tv Senate Debate on Keystone XL Pipeline CSPAN January 10, 2015 11:05am-12:49pm EST
like us on facebook. follow us on twitter. >> the senate is expected to vote monday on whether to limit debate and advanced a bill that would authorize the construction of the keystone xl pipeline. senators began debating the measure earlier this week, after it was introduced as one of the first items in the agenda. north dakota senator john hoeven is a sponsor of the bill. he spoke on the floor, along with supporters and those who opposed the legislation. this is a little less than two hours. senator joe manchin and actually a total of 60 sponsors, i have filed s. 1, which is the keystone approval bill. it's a very simple, straightforward bill. this is legislation that we've seen before in this body. what it does is under the commerce clause of the constitution it authorizes congress to approve the keystone x.l. pipeline project. i have got this chart here to
show you the project. it runs from hardisty in alberta, canada, all the way down to our refineries in texas along the gulf coast. this project will move 830,000 barrels of oil a day. some of that will be oil from canada. some of that will be domestic oil from the back an region -- bakken region in montana and north dakota. this is part of the building the infrastructure so we can build a comprehensive energy plan for our country. we're producing more and more oil and gas in our country from the shale place in places like the bakken and north dakota and montana. the eagleford in texas. natural gas from places like the barnett and the marcellus in new york pennsylvania and ohio. and what we're working towards is -- some people refer to it as energy independence, but really energy security for our country. energy security for our country.
what does that mean? that means we produce more energy than we consume. obviously, energy is a global market. the market for energy is a global market. we know that. the market for oil and gas global market. but the point is working together with our closest friend and ally, canada, we can have north american energy security where we produce more energy than we consume. why is that important? that's important because it's about creating jobs, it's important because it's about economic growth. it's important because it's a national security issue. why do we continue to rely on oil from the middle east? why are we continuing to send dollars to the middle east where you've got -- look at what happened in paris today with an attack by extremists, by islamic extremists. one of the ways that we fight back one of the ways we push back is we take control of our
own energy destiny and we can do it. we are doing it. why are gas prices lower today at the pump? is it because opec decided to give us a christmas present? i don't think so. it's because we're producing far more energy than we ever have before but to continue to produce that energy, we've got to have the infrastructure to move that energy from where it's produced to where it's consumed. that means pipelines that means roads, that means rail. for electricity that means transmission. but we can't have an energy plan for this country that really works without the infrastructure to move that energy safely and effectively. that's what this project is all about. so why are we here talking about it today? it seems like a pretty straightforward proposition. after all i think there is something like 19 different pipelines that cross the border. in fact, there are millions of miles of pipelines in this
country. here's a map of just some of them. we have millions of miles of pipeline in this country. a lot of them you see crossing the border. so why are we standing here today talking about another pipeline project? because for the past six years for the past six years the administration has held this project up. they keep saying there's a process. as a matter of fact, josh ernst just yesterday said oh, we have a process. congress shouldn't intervene in the keystone pipeline keystone approval because there is a process. really, mr. president, there is a process? the trans-canada company filed an application to build the keystone x.l. pipeline in september of 2008. september of 2008. now, if you do the math, that's more than six years ago.
more than six years ago and there's a process somehow to get to a conclusion? so that company which has invested hundreds of millions already, wants to build an 8-point -- ultimately $.9 million project, that will move 830,000 barrels of oil a day, and here they are six years later still waiting for approval. and that's why today we are asking congress to step forward and do what the american people want. keystone is not a new issue. the american people understand this issue. poll after poll shows the american people by a margin of about 70% to 20-some percent support this project. who do we work for mr. president? who do we work for? we work for the people of this great country and 70% of the people of this great country say
approve the project. after six long years where all of the requirements have been met, approve the project. but the president of course continues to hold it up and even yesterday issued a veto threat. why? why is he wanting to threaten a project, threaten veto on a project that 70% of the american people support? it's really hard to understand, isn't it? because every time an objection comes up, we work to address that objection. when there is an objection on the route the company rerouted. so the president says well, it's an environmental concern. he says well, it's an environmental concern. really? an environmental concern. this is about his own study found after six years of study. the state department, in multiple environmental impact
statements three draft statements and two final environmental impact statements, this is what they found -- no significant environmental impact. according to the u.s. state department environmental impact statement. that's not something i did. that's not something the company did. that's something that the obama administration did. repeatedly and came to the same conclusion no significant environmental impact. in fact, if you don't build the pipeline, you have to move that oil with 1,400 rail cars a day. now, canada is going to produce the energy. north dakota, montana other states are going to continue to produce the energy, so that energy is going to move. the question is how and where. if you can't build the pipeline, then it's got to go by rail car.
so do we really want 1,400 rail cars a day moving that product around or do we want it to move more safely, more cost-effectively with better environmental stewardship through a pipeline? common sense. and then this idea that somehow well canada's not going to produce that oil if they don't have a pipeline, wrong wrong. they'll move it like -- they will move it by rail, and they'll build other pipelines. here are several that are already in the planning stages. they will move it to the east coast for refineries they have there, or they will send it west and it will go to china. now, does that make sense? well it doesn't make sense to the american public, which is why the american public wants to work with canada as well as produce energy in our country to become energy secure. the idea that we would say no to our closest friend and ally,
canada we're not going to work with you we're going to continue to buy oil from the middle east and we're going to have you send your oil to china makes no sense to the american people and it shouldn't. it shouldn't. that's why they overwhelmingly support this project. so that here we are we're starting the new congress. i think very clearly in the last election the people said we support this project and you saw it time after time with candidate after candidate who supported this project that won their elections but on an even bigger issue of an even bigger message, the people of this great country said we want the congress to work together in a bipartisan way to get things done. we want the congress to work together in a bipartisan way to
get things done. so here we have legislation that has passed the house repeatedly with bipartisan majority. here we have legislation that has bipartisan support in this body. here we have legislation that the american people overwhelmingly support after clearly giving the message in the last election that they want us working together to get work done and the president issues a veto message right out of the gates. why? for whom? who's he working for? so it is incumbent upon us to work together in a bipartisan way to get this legislation passed and the way we're approaching it -- and i see that my good friend and colleague from the great state of west virginia is here. i want to thank and turn to him. but i want to do it in the form of a question.
it was my very clear sense from the last election and i think the very clear sense that we all got from the last election is that they want to see congress working together in a bipartisan way, in an open process to get the important work of this country done. so with this legislation it's not just that it's about important energy infrastructure. it's also that we want to return to regular order in this body, offer an open amendment process allow people to bring forward their amendments, offer those amendments debate them and get a vote on those amendments, and if they have amendments that can add and improve this legislation, great great and let's have that process let's have that debate, let's have those votes let's make this bill as good as we can possibly make it, and then the president needs to work with us. the president needs to meet us
halfway and get this done for the american people. so i'd like to turn to my good colleague from the great state of west virginia and say aren't we doing all we can here to try to make sure that we're approaching this in a bipartisan way with an open, transparent process to try to build support for this legislation? mr. manchin: you're absolutely correct, and i thank you for this opportunity not only to work with you but also to bring the facts to the floor. we have heard many times we're all entitled to our own opinion. we're just not entitled to our own facts. so if you start looking at what we are consuming today in america, at last count seven million barrels of oil is purchased -- crude is purchased every day in america from other countries. seven million barrels of crude a day. so this line would possibly furnish 830,000 barrels of that dependency that we have. let's look and see where it comes from right
now. 2 1/2 million barrels we're already purchasing from canada. the best ally we could possibly have the best trading partner the number-one trading partner 35 of the 50 states have. so it's not unknown there. so let's look where we're purchasing the rest of the oil. we purchase 755,000 barrels a day from venezuela. 755,000 of heavy crude from venezuela. and let's look at venezuela where it's -- where it's an authoritarian regime. it violates their citizens human rights and puts down protests with horrific violence. we also purchase 1.3 million barrels a day from saudi arabia. we all have our concerns about saudi arabia and a lot of the money we follow goes into the wrong hands. 42,000 barrels a day from russia. from russia. and we know what their intent and what they've been doing with
their energy policies and their regime has invaded its neighbors and armed separatists in ukraine. so when you look at what we're doing, these are the facts. this is not just hearsay or rumors these are facts. we purchase 7 million. and i've said when i first was approached by this four years ago when i came to the senate, they said what do you think about the keystone pipeline it will be bringing oil from canada into america? i said, where i come from in west virginia, it's pretty common sense. we'd rather buy from our friends than our enemies. i'd rather support my friends my allies, my trading partners month so than i would the enemies who use anything i buy from them and the money that they receive from that product that i buy from them and use it against me. it's pretty common sense. it's not real complicated. i know everybody's trying to really make this complicated. also they talk about exports. we just had a caucus talking about the different -- what would happen to the oil senator, and i know you've been watching this very closely.
but they say the keystone pipeline will strictly be just an avenue and a vehicle for exporting this oil out. they're just going to use america to bring that oil through. well we checked into that a little bit further. that's not true. and i think even "the washington post" gave it three pinocchios it was so untrue. we found out basically the crude oil from canada is expected to be mixed with a domestic oil from the balkans from your region, north dakota. the canadian oil is a heavier crude like venezuelan oil. it will be mixed with the light crude from the balkans which enables it to flow just easier and be produced. once it comingles, this oil is basically american oil. it lives and dies and basically is marketed with the policies of the united states of america. and our policy is not to export crude oil. so i don't know why people are using this argument and scaring people that we'll get no benefit. then we talked about the jobs. and they say well, there's not
that many jobs. well in west virginia, you give us 42,000 jobs, we'd be very appreciative, we'll thank you. and these are all high-paying jobs. and they say well, they're only contractual -- they're only contract jobs but yet i hear everybody talking republicans and democrats about building roads and building bridges. those are also seasonal types of jobs. those are all contracting jobs. they're not permanent jobs but we're tickled to death to get them. and that's the whole trades -- the whole trade union. all the unions that i know of are supportive of this piece of legislation. every working man that we keep talking about and woman who supports themselves and their family supports this legislation. and while we're running in such a roadblock, i have no idea. and then we put the map up and i think senator, you have the map there. but the other map we had, i said, you know when i first heard about this pipeline, i thought it was an anomaly. we just didn't have many pipelines in america. then we put this map up. this is what we have in america today.
so this is not foreign to any of us. in any state, we have pipelines. many in west virginia and all through this country. so then you look at public support. you think here we are democrats and republicans and we look at the polls and we live and die by the polls they tell us or we should but the bottom line is, is that if you do believe in the polls this has been a consistent poll. it has not varied for over five years, you have not seen the numbers fluctuate that much. overwhelmingly overwhelmingly you've got americans in all aspects of the political realm whether you're a democrat or a republican or independent overwhelmingly support this pipeline. so i cannot see the objections to it. i was very disappointed when the president said he would veto -- or the white house. once we said we would go through this process. and i think you and i talked about it, senator and we thought, well, it's going to be an open process, we have some --
i was encouraged by my colleagues on the democrat side who have some good amendments, i believe that should be considered and i believe would pass and enhance the bill. and we only need four more -- four more senators on my side of the aisle that can see the benefit of a good -- a good bill a good process with good amendments that strengthen this bill to put us in a position to make it veto-proof. that should be our goal. so basically we shouldn't be deterred by the white house or the president saying already that they're going to veto this bill. let's see if we can make this bill so good and -- and that when we are finished with this product and this process two or three weeks from now that we'll have a product that basically we're all proud of that the american people are proud of and will support and maybe just maybe, the white house will change its mind. i'm hopeful for that. so i appreciate all the effort and work and we're working very well together. we have i think the last count we had nine democrats working with our republican colleagues.
that puts us at 63. i'm hopeful to get four more at least that will look at the virtues of this and basically the assets and what it will do for our country. my main goal is this -- energy independence. makes us a secure, protected nation. any time that we do not have to go and depend on oil coming from other parts of the world and the resources that we give them when we purchase their product and they use those resources against us time after time and again with he we can see now with the oil prices dipping the benefits that the consumers in america receive receive. the strength it makes our country. and i am so thankful thankful for that and that we are getting a break here and i think we can continue to make that happen for many years to come if we're able to be smart strategically what we do today. i think you spoke about the environment, too. you might want to touch on that again. but most of this oil is being produced now some way or another and it's also getting transported in different ways and means. and the bottom line is that no significant environmental
impact. and i think the state department's even done five studies that shows that to be true. so -- and i said also 2 1/2 million barrels a day is being purchased from canada today. refineries in illinois are now refining this product they say that we shouldn't do. we've been doing it for quite some time. we're using this product and with technology awe're using it better. -- we're using it better. and it has helped us be less dependent on foreign oil. that's the argument, the security of america. that's thes first and foremost think that we support. that's why i think you see a tremendous amount of people from the mountain state senator that support this piece of legislation. we're going to work diligently. we have a long way to go here but i think the facts are on our side. we are all entitled to our opinion but we can't change the facts, sir. mr. hoeven: i'd like to thank the senator from west virginia. and i want to thank him not only for his support on this project but for his willingness to work hard to work together to find bipartisan solutions, whether
it's this legislation or other legislation. that is what is incumbent upon us to do. and it is not easy but we've got to be willing to engage in the hard work it takes to get this legislation to get these solutions in place for the american people. and so i again want to thank you for your leadership and i look forward to continuing to work with you and our colleagues on both sides of the aisle to come to good solutions. that's what this effort is all about. and i want to turn to the senator from the state of montana. the pipeline project goes right through his state. here's somebody who has dealt with the issue on the house side of congress and who's got the project in his home state. so he's talking on behalf of people where the pipeline is right there. and i'd like to turn to him and say what do the people in montana say? you know, i mean, it's fine for something far removed from a project to say well, you know, i'm okay or i'm not okay with it. but how about the people that are right there on the site,
they're directly affected? tell us, what's the sense in your home state? what are you hearing when you talk to people? a senator: mr. president i applaud first of all the senator from north dakota for his leadership on this most important issue and his commitment to making it a priority for this senate as the first bill introduced into this senate. mr. daines: and i also want to applaud the senator from west virginia. one example as we sit in this chamber today republicans and democrats discussing and supporting the keystone x.l. pipeline. and i want to reiterate many of the comments expressed by my colleagues and convey the importance of this pipeline because, as the senator from north dakota mentioned and showed on his map the very first state the keystone pipeline enters as it comes from canada is the state of montana. and let me tell you something it's not just a pipeline, this is also changing the way of life and an economic stimulus for our great state. i spent a lot of time traveling
around the state in my pickup, and as i drive around eastern montana, where the keystone pipeline will travel we recognize this is a lifeline for many of our rural communities. in fact, circle montana. now, circle montana is a small town of around 600 people. it's located in mccomb county and its one of six montana counties that the keystone x.l. pipeline will route through. now, circle like a lot of small communities in montana, has experienced the same economic and population declines that towns have faced in recent years. in fact, the county has significant infrastructure needs that have gone unresolved in the wake of a shrinking tax base. now, for towns like circle, the keystone x.l. pipeline isn't just about energy. it represents economic opportunity and hope for the future. you see mccomb county alone would see $18 million in
property tax revenues from the keystone pipeline construction and that's just in the pipeline's first year of operation. now, that's money for neighborhoods, it's for roads not to mention the influx of jobs for the area. now, another $45 million would be distributed among five other montana counties and $16 million would go to montana's schools and university systems. you see these keystone x.l. pipeline means lower energy costs for montana families for our senior citizens and for small businesses. in glasco, montana, i remember traveling in my pickup and i met with the norval electric co-op. they told me if the keystone pipeline is approved, that they will hold electric rates flat for their customers for the next 10 years. that's several thousand montana families up in the northeast part of our state. the reason for that is because they will supply the electricity
to the pump stations on the keystone pipeline. if the keystone pipeline is not approved those ratepayers will see an approximate 40% increase in their utility rates over the next 10 years. that's a potential increase of about $480 per year for the average household in montana. now, as the senator from north dakota mentioned 100,000 barrels a day of the oil traveling through the keystone pipeline will be montana and north dakota oil. that supports the bakken formation which the revolution of hydraulic fracturing is creating now lower gas prices at the pump today. montanans know this pipeline isn't just a lofty idea or some kind of d.c.-based rhetoric. it is hope for the people of my state. it's a tangible result and a solution that montanans deserve. and i've got to tell you that's why it's so disappointing that
once again we're seeing the president and some senate democrats playing political games and perpetuating the six years of gridlock that have held back this job-creating project. and rather than putting the american people first the president has threatened to refuse the people of montana their right to determine their economic future. you know, it took the canadians -- it took the canadians just seven months to approve their end of the keystone pipeline. it's taken this president more than six years. that's six years without the hundreds of good-paying jobs that would be created in montana and thousands more across the nation. that's six years without millions of dollars in critical revenue for montana's schools for infrastructure, for teachers. that's six years without the answers and action that montanans deserve. you know, i think the pipeline checks every box of common sense sense. it's environmentally sound.
it creates jobs. it's economic opportunity. and it's going to help us towards north american energy independence. so the question why are we still waiting? the people of montana, the people of this country have said they've had enough and that's why we're here today speaking out in support of this important project. i am proud that the senate is taking steps to move forward the keystone x.l. pipeline and the house i know intends to do the same shortly. president obama can continue to obstruct progress on american jobs and on american energy independence but the american people have sent a strong message that they are ready to remove any roadblocks that president obama intends to put in the way. the time for partisanship the time for political games is over over. it is time this congress and this government gets to work for the american people and start getting results for this country. the polls are clear.
7% of the american people want the keystone pipeline approved. 75% of montanans wanted the keystone pipeline approved. prior to sesqui in congress, i spent 28 years in the private sector focused on getting results in the real world. only in d.c. are we outside the real world of doing something and getting results on behalf of the american people and that starts with approving the stone to enstone. thank you mr. president. i yield back to the senator from north dakota. mr. hoeven: you're hearing from somebody who's there, who is a talking to the people, where this project is going to be located. one of the states that it passes through. so i thank him for his perspective and for his hard work and commend him for being here and for his continued efforts, not toll not only to work with our caucus but to reach out to the democratic caucus as well and find common ground on this important issue. something that the senator from
west virginia said just a minute ago is let's focus on the facts. let's focus on the facts. because i think the more understanding we create as to what the facts are this gets done on the merits. so i want to turn to the senator from wyoming somebody who's got long experience with energy, somebody who comes from an energy state a state that produces a variety of energy sourcessers and pose the same question to him and in terms of focusing on the facts whether it is the environmental aspect, whether it is the jobs, whether it's making our country energy-secure, talk to us a little bit about the importance of this kind of vital infrastructure projects like keystone for our country. mr. barrasso: mr. president let me first thank and congratulate the senator from north dakota for his dogged determination in fighting for these american jobs, for energy security for our country so i'm
so grateful for his hard work. he's really just been tenacious in his fight to get this bill bill to pass the senate and to the president's desk. i also want to congratulate my friend and colleague tbr from montana. last year the american people elected 12 new senators to serve in this body. he is one of them. i had an opportunity to travel with him in montana. a great background. he is creative, innovative, energetic. he has gone -- he is going to do a tremendous job not just for his state and the rocky mountain west but for at for the entire united states. we were able to hear from him today. he is going to be a remarkable addition to this body. mr. president, i know that all of these dozen new republican senators as eager as the rest of us in the new republican
majority to start fulfilling our obligation to the people we represent. americans elected a republican congress because they wanted a chaifnlgt theychange. they wanted to change the direction that president obama and the democrats have taken the country. under the democrat leadership of the past several years the senate was a place of dysfunction and gridlock. more than 40 jobs bills passed by the house of representatives in the last congress never even came up for a vote in the united states senate. many of those bills had over whelming bipartisan support just like this one we're debating today. those days are over. that is a completely unacceptable way to run the united states senate. all of us here in the senate, republicans and democrats, have been given an opportunity to work together and to get things done. that's what the american people told us on election day. it's what they are expecting from us, and i believe it is
what they are demanding of us. now, the poster child for the gridlock and the dysfunction of washington has been the keystone x.l. pipeline. for more than six years it has been a symbol of out-of-control washington bureaucracy. the state department has absolutely refused to do its job and to make any kind of decision on the pipeline's application. the keystone x.l. pipeline has also been a symbol of gridlock in the senate. a small group of extreme environmentalists with deep pockets has bullied democrat members of the senate to block a bill that would move this important jobs project further. according to the latest figures the americans' labor force participation rate have woefully low. it is just 62.8%. democrats in this body -- are democrats in this body, are they satisfied with that number? is the president of the united
states, barack obama sophisticated with this pathetic level of participation in america's labor force? i can tell you that people in my state, republicans all around the country they're not satisfied. that's why we're determined to push job-ceefting legislation-- job-creating legislation like this hoeven bill to advantages the keystone x.l. pipeline. now, the president has said there's no benefit to this important infrastructure project. during a press conference last month, president obama actually chaimed that the project is not even going to be of nominal benefit, he said, to the united states consumers. apparently that's what the president believes. he's wrong. just ask the obama administration's own state department. it says that the pipeline would support more than 42,000 jobs. some are construction jobs, some in the modification jobs, including jobs at hotels along
the route. does president obama think that a good job that is not even a nominal benefit to america a country where we get 42,000 jobs by this pipeline? according to the congressional research service, there are already 1 pipelines 9 pipelines operating across u.s. borders? why is this one not even a nominal benefit according to the president? why has the president not made a decision about whether to approve the pipeline or is not the president has taken a position on this bipartisan bill according to the press secretary on tuesday says the president will not sign this bill once congress passes it. the state department has done one study after another showing the pipeline would create jobs understand that it would have significant -- and that it would have no significant environmental impact. now, president obama a had been downplaying those benefits and
threntsding to veto the bill. that's not presidential leadership. now republicans are going to show the leadership that the american people have been asking for and that they voted for last november. we're going to bring a bill to the floor force the president finally do to do something by putting it on the president's desk. democrats have been playing politics with this pipeline bill. the republican majority will now get it done. we're going to allow a vote on this project. we're going to allow senators to offer amendments. what a unique situation in the united states senate. we're going to let everyone say which side they're on. this will be a bellwether decision. are members of the senate in favor of 42,000 jobs for american workers or are they in favor of more washington delay? democrats will have a chance to make their arguments. the extreme opponents of this project will make misleading claims try to discount the pipeline's benefits and they'll try to stoke people's fears.
we've seen it all before. at the end of the day here's what this autoall comes down to: -- here's what this all comes down to. four things. first, the stone to enstone will support more than -- the keystone x.l. pipeline will appellate court more than 42,000 jobs in the united states. second, it will be a private investment of $8 billion not taxpayer spending, private spending. third, it will have minimal effect on the environment. and, fourth, the pipeline is actually safer than other methods of getting that oil to manchetmarket. congress should approve this pipeline and pass this bill, and the president should sign it. the keystone x.l. pipeline is a job create he. it has bipartisan support and has been stuck in washington's bureaucratic gridlock. it's interesting when i listen to the president's comments about jobs and what the impact is going to be. it makes me think about what the
president of the laborers international union of north america said a summer a year ago. he was scheduled to testify at today's hearing of the energy and natural resources committee a hearing that now the minority, the democratic acting leader, senator durbin, objected to having yesterday. he objected to just a hearing and a discussion. and it's interesting. there was a press release from the president of the union who was quoted on the subject of the economic benefits associated with construction of the pipeline. he said, the president -- president obama -- seems to dismiss the corresponding economic opportunities that would benefit other laborers, manufacturers, smashings and -- small businesses, and communities throughout keystone's supply chaifnlt he said the washington politics behind the delay of the keystone
x.l. pipeline are of little concern to those seeking the dignity of a good high-paying job. rhee we renewwe renew our call to the president. a job says something about someone's identity, self-worth. people take a lot of personal pride in their work and in their job. i think we ought to approve t i'm ready to sphroart it. the american people have been clear. they are tired of washington's gridlock and delay. they are tired of the direction that president obama has been taking this country. the american voters demand change. they demanded action. and this republican congress is going to deliver just that. so i say to my friend and colleague from north dakota, and i see also that the chairman of the senate energy committee has arrived, thank you both for our leadership your leadership on
energy in north dakota, to the senator from north dakota, former governor there and thank you specifically also for your leadership to the senator -- the senior senator from alaska, the chair of the energy committee and i look forward to working with both of you specifically on this project and on additional issues that will bring american energy security and jobs to our nation. i'd like to -- mr. president, i would like to thank the senator from wyoming for his comments today and for his continued hard work on this important issue and i look forward to working with him again to get this done for the american. mr. hoeven: and i like to turn to our leader on the energy committee, the chairman of the energy committee the senator from alaska, certainly someone that understands energy, another state that produces a huge amount of energy for this country, and can produce more but only with the infrastructure to do it.
this country can have more jobs, nor economic growth and more energy that we produce right here at home. but, senator don't we need the infrastructure to move that energy as safely and cost-effectively as possible? ms. murkowski: it is all about infrastructure. in alaska, in my home state, we have boundless supplies of oil of natural gas but until we were able to build that 800-mile pipeline across two mountain ranges to deliver that oil from alaska's north slope to tidewater in valdez, that oil didn't do anybody any good. now that oil pipeline in alaska is less than half full, and so we're working to try to figure out how we do more as state to contribute to our nation's energy needs to allow us as a
state to be producing more for the benefit not only of our state but of the nation as awell. but yet we're held back by policies that limit us. so it's policies and it's infrastructure. it's absolutely infrastructure. we're trying to move alaska's natural gas to market as well. but, again if you don't have the infrastructure, it sits, it stays, it doesn't benefit the consumers, it doesn't create the jobs it doesn't help any of us out. so keystone truly is about infrastructure. and i thank my colleague from north dakota for leading on this issue for years now for reintroducing the legislation senate bill 1 the first bill to be filed in the senate this year. it will be -- it will be,
mr. president, among the first bills to pass in this new congress and appropriately so. appropriately so. this is a measure that, again not only enjoys bipartisan support here in the senate, it enjoys broad support over in the house, but it enjoys support across our nation for great reason. so you say why -- why are we where we are? why are we looking at the situation and saying, there's so much frustration going on here? senator mcconnell has promised to allow open and full debate on the keystone x.l. pipeline project, the legislation in front of it, i think we're looking forward to it. as the chairman of the energy committee, i'm looking forward to robust debate on the keystone x.l. and what it will provide for this country in terms of jobs in terms of opportunities. we're frawflted.
we're frustrated by a president's decision. or unwilling in really, unwillingness to make a decision about this pipeline 2,301 days and counting since the companies seeking to build it submitted an application for this cross-border permit. 2,301 days. that's more than six years ago. and then yesterday the president finally is able to make a decision apparently. he issues a statement of administration policy, and in his statement, he says that by advancing this measure it would cut short consideration of important issues. excuse me, mr. president? cut short a process that has been underway for over six years? that's -- that's just amazing to me. so again when we talk about --
about decisions let's -- let's get moving with this. let's get moving with this. the president seems to be advancing some pretty interesting things when it comes to the energy discussion. he was quoted in an interview just this morning. this was an interview with the president in "the detroit news" and he basically told americans he says, "you know, we're enjoying lower energy prices right now but you better enjoy them fast because they're not going to last." he said -- he said "we've got to be smart about our energy policy." i'm with ya there mr. president. we do have to be smart about our energy policy. but to think that the suggestion here is just enjoy low prices while they last take advantage of the sunshine? no. mr. president, your energy policies need to make sense for today, they need to make sense for the midterm and for the long
term. and for the long term and for the short term, we need to make sure that we've got infrastructure that will allow us -- allow us the energy supply that is so important to this country. it amazes me that we would be so defeatist with this approach. so we've got an opportunity here in this congress. we had an opportunity this morning -- this morning in the energy committee. we had scheduled a hearing on the keystone x.l. pipeline. we were going to hear testimony on original legislation to approve keystone x.l., as we did last year, on a bipartisan basis, but as members in the body know, there was objection to that unanimous consent. we had to cancel or we had to postpone that hearing. i, quite honestly, was surprised by it. it would have been nice to know that an objection was coming before we had organized the
hearing, before we had invited witnesses before we had completed all the preparations. so we're going to do our best in the committee to adhere to regular order. i'm hopeful that our colleagues will -- will work with us on that. but i would like to introduce for the record mr. president if i can some of the testimony that we received from the three witnesses who graciously agreed to participate in our hearing that we had scheduled for this morning. andrew black who is the president and c.e.o. of the association of oil pipelines. he described pipeline safety issues, the gains that keystone x.l. would bring to the american economy in terms of jobs and payrolls. part of the excerpts from his testimony are as follows. he says "while there is much controversy associated with the keystone x.l. pipeline, the facts are that the pipelines are the safest way to transport crude oil and other energy products. a barrel of crude oil has a
better than 99.999% chance of reaching its destination safely by pipeline safer than any competing transportation mode." a second witness that we had invited was david malino, who's the legislative director of the laborers international union of north america. in his testimony he explored the positive jobs impact of the pipeline responded to some environment l aal concerns. an excerpt is "regardless of characterizations by the project's opponents, it is indisputable that jobs will be created and supported in the extraction and refining of the oil as well in the manufacturing and service sectors." and then we also invited greg dotson, who's the vice president for energy policy at the center for american progress. he submitted his testimony in opposition. we made sure that we had opposition testimony presented as well. he discussed climate change.
he responded to the arguments in favor of keystone. and while he may be an opponent of the pipeline and as usual would have been outnumbered by the supporters of the project i will still submit his written testimony for the record here today. and, mr. president, i would ask consent that the testimonies of mr. black, mr. malino and mr. mr. dotson be included as part of the record. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. murkowski: but i do believe mr. president, that had we been allowed to hold the hearing this morning, we would have heard very strong bipartisan statements in support of keystone x.l. from many members of our committee. the majority of our committee supports this pipeline and is already cosponsoring this bill. mr. president, i want to close my comments by assuring members of this committee, we are in -- we are in day two of this
115th congress. this is not going to be our only debate on energy legislation over the years. i know that it's been a long seven years since we have had comprehensive energy legislation. a lot has changed. a lot of people have great ideas to improve and reform our policies and i welcome those ideas. i'm looking forward to the debate, to advancing these proposals through the energy committee. i think we can make a significant significant progress on supply, on infrastructure, on efficiency on accountability. and that -- those areas in particular should be the forum or the focus of an energy bill that we would hope to report out out. we're going to work hard in this committee. we're planning on legislating. keystone x.l. is a natural point for this congress because it has been delayed for so long.
2,301 days. it's clear that this president is not going to make a decision on this so the congress needs to make it instead. so i look forward to coming back to the floor in a couple days when we have senate bill 1 officially in front of us. we're going to have good debate on it. i look forward to -- to working with my colleague who has been so so aggressive on this issue for so long. his leadership has been key in getting us here. but we need to finish it up. we need to make the connects so that we can move the resource and provide the jobs for this country and for our allies and friends in canada. and with that i again thank my friend and look forward to these next couple days and really the next couple weeks where we will have an opportunity to put this before the american people here on the floor of the united
states senate. mr. hoeven: mr. president i'd like to thank the senator from alaska for her leadership on the energy committee but also for her willingness to work in an open way on these important issues. and i think that across this body on both sides of the aisle there should be a deep appreciation for her willingness to bring these bills forward so that we can debate them and we can offer amendments and we can build the kind of energy future for this country that our people so very much want to have. and so, you know, the senator from alaska is somebody who really lives and breathes this topic. when we talk energy, somebody that's truly committed to it but truly committed to an open dialogue on all types of energy and giving everybody an opportunity to weigh in here and build the best energy plan for our country that we possibly can. and so i want to extend my thanks to her and also my
appreciation and likewise, say that i really look forward to working with her on this issue but on so many important energy issues. and i'd like to turn to my colleague from the state of north dakota and ask her for her perspective on why this project is so important for our country and for the energy future of our country. ms. heitkamp: thank you so much. mr. president, i rise to join my colleagues on the other side who represent states who know a little bit about energy and certainly my colleague from north dakota, who has led this effort from the first day that he arrived in the united states senate. no big surprise because we know that you can have as much oil out there you can know where the reserves are but if you don't have the infrastructure to move that oil to market what you do is you drive up prices and -- and everybody who is looking at what we're looking at right now -- i haven't checked today but oil prices below $40 a
barrel -- if you don't think that's supply-demand economics 101, you don't understand what's happening. the fact that we have known reserves in places like north dakota known reserves in alaska, we have producible reserves in canada, we have an opportunity to the continue to develop these resources in a way that benefit in -- in an incredible way american consumers. think about what's happening for the average american family today when they fill up at the pump. and think what that means and how that will ripple through our economy as discretionary income grows. but that is only possible when we have a known supply that is movable, it's transportable, it is, in fact, capable of reaching its market or reaching the refinery. and that's what we're talking about when we're talking about north american crude oil. now, you're going to hear a lot of stories over this debate
about how this crude oil is more dangerous to the environment how it is different than bakken crude. guess what? it is different than bakken crude, but it's not different from the crude that's refined in the refineries in texas that will -- where we will be displacing crude that is refined from venezuela and we are going to be replacing it with crude that is produced in our friends to the north canada. and so infrastructure is a huge part. in fact, that's why secretary moniz, when he declared the quadrennial energy review, he looked at not just where's the supply and the future of supply of energy, he focused on transportation of energy because that's a huge part of our challenge today. and as we look at the keystone x.l. pipeline -- and we say
keystone x.l. because a lot of people don't know, we already have a keystone pipeline. we already have a pipeline that is bringing oil sands from canada into the united states for refining. a lot of people don't -- don't realize this. this is the second pipeline that will be named "keystone." and it is a pipeline that has been in process for literally a decade from their planning process to the time that they actually asked for a permit. now, i'm going to address some of the concerns of some of my colleagues as -- as we hear them just so that we can kind of lay the groundwork. when you frequently hear the keystone x.l. pipeline will -- will be exported. all of the oil that's coming down will find its way directly into china. guess what? that gets said all the time. and guess what "the washington post" gave it? three pinocchios. not true. it's going to get refined.
it's going to get refined in the united states of america. it's going to displace venezuelan crude. and it is going to find its way into the american markets and continue to provide that supply that is, in fact, today driving down costs. and so let's -- let's get rid of that first argument that this is -- this is going to somehow not benefit american consumers. that this is going to somehow find its way, you know, on to a barge immediately upon arrival into the gulf. so -- so that's the first thing that we need to be talking about about, which is let's actually have a fact-based discussion about what this pipeline is. the second argument you will hear is that this somehow will have a huge affect on climate and on climate change. and for those reasons alone it ought to be rejected. well let's take a look at what the experts who have repeatedly looked at this very issue
because one thing that we know that i think is beyond dispute when you talk to the officials in canada is that we are going to produce oil sand oil from canada regardless of whether we build a pipeline. and that oil is going to find its way into the transportation system and quite honestly, is going to burden our rail transportation system because we haven't figured out how to build a pipeline. so all those people who want to confuse the issue about the pipeline versus the development in canada of the oil sands, you know, let's separate it. let's look at what in fact, is the decision before the united states of america and that is the decision of whether it's in our national interest to approve a permit for a pipeline. i will say this over and over again as we pursue this debate, this is a pipeline and not a cause. so many people have talked about it and i think in some ways this
process has gotten exaggerated on both sides. it's going to be the panacea and prevent all unemployment, or it's going to be the worst thing you know, armageddon for the environment. and you know what? this is a pipeline. this is a transportation system. this is an essential part of the infrastructure to bring an important fossil fuel into our country so that it can be refined and utilized by the american people. and, oh, by the way knowing those reserves are there that we've got the reserves that we from have in the bakken, that we're developing more and more untransitional pores of -- sources of supply has driven the price down, has created the situation that we have today that is saving consumers millions and billions of dollars in our country. the second thing i want to say is people say we got to respect the process. i respect process. that's part of what i've done my whole life.
i'm a lawyer so you hear repeatedly about due process and the need to have due process. but you know what, occasionally the process is broken. guess what -- six years to site a pipeline. we were able to --. the presiding officer: the time reserved for the senator from north dakota has expired. mr. hoeven: i ask for five minutes to wrap up the colloquy. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. ms. heitkamp: the process. back to the process. when you look at it, six years, we fought world war ii and defeated the greatest evil known to mankind, adolf hitler in four and we can't site a pipeline in six. so the process is broken. the other thing you're going to hear is, you know, this is going to somehow disrupt what's happening in nebraska. i think the senator from north dakota was absolutely correct as part of this bill in putting a provision in that says all bets
are off if nebraska reverses the decisions that were made in nebraska but somehow that's getting forgotten in this debate. and so we're going to have a lot of hours of debate i think on keystone x.l. pipeline. we're going to have lot of the amendments. i'm grateful for the opportunity to go back to regular order. i'm grateful for the opportunity to talk about amendments. but i want so badly that us to have a reasoned and factual-based debate. not an emotional debate but a debate that basically puts this pipeline in perspective. and so puts this issue in perspective. and so i want to congratulate my colleague from north dakota for the success in raising this issue and getting this issue its early debate. i hope we'll be able to move this along that we'll be successful in getting enough people to provide that momentum
to achieve ready approval, and finally, i i want to say why it's so important that we do it now. for those of us who live in the northern tier, we know what a construction season is. and you can't begin to put pipe in the ground in september and october. not without a lot of additional costs which we've already burdened this pipeline with. and so we need to make this decision, we need to get this decision done yet this spring as early as possible so that plans can be made so that people can begin their construction season and we can begin to rationally address the infrastructure need for development of our energy resources in north america. so with that, mr. president, i yield the floor. mr. hoeven: mr. president i'd like to thank my colleague from north dakota and pick up on an important point she made and that is the energy we're producing in this country is helping consumers at the pump by bringing down prices and i'd like to turn to my colleague from kansas who wants to close
this colloquy and address that very point that we're producing more energy, we need the infrastructure to keep doing that to benefit our consumers at the pump. mr. roberts: i thank my colleague and pay credit to him for leading this colloquy and thank the other distinguished senator from north dakota for her remarks. "the washington times" today the president of the c.e.o. institute, falling oil prices have empowered the united states and weakened opec and russia and increased u.s. reducing has fundamentally reordered the world's energy markets." this is a national security issue. this is an issue for russia, the break-even point is $110, now it's $48 they never dreamed this would happen, their economy is at steak and would cause mr. vladimir putin
to think about his adventure some apartmentics around the world. and the pipeline represents not only the pipeline and everything that the distinguished senator has brought up but really a symbol that says we're going to go ahead with all of our energy production we're going to all of the above here. this isn't an either/or with green projects or fossil fuels or whatever. if you vote for the pipeline, you're voting for something that affects our national security, think about our exports to europe and vladimir companies not have his choke hold on them if you will. there is a lot more going on that people haven't thought about. one of the other thing the president told us group of republicans, two years ago he would make a decision between two or three months. it was just a matter of tying down some legal matters. and now he says he's not for it and obviously he will never be
for it. you can make whatever conclusion you want about that but it's not a good conclusion. i thank the senator. mr. hoeven: mr. president i'd like to thank the senator from kansas and with that will wrap up the colloquy and i'd like to thank my colleagues and we'll be back and again we're looking to work with all of our colleagues here on an open process to offer amendments and pass legislation that's important for the american people. thank you mr. president. with that i yield the floor. the presiding officer: under the previous order the time until 4:15 will be controlled by the democratic leader or his designee. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from maryland. mr. cardin: thank you mr. president. i take this time and some of my colleagues will be joining me to
express our concerns about the first major bill that has been brought to the floor under the republican leadership dealing with the keystone pipeline. i want to first start by talking about the so-called urgency for us to take this issue up and circumvent the normal process and the normal process would be for this matter to continue through the regulatory revie which is there for to protect the public interest, and to short circuit that and in an unprecedented way for congress to approve a site for a pipeline. that's not the way it's done. so in order to consider this there must be some urgency. first let me just share with my colleagues what the american people are currently experiencing on the price of gasoline at the pump. it's at an historic low over the last five years.
$2.19, the average price for gasoline at the pump. so there's certainly not an urgency if we're talking about trying to get more oil in the pipelines for the cost of energy and, by the way i think we all understand that our actions here in this congress will have very little to do with the availability of oil in the near term. it will take some time to construct the pipeline and for it to have an impact on the level of oil that's available. the second issue that i find somewhat puzzling on the urgency of this issue and some of my colleagues have pointed it out on both sides of this issue there is already a pipeline that's available that could be used. admittedly it's not as efficient as what they're trying to do with the keystone and that is to make tar sand, the most dirty oils we have, more economically
available, feasible to be transported. that makes little sense under today's economics and the price of gasoline makes it even more hard to understand. so this construction of this pipeline the approval by this congress will have very little to do with the consumer availability of energy here in the united states. now, that's compounded by the fact that we're talking about canadian oil the dirtiest oil, tar sand oil that's being transported through the united states because canada doesn't want to transport it through their own country because of their concerns on the environmental side, which ends up in texas at the port arthur, texas refinery. now, for those who are not family that's a foreign tax zone which is tax-free. so the oil can therefore go into
the international marketplace in a very easy manner. and valero, one of the potential users consumers of this oil is building export facilities in order to handle for exports in the international communities. none of us can speak with any definitive judgment how much of this oil will in fact end up in the united states. but the fact that they're transporting it to a southern port they're not transporting it to a refinery this the midwest which would be a lot closer and a lot cheaper is a clear indication that this oil will end up in the international marketplace. and have very little to do with energy security here in the united states. i think we've got to make that clear. so here we are bypassing the normal process we're doing it for allowing canadian oil to enter the international marketplace more efficiently with risk to the united states
with very little benefit. why are we doing all this? we hear jobs. i'm for job creation. i would like to see us work on a transportation bill where we can create millions of jobs in a far more harmonious way than we can with keystone. i'm for clean energy policies which have proven effect that will create jobs here in the united states, permanent jobs here in the united states. but the keystone pipeline, the estimates are that it creates literally a few thousand construction jobs. they're temporary jobs. they're not permanent jobs. the number of permanent jobs are a handful. so this isn't about jobs here in the united states. it's not about energy security here in the united states. what is this all about? very little benefit for the risk factors who in the united states. let me talk about the risk factors. because this is what i think gets most of us most concerned. the risk factors are the
environmental risk factors that have us the most concerned. the -- the way you extract tar sand -- and tar sand is again, is a murky type of product that is literally mined and then transported into a crude oil which is very very thick and dirty. now, there are different ways in which you can get to that tar sand but one way to get to that tar sand is take the topsoil off the property and mine it through a strip mining process. that's been done in canada. it's still being done in canada. and it does cause tremendous environmental damage. it is in and of itself a process that i think most of us would want to avoid. and yet this legislation does nothing to prevent that type of processing of the tar sands. the tar sands produce a very thick oil product that can only
make its way through the pipelines by it being processed, and it creates additional risk factors because of the way that it is processed. there have been oil spills of tar sand. we've seen it in arkansas, seen it in michigan. it caused devastating damage, devastating damage. it's not easy to clean up. it's not like normal crude. it causes permanent type damages to a community as we saw most recently in michigan. so there are risk factors involved here for the united states to take canadian oil to make it easier to reach the international marketplace unlikely to end up in the united states creating few permanent jobs. quite frankly a lot of us don't understand this. and then as i said, it's dirty oil. the use of this tar sand oil produces a much larger carbon footprint than other crude oils.
causing us additional problems in dealing with climate change. we have a serious issue with what's happening in our environment. i'm proud to represent the state of maryland. most of the people in my state live in coastal areas. they know the consequences of global climate change. they understand that. they know what's happening along the coast. they know we're at risk. they understand the fact that we had inhabitable islands in the chesapeake bay that have disappeared and are disappearing. they understand that our seafood crops, the blue crab, is threatened because the warming of the water affects sea grass growth which is critically important for juvenile crabs to survive. they understand that, they get that and they want us to be responsible in dealing with climate change. they know we're getting a lot more extreme weather on the east coast of the united states. they know on the west coast
they're getting the dry spell and the wildlife. they understand the risk factors, the cost to america of not dealing with climate change issues the cost that are involved not only in direct damage that's caused but also in the global consequences of climate change. so we are worried about our carbon footprint. we are proud that the united states is joining other countries in dealing with the climate issues. i applaud the work of president obama in the most recent international meetings that dealt with climate change issues. we need to do a better job. so why is the tar sands an issue? because tar sands produce more carbon emissions than other types of oil. it's about 81% higher than the average use of crude oil and 17% higher than the well to wheels basis of producing oil. well that's of concern. that translates into millions and millions of cars, the
difference between that and having millions of cars on the roads. it's an important part of our leadership. so if we're trying to establish international credibility and then we facilitate more of this dirty tar sand oil what message is that sending? what type of cooperation do we expect to receive? so mr. president i'm trying to figure out why this is the priority of this new leadership in the united states senate, why this is the very first bill that we have seen come to the floor of the united states senate, which as i pointed out earlier there seems to be no urgency. i have been told well, it has been delayed and delayed and delayed. the reason it was delayed is because the construction operator firm changed the routes. they did their one route and they didn't check didn't have alternatives violated state laws didn't adjust routes, and now they are wondering because they have changed the route why
it's taking longer. it's not the governmental process. it's the fact that the proposers of this route did not have their ducks lined up in order before they submitted the route that could be approved. and we're not so sure about that. and one of the points i want to bring out on process i said earlier for congress to dictate where a pipeline should be is wrong. that's not our role. we should let the regulatory process which is there to protect the public go forward. but it would also tram bl on state rights. there are some serious legal challenges pending in state courts as to the actions of governors -- the governor in dealing with the location issue. that should be resolved by the courts. we're pretty close to having that. it's very unclear to me what impact this legislation would have on states' rights as it is currently being litigated in the
state court. so why are we doing that? so delays have been caused because of the way this pipeline was suggested. the regulatory process is moving forward that will protect the public safety. there is no urgency considering where oil prices are today and gasoline at the pump. there is serious environmental risk issues. i understand that state department reports that have been mentioned frequently, but look at the state department report. look at what it's saying about the price of oil the per-barrel price of oil was a lot higher when they did that report. lower costs have a major impact on what we're talking about here. so i would urge my colleagues to let the process go forward. i thank the president for spelling out his concerns and his desire to let the regulatory process reach its conclusion, let the court the state court decision go forward as to what
the state believes is the right thing to be done here, and all of that i think will give us a much better process than us trying to substitute our judgment for what should be done through a regulatory process. and, mr. president i'm going to close by quoting from one of the individuals from nebraska who has been very active on this, ben gashaw. he says the cowboy indian alliance shows our cooperation and our working together in mutual respect. that shared bond approves that we pipeline fighters are not just a few angry landowners holding out or environmentalists pushing a narrow agenda. we are people from all walks of life and include the people who have been here the longest and know the land best." i think that's pretty instructive. this is a broad coalition that is concerned about the actions that are being contemplated here
in the united states senate, actions that would overrule landowner rights, actions that would take away state rights, actions that would short-cut regulatory process actions that would help private companies directly without taking into account the regulatory protections that are provided under law. it seems rather unusual that this would be the very first issue where we could work together in a bipartisan way to expand opportunities for energy here in the united states. cheap energy produces a lot more jobs. we could be talking about incentives so we could have a larger production of clean energy here in the united states. there democrats and republicans would clearly work together, ways that we could have more efficient use of energy, democrats and republicans could clearly work together in that
regard. there are so many areas that we could work on together and show the american people that we understood their frustration with congress' failure to deal with many issues in the last congress but instead it looks like we're picking an issue that is more special interest than it is one that will help deal with an energy problem in the united states and has the potential to broaden our environmental challenges here in the united states. for all of those reasons mr. president, i hope my colleagues will reject this approach and let us go back to work together to find a common way that we can help deal with our environment. and with that, i would suggest the absence of a quorum. mr. president, i withdraw that request. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from massachusetts. mr. markey: i thank the president. i seek recognition to speak for ten minutes. the presiding officer: the senator's recognized. mr. markey: i thank you
mr. president. mr. president, the -- the issue that we are going to be debating over the next two weeks here in the united states is really a story about two gasoline stations. in july of 2008, the average price of gasoline in america was was $4.11 a gallon. in january 2015, in the united states of america the price is is $2.21 a gallon. now, that's great for every driver across our country. that's great actually, for americans that buy home heating oil. they're saving a lot of money this winter and the predictions are that it will continue throughout the rest of this year. that's great. however, it is not great for the
oil companies. it is not great for the canadians. it's not great for wall street. they're not happy with this incredible benefit that is now flowing to americans all across our country who now have a gasoline station ha-has $2.21 on average as what -- as to what people will pay. so what does the keystone keystone x.l. pipeline really stand for? well it really stands for the keystone export pipeline. that's right. what the canadians want to do is to basically construct a straw through the united states of america, bring that straw down to port arthur, texas, which is a tax-free export zone, and then
export the oil out of the united states. now, why would they want to do that? because they advertise that it is all about north american energy independence. well there's a simple reason. that the price of oil in canada right now for this tar sands oil is getting $13 less per barrel than it would get in the united states but ahh, it is $17 less than if they can get it into ships and send it around the world. so that's the very simple economic strategy of the canadians. now, how do i know this? because i asked the head of the pipeline for trans-canada in a hearing in the house of representatives would you accept an amendment to keep all of the oil here in the united states of
america, and he said no. by the way i asked the same question of the head of the american petroleum institute. he said no. so there is a lot of false advertising going on here. on the world cup hand, they say this is great for american energy independence, and on the other hand when you say let's keep the keystone oil here in the united states and we'll have an amendment on the floor of the senate that will accomplish that goal they say oh, no, absolutely opposed to that. and so that's why logically you have to reach the conclusion that their goal is to get the extra $17 per barrel that they will get if they can get it out and start selling it to china start selling it to latin america, start selling it to other parts of the world. that's the plan. no two ways about it. and by the way that should be their plan.
that should be their plan. that's what their responsibility is. it's to the shareholders of their companies. but what's the strategy for the american driver? well that's who we have a responsibility to, to make sure that they get the lowest possible prices. my goodness they were tipped upside-down and had money shaikd out of their pockets at gas stations all across our country for years and finally finally the day of deliverance has arrived and they have $2.21 on average for the price and now we're told the price of oil is too low. we've got to get it back up again. and so the best way of accomplishing that is to start exporting oil because the less there is here, the less there is in north america is the higher the price is going to be for american drives, for american
home heating oil consumers. very simple plan. it's not about helping americans at the pump. it's about pumping up the prices for new profits for the oil companies. very simple. and if it's not then just accept an amendment that keeps all the oil here. simplest thing to do and then your rhetoric matches up with the reality of what it is that's going to happen. the fuel will stay here. they're not going to accept it. they have already made it very clear. so this is all smart of a wish list that we're going to see out here on the senate floor for the rest of this year. this is the big oil wish list of 2015. we start with the keystone extra large export pipeline to take oil and send it out of the country. then they want to lift the ban on the exportation of u.s. crude
oil, which is now on the books a ban on u.s. crude oil. this is canadian oil. there are no laws against that. then they want to begin exporting our natural gas even as again consumers businesses natural gas vehicle firms are enjoying really record low prices and transforming the american manufacturing sector and our relationship with natural gas here in america. and then to declare war on the environmental protection agency and their authority to protect americans against pollution to make sure that the fuel economy standards of the vehicles which we drive continue to rise and rise because honestly, if we want to tell opec that we're serious, if you want to keep them awake at night then we keep the oil here, the price drops. we increase the fuel economy standards, we consume less oil we have to import less oil but that's not going to be the
agenda that comes out here on the senate floor from the majority. it's going to be just the opposite. and so that's why this first debate is actually in a way a preview of coming attractions of what's going to be happening out here on the floor of the senate throughout the course of this entire year. this is kind of a keystone kabuki theater that is debuting here this afternoon on the senate floor because the reality is that this bill will never become law. the president's going to veto this bill. there aren't justice votes here to override the veto. so what we have instead is just the preview of this entire agenda notwithstanding the fact that they're not going to be supporting a national renewable electricity standard, dramatically increasing the energy efficiency laws in our
country, making sure that the canadians finally have to pay the taxes for the oil liability trust fund, which they are now exempt from. american oil companies have to in the event that there is an oil spill at a pipeline, but the canadians don't have to. th -- that's $2 billion over ten years that canadian companies have to -- that american companies have to pay but canadians don't. when the democrats took over the senate we worked together to together a comprehensive energy bill. what was in it? having a new biofuels law to expand that production, making sure that energy efficiency in america was enhanced dramatically. and we worked on a bipartisan basis and president bush, a
republican signed that bill because it was done in a bipartisan "all of the above" approach. that's not what this is about. this is not all of the above. this is oil above all. that's the strategy that the keystone pipeline embodies. shouts. it's not balanced. it's not where we should be as a country. so i say let's have an amendment on a bill -- to the bill that keeps the oil here in the united states. let's have this debate out here on the floor. let's match up the rhetoric of the oil stays here for protection of the american economy and the american driver within the reality that we voted for that to keep it here. let's have that debate. i think it's important because otherwise the canadians the american petroleum institute
continue to engage in false advertising about where this oil is going to be used. and so from my perspective, this is the dirtiest oil in the world that's going to contribute mightily to an expansion of global warming. 2014 was the warmest year ever recorded in history not withstanding the fact that it snowed here in washington d.c. yesterday. the warmest year in history. that, ladies and gentlemen is what i think the green generation out there knows as they look at this issue. what are we going to do to make sure that we avoid the catastrophic consequences of a dangerously warming planet? we have to engage in preventive care of this planet. there are no emergency rooms for planets. we have to engage in the
preventive care that makes sure that we do not pass on this ever increasing danger to future generations. we're going to get a chance to debate it. the keystone pipeline is a good example of how there is not in fact a balanced policy. so i ask for an amendment on the floor so that we can debate whether or not the oil goes through a pipeline from canada, the dirtiest oil in the world like a straw potentially causing environmental catastrophes across our country and then have it exported around the rest of the planet without the benefits -- the presiding officer: the senator's time has expired. mr. markey: and i think that this is the kind of debate that the american people expect the united states senate to engage in. and i yield back the balance of my time. mr. sanders: mr. president? the presiding officer: the
senator from vermont. mr. sanders: thank you mr. president. mr. president, i request floor privileges for my science policy fellow adria wilson, and ask unanimous consent that she be granted floor privileges throughout the remainder of the session. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. sanders: thank you mr. president. mr. president, the truth is despite our rather big egos here in the united states senate, much of what we do here is pretty quickly forgotten. people have a hard time remembering what we did two months ago or yesterday let alone last year. but i have a feeling that the bill that we are now discussing -- the keystone pipeline -- and decisions that will be made about that bill will not soon be forgotten not by our children or our grandchildren and not by people
throughout the world. and in fact, not by history. in fact, i believe that decades from now our kids and our grandchildren will scratch their heads and they will say what world were these people, members of congress, living in in 2015 when they voted for this keystone pipeline? how did it happen that they did not listen to the overwhelming majority of scientists who told us that we have got to cut greenhouse gas emissions not increase them? and i think our kids and our grandchildren will be saying to us why did you do that to us? why did you leave this planet less habitable than it could
have been? the issue that we are dealing with today is of huge, huge consequence, and i fear very much that a majority of the members here in the senate and in the congress are poised to make a very, very dangerous and wrong decision. and in that light, i am more than delighted that president obama has indicated that he will veto this bill, this keystone pipeline bill if it is passed. mr. president, climate change is one of the great threats not only facing our country but facing the entire planet. it has the capability of causing severe harm to our economy to our food supply, to access
through water and raises all kinds of international-national security issues. now let me just read an excerpt from a letter sent to the u.s. senate back in october 2009 -- and i quote -- "observations throughout the world make it clear that climate change is occurring and rigorous scientific research demonstrates that the greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are the primary driver. these conclusions are based on multiple independent lines of evidence and contrary assertions are inconsistent with an objective assessment of the vast body of peer-reviewed science. moreover, there is strong evidence that ongoing climate change will have broad impacts on society including the global
economy and on the environment. for the united states, climate change impacts include sea-level rise for coastal states, greater threats of extreme weather events and increased risk of regional water scarcity, urban heat waves western wildfires and a disturbance of biological systems throughout the country. the severity of climate change impacts is expected to increase substantially in the coming decades." end of quote. mr. president, this statement was signed by virtually every major scientific organization in this country including the american association for the advancement of science the american chemical society the american geophysical union the american institute of biological science, the american meteorological society and
many many other scientific organizations. mr. president, scientists are not the only people warning us about the danger of climate change. hear what the department of defense has to say about the impact of climate change on international and national security. what they point out -- and i think what every sensible person understands -- is that when people are unable to grow the food they need because of drought, when flood destroys their homes when people throughout the world are forced to struggle for limited natural resources in order to survive this lays the groundwork for the migrations of people and international conflict.
that's what the department of defense tells us. now, one would think given all of the scientific evidence, given the concerns raised by our own department of defense and national security experts all over the world one would think that given the fact that the most recent decade, last ten years, was the nation's warmest on record, one would think that when the national climate assessment warns us that global warming could could exceed ten degrees farenheit by the end of the century. can you imagine this planet becoming ten degrees farenheit warmer and what this means to
this planet. when sea levels have risen nearly seven inches and expected another ten inches to 2.6 feet by the end of the century when all of that is on the table one would think that this senate would be saying, all right we've got an international crisis. how do we reverse climate change? and instead what the debate is about is how we put some of the dirtiest oil in the world and more carbon emissions into the atmosphere. and i suspect that our kids and our grandchildren will look back on this period and say what world were you living in? why did you do that to us? mr. president, it would seem to me that what we should be debating here is how we impose a
tax on carbon so that we can break our dependence on fossil fuel. that's what we should be discussing not how we increase carbon emissions. we should be discussing what kind of legislation we bring forward that moves us aggressively toward energy efficiency weatherization and such sustainable energies as wind solar and geothermal. that's the kind of bill that should be on the floor. we should be having a debate about legislation which makes our transportation system far more efficient expands rail, helps us get cars and trucks off the road. we should be having a debate about how we can create the kind
of automobiles that run on electricity and make them less expensive and how we can get cars running on 80 to 100 miles per gallon. those are the kinds of debate and that's the kind of legislation we should be having on the floor. not how do we expand the production and the transportation of some of the dirtiest oil on the planet. so mr. president in my view, the united states congress in a very very profound way should not be in the business of rejecting science because when we reject science we become the laughing stocks of the world. how do we go forward? how do we prepare legislation if it is not based on scientific evidence? and to say to the overwhelming
majority of scientists we are ignoring what you're telling us, and in fact we're going to move in exactly the wrong direction i think makes us look like fools in front of the entire world. how do we go forward and tell china and tell india and tell russia and tell countries around the world that climate change is a huge planetary crisis at the same time as we facilitate the construction of the keystone pipeline? so mr. president, i am delighted that the president will veto this legislation if it happens to pass the congress. our job now is not to bring more carbon into the atmosphere. it is to transform our energy system away from coal, away from fossil fuel, into energy
efficiency and into sustainable energy. that should be the direction of this country and we should lead the world in moving in that way. and with that, mr. president, i would yield the floor and note the absence of a quorum. guest: white house has already set president obama will veto the bill. 290 members of the full house will need to vote in favor of the legislation. here is the big yesterday from the house floor. -- debate yesterday from the house floor. hat purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? mr. shuster: mr. speaker, pursuant to house resolution 19 i call up the