can see, madam chair, these are important provisions . i think they're appropriate to be added to this legislation under the theory woeshd be
-- we should be producing more, strongly in sup sport of keystone xl pipeline, but also using what we produce more efficiently in a commonsense way. i did receive a commitment this morning from you, madam chair, and i appreciate that, and also from our leadership that we would have the ability to offer this amendment on the floor. now, it's a special commitment and it's one that i appreciate, and in light of that, senator menanchion and i have decided to withdraw the amendment today from a vote. we do believe we had the votes on the committee to pass this, but we also in good faith want to move the process forward, let everybody get to their committees, but also ensure we do have an opportunity on the floor of the united states senate to talk about this broader issue of energy efficiency, to pass these provisions that senator shaheen and i support and others do on both sides of the aisle, get this done and be able to move forward on this very important underlying bill to ensure that we do have not just a stronger economy in this country but more energy independence and we have the opportunity to do so together.
so, thank you, madam chair, and i don't know if senator manchin has any comments he'd like to add. >> senator manchin. >> well, senator portman, thank you for your leadership on this issue of energy efficiency. you and senator shaheen have been dogged in pursuing the larger bill over the course of several years now. you've had senator manchin's support. you have had my support. and i think for good reason. when you think about the energy portfolio that is strong and sensible, it's not just about increased production. it is about how we use our energy resources, whether they are our fossil-based fuels or whether they are our renewable energy resources. but how we utilize, how we access our energy, how efficient we are, how we are able to conserve.
these are policies that we must constantly be addressing updating, and really innovating on, leading on. and what you have outlined in your legislation i think is good, strong legislation. and i would like to see us be able to advance that. the fact that you have taken the slimmed-down version that the house passed out, as you know, -- note, 375-36, pretty overwhelming in support. i think that says lot about it. the fact that you have taken out the cost aspects so that it is cost neutral. the fact that these are voluntary. the fact that, for instance, with the water heaters is a very time sensitive issue. april 16th is coming up pretty quickly. so i want to work with you and to all those that agree thooat
this is an important, important provision to ensure that we are able to advance it through the congress. you do have my commitment to not only work with you to get a vote on the floor but an early vote on the floor. and i make that commitment to you because this is something, again, that we've been working on for a long period of time and i want to see that happen. so i appreciate the fact that you continue to pursue this and you have my word that i will work with you to see that we address these issues of energy efficiency that you have worked so hard to bring to the attention of this body. so i appreciate the fact that we will have an amendment process on the floor that is open and fulsome and that's not me as the chairman speaking to that, but
that is what the majority leader has made very clear to me, very clear to those on the republican conference, that the opportunity for amendment will be open transparent, led by the committee as floor managers working through an amendment process that kind of takes us back to i guess the good old days. i don't know if they were good but they were definitely a few years back. and i want us to get back to that point, and i think that our republican leader does as well. so those of you who do have amendments, and i know many of my colleagues do on both sides of the aisle, and i think that's good, we should welcome that and welcome the process. it's healthy and it works.
and i'm anxious for us to be able to get to that early next week. and with that, senator portman i thank you for raising this again, and look forward to the debate on the floor. senator sanders. >> thank you, madam chair. i have an amendment at the desk. very short amendment, about half a page, speaks for itself and i'll read it. but the bottom line is a very simple one. this is the energy committee at the united states congress and we have to make a very fundamental decision. do we agree with the international scientific community that climate change is real or do we not? differences of opinion. i happen to agree with the scientific community that climate change is real. some of the scientists are telling us if we do not substantially cut carbon
emissions and transform our energy system, by the end of this century this planet could , be ten degrees fahrenheit warmer than it is right now. just think about the devastation that means not only to america but to countries all over the world, coastal communities. the department of defense tells us that one of their great concerns is that climate change, which leads to drought and flooding and international instability where desperate people are migrating for food, for water, and all of the international conflicts that that may bring about. that's what the department of defense tells us. we have insurance companies who tell us right now as a result of hurricane sandy and other extreme weather disturbances that the cost of insurance is soaring and that will have huge economic impacts. so what this amendment does is pretty simple, can't be more
simple. here it is. it is the sense of congress that congress is in agreement with the opinion of virtually the entire worldwide scientific community and a growing number of top national security experts, economists, and others that, one, climate change is real, two, climate change is caused by human activity, three, climate change has already caused devastating problems in the united states and around the world, and four, it is imperative that the united states transform its energy system away from fossil fuels and toward energy efficiency and sustainable energy. that's it. pretty straightforward. and with that, madam chair, i submit the amendment and ask for a vote on it. >> met in german, -- madam chairman, if i may speak to that, i like the first three. >> well, you got all four, joe. >> the fourth one's a killer bernie, and the fourth one basically says that you believe it's a north american problem and not a global problem.
>> no. i believe it's an international. >> and basically we use less than one-eighth of the world's fossil fuel, and we're not acknowledging that basically the rest of the world is not going to follow suit because we're going to cripple ourself. we should be finding this the technology that uses the energy that we have in this country in a much cleaner fashion. we spend nothing -- that fourth amendment should basically -- be we invest technology to use the resources we have. i believe that we have a global problem. but i believe we need a global fix. you can't blame north america. it's all our problem. and we're going to sacrifice everything and cripple our economy and put a hindrance on the people in this country. and for that i can't support the amendment. >> further discussion. senator hogan? >> thank you, madam chairman. i understand that senator sanders wants to make a statement in regard to global warming, but specifically
relative to the legislation at hand, the state department conducted three draft environmental impact statements and two final environmental impact statements and found that this project will have no significant environmental impact and that in fact if you do not build the pipeline, either this oil would be piped to china where you would have higher emissions than without the keystone pipeline because you'd have to transport that oil by a tanker across the ocean to china where it would be refined in refineries that have higher emissions than our refineries. at the same time, we'd have to continue to tank in oil akosz the ocean from places like the middle east or places like as senator manchin pointed out, venezuela. the other possibility or likelihood would be that the oil would have to be railed to refineries, and that would take 1,400 railcars a day, creating not only more green house gas emissions but also more congestion on the railroad and
greater risk of accidents, so that the -- now, again, back to senator manchin's statement about the facts rather than our opinion, this is information from the environmental impact statement. five of them -- again, three draft and two finals so that nobody challenges when we say there were five of them -- those are the facts in the statement. no significant environmental impact related to this project. and, in fact, higher green house gas emissions without the pipeline than with it. that was the findings of the obama administration's state department. over six years of study. we are now, of course, in the seventh year of this approval process that some people feel has somehow been rushed, but i wanted to make sure that was of record. >> madam chair, briefly? >> senator sanders. >> at another time and place maybe senator hoven and i will have a debate on what he said. but if you read the resolution as it happens, the words
keystone pipeline is not in it. what it does say, where senator manchin is in disagreement but it says it, it is imperative that the united states transform its energy system away from fossil fuels and toward energy efficiency and sustainable energy. that is what is in the amendment. >> madam chairman. >> senator alexander. i wonder if i might ask a question of clarification of the sponsor. >> certainly. >> i would ask the senator from vermont whether within his definition of the kind of energy system he, on point four, that he hopes to transform our country to -- whether that includes nuclear power, which today produces 60% of our carbon free electricity. >> senator sanders? >> i have serious concerns about nuclear power. find it hard to understand how people want new nuclear power
plants when they will be the most expensive form of new electricity production in the country, far more expensive than wind and solar. and also wanting new nuclear power plants at a time we don't know how to get rid of the very substantial waste that we have right now. so to answer my friend senator alexander, my hope is that over a period of time we will phase >> thank you, madam chair. >> i do think that this will be part of the bigger and broader debate that we will be able to have when the measure reaches the floor. it's my hope we will be able to move the out of committee very shortly here. but the questions that are presented about the future of nuclear, the future of our energy systems, are what this
process should be generating is full, good discussion on that. i will be opposing senator sanders' amendment in anticipation of the upcoming debate on the floor. as has been pointed out here the measure that's in front of us is the authorization of construction of pipeline infrastructure, the keystone xl, a project that in my view -- and i think the view of certainly all on this side and several others on the other side -- is important to our energy's infrastructure system and how we work to build that out. i don't think it's any breaking news here today, but i do believe that our climate is changing. i have said that. i don't agree that all the
changes are necessarily due solely to human activity. i've come from a state where we can see the change. i'd welcome all of my colleagues one day to join me in alaska on a walking tour of what we call the permafrost tunnel, basically a tunnel bored straight back into the bank of a hill in fairbanks, pretty much in the interior part of the state where it is truly a walk back in time 30,000 years, where through the ice lenses that you see that you can touch, that you can smell in this tunnel, in this cave, you can see what has happened over the course of thousands -- tens of thousands of years. and our climate changes.
our climate clearly changes. and as the chair of the committee, i want to focus on what i consider to be those reasonable steps to address what we're seeing with climate. and senator portman's initiative on energy efficiency again is one part of what you deal with. you use your energy resources responsibly, efficiently -- i want to have what i've referred to as a no-regrets policy here. i don't want to be in a situation where we are taxing our way out of our current energy supply. i come from a state where we pay some of the highest energy costs in the nation. alaska and hawaii. again, your noncontiguous states suffer mightily. the people in our states suffer a great deal because of our energy costs.
so i have no interest in doing anything that's going to increase our costs. but i do know that we can do better when it comes to efficiency, when it comes to a no-regrets policy, when it comes to providing a greater focus on a cleaner energy supply, and i look forward to that. and i think if we can focus on that, on making all forms of energy more affordable, we can find that common ground there. and i look forward to doing just that. i saw senator manchin -- i want to make sure because, senator manchin, you had an opportunity to take a point. i want to make sure there's -- senator cantwell. >> i could say one thing just so the clarity of everybody -- and i think members know this, but the reason why we didn't encourage members to have a full mark-up process here today is, first of all, we weren't sure we'd finish before the 5:00 vote on monday when we're going to
vote on the motion to proceed to the rule 14 version of this bill, and usually in committee debate you debate a bill and then you pass it out and hope and pray that you get time on the floor. in this case, we are going to have time on the floor monday. so, anyway, just a point, if somebody thinks that -- why aren't we having more amendments, we are going to have lots of amendments on the floor. >> senator manchin. >> madam chairman, i'd like to amend the amendment. >> if you would like to speak to it. >> climate change caws human activity, climate change has caused devastating problems throughout the world. i also believe it's imperative the united states invest in research and development for clean fossil technology, and that would like to be the
replacement of the fourth art of the amendment to senator sanders placed and have a vote on it. >> senator sanders? >> i would make that the fifth one of the amendment but i would not -- if you want to make that the fifth one, joe, that would be good. but i think it's terribly important that we make the statement right now that the united states lead the world, we transform our energy system, you're absolutely right, we need to invest. absolutely. want to make that the fifth one? >> no. i want to replace wit the fourth. >> well, i would certainly disagree with that. >> does the senator choose to withdraw his proposed amendment? >> i'd like to have a vote on it, ma'am. the amendment to the amendment. if i can have a vote on that. >> any chance those guys would go for an and/or? >> yeah. >> the important point is, if i may, madam chair. >> well, i want to -- i want to -- i want to make sure that we understand what senator manchin is doing. we don't have anything -- we don't have anything in writing. just kind of speaking --
>> basically all i'm asking for in the fourth part of senator sanders' amendment says it is imperative that the united states transform its energy system away from fossil fuels and towards energy efficiency and sustainable energy. it's almost imperative that we do taht. $8 billion is sitting in the department of energy. i want that money invested. we're moving this direction, but we don't have the fuel of the >> you are striking number four?
>> it is imperative that the united states invest in research and development for clean fossil technology. >> and that is not accepted by the sponsor of the amendment. >> may the parliamentarian or the clerk can give me some advice here. i do not want to replace the fourth point. that is terribly important. i would amend senator manchin's amendment to point number five. >> i do not believe, senator sanders, you can amend his amendment to your amendment. >> i tried. >> i understand that. but if i understand senator manchin's amendment it would be to strike the language in section four and replaced with -- i am not good with having it
on the fly. i want to make sure that members understand what we are dealing with. it is my recommendation that we not advance any of the amendments, whether it is senator sanders or your proposed -- >> i am just asking for an amendment to the amendment. since we are going to be voting on senator sanders amendment. >> i believe i understand, but i am not prepared to have a vote on your amendment to his amendment until we see in writing what is -- >> madam chair, i would like to table book discussions. i would move that we table both amendments. >> >> ok. there's a motion -- >> i would -- madam chair, i would second. i think this is an important conversation. i think we should have prepared amendments in writing and we should have this conversation on
the floor and have the debate around what that right policy is on the floor. >> there is a motion to table and that motion is not debatable. the question is on the motion to table. all those in favor indicate by saying aye. >> aye. >> all those opposed. >> no. >> no. >> madam chair, i'd ask for a roll call vote on that. >> ok. there is a roll call vote. >> madam chair, can you clarify -- clarification if we may? if this roll call vote would pass, do i get a vote on my amendment? >> no. both amendments -- the amendment of -- >> i'm sorry. if we defeat this roll call vote, i'm sorry, at that point in time, the senators -- we will be voting on senator sanders'
amendment -- >> if senator hoven's motion to table is successful, there is no further discussion on either. >> correct. but if it is not tabled, we both get a vote. >> further opportunity. >> ok. this is a motion to table the sanders amendment as well as senator manchin's amendment to the sanders amendment. >> ms. murkowski. >> aye. >> mr. barrasso. >> aye. >> mr. risch. >> aye. >> mr. collielee. >> aye. >> mr. flay. mr.
danes. >> aye. >> mr. cassidy. >> aye. >> mr. gardner. >> aye. >> mr. portman. >> mr. portman is aye by proxy. >> mr. hoven. >> aye. >> mr. alexander. >> aye. >> ms. cantwell. >> no. >> excuse me. miss capito. [ inaudible ]. >> aye by proxy. >> ms. cantwell. >> no. >> mr. widen. >> no by proxy. >> mr. sanders. >> no. >> ms. stamina. >> no. >> mr. franken. >> no. >> mr. manchin. >> no. >> mr. heimer. >> aye. >> mr. king. >> no. >> ms. warren. >> no. >> mr. flay is aye by proxy.
>> and mr. flake, aye by proxy. on this vote -- on this vote, -- on this vote, the ayes are 13 and the nos are 9. >> so the motion to table is agreed to. >> right. the motion is agreed to. >> and we will have an opportunity obviously for further discussion on senator sanders' amendment and perhaps senator manchin's as well. senator sanders, did you have a second amendment that you wished to -- >> that's ok for now. thank you. >> ok. with that, there were no additional amendments that were filed last night. i would ask the members if there are any other amendments to be
considered at this time. seeing none, i appreciate that. i know that that will not be the end of the amendments. i think we're just kind of setting the stage for what we will have in front of us next week. i look forward to that. so we are now on the original bill. is there any further discussion? i know there were some members that still had not yet had an opportunity to speak. >> madam chair, will there be opportunity to speak after the vote? >> yes, there will. >> i see people packing up. >> there will be an opportunity for you, senator king, and others as well after the vote. >> thank you. >> so with no further discussion on it, the question is on reporting agenda item number 1 an original bill to approve the keystone xl pipeline. the clerk will call the roll. >> aye. >> mr. barrasso? >> aye. >> mr. rich? >> aye. >> mr. lee? >> aye.
>> mr. flake? >> aye. >> mr. gaines? >> aye. >> mr. cassidy? >> aye. >> mr. gardner? >> aye. >> mr. hovn? >> aye. >> mr. alexander. >> aye. >> aye by proxy. >> miss cameron? >> no. >> mr. wyden. >> no by proxy. >> mr. sanders. >> no. >> no, by proxy. >> mr. franken? >> no. >> mr. manchin? >> aye. >> mr. heinrich? >> no. >> mr. king? >> no. >> ms. warren? >> no. >> on this vote, the ayes are 13. and the nos are nine.
and the bill is reported. >> the bill is reported. i thank members for that. i know that there are several of you who have not yet had an opportunity to speak and would like to welcome your comments at this point in time. and again, apologize that we don't have the full committee here to hear your comments but know that they are equally important and considered. >> madame chair, i just want to make the point, we will be filing minority reports to the bill. we intend to file minority views. we'll have three days with which to file them. >> i appreciate that. i think we left with, i believe it was senator heinrich, who is
up next. >> thank you, madame chair. and let me start, as well, by saying congratulations. i think we proved at the end of the last congress that we can get some things done around here. and i'm very much looking forward to working with you in this congress on a whole range of issues. i want to start by addressing, i guess, what i would call the issue of misplaced priorities here. and why a foreign tar sands project is the very first topic that the senate will consider this year. now, we know from the eis this was -- >> senator? >> yes. >> in deference to you, i want to make sure that others are able to hear your comments. we've still got a lot of chatter in the back room. i would ask someone to tell everyone to pipe down. >> i would thank you for your concern. you know, we know from the eis that this pipeline will provide just 35 to 50 permanent jobs. well, possibly offsetting our own domestic oil production and
jobs in oil-producing states like my own. the american people expect our focus right now to be aimed at creating new high-quality living wage jobs. our economy is finally growing. u.s. employers added 321,000 jobs in november, the best gain in almost three years. and while we argue about 35 to 50 permanent jobs, potentially generated from the keystone's tar sands pipeline, more than 18,000 new clean energy jobs were announced in the third quarter of 2014 alone. one transition line that will soon cross my state and senator flake's can produce as many permanent jobs as three keystone pipelines. my fear is that by making tar sands the linchpin of american energy policy, we are literally locking ourselves into a policy. that fully embraces energy
imports and extremely high levels of relative carbon pollution for as long as 50 years. all at a time when we should have a national policy focused on domestic production and ever cleaner fuel sources. this debate is not about pipeline. it is really about market signals. a vote to approve keystone sends the signal that carbon pollution and climate change are not serious economic concerns. even the dirtiest fuels like tar sands are a good place to invest capital. the state department calculated that the incremental carbon pollution from the tar sands pipeline would be as much as putting up to 5.7 million additional cars on the road every year. for 50 years.
a vote against the tar sands project sends the signal that our government is finally taking the science of climate change and risk analysis seriously. and that the smarter investments are on low carbon and sustainable fuels of the future. we have a small and closing window to avoid economically disastrous climate impacts. my vote against this tar sands project reflects that reality. we can't afford to look back ward. but through american ingenuity we can slow the impacts of climate change, and we can unleash the full potential of home grown clean energy while creating good american jobs. we have the technology, we have the resources. but we must ensure that our commitment matches the challenges that we face today. and i hope that this committee will begin to seize the opportunities that a forward-looking american energy policy can create. thank you, madame chair.
>> thank you, senator heinrich. i look forward to working with you on different issues, as well. welcome to the committee. >> thank you very much, madame chair. and ranking member. i want to thank you, madame chair for acknowledging the unique positions of both alaska and hawaii as noncontiguous states. and i'm looking forward to excuse me, leadership from you and our ranking member in a multitasked, bipartisan way to pass legislation from this committee that will benefit the american people. so i'm very glad to be joining this committee. turning to the keystone pipeline bill today, each time that similar bills have been raised i have opposed them, both as a member of the u.s. house and in the senate, just now. the keystone pipeline is a massive project. it would run all the way from canada through the u.s. to the gulf coast. that's nearly 900 miles across the very center of our country.
along that route are hundreds of communities that are home to millions of people. these communities rely on the surrounding land for clean water. they also rely on the land for grazing, cattle and other economic activities. approving this pipeline would change the way that many people along the route live permanently. the people and communities of nebraska share these concerns. that's why it is -- as it currently stands, there is no legally approved path through that state. we owe it to the people and communities in this region to follow the process that's been set in law to proceed. and that is the presidential review process. that way we can ensure that all of the concerns a project of this size can be addressed. this bill short circuits that process. and that's my first objection to this bill. my second objection concerns a substance of the keystone xl project, which allows for more
development and extraction of tar sands. extracting oil this way is dirty and destructive. in fact, tar sands oil is one of the most carbon intensive energy sources known to man. why does this matter? because 97% of a scientific community is clear, climate change is a threat, and pumping carbon into the atmosphere drives climate change. we are already pumping too much carbon into the atmosphere. the observatory has tracked carbon since 1958. this is the longest running carbon tracker in the world. in april of last year, the meter read over 400 parts per million. that is the highest carbon reading in history. climate changes impacting our community in many ways. the defense department's 2014 climate adaption road map lays
out the stakes pretty clearly, and i quote from that report. among the future trends that will impact our national security is climate change. rising global temperatures changing precipitation patterns, climbing sea levels and more extreme weather events will intensify the challenges of global instability, hunger poverty, and conflict. they will likely lead to food and water shortages, pandemic diseases, disputes over refugees and resources and destruction by natural disasters and regions across the globe. end quote. the military's leading on addressing climate change by reducing its reliance on fossil fuels and investing in energy efficiency. and in doing so, the military is supporting new innovations and creating jobs. we should follow the military's lead. congress should be spending time debating how to advance clean energy initiatives and innovations and create new jobs.
not micromanaging one project for one company. this bill short circuits the presidential review process. development of the tar sands will speed up climate change and impact jobs, it will spew carbon into our atmosphere. and our communities for the long-term. for these reasons, i will continue to oppose this bill. thank you, madame chair. >> senator king? >> thank you, madame chair, i look forward to working with you on a matter of issues. madame chair, i find this a peculiar bill. i don't know if i've ever recalled seeing a bill in any legislature that starts with the name of a particular company that's the beneficiary. transcanada keystone pipeline lp may construct, connect, operate and maintain the pipeline. i thought i was running for the united states senate, not the united states building planning board.
this is a construction permit being issued to a private company and a foreign one at that. i just find that a very strange procedure for the congress to do. we're supposed to be establishing policy here, not issuing building permits to individual companies, you know why not write a bill to give money to apple computer. and let's talk about what this bill really does. there's a lot of talk about well, the tar sands are going to be extracted anyway. it's going to happen anyway. well, i'm not so sure about that. particularly because the way the world has changed in the last six months in terms of the price of oil. the drastic fall in the price of oil raises questions about the economic viability of the extraction of this particular oil. and this bill is a $17 to $20 subsidy to the extraction of tar sands oil. that's how much cheaper it will make it to get that oil to market as opposed to other means, particularly rail.
this is a bill that provides a -- doesn't provide a subsidy, it facilitates or allows what amounts to a transportation subsidy to a group of oil producers in a foreign country in order to extract some of the dirtiest oil in the world. what are the benefits of the bill? jobs. the estimate i understand is 4,000 construction jobs in order to do this project. and i don't sneeze at construction jobs. they're important everywhere in the country. but i think it needs to be put into context. in the last month, the month of november that we have records, this country added 20,000 construction jobs. we added 20,000 jobs just within the month of november and this project is talking about 4,000 jobs over the course of two years. they're important jobs, absolutely, but let's put them in the context of the overall national economy. permanent jobs, 35.
i tell people that, and they just -- their jaw drops because of all of the talk about this project and all the jobs it's going to produce. 35 permanent jobs. a new mcdonald's in fargo, north dakota, would add more than 35 jobs. so let's not talk about this as some kind of massive job program for this country. the number of permanent jobs is very, very limited. so what are the benefits? energy security. the world has changed. american oil production has surged in the last five years. gas and renewables have surged. we are very close to energy independence. in some so months we are. and some of the people supporting this bill are talking about another bill to allow oil exports. we either need this oil desperately from canada for our
energy security, or we have too much oil and we want to be allowed to export it. which is it? and i just think the argument about that. we have to have this oil for our energy security. doesn't pass a straight face test, particularly when the advocates for this bill are also advocating exporting oil from the united states. will this oil go to the united states? it seems to me it's a striking coincidence that the pipeline ends in a port. where is this oil going to go? and i'll have a chance to discuss this on the floor. will the proponents accept an amendment saying this can't be exported. if this is for u.s. national energy security, they ought to accept an amendment that says the oil has to stay in the united states. otherwise we're just a transit point for oil going offshore. climate change is real.
i carry a card around in my pocket. i'll be glad to share it with my colleague from north dakota that talks about, it's climate change in a nutshell. for the last million years carbon dioxide, the atmosphere has bounced between 170 and 300 parts per million. it's gone to 400. the last time it was at 400 was 3 million years ago and the oceans were 60 feet higher. and on the other side of the card is the relationship between carbon dioxide and temperature. over the last million years. this is a serious problem that we're ignoring right now. and my problem with this bill is, i don't think it's going to destroy the environment, i also don't think it's going to boost the american economy. but it's symbolic and it's a turning point. it's an inflexion point. do we want -- and you started the hearing by saying the world is watching. and indeed, they are. and the world is going to say, is america serious about moving
to different forms of energy? or are we just back in the same old fossil fuel economy? and i believe it has to be a transition. i don't think we can go immediately from fossil fuels to renewables. we're not there yet. it does have to be a transition. i think, frankly, the transition fuel, however, is natural gas, which is much cleaner than oil. the great hymn from the 19th century. there comes a moment for every man and nation to decide. i believe the exact words are to every man and nation, this comes a moment to decide. and i think that's the moment we're at right now, and it's telling the world are we going to be talking about a transition to a cleaner energy future looking forward, or are we going to look back to a fossil fuel past that has left us to a very dangerous history. so i intend to vote no on this bill because i can't figure out where the benefit to the united
states is. thank you. >> and i look forward to what i know we will have, a very spirited debate on the floor about these issues. and, again, this is what this committee is designed to do. to bring these points forward to debate them, to come to compromise where compromise is available. and otherwise to advance positions and we're setting out to do that today. i'd like to wrap up on this side with senator warren and then if senator hoeven you have any final comments you might want to add before the ranking member and i wrap up. senator warren. >> thank you very much, madame chairwoman. and also, congratulations on the new post. i'm very much looking forward to working with you on energy issues and with our ranking member cantwell. you know, we've heard a lot about -- today about some of the
problems with the legislative proposal to force the construction of the keystone xl pipeline. i want to know why the pipeline is the very first number one item on the agenda in the new congress. is this about jobs? the number of jobs is disputed. but most estimates put it at a few thousand or less. what if we focused on highways instead of pipelines. we urgently need to pass a permanent highway bill. the american association of state highway and transportation officials says it will create 8 million jobs over the next four years if we could pass a highway bill. we could put people to work in good jobs and fix crumbling roads and bridges. so is the pipeline about lowering america's energy costs? evidently not. even its supporters admit much
of the oil in the pipeline would be exported for use outside the united states. it's not about jobs, it's not about energy. why is this bill so urgent? the answer is money. money and power. the pipeline might not do much for the american people, but it is worth a whole lot to the canadian oil industry. since 2009, transcanada has spent almost $7 million in lobbying expenses related to keystone, so much money industry wide is being spent that a political science professor at the university of kansas previously described the keystone xl bill as, quote, a lobbyist support act. now transcanada wants what they paid for. who does this new congress work for? foreign oil companies or the american people?
today, their first priority is to advance a pipeline that means a whole lot to lobbyists and a whole lot to a giant foreign oil company. but we know that this pipeline runs terrible environmental risks. and it just won't do much to help the american people. i didn't come here to do favors for transcanada. republican leaders may disagree, but i'll be voting no on this. >> senator hoeven? >> well, just several comments. we'll have opportunity to have this debate on the floor, which is great. that's the whole point. the issue was brought up, you know, why is this the first bill we're going to. not only because it is important infrastructure to move oil transcanada's not an oil company, they're a transportation company, they'll move oil for a variety of companies. but that's the whole point. to have this debate and everybody gets to bring up the point, have the debate, get a
vote. but that's the idea. it's not just this issue. it's getting to what we call regular order, open amendment process and open debate. and i hope that can foster more bipartisanship on this measure and on other legislation. because we'll have this debate on the floor. people will have their opportunity to bring forward amendments. we'll debate those amendments we'll vote on them if you get 60 votes, they pass and get included. and that's how it's supposed to work on the senate floor. so it is a bigger issue than just this bill. it is about returning to regular order and an open amendment process. and i want to thank our leadership, both senator mcconnell, our leaders, our leader on this energy committee, senator murkowski for their willingness to do that. i believe that's how the senate is supposed to work. and in terms of who do we work for? we work for the american people. and in poll after poll, 2/3 want this project done.