Skip to main content

tv   U.S. Senate  CSPAN  November 18, 2014 10:00am-4:01pm EST

10:00 am
the keystone xl oil pipeline. the measure is the same as the one introduced by bill cassidy in the house. that was passed thursday by a vote of 252-161. today's debate is scheduled for six hours with a final vote set for approximately 6:15 p.m. eastern time. the president pro tempore: the senate will come to order. the chaplain, dr. barry black, will lead the senate in prayer. the chaplain: let us pray. shepherd of love, our lives are open books to you, for you see our thoughts before they are formed and know our words before we utter a single sentence. your powers astound us.
10:01 am
today, guide our lawmakers on the path that leads to faith, inspiring them to cultivate a quiet spirit of confidence in your providential love. lord, teach them to wait with hope and to endure to the end, believing that in everything you're working for the good of those who love you and are called according to your purposes. god of grace and glory, we revel in your goodness, rejoicing because of your generous mercies. we pray in your holy name.
10:02 am
amen. the president pro tempore: please join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance to the flag. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. mr. reid: mr. president? the president pro tempore: the majority leader. mr. reid: following my remarks and those of the republican leader, we'll proceed to consideration of s. 2280. there will be six hours of debate, the time is equally divided between the proponents and opponents of the bill. senator boxer will control opponents time. senator landrieu will control an hour of proponent time and senator hoeven two hours. the senate will recess from 12:30 to 2:15.
10:03 am
at about 6:15 the senate will vote on a bill to approve the keystone pipeline. there will be a confirmation of votes on abrams, cohen and ross. there will be 30 minutes of debate prior to cloture on a motion to proceed to the u.s.a. freedom act. mr. president, as i've indicated, this evening we'll vote on the motion to proceed to the bipartisan u.s.a. freedom act, which reforms the united states government's domestic surveillance authorities under the foreign intelligence surveillance act, or fisa, as we have come to call it. in 2013, the american public first learned that the federal government collected telephone internet records of ordinary americans, even when those americans were not suspected of any wrongdoing. earlier this year senator leahy introduced the u.s. freedom act to end this bulk data collection. this bill has the support of the
10:04 am
entire united states intelligence community, including the director of national intelligence, general james clapper. it enhances privacy and sism liberties protections and continues to give the united states intens community -- intelligence community the ability to gather the information it needs to help keep america safe. two weeks ago the american people sent congress a message. let's work together. this is an excellent opportunity for democrats and republicans to work together to pass legislation that's good for this country. the chairman of the judiciary committee, pat leahy, has done tremendous work in crafting this bill. i hope we will invoke cloture today to allow us to proceed to this matter. chairman leahy will manage the bill on the senate floor in what i hope will be an open and bipartisan process. in working to craft this bipartisan legislation, i expect senators on both sides will want to offer amendments. everyone should understand there
10:05 am
is not going to be any effort to stop this by the procedural avenue we call tree filling. instead, if we get on the legislation, the bill's managers will address amendments as they are offered. i hope that democrats and republicans will be able to come to agreements for votes on a number of amendments, hopefully a reasonable number or of course we'd have no alternative then than to try to terminate that by trying to get cloture on the bill itself. i'm optimistic we can work together to forge compromise and pass this essential legislation. mr. mcconnell: mr. president? the presiding officer: the republican leader. mr. mcconnell: the recent whegd of u.s. citizen --
10:06 am
beheading of u.s. citizen peter kassig was the latest dloivment tactics by isil, an insurgency that slaughters the innocent and routinely employs suicide bombers and i.e.d.'s in its campaign of terror. the islamic state of levant has executed prisoners and captured key ter ran in statistics like mosul. americans know isil is lethal but it is also versatile. it has associates and sympathizers in countries across the west. some self-radicalized on the internet including not only in europe and canada, but right here in the u.s. and isil's fighting force continues to grow more numerous, now numbering at least 20,000 strong. with its success on the battlefield having drawn more extremists to the fight from many of the same places including, again, right here in
10:07 am
america. at its core, isil includes many seasoned veterans who once fought under the banner of al qaeda in iraq and either survived u.s. military detention or eluded our military altogether during the years of operation iraqi freedom. many of these fighters are familiar with america's intelligence capabilities and many are savvy with communications. these are terrorists who know to use encryption and they now how to change devices frequently. that's part of the reason why i'm strongly opposed to legislation offered by the chairman of the judiciary committee that would end one of our nation's critical capabilities to gather significant intelligence on terrorist threats. this is the worst possible time to be tying our hands behind our backs. the threat from isil is real. it's different from what we faced before.
10:08 am
and if we're going to overcome it, if our aim is to degrade and destroy eiffel -- isil as the president said, it's going to require smart policies and firm determination. at a minimum, at a minimum, mr. president, we shouldn't be doing anything to make the situation worse. yet, that's what this bill would do. most damagingly, it would hinder the ability of intelligence community analysts to query a data base to determine links between potential terrorists. instead the leahy bill would have this data be held by telephone companies and it would make it far harder for records to be gathered for a specific selection term. under late had i bill, the telephone -- under the leahy bill the telephone companies would face no requirement to hold the relevant data. there is a legitimate debate to be had over the proper balance to strike in our democracy, and we continue to have that debate,
10:09 am
and we should. but the opponents of this collection program have not provided any examples, no examples of the national security agency intentionally spying on innocent civilians. no examples of that. in fact, the n.s.a., the courts, and the congress have put in place detailed oversight procedures to protect both privacy and national security. moreover, the only data captured under this program is the telephone number dialed, the telephone number dialed, the number from which the call was made, and the length of the call. under section 215 of the patriot act, the content -- the content of the call -- is not captured. so i think the program weaves in place -- the program we have in place strike an appropriate balance of protecting our civil liberties and keeping the nation safe and i think the legislation before us would upend that
10:10 am
delicate balance completely. what's more, legislation with such far-reaching effects should be given the closest possible scrutiny. but this bill was never even considered by the judiciary committee or the intelligence committee. so it's unclear why the majority leader is moving to it now rather than taking up a bipartisan measure like the fisa improvements act that passed the intelligence committee on a strong bipartisan vote of 11-4. and with the current law not even expiring until next june -- next june -- it's unclear why the majority leader wants to rush this untested bill through in this lame duck session rather than after a reasonable consideration by relevant committees and by the newly elected members who will actually be responsible for overseeing the program's operation. the point is the authorities we enacted after september 11, 2001
10:11 am
which were crafted to ensure that we integrated intelligence gathered overseas and here in the united states are acutely relevant right now. right now. we live in a dangerous world. threats like isil only make it more so. and in a moment when the united states is conducting a military campaign to disrupt, dismantle and defeat isil, now is certainly not the time to be considering legislation that takes away the exact tools -- the exact tools -- we need to combat isil. our intelligence community is working to track foreign fighters returning from fighting in syria, to prevent others from traveling to the battlefield, and to keep those within syria from radicalizing their friends and family back home. it makes little sense to pass legislation that hinders our intelligence community, legislation that has yet to receive any committee
10:12 am
consideration. on that note, mr. president, today's "wall street journal" features an excellent opinion piece offered by former federal judge and attorney general michael mukasey and general michael hayden, former director of the central intelligence agency and the n.s.a. i recommend their column. n.s.a. reform that only isis could love. and i request that a copy of it be placed in the record at this point. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: now, mr. president, later today, on an entirely different matter, later today the senate will vote on whether or not to send congressman cassidy's keystone jobs bill to the president. it is a vote that's long overdue but certainly welcome. keystone x.l. is common sense. it's a shovel ready jobs project that will help thousands of americans find work.
10:13 am
it will increase our supply of north american energy and it would do all that with minimal net climate impact. that's why the american people support it. that's why republicans support it. that's why so many rank and file democrats support it too. i wish the senate would have followed the lead of congressman cassidy and his house colleagues in approving keystone years ago. it's just common sense. those who took a serious look at the science and the potential benefits reached the conclusion long ago, they understand that the whole drama over keystone has been as protracted as it is unnecessary. we hope to turn the page on all of today. the reason we're atoe're able te this vote is because the american people sent a strong message earlier this month. they told us they just want washington to get on with approving serious policies like keystone and then move on. that's why after years of delay and so many thwarted attempts to bring keystone up for a vote the
10:14 am
democratic leadership has finally after six years allowing us to vote on passage of the cassidy keystone bill. that's a good thing and it's a step forward. now it will be up to our friends on the other side to vote with us and actually pass the cassidy keystone bill through congress. the president's remarks opposing this bipartisan legislation are certainly not helpful. republicans are committed to getting keystone approved. we want to see those jobs created as soon as possible. that's what the people want. the house already acted long ago, and congressman cassidy and his colleagues like senator hoeven who is here on the floor, deserve recognition for their years of hard work on this issue. so i would urge a "yes" vote on the legislation to send congressman cassidy's keystone bill to the president and create more american jobs. if not, then a new majority after the beginning of the year will be taking this matter up and sending it down to the president. i also want to just take a moment to thank the senator from
10:15 am
north dakota for his persistence on this issue for literally years. without his leadership, i don't know where we would be. and i just want to extend my gratitude to him for his great work on this matter. i yield the floor. mr. leahy: mr. president, would the republican leader yield for a question? mr. president, would the republican leader yield for a question? well, then i unfortunately will not yield for a -- unfortunately, he will not yield for a question, but i would note based on his concerns about the bipartisan piece of legislation regarding n.s.a. and others and his concern about isil, which we all share, that n.s.a. and all our intelligence community had every single -- every single tool the republican leader
10:16 am
advocates for while isil built up its strength, while isil had iraq's army flee from them, while they went forward, and with every single one of those elements that the republican leader advocates for, there was not one single alarm bell that rang. so let's -- let's deal with facts, not hypotheses. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the leadership time is reserved. under the previous order, the senate wil will proceed to the consideration of s. 2280, which the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 371, s. 2280, a bill to approve the keystone x.l. pipeline. mrs. boxer: parliamentary inquiry, if i might -- the presiding officer: excuse me. under the previous order, there are six hours of debate equally divide you had between proponents and opponents of this measure. the senator from california.
10:17 am
mrs. boxer: yes, i have a parliamentary inquiry. senator mcconnell called the bill we're debating the cassidy keystone bill? and i thought we're debating the keystone x.l. pipeline bill. could you give me clarity. the presiding officer: the senate is considering s. 2280. mrs. boxer: so we are considering the hoeven-landrieu bill. i just wanted that to be clear. the presiding officer: yes. the senator from north dakota. h.o.v. today we vote on the bill. we have a total of 56 sponsors. it is a bipartisan bill. that's the same bill that has been passed in the house of representatives. that was passed on friday -- the
10:18 am
same version, the prime sponsor in the house was senator cassidy. as i say, the bill we vote on today is -- excuse me, representative cassidy. the bill we vote on today, senate bill 2280, is approval of the keystone x.l. pipeline. we've actually passed legislation on keystone x.l. pipeline before. this is not the first bill. in 2012, we passed legislation that required the president to make a decision on the keystone x.l. pipeline. we attached it to the payroll tax holiday. at that time, the president turned down the pipeline project. so here we are today and we've submitted a number of different pieces of legislation. but this legislation today actually has congress approving
10:19 am
the keystone x.l. pipeline. when the president turned down the project, what we did is we went back and we did the research. and under the commerce clause of the constitution, congress has the authority to oversee commerce with foreign powers with other countries. so in this situation congress has the authority to approve the keystone x.l. pipeline crossing the border from canada into the united states. and that's what we crafted in this legislation. so rather than the president making a national interest determination, which he seems to be unwilling to do -- and i say that based on his actions. we've now been at this for about four years in this senate trying to get approval, but this project has been in the application process for six years. i was governor of north dakota back in september of 2008 when the trans-canada company applied for a permit to get approval to
10:20 am
build the keystone x.l. pipeline p. they'd already built the keystone pipeline, so they were applying for approval to build the sister pi sister pipeline, e x.l. pipeline. started in 2008. we started working on this in about 2011 in the senate, passed legislation, trying to get the president to approve it. but it's now been -- and i can show a chart with the time line. it's now been six years in the permitting process. so the time has come to act. the time has come to act. and that's what this legislation is all about. it provides approval of the keystone x.l. pipeline, so they can move forward and be constructed. now, we've debated this issue, as i say, in this chamber for almost four years. and so we've gone through all of the merits. and we'll do that again today.
10:21 am
we'll do that again today. we've not only come to an agreement on getting a vote, but we've also come to agreement on the parameters for the debate. it's six hours of debate, three hours for the proponents, three hours for the opponents. on the republican side of the aisle, we're taking two hours, solely on the proponents' side, because because al all republics are in favor of the project. on the majority side there will be three hours for opponents of the project making their case and an hour for the proponents making their case, and we'll alternate throughout the day. so we'll be here having this debate today, and we'll make our case, and i'll continue with my colleagues to make the case for the pipeline. there will be members of the majority party that will make
10:22 am
that case, and there will be some members obviously in opposition. and so i'll reserve some of my time to speak later, but the point i really want to make here at the outset is that this is really about the american people making the case. i mean, when you look at this project, it's about energy, it's about jobs, it's about economic growth, it creates tax revenue to help reduce the deficit and the debt, it doesn't cost one penny of federal money or government money, it's privately funded, and it's about national security, it's about national security by helping us build energy security in this country with our closest friend and ally, canada. working together, with canada, so that we don't have to get energy from venezuela or from the middle east or other parts of the world. we can produce it right here at home.
10:23 am
and so that's not only a vitally important issue in terms of our economy and being competitive in a global economy -- because energy is truly a foundational sector for all the other industry sectors. when we have low-cost, dependable energy, we are more competitive as a country, but it really is a national security issue. i see the good senator from vermont is on the floor. he's got a bill that deals with how we handle surveillance, covert information, given the terrorist threat that we face. and it's important that we do that well, but one of the ways to truly strengthen our country is to make sure that we're energy-secure, to make sure that we don't have to get oil from the middle east, to help our friend and allies in europe so they're not dependent on russia for energy when putin engages in the kind of aggression that he
10:24 am
has. so when we talk about this energy issue, it's not just jobs, it's not just the in thar- it's not just the energy that we get that makes us stronger in a global competitive economy, it really is a national security issue. it is long past time to afnlgt it'-- it's long past time to ac. it's been six long years. i hope that we'll have the 60 votes that we need and we'll find out this evening when we vote. but again it comes back to what do the american people want? we are here representing the american people. and overwhelmingly, in poll after poll, when they've been asked, 60% up -- sometimes 70% and more, they say build the keystone x.l. pipeline. that's who we work for. and so i hope that today at the end of the day that's the work we'll get done for the american people. mr. president, i see my cosponsor on the floor, and i would turn to the good senator
10:25 am
from louisiana. ms. landrieu: thank you. mr. president -- the presiding officer: the senator from louisiana. ms. landrieu: i thank my cosponsor and lead sponsor on the bill, the former governor and good senator from north dakota, who's been a great leader and partner with me on this. as the american people have absolutely figured out, democrats can't -- democrats cannot do anything alone, and neither can republicans. it's taken us a while to figure that out here in the senate and in the house of representatives, but the american people figured this out a long time ago. just like they figure out practical things, like how to keep the roof over their head, food on the table, how to keep their kids moving forward even through difficulty. the american people are very, very, very smart. and i trust them, always have, and i've been honored to represent the people of louisiana, 4.5 million people,
10:26 am
and done my very best to represent them in the time that i'm here, and hope to continue for years to quom. one of the things that d. for years to come. one of the things that new england know that's not -- one of the things that they know that's not clear to people here is that it takes both parties working together compromising to get the job done for them -- not nor us, for them. and i think we forget that a lot. i'm in a lot of meetings around here where people kind of talk about what's good for the democratic caucus, what's good for the republican caucus, what's good for leader reid, what's good for leader mcconnell, and it's kind of interesting to me, because the family that i grew up in was all about public service, not for ourselves but for the people that we represent. that's why i'm on the floor today. that's why i've actually been on the floor dozens of times on this bill and bills similar to this. this is a keystone bill, which
10:27 am
i've supported with senator hoeven literally for years, in fact i have a letter from 2011 with orrin hatch, who was the leader signer with me. senator mcconnell's signature wasn't on the letter. maybe he was busy that day and couldn't sign it. but about 156 us sen 15 of us sr back in 2011 urging secretary of state hillary clinton -- this is how far back it goes -- but a long time ago saying it was really important for us to get this pipeline built for any number of reasons. the main reason -- the main reason -- is that it will signal a great sign that america understands that energy independence for our nation is possible for the first sim ever.
10:28 am
and -- for the first time ever. and when i say "energy independence," i mean energy independence for the north american continent. we might -- might -- be able to do it in just the lower 48. we might. hawaii can contribute some. alaska, clearly, can contribute a lot. so we might be able to do it in the 50 states. but i know beyond a shadow of a doubt that with our partners in canada and mexico, this can be done. and north america can be the super-energy powerhouse of the planet. why is that important? there are so many reasons. i just want to name two, and then i'm going to sit down and reengage in this debate, because barbara boxer, who is the lead
10:29 am
opponent, wants and has indicated her time on the floor, and i have more time later today. but one of the reasons this is so important is because what people in louisiana want, what people in texas want, what people in mississippi want, what people in new jersey want, what people in south dakota and illinois and kansas and vermont are good-paying jobs. and when a country or a continent, as blessed as we are, uses its resources wisely to create wealth -- not just for those at the top, which is what's happening right now. just at the top, the people at the top are doing great. the fancy restaurants that i walk by and see and sometimes i'm actually in them myself -- i mean, people are drinking champagne and they're buying new cars, and i see mercedes and
10:30 am
people see that but people in the middle class in this country are really struggling. and so our job here as leaders is to have our eyes on them, providing for them, and these energy jobs are not minimum-wage jobs. they're not even $15-an-hour jobs. they're not even $30-an-hour jobs. they're $45-an-hour jobs. our labor men and women who represent the middle class -- some unionized, some not, but all hardworking -- i'm going to say that again. some union-ized, some not. but all hardwork being. how would we know? i've stood in line with them at 4:00 in the morning or 5:00 at a shift change. i do it regularly, but a lot during election tievment i felt their hand. i know how cold they are in the morning and how rough they are because they work all day. they would expect us to work longer than we do here because we have real short weeks -- tuesday through thursday.
10:31 am
we take long lunch house, long weekends. most americans think we have completely lost it. because they work hard from morning till night. their hands are tough. and they expect us to stand up for them. that's why i'm standing here. so i've been fighting for this because of energy independence for america. i would know something about that because texas and louisiana, oklahoma, our area of the country, we are proud producers of energy. we produce mostly oil, mostly gas, a little bit of coal. we generate a lot. and just f.y.i. to everybody that thinks this pipeline is the rest of the world we already have 2.6 million miles of pipe in america. 2.6 million miles of pipe. we're only completing basically 1,000 miles. what is everybody upset about?
10:32 am
we've been building pipelines in this country for a long, long time and we need to build this one. this is about energy independence. it's about jobs. that's why i'm here. this is what the people want, and i'm going to close with this. for the 25th time at least, i want to say this because i want the record of the congress to reflect this because it is the truth whether people acknowledge it or not. the record of this congress will reflect this to be the truth, that some of us -- not just me -- some of us have worked to get this bill to the floor for years. and it was blocked by both majority leader harry reid and minority leader mitch mcconnell, for their own political reasons. those reasons cleared up after the election. it just cleared up.
10:33 am
mitch mcconnell couldn't bring this bill to the floor without allowing a vote on the e.p.a. coal regulation. barbara boxer knows this. this is the truth. and she wouldn't allow the vote because she is adamantly opposed to having a vote on e.p.a. i respect that. i respect her. everyone here knows that is the truth. harry reid didn't want this vote to come up because there were one or two members of our caucus that they had a serious issue with this being voted on. so i knew that, and as a part of a team -- and i try to be part of a team but i'm independent -- i knew that the results of the election, with the senator from mcconnell winning and some of these senators, unfortunately my dearest friends losing, that we had an opportunity. and i took that opportunity. i called for this vote. not harry reid. not mitch mcconnell. i called for it. and i think it's worth fighting for. and i'm telling you, the last
10:34 am
thing i want to say, thanksgiving's coming up and christmas is coming up, and it's a shame that this congress has not delivered more in the last five or six years for the middle class. we say we try. i'm not sure we're trying hard enough. so i'm going to lead by example. it's the way i was raised. we're going to really try today. one of the first debates i've been in in eight years at least where the outcome is uncertain, because all of the rest of the stuff we do here is preset, preordained and it's like theater for the american people. we usually know the outcome of the vote before we take it because the deals are all cut. so i brought this bill to the floor knowing in my heart that we have 60 votes. i sure hope we've got the courage that supports that. i yield the floor. mrs. boxer: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from california. mrs. boxer: thank you so much.
10:35 am
i'll be controlling the time in the opposition, very strong opposition to this. before i yield, the first debate on our side will be senator leahy, chairman leahy. i'm very honored that he will be. let me say before senator landrieu leaves the floor, senator landrieu is -- is -- the only reason that we are debating this today. so anyone who wants to play games about this and name this bill the cassidy bill, which kind of is a joke because i believe i'm correct that he introduced it november 12 of this year, and the hoeven-landrieu bill was introduced in may. but set that politics aside. let the record be clear forever, this debate would not be before this body were it not for senator landrieu's insistence. i want to be clear.
10:36 am
secondly, you're going to hear today, i think, a terrific debate, because the people who support this think not only that this is a good thing for the country to build the keystone x.l. pipeline, they think it is a great thing for this country. and i have great respect for them. on the other side, we have those of us who think it is not a good thing for this country, it is not a good thing for jobs, it is not a good thing for energy independence because it's going to be exported, all that oil. and it's actually dangerous. in my case, i was thinking what does x.l. stand for? they named it the keystone x.l. it has no meaning. but to me it's extra lethal. and my debate will show why as you analyze the tar sands oil that is going to be coming into this nation, 45% more than we
10:37 am
have now, the risky business that it has proven to be, and what the health costs are for our people. and that's not me. that's nurses and doctors saying so. and i haven't gotten into climate and all the other issues. so at this point i yield five minutes to my friend, senator leahy. mr. leahy: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from vermont. mr. leahy: mr. president, i know that the distinguished senator from louisiana has the majority of votes in this body for the keystone pipeline, and that is a compliment to her hard work in getting it, aside from a minority of votes or a majority of votes. i will not be one of them, as she knows, because i represent what is the view of my fellow constituents in vermont. we feel that this pipeline is
10:38 am
part of the unquenchable thirst for oil that's destroying our environment. we feel that construction is going to move forward unless and until we get a comprehensive national energy plan, and this pipeline won't lead us toward that. it leads to us an energy policy of the past. the tar sands requiring energy-intensive process complete with the pollution and harmful emissions to get them out of the ground, to extract them, to refine them. the sound bite, the first year of operation of the existing keystone pipeline -- and that was built, as you recall, the safest pipeline in history was built a few years in 2010, it has spilled 12 times in its first year of operation. that's more than any other pipeline in u.s. history. and the worrisome part about
10:39 am
that is these tar sands are harder to clean up. ask the communities along the kalamazoo river in michigan. it has cost more than $1 billion so far, $1 billion so far to clean up a tar sands spill in 2010. and more than four years later it's still a mess. and landowners continue to wait for help to restore their property. now, i realize this will create jobs as it goes down bypassing refineries in the midwest. it will head straight for the coast, so the oil can be used in export markets pumped on ships headed for china. that may be good news for the chinese. it's not good news to the american people who are stuck with the safety risks, the health challenges, future environmental disasters and so forth. so i will not be among the majority who vote for it today.
10:40 am
in another matter while i have the floor -- and i'd ask consent that these brief remarks be as in morning business. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. leahy: mr. president, the distinguished republican leader spoke against the u.s.a. freedom acts earlier this morning. unfortunately, he was too busy to respond to a couple of simple questions, so maybe i would -- even though he was asked to. i would note that the disclosure, the fact that section 215 of the u.s.a. patriotic act has been secretly interpreted for years to allow bulk collection of telephone records and unlike comments made earlier there were no hearings on this, this came about after numerous congressional hearings, including six -- six -- public hearings in the senate judiciary
10:41 am
committee, at least two panels of independent experts concluded the bulk collection program has not been essential to keep our sunt safe. we have wide bipartisan agreement in both the senate and the house that bulk phone records collection program is not essential. it violates america's privacy. it has to end. so my question is whether to end it and when, not whether to end it, but when and how. this legislation is the result of several months of intense discussions and deliberations with the intelligence community, stakeholders across the political and economic speck trum has the unprecedent -- spectrum has the unprecedented support of the director of national intelligence, the attorney general, privacy and civil liberty groups ranging from the aclu and e.f.f. to the
10:42 am
n.r.a. and tech freedom and the director of the n.r.a. and lawmakers from all parts of the political spectrum support it. so let's get it done now when it can be done. and i'd ask both my statements, my full statement be made part of the record and i ask also consent that several letters, editorials in support of the u.s.a. freedom act of 2014 be printed in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. leahy: and i yield the floor, and i thank the distinguished senator from california for giving me this time.
10:43 am
the presiding officer: the senator from california. mrs. boxer: mr. president, i thank the distinguished chairman of the judiciary committee for his remarks. they mean a lot. i want to put this vote into perspective. this is a major decision. people sometimes say, oh, what is the big deal? it is a little pipeline. we build pipelines all the time. well, it's a major decision. and i know that each of us, regardless of our party, before we cast a major vote, we think, is our vote going to make life better for our people that we represent, the people who send us here, who count on us every day. and i'm going to do everything in my power to make the case that building the keystone x.l. tar sands pipeline is going to
10:44 am
make life worse for the people we represent and those generations to follow, because i think i will prove to you today that misery follows the tar sands. i said before it's called keystone x.l. extra lethal. not extra large, but extra lethal. senators should ask themselves three questions before they cast their vote on the hoeven-landrieu bill. first, why does it make any sense for the senate to force the priewfl of a -- the approval of a project that will bring millions of brs of the dirtiest -- millions of barrels of the dirtiest pollution you can think of into america? why do we want to bring barrels of filthy, dangerous, dirty pollution into america? this isn't an ordinary pipeline.
10:45 am
this pipeline is carrying tar sands oil, which is in fact the most polluted kind of oil. and i'm going to tell you why. this isn't hyperbole. tar sands oil contains levels of toxic pollutants and metals that are much higher than conventional crude oil. and i want to make this case. president obama said, when he became president, that he would do everything in his power to make us energy-efficient and to make us energy-independent, and he has worked on bodg both fron. we have seen a tremendous rise in domestic oil production. it is not tar sands oil. it is not filthy oil. conventional crude oil is different than the tar sands. the tar sands has 11 times more sulfur and nickel, six times
10:46 am
more nitrogen, and five times more lead. so let me say that again ... before we invite a 45% increase in this filthy, dirty oil, let's take a look at what this tar sands is. it's got more sulfur and nickel and nitrogen and more lead. now, i know my colleague, who is sitting in the chair, cares deeply about environmental justice. and in the course of my presentation, i'm going to show what happens in places like port arthur, texas, in minority communities when this oil is refined. and we can show that photograph now. what i'm trying to impress on the body today is i am approving the points that i am making. the facts are the facts are the
10:47 am
facts. this is what it looks like in port arthur, texas, and this is what the kids have to put up with. here is a playground in a low-income community, and i had the activists from port arthur, texas, here saying, please, please, please protect us from this oil. now, these dangerous ple dangers that i cited and these metals can be very harmful to human health. sulfur dioxide opinion ta tax -- penning tax rates into the lungs -- sulfur dioxide penetrates into the lungs and cause causes emphysema. you will not hear a word that have from the proponents. but this has to be looked at. that's why i stood with the nurses and the public health doctors, to say time out for a
10:48 am
minute here. what is we doge t doing our peot we say we're helping with the tar sands? it aggravates heart disease, leading to increased hospital admissions and premature deaths. nitrogen dioxide increases respiratory simple toms in people -- symptoms in people with asthma. i ask kids in schools how many of you have asthma and almost half the class raises their hands, if not more. tar sands will exacerbate that problem. we know about lead, how dangerous lead is, how long it took us to get lead out of pai paint. it adversely affects the nervous smg, the kidney system, the cardiovascular system. misery follows the s.a.r tar sa.
10:49 am
the keystone x.l. extra lethal pipeline. we are talking about huge quantities coming through this pipeline. coming across the canadian border heading down to our gulf coast region every single day. again, a 45% increase in the tar sands oil, a 45% increase in those heavy metals and those dangerous pollutants. and this project could be just the beginning. we already know again misery follows the tar sand. from the ex-stracttraction t the refining to the waste disposal. let me show you a picture of pet coke, petroleum coke. again, an environmental justice question, because what we have is -- this is what is left after
10:50 am
the refining, and it gets sent all across the country. and this is a picture of pet coke in, we believe -- chicago. pet coke piles. senator durbin is going to talk more about this. this is a serious environmental hazard. the poison that's in this residue in a windstorm just blows around and we have stories of -- in the press in chicago of a little league game being interrupted because the pet coke was blowing all over the field, and the kids were getting pitch black with the pet coke. so, yes, i have stood with doctors and nurses and people in these communities who have faced harm along each step of the tar sands oil process.
10:51 am
these are cancer-causing pollutants. so when somebody tells you, oh, this is nothing, this is a pipeline, we have a lot of pipelines, this is nothing, no big deal, why are you fighting, why are you standing up here, why did i demand three hours of time in opposition ... because this is a dangerous project. now, why should we vote to force the approval of a project that will bring this dirty, polluted tar sands into the u.s. when we know it is the most difficult type of oil to clean up in case of a spill i? according to the e.p.a., tar sands oil creates especially difficult challenges to clean-up when the pipelines ruptures because it is so heavy, it sinks to the bottom of the water. you only have to look at the spill in michigan's kalamazoo
10:52 am
river in 2010, which they still haven't cleaned up, mr. president. 2010. and in may flower, arkansas, in 2013 -- we'll show you a picture from them -- this is what happened when there was a spill. these spills are not cleaned up. this came right into residential communities. so, again, dirty, filthy oil and the toughest to clean up in case of a spill, and we know, as sure as i'm standing here, if this is built, there will be a spill because that happens. and it has already happened in 2010 and in 2013. now, of the projected 830,000 barrels of tar sands oil, most of it isn't going to go to our domestic use, and that's the
10:53 am
other question. why would you want to bring this dirty, polluted tar sands oil that you can't clean up into our country if practically all of it is going to be exported? and we will have to bear the burdens of the refining, the filth in the acres the pe air, e in our cities, as we see the products being exported to other countries. now, i could stop here -- i'm sure the proponents wish i would, but i'm not, because if you're not convinced that this is an enormous mistake, i've not five reasons. a deeper look at the health of our people. i've already said, tar sands,
10:54 am
the filthiest oil on the planet. and i've already told you that i've stood with nurses and doctors to make this point. downwind from the tar sands extraction sites and refineries in canada, significantly higher levels of dangerous pollutants and carcinogens have been documented. people laving in th living in ty communities are suffering. i have met them. i've talked to them on the phone. they flew down here to stand by my side to call ateption to the- you to call attention to the health impacts. people are suffering higher rates of cancers linked to toxic chemicals, including leukemia, non-hodgkin's lymphoma. thithat is a fact. the big oil companies won't talk about it. the koch brothers won't talk about it. my republican friends boants'ses won't talk about -- my
10:55 am
republican friends won't talk about it. and i'm going to enter into the record a university of california irvine-university of michigan peer-reviewed study documenting elevated cancer rates near tar sand processing zones, and this was an article, peer-reviewed, december 2013. if i matif i might place this ie record. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. boxer: so once it leaves canada and is transported to refineries in the u.s., the tar sand oil would increase the pollution that already plagues communities like port arthur, which i'll show you again. now, port arthur is already refining tar sands oil. this is going to greatly increase the amount of tar sands oil they're going to be refining. and they are on the aps e.p.a.'s list of cities with dangerous
10:56 am
ozone levels, people suffering with skin irritations, respiratorrespiratory ailments . the oil companies aren't going to tell but this, the koch brothers aren't going to tell you about this, and my republican friends aren't going to tell but this, but i'm going to tell but this. tar sands will add another threat to port arthur and other communities that are already in distress. and i would ask unanimous consent to place into the record an article describing health problems experienced by families living near port arthur refineries, and it's entitled "everyone deserves clean air and equal protection from pollution," dated august 12, 20146789 ma14u play i.
10:57 am
may i place that in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. boxer: to get to the gulf coast, tar sands will be transported by pipeline through communities and environmentally sensitive areas in six states. we know from experience how harmful this could be, again because of how hard it is to clean up after a spill. and we know about the pet coke and i've shown you the pel pet , which is black dust containing some heavy metals. open piles of this waste began to appear at unprecedented levels in midwestern communities and it has sparked health and environmental krn concerns in my neighborhoods in detroit and chicago. now, could we show that -- let's take this down. and shoand show the chicago pice again. so in this chicago neighborhood,
10:58 am
billowing black clouds of pet coke forced little league players off the baseball field. the children were forced to seek cover from the clouds of black dust that pelted homes and cars. according to the one newspaper, "kids that were playing ball were sent scurrying away because the stuff was getting into their eyes, onto their faces and into their mouths and everything. they just had to get the heck out of there." and i'd like to enter into the record at this time an article that says, "in chicago, piles of petroleum coke suggest the future of canadian tar sands oil," dated november 18, 20136789 ma, 2013.may i place te record as well. the presiding officer: without objection u. mrs. boxer: now, when this pet coke started to blow all across
10:59 am
the communities, reserve -- ress felt they cannot safely open their windows in the summer for fear the black clouds would trigger their children's as mavment we know thattime type of toxic air pollution can increase the number o and severity of asthma attacks and contribute to other lung diseases. asthma, the federal government has said asthma has become a national epidemic. this is a picture of a little girl who's having a hard time breathing. i'd say to my friend from kansas, i have another 15 minutes, just for his information. so this is a photo of a little girl who is having difficulty breathing because she has asth asthma. the federal government has said, asthma has become -- and i'm quoting -- "a national epidemic,
11:00 am
which affects one out of every 1012people or 26 million americs and 7 million of these are children." we don't need more asthma. american communities don't need more pet coke. but my republican friends aren't going to talk to you about asthma. they're not going to quote the oil companies saying what a great job they're doing preventing it. ultimately, the keystone tar sands pipeline decision should be based on whether the project is in the national interest. so today i ask rhetorically of my colleagues, how are more americans with asthma in the national interest? how are more americans with cancer in the national interest? how is it in the national interest when kids playing baseball have to duck and cover from dangerous pollution? the health of our children and
11:01 am
our families are at stake. and we have a right to know how tar sands oil would affect our health, and unfortunately we don't have all the information we need to have. senator whitehouse and i wrote to secretary john kerry asking for a comprehensive health impact study on our tar sands -- on the tar sands oil and how the keystone pipeline will impact the health of communities across the nation. we don't have the studies. now, again, senator whitehouse and i, we're not physicians. that's why we stood with the nurses and the doctors. the nurses, a gallup poll has found that 12 years in a row that nursing is the most trusted profession. okay? so the national nurses united, which is the nation's largest professional association of registered nurses -- 185,000
11:02 am
strong -- they've joined our call for a comprehensive health study. and we have their letter, mr. president, if i might put it into the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. boxer: the nurses concur with senators boxer and whitehouse that what is known today about the health hazards associated with the expansion of tar sands is just a sampling and they believe the consequences of the keystone x.l. have been substantially ignored in state department's final e.i.s. and it needs to be addressed. the american public health association wrote us a letter. i ask unanimous consent to place that in the record as well. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. boxer: and they say the same thing, there's an increasing recognition that the environments in which people live, work and learn have tremendous impact on their health. the administration will certainly benefit by having a better understanding of how the proposed keystone pipeline could
11:03 am
impact the public health. and they go on to say, "the full spectrum of health considerations are often overlooked and their emission can lead to policies and practices that are unnecessarily harmful to the public health." now, maybe senators feel they know more than doctors or nurs nurses. maybe they do. good luck. they don't. and we should listen to doctors and nurses, just like we should listen to scientists when they talk to bus climate change. this whole thing -- talk to us about climate change. this whole thing -- "i'm not a scientist." that's right, you're not, republicans. so listen to the scientists. you know? this answer is perplexing to me. if you're not a scientist, then be humble and listen to the peer-review scientists. if you're not a doctor and you're not a nurse, be humble. they don't have a special interest. they have an interest in giving us information.
11:04 am
we should base our decisions upon. now i'm going to talk about the environment. you know, this pipeline is going to go through the oglala aquifer, one of the world's largest underground sources of fresh water. it provides water to farms in eight states, accounting for a quarter of the nation's cropland as well as municipal drinking wells. now, remember what i told you before, that when this oil gets into water, it is the most difficult oil to clean up because it's so heavy. while there's 2,537 wells within one mile of the proposed pipeline, including 39 public water supply wells, 20 private wells within a hundred feet of the pipeline right-of-way. if the pipeline were to leak
11:05 am
near the aquifer, the tar sands oil would quickly seep into the sandy soil and contaminate water supplies for millions of people. i've already shown you a spill in arkansas. these spills happen. now, if a spill occurred near any of these aquifers, it would be tragic. local residents know the harm the pipeline could cause. i'll show you some pictures of local objecting ts objecting toe pipeline. in april, a group of ranchers, farmers and tribal leaders gathered in washington, d.c., for a rally. they wanted to send a strong signal to congress that they want their way of life protected. their farms, their tribal lands and their ranches. now, you're going to hear from tar sands proponents that the keystone pipeline will be safe,
11:06 am
it will be a safe alternative to rail shipment of oil, but experience tells us otherwise. in 2010, that pipeline ruptured, spilled over a million gallons in michigan. the local health department ordered the evacuation of 50 households. approximately 100 families were advised not to drink water. one resident living near the kalamazoo river had to abandon her home because the stench from the spill made her dizzy and nauseous and sick, classic signs of acute exposure to tar sands. another resident who was pregnant said she couldn't breathe. she said -- quote -- "my eyes were burning, my nose was burning. it smelled like a diesel tanker had turned over in the front of my house." now, you will not hear this from the proponents. the michigan spill was the largest inland spill in history
11:07 am
and more than four years and a billion later, it is not cleaned up. this summer, parts of the kalamazoo river were closed as dredging efforts continued to remove oil from the bottom of the river. and i talked to you about arkansas. residents were exposed to benzene, a known carcinogen, hide begin sulfite. people suffered, dizziness, nausea, headaches, respiratory problems -- all classic symptoms of exposure to the chemicals found in the tar sands. there's a section of tar sands that's already been built, the pipeline, in the gulf region. it's already experiencing problems that could result in another pipeline spill but you won't hear that from the proponents. according to bloomberg business week, the pipeline and hazardous materials safety administration, fimsa, found a systemic problem
11:08 am
with substandard wells on portions of the pipeline. in fact, during one week when the pipeline was being monitored, regulators found that over 70% of the wells were flawed and required repairs. senators should pay attention to the facts. people are sick around the tar sands. when it spills, it threatens their way of life, harms them physically. all you have to look to is the evidence to see that x.l. stands for extra lethal and misery follows the tar sands. now i'm going to talk about climate. i want to explain here that once we begin transporting the dirty tar sands oil through that pipeline, it would unleash more carbon pollution and harm our nation's effort to address
11:09 am
dangerous climate change. the state department says a barrel of tar sands oil would create at least 17% more carbon pollution than domestic oil. the state department says compared to average crude oil, burning the amount of tar sands oil from keystone extra lethal pipeline could add an additional 27.4 metric tons -- i'm sorry, would add an additional 27.4 million metric tons of carbon pollution each year. now, that's a fact. you don't hear the proponents talk about that. i know we have the senator from now now who has now taken over the chair. he knows what climate change is doing to hawaii already. i was in the state. i took a tour. i was at a conference that he organized.
11:10 am
and we know we can't afford th this. if we allow this to happen, we would see the carbon pollution that you would get from adding 5.8 million new cars to the road or wiping out the carbon pollution reductions that we gained from the first round of fuel economy improvements for heavy duty trucks. wiped out. wiped out. and i believe this is a fact, that if we do this, we'd see the equivalent of eight new coal-fired plants and those are dirty. eight new coal-fired plants. that's the equivalent of what we would be getting here in terms of the carbon pollution. every year. an august 2014 study in the peer review journal "climate change" estimated the increase of fuel consumption caused by keystone
11:11 am
x.l. would result in up to 110 million metric tons of carbon pollution each year. that's four times the state department's high-end estimate. now, i said eight coal-fired plants, right? this peer-reviewed study says it's 29. so, mr. president, we have two estimates. one says it's the equivalent of building eight new dirty coal-fired power plants and another peer-reviewed study said that it would be equal to building 29 new coal-fired power plants here in the u.s. 29. think about it in your mind's-eye. all you need to do is look at china to see what happens when you throw the environment under the bus. is this the kind of world we want to see for our kids? is this the future?
11:12 am
this isn't hyperbole. this is a picture of -- i was in china in a fantastic trade trip and i never saw the sun for 10 days save for one day when it sort of peeked out. and the guide said, isn't it a beautiful day? no, it wasn't a beautiful day at all. there was like a semblance of a little sun behind a cloud. why do you think people love the environmental protection agency in our country? 70% strong. it's because they know this could be america. you throw the environment under the bus, this is what it will look like. now, some of my colleagues say they don't want to act on climate change, especially my republican colleagues. i don't know of a one that's ready.
11:13 am
and they say, well, china is building coal-fired plants. well, the president just came back and the president did have an agreement with china to move forward because the chinese people can't live like this either any more. and the social unrest that is the big fear of beijing that starts to bubble up has a lot to do with this. we've had a breakthrough agreement. would this be the time, in the face of this progress, to approve this pipeline? i say it's ridiculous timing. it's ridiculous. i remember a time when saving the environment was bipartisan. i remember leaders like john chafee, john warner. now i don't see one republican ready to step forward and say it's time to put a price on this pollution and stop this
11:14 am
pollution. my state has done it. oh, my state is doing great. just great. new jobs. and i'll put some information into the record on that. now, canada's natural resources minister said -- quote -- "in order for crude oil frowks grow, the -- oil production to grow, the north american crude oil pipeline network must be expanded. so we know this is just the start. now climate. everyone can say what they will. "i'm not a scientist." "i don't know." over the past few months, we've seen everything from the hottest august, the hottest september on record and the hottest october on record. we've seen historic droughts and extreme wildfires. i've seen them in my state. we've seen vanishing wildlife
11:15 am
habitat in alaska, toxic algae blooming out of control and contaminating drinking water supplies in toledo, ohio, because the water is getting h hot. and the algae that couldn't survive in the colder waters survives in the warmer waters. we see these wake-up calls every day. but instead of confronting that crisis, we have the party of "no" saying, "no, i'm not a scientist." and "no, i won't listen to them." and we do nothing. and this project does the opposite. it makes matters worse. now, there's a lot of talk about how we need this oil to become energy independent. let me tell you something. we're going to see gas prices go up if this thing goes forward and i'll explain why. this is from economists, not from me.
11:16 am
and it is not a win for america. big oil will be the winners. you have to know u.s. gasoline demand is on the decline and economists say it will continue to be through 2040. and since 2011, the u.s. has exported more gasoline, diesel and other fuels than it imported. so big oil will be the big winners here if this project moves forward, not american workers or families filling up at the gas pump. the reality is, keystone extra lethal will increase the price americans pay for gas i at the pump and it is cheaper to buy gas in the midwest today than it would be if the pipeline were built. that is because moving tar sands oil to the gulf coast gives it access to international markets, which will increase the price canadians can charge for it.
11:17 am
so right now that oil stays in america. now it's going to be pumped out, they can get higher prices and our prices are going to go up. the exports will reduce the supply of gasoline right here in america and drive up the price. as bloomberg reported earlier this year, three separate studies have shown keystone x.l. pipeline could raise domestic prices by 20 cents to 40 cents because it would divert canadian oil away from refineries in the midwest, where it's easier to export. gulf coast refiners plan to process the cheap canadian tar sands crude that would be supplied by the pipeline into diesel and other products for export. during a congressional hearing at the end of 2011, my senate colleague, then-congressman ed marky, who's now a member of our environment committee, he asked
11:18 am
the trans-canada pipeline head if they would keep to keeping the oil and refined products in the united states -- quote -- "so that this country realizes all the energy security benefits your company has promised." mr. pue -- i can't pronounce his name -- "corvious said, no, i can't do that." so the head of trans-canada is not promising to keep the oil here and the products here. we know that. so all this talk energy independence -- let me tell you how you get energy independence. you produce what you can here, and we have been doing that where it's appropriate, and you also utilize the sun and the wind and the geothermal and the clean energies of the future that, believe me, when you embrace that clean energy agenda, you have far more jobs, you don't have pollution you
11:19 am
have safer communities. now, one community in point arthur owned by valero, is expected to be a major custom of crude oil. let's show that picture of point arthur. because that's in a foreign trade zone, valero can operate tax-free. in the first nine months of this year, valero has reported a net income of $2.475 billion. today you'll also harry from tar sands advocates that the tar sands oil will just be shipped by rail even if the tar sands pipeline isn't built. well, it's very expensive to ship it by rail and the truth is, that's not a clear-cut case. in fact, both the rail companies and tar sands produces that pioneer transporting canadian tar sands oil by rail are on the verge of insolvency because of the high transportation costs.
11:20 am
so don't buy into that, "oh, well, if you don't build the pipeline, you'll just ship it by rail." and then they say it's safer. we know it's not safer. now, we just heard the operator of the pipeline say it's 35 permanent jobs. okay? and i don't belittle the 1,900 construction jobs for two years that you would have. i don't belittle that. but i can truly tell you, coming from my state and later i'll talk about the successes, we can dwarf that by the hundreds of thousands if you really embrace a clean energy economy. the materials needed for the pipeline, that's not a domestic boom. a 2011 analysis found 50% or more of the steel pipe will be manufactured outside of the united states. we need clean energy policies.
11:21 am
as we know, it is appropriate to drill for oil in our country where it's safe. it's appropriate. and if we can get to clean coal, it's appropriate. and it's appropriate if you can get to safe nuclear. the fact of the matter is, this pipeline is going to bring filthy, dirty oil, it's going to bring misery all across the country. let's look at the wind industry. supports over 560 manufacturing facilities, supports over 50,000 full-time jobs in 2013 alone. and that's 50,000 full-time jobs compared to 35 full-time jobs for the pipeline. come on. the solar industry in 2013 employed 142,000 americans, an increase of 24,000 additional jobs just last year.
11:22 am
this is the future, not the misery that follows the tar sands. not communities that have to suffer with this filthy, dirty, dirtiest of oils. and not having this pet coke stored all over the midwest where it blows on kids and having kids get asthma. here's the spill in arkansas. still can't clean it up. it's happened in 2013. show me the -- this one. this isn't -- this isn't what we want the future to look like, mr. president. not this. we want the air to be clean and the water to be clean. this is china. this is what happens when you ignore our people who are telling us that are having increased asthma attacks, increased respiratory disease.
11:23 am
you're not going to hear a word about it from my colleagues. and they're going to make a jobs argument that falls flat on its face. look, we know climate change is real, whether someone says they're not a scientist or not. we all know you're not a scientist. i'm not one. climate change is real. unleashing this filthy, dirty oil unleashes far more carbon and makes the problem worse. you're not going to hear any of that. and you're going to hear things that just aren't true. you're going to hear about all these jobs. 35 permanent jobs compared to tens of thousands in clean energy. you're going to hear this is the greatest thing. you're going to hear, oh, it's better to transport it by
11:24 am
pipeline than rail when, in fa fact, that's not a fact in evidence that they would do that because it's so expensive. they're not going to talk to you about this, the spills. now, we have a very important process to go through before this pipeline is approved. this legislation derails that process and that process was established by an executive order and was updated by president george w. bush. before a finding is made as to whether this should go forward, the president must consult with experts in many federal agencies to determine whether this pipeline is in the national interest. this includes department of defense, department of homeland security and other agencies before a permit is granted. this bill that's in front of us
11:25 am
short circuits this review. it cuts off expert opinions of our military leaders and others when determining whether the pipeline is safe, is it in the interest of the country, is it going to be another target. we need to know and we don't have the answers on the full public health implications. i would say also -- what is also interesting is the tar sands supporters gloss over the fact that this bill tramples states' rights. the rights of citizens in south dakota to have a say in their state's ongoing proceedings concerning construction of the pipeline. and how about this fact? two -- and here you see it. these voices have to be heard. i will tell you, 2 million people submitted comments on the tar sands project. and passing this bill now does not allow those comments to be given due consideration by our
11:26 am
country. now, i'm really surprised at this, given my colleagues who speak of states' rights, public comments, local viewpoints. you know, they want to bypass all of this because they have decided that they know better than the 2 million people who -- many of whom have to live side-by-side with this pipeline and many of whom would have to breathe the kind of air they're breathing in port arthur, texas, right now. i want to guarantee you this. not one senator in this chamber will live next to a refinery that refines this filthy, dirty oil. no, not one. and if i stand -- if any -- if i have not said something true, please correct the record. tell me. i will apologize. we don't live near refineries here.
11:27 am
i'll tell you who does. a lot of kids who get asthma. just ask the nurses. if i told you if we embraced a clean energy agenda we could create far more jobs, be far more healthy and save this planet, wouldn't you say yes? i think you would. but, oh, not in this chamber. they listen to big oil, the koch brothers. and these are the people that will profit. they're not going to live next to the port arthur refinery. their children aren't going to live here. their grandchildren aren't going to live here. you know, they -- they brush aside these issues, that this is filthy, dirty oil. the dirtiest. with the most dangerous pollutants, including lead,
11:28 am
including sulfur. and i will tell you, when you meet with the citizens of port arthur, texas, as i have done and the activists there who want to protect the kids, they say, please, please, please, we have enough of this stuff. we don't want anymore. misery follows the tar sands. and that's why i call this pipeline the keystone x.l. "extra lethal" pipeline. the evidence is clear. keystone tar stands pipeline will be harmful to our families' health, it will hurt the environment, it will worsen the impacts on climate change, it will raise the price of gas and that is not me. i respect economists and this is clearly the economists' view. and it's just plain dangerous
11:29 am
because it will transport the dirtiest oil on the planet. forcing the approval of the keystone when so many concerns remain does not allow for the kind of review that our affected communities deserve. and i hope my colleagues, enough of us, will vote "no" on this. look, i see the handwriting on the wall. i do. i know what happens in this chamber and i know the votes will eventually be there. this is an issue that impacts the health and safety of our families and our planet. so if it means i'm going to have to stand up here time and time again to tell the story of the keystone extra lethal pipeline, i will do it. i will do it for as long as it takes. if i didn't think it was important, i wouldn't do it. and i just hope if this body does pass this pipeline today
11:30 am
that the president will veto this dangerous legislation. i feel so strongly that the way to a prosperous, job-producing future is the embracing of clean energy. yes, we'll continue with our coal, make it as clean as we c can. we'll continue with our drilling here. yes, we'll have an all of the above where it's safe to do. we don't need a project that is so harmful to our families, to our communities. i talked to the people in canada who live near there. you won't hear that from my friends. it's all in the record. i hope they read the articles i placed in the record of the kind of cancers we're seeing around
11:31 am
this stuff. i don't want to see a trail of misery extending from one end of the country that i love to another. so i hope we'll vote no on this, enough of us will, but if we can't stop it today, we can't stop it today, then i hope the president will veto this and tell this story of why this trail of misery should not be put upon the american people. one of the biggest shocks i think i had when meeting those canadians who have been putting up with this and men meeting the americans who live around these refineries and hearing from them what happened and hearing from my friends from chicago who remember that story, we're going to close with this, of these kids sitting around getting ready to play little
11:32 am
league baseball when all of this petroleum coke that is stored all over the midwest just blew and it got into the mouths of these kids, it got on their clothes, they ran away. how could anyone believe that this is what the future should look like when i can show you case after case on the record substantiated by the numbers that clean energy produces far more jobs, far more jobs, and will lead us in the right direction in terms of our health. people don't want to become like china. they don't want to look like this. like this. they don't want to have their air look like this. you know, i come from a state where before the clean air act -- and, by the way, it was done by a republican president, thank you richard nixon.
11:33 am
we had dirty, filthy air, you couldn't see a foot in front of you. we cleaned it up. because we stood up to the polluters and said you know what, we know we want to work with you, we want to have your product, do it in a clean manner, do it in a safe manner. and the e.p.a. again created by republicans came in there and cleaned up the air along with the local people in our state. we have rebounded in telephone he california from the recession with clean energy jobs leading the way. we're so proud of it. and our people can still see the sky. i'll tell you, i'm not going to go in this direction if i have to stand on my feet until they hurt and as you know, i have to wear heels because i'm very little. but i don't care. i'm not going to let us go this direction. no way.
11:34 am
so i hope we defeat this today. if we don't, i hope the president will veto it, and i hope we can move toward a positive, bipartisan, clean energy agenda that is really the future of this nation and this planet. i yield the floor and reserve the remainder of our time. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from kansas. mr. roberts: i intend to speak under the time reserved by senator hoeven. could the president -- the acting presiding officer tell me how much time remains? the presiding officer: there are 82 minutes remaining. the senator from north dakota has 112 minutes remaining. mr. roberts: splendid. i only intend to speak for about eight minutes. a wand i must say i always
11:35 am
admire the commitment the perseverance and the oror cal skills of my colleague from california. i know now strongly she feels about this issue. i rise today sort of without portfolio. i do not have the charts that my distinguished colleague has. senator hoeven only has six in the cloakroom and i think there must have been 12 over there. i thought at one time i would introduce legislation to ban charts from the floor but that didn't go very far. mr. president, i rise today in support of the bipartisan, bicameral legislation authored by representative cassidy in the house and senator landrieu from here in the senate to approve construction of the keystone pipeline. simply put, my point would be this project is long overdue. it's been said time and again
11:36 am
that it's worth repeating, six years of delays and five separate environmental impact statements concluding the pipeline is safe to build, finally, finally we are vogue on this legislation, already passed by the house last week to grant approval of the project. let me repeat the five environmental impact statements which have been rolled out since the year 2010. and all five concluding that construction of the pipeline would neither exasperate carbon emissions or increase development of the canadian oil sands. let's briefly take a look at the conclusion reached by each of the five environmental impact statements to see what president obama's own state department had to say about whether construction of the keystone pipeline is in the national interest. april, 2010, after a year and
11:37 am
a half review of trans-canada's application to construct the pipeline, state department published the findings of its draft environmental impact statement which concluded that the pipeline's construction would have limited environmental impact and would help reduce u.s. reliance on crude oil imports from other than less stable regions of the world. less stable is an understatement as of today. now, considering what's growing on right now in the middle east and russia, it cannot be overstated how important this project is from a global security perspective and also from a national security perspective. a year later, april, 2011, state department issued a supplemental draft environmental impact statement to consider alternatives to the keystone pipeline and to address some of the concerns raised by agencies, groups and individuals who submitted comments on the project's construction.
11:38 am
and keep in mind that the state department did this despite the fact that it believed the original environmental impact statement sufficiently addressed all concerns. four months later, august, 2011, the state department released its final environmental impact statement concluding yet again that this project should be built. the state department concluded that construction would -- and i quote -- "result in a project that would have a degree of safety greater than any typically constructed domestic oil pipeline system under current regulations." now, despite this conclusion, which under law triggered a 90-day window for the state department to make yet another final national interest determination, the state department decided to delay the final decision rather conveniently until after the 2012 elections. so after three earlier reviews
11:39 am
in march of 2015, the state -- 2013, the state department issued its draft supplemental imenvironmental impact statement to consider impacts of the new route which would avoid the sand hills region in nebraska. once again the state department concluded this project should be built. finally, in january 31 of 2014, about a year ago, state department issued its fifth and final environmental impact statement -- i don't know why they call it final environmental impact statements when they're not final, but nevertheless. and it concluded that the keystone pipeline poses no serious environmental dangers, would create thousands of jobs and would decrease our reliance on crude from despotic regions more than today around the world and expand trade with our closest ally, canada. now, mr. president, we have two options. the first is to finalize
11:40 am
construction of the keystone pipeline which rill will ultimately result in thousands of construction jobs all throughout the united states, or the second option, we can reject construction of this pipeline and instead transport the crude to the u.s. by rail or allow canada to simply export the crude to other countries like our good friend, china. china. so concerned with environmental standards that it may -- it may, according to the bargain so highly publicized by the administration -- begin reducing carbon emissions by 2030. if the leaders of china 16 years from now feel like it or make that decision. what is the big deal about china's carbon reduction commitment, by the way,? it's meaningless. there is simply no option available that would somehow prevent canada from developing these oil sands.
11:41 am
despite what any senator says or any charts that may be used. it's happening and it will continue to happen. facts are stubborn things, mr. president. we either move this oil by pipeline which is the safest way to transport oil we're or we allow it to be exported to countries that will refine it under far less stringent environmental regulations. and if co2 is a world problem, that's something you ought to really think about. mr. president, this project would support 42,000 united states jobs. hundreds of those are in my home state of kansas. it would provide over 800,000 barrels of oil per day from our closest trading partner, canada and it would have a $3 billion impact on the u.s. economy. now, i've long supported this legislation, mr. president. now we need to hear from president obama yes or no. no waffling around any longer.
11:42 am
if this bill passes today, and how convenient that we finally have an opportunity to at least vote on this bill just before an election in louisiana. but if this bill passes today, will the president sign it into law or will the president simply continue to straddle the pipeline until after the runoff election in louisiana? seems to me the president owes the american people an answer as to whether he supports this project or not. the question is, it's pretty obvious, if the president opposed this project from ever being built, then why are we waiting? why wouldn't you just say from the get-go that you hold the views of a few above those of most americans which includes everybody from labor unions to pro-energy trade associations to manufacturing, et cetera, et cetera. i would ask the president why didn't you just come out in 2008
11:43 am
and say nope, we're never going to build this as long as i'm in the white house because i think that is exactly what is happening. it's time to quit straddling the pipeline. let's get on with it or get off. and i want to make myself clear. if we pass this bill and president obama vetoes it, that's his decision, that's his privilege, but the responsibility will lie squarely upon his desk. because when we come back in january under a republican majority, our task will be to not only pass this legislation but with the vetoproof majority to override whatever obstacles the president tries to put in its way. again, this project makes sense economically and shall, environmentally and from a national security perspective. i believe that we should get this thing finally moving. thank you, mr. president. madam president. i yield the floor and notice the absence of a quorum. mrs. boxer: if you would
11:44 am
withhold, we have a speaker. if you would withhold from asking for a quorum call. mr. roberts: i think there is a senator waiting to be heard. mrs. boxer: there is. the senator from hawaii. ms. schatz: i rise to oppose senate bill 2280 to approve the keystone example l. pipeline. the keystone pipeline would carry 830,000 barrels her day of tar sands oil bound for global markets from canada to refineries along the gulf coast, and this one of the most important points about keystone which is that it does nothing for american energy security. it takes tar sands oil from canada, moves them through -- it through the united states and makes it available to global markets. it does nothing for american energy security but more than that, it represents a massive endorsement of a fossil fuel economy when we ought to be
11:45 am
focusing on transitioning to clean energy. there are many reasons to vote against this bill but i will focus on four. first, the oil from tar sands are exceptionally dirty and i think for the american public out there, they have a basic instinct that oil is not the cleanest of energy resources, but tar sands oil are really in a special category. and we don't need this oil enough to justify its impacts on health and climate change. mining tar sands oil is nothing like setting up a rig and drilling a hole in the ground. tar sands are dirty in terms of the land destroyed, dirty in terms of the water wasted and contaminated and dirty in terms of the amount of energy needed to mine, transport and process the oil. getting and using oil from tar sands puts far more carbon pollution in the atmosphere than conventional oil. when tar sands are near the
11:46 am
surface, they are dug up, along with all of the surrounding earth, including the forests that sit on top. tar sands are a mixture of sand, clay, water and a gooey form of petroleum that resembles tar. think of it as a mixture of dirt and elmo as molasses and trying to separate the dirt from the molasses. if that sounds difficult, you are correct. after being mined, the thuk, sludgy mixture that is transported to facilities that separate the oil that uses the water and energy intensive rinse cycles. the water used in this process becomes contaminated of course with toxins and is no longer suitable for other uses. and oil companies use massive amounts of water to mine the tar sands. in 2011, tar sands mining in canada used more water than the entire city of toronto uses annually, representing a
11:47 am
significant new strain on freshwater resources. this is simply not the direction to go in. we need to fight climate change and promote bold, clean energy solutions that don't present a constant danger of harming our health, our drinking water and our economy. why are we spending time today trying to improve something that quite literally lakes us in the wrong direction? this brings me to the second reason this pipeline ought to be rejected. it will have a direct negative impact on the people and the communities that live in its path. the 870-mile -- 875-mile route of this proposed pipeline has over 50 river crossings, including the yellowstone river in montana, which is still recovering from a major crude oil leak by an exxonmobil pipeline in 2011. that pipeline's leak contaminated 85 miles of the river and its flood plain,
11:48 am
placing an enormous burden on families and the businesses that depend on it. pipelines transport oil but they also leak regularly. the existing keystone pipeline system for canadian tar sands leaked 14 times during its first year of operation, with one incident leaking 21,000 gallons. in its environmental review, the state department estimated that the proposed keystone x.l. pipeline would fail several times a year. in 2010, a six-foot break in a pipeline carrying oil tar sands spilled nearly one million gallons of crude oil into the kalamazoo river in michigan. this was one of the largest inland oil spills in the united states history and also one of the costliest, with cleanup costs totaling over $1 billion. households in the area were evacuated and told not to drink the water. 35 miles of the river were
11:49 am
contaminated, and the cleanup continued four years after the spill. one of the most troubling things about this spill and any future spills from keystone x.l. is that the companies who own the oil take advantage of a loophole in the law that lets them avoid paying their fair share into the national oil spill liability trust fund. this trust fund has been in place for 30 years, and the money in it helps to respond to and clean up after oil spills. every barrel of oil produced or imported in the united states is charged eight cents, and the money goes into a trust fund. it's basically an insurance policy for events when companies are unable to pay for spill cleanup or in an emergency response system. it makes sense. what doesn't make sense is that due to this loophole, the oil from the tar sands in canada is exempt from that eight-cent fee. why would we vote for a bill
11:50 am
that circumvents executive review of an international pipeline carrying the dirtiest oil in the world produced in canada and headed mostly for world markets and a bill that does nothing to close a loophole exempting oil from tar sands from having to pay a fee for environmental cleanup? in other words, how can this bill ask so little of the oil companies while giving them so much? a third reason to reject this bill and this pipeline is the impact on climate change. the facts plainly show that we must reduce carbon pollution, not add to it, to take control of our energy future and build a clean energy economy. we have got to go forward, not backwards. if we're serious about leaving our children a healthy world, we'll vote no and reject this pipeline. we know a majority of the public supports bold action to solve climate change. in recent years, no single issue
11:51 am
related to fossil fuels and climate change has commanded the level of civic engagement as the keystone x.l. pipeline. countless rallies, public hearings in cities and towns across the proposed route, lawsuits and debates in congress reveal how much passion there is about this issue. in fact, the pipeline was booed so loudly when advertised on the jerusalem -- jumbotron at a nebraska football game that the university cut sponsorship ties with transcanada, the owner of the proposed pipeline. finally, madam president, the bill is flawed in terms of its process. not only because of what it seeks to do but last because of how it seeks to do it. the bill would circumvent existing executive branch review. because the keystone x.l. pipeline would cross international boundaries, the state department is responsible for reviewing and deciding if a permit is in the national interest. the way it is currently written, this bill could potentially
11:52 am
limit state and local citing decisions as well as some legal challenges. in attempts to approve a pipeline that doesn't even have a finalized route but does have lawsuits pending against it in the nebraska supreme court. congress should be focusing on the things that will have a positive impact on the economy and jobs. we have got to pass immigration legislation. we need to pass a defense authorization. our c.r. expires on december 11. we need to move to the regular order in terms of appropriation. we should not be moving forward with keystone x.l. in my view, this is about whether we're committed to the past or committed to the future. this is about whether we're going to double down on fossil fuels or we're going to take bold action in terms of moving forward with clean energy. i urge my colleagues to oppose this legislation, and i yield the floor. a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from west virginia. mr. manchin: madam president,
11:53 am
thank you so much. let me just say to all of my colleagues on all sides of this issue, i appreciate very much. it's a great debate and it's a great way for us to learn our differences and try to find the middle, if you will. i come from a little state of west virginia who basically the people are pretty commonsense, if you will, oriented, and they look at something from the standpoint, our greatest trading partner in our state of west virginia is canada. 35 states in the united states look at canada as our favored nation to trade with. and we have been doing more trading than ever before, and we will continue to do so. i am coming at this from security. how do we remain secure as a nation? how do we become less dependent? and if you look at what's going on in the world, maybe it will give you a picture of what we're dealing with, the facts of life. now, we all want to use the technology and we all can through research and development improve our technology to use the resources that are going to be used that the world has produced for us in a cleaner
11:54 am
fashion. with that being said, i don't look at keystone as being an export pipeline, and even the state department's environmental impact statement states that export is unlikely to be economically justified for any significant time. cost and market conditions dictate that this oil would go to domestic refineries and will be used in our country, the united states of america. by getting more canadian oil, we can displace oil that we currently get from less reliable and sometimes hostile countries. let me read for you how much oil do we import right now? how dependent are we on this foreign oil? and we should look at basically up to 7.7 million barrels per day of crude oil imports. mind you, we're getting $7.7 billion barrels per day into our country. i understand the pipeline's capacity would be about
11:55 am
870,000 barrels. that's the capacity if they used the entire capacity. so we're getting 7.7 billion barrels per day. let's see where it's coming from. and when you look at that, 3.5 million barrels per day or 45% come from opec countries. and of course, saudi arabia is our largest opec supplier of 1.3 million barrels per day. 17% of the crude import total, but our biggest supplier of crude continues to be canada. it's already our biggest supplier. and we're afraid that this is somehow going to tip the balance? let's look at some of the countries that we get this oil from on a daily basis, the 7.7. of course, we talked about the opec countries, but venezuela, colombia, nigeria, angola. these are not the model citizens of how they treat their citizens in their country, rue main treatment that goes on.
11:56 am
with that being said, those countries i just mentioned, the five countries, that's 1.57 million barrels a day we buy from those countries, so yes, i'm looking at it from a standpoint that this has culled us into conflicts around the world that we shouldn't be. and also we have been poured into these -- pulled into these countries, pulled into war because of oil. i think we all agree on that. this gives us a chance to be more secured as a nation and more independent from foreign oil, and that's what we're talking about. the global supply of energy relies on oil producers in deeply unstable regions. i think we all agree on that, too. and west virginia just makes common sense. wouldn't you rather buy from your friends than your enemies? wouldn't you rather buy from people that basically helps your economy and not those willing to do harm to your economy or harm to your people? this makes sense to us in west
11:57 am
virginia. we wouldn't be standing here having this debate right now if it hadn't been for our good senator and good friend from louisiana, senator landrieu. it wouldn't have come up. it would have been mute. it would have gone to the next congress, who knows? i just appreciate so much senator landrieu being able to bring this to the forefront today, i really do. whether we win or lose, it doesn't matter. basically, the american people will lose if we don't pass this piece of legislation. if for whatever reason it's not passed, we're going to be more vulnerable, more unsecure, more dependent than ever before. it's one thing to live in a perfect world, utopia, and some of my colleagues have talked about that. i appreciate that, mr. president, i really do. but the bottom line is it's not the real world. the real world we live in, i talk about coal, too. there is eight billion tons of coal being burnt in the world. people say i don't want to use coal in america. that's fine. if you quit using every ton of coal in america, you will not change the environment that much. we don't want to build more coal
11:58 am
plants in america. we're done. 1,200 new coal-fired plants will be built around the world in the next three or four years. wouldn't it be better to find the technology? wouldn't it be better to have control of that and be able to have a whole another industry around the technology that uses the coal cleaner, not just in america but around the world? wouldn't it be better to have control of this oil coming to the gulf coast, that we have control of it, it will be used here, the fear tactic is that it's going to go somewhere else in the world. markets will dictate where everything goes, but the bottom line is we use most of canada's oil now. they are our largest importer, exporter from our country. so all we're saying is take a good, hard look at this. think before you vote today, for my colleagues, of what we are doing and what we are doing for the security of our nation. what we are doing for the best trading partner we've ever had. that oil is going to go somewhere. it's being shipped now in a very highly unstable type of a condition that's more vulnerable and it takes more, more oil to
11:59 am
move that product today than ever before. the pipeline is by far the safest way to do it. and i've said this. if we can move oil in the most demanding and probably the most hostile, if you will, environmental conditions that we have as far as nature produces in the arctic and we in the united states of america benefit by that oil that's being produced in the arctic for us in america, for all the lower 50 -- 49, if they can control it there, if they are able to, don't you think that it can be done here? and i -- i just look at it from a standpoint of just saying enough is enough. i want to thank senator landrieu for bringing it to the floor, for us having this, i think, a very informative debate. if we can move forward on it. i hope my colleagues would see fit that the united states of america will be benefited, the security of our nation will be benefited. wars can be prevented because of
12:00 pm
this, conflicts around the world. maybe we could use our might, if you will, to help other parts of the world without having to try to fight and defend and try to liberate from that standpoint, but i do not believe that we should be in parts of the world where we are today because of the oil that we have been chasing, and i believe by having our own ability to work with the best trading partner that we have, which is canada, would definitely benefit the security of our nation. i'll look forward to this vote late this afternoon or this evening, whenever it may come. i enjoy the information i'm gaining from this and look forward to more spirited debate the rest of the day. with that, i yield the floor, mr. president. mrs. boxer: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from california. mrs. boxer: i'm about to yield to senator cardin. before i do, i just want to say, it's so interesting. this is a great debate. the proponents have said for year, build the pipeline because we need the oil here. then confronted with the fact that the oil will not stay here, is going to go elsewhere, they say,," what's the difference?"
12:01 pm
it's going elsewhere but what's the difference? the difference is, well, your argument was make us self-sufficient. you can't have it both way. the fact is this oil's going to be exported. with that, i would yield 12 minutes to my colleague, a great leader on the environment, senator cardin. mr. cardin: mr. president, first let me thank senator boxer for her extraordinary leadership on this issue. i have three unanimous consent requests for committees to meet during today's session of the senate. they have the approval of the majority and minority leaders. i ask unanimous consent that these requests be agreed and these requested be printed in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. cardin: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that floor privileges be granted to timothy zink, a member of my legislative staff, during the senate consideration of s. 2280. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. cardin: so, mr. president, let me get this separate. this debate is about giving competitive advantage for the shipping of the dirtiest oil located in canada over the united states for export.
12:02 pm
through the united states, not through canada. the environmental risks are here in america. and it circumvents our regulatory review process, an attempt to deny property owners the right to challenge the route in court. keystone pipeline is a short cut to an existing pipeline network to export some of the world's dirtiest crude oil from canada to other countries. the current pipeline network could handle this but the operators want a competitive advantage for the dirtiest oil by short cutting the pipeline that currently exists. there's very little benefit to the united states. certainly, as has been pointed out, the oil is not destined for the united states. few permanent jobs. it poses significant environmental risks. it eliminates appropriate
12:03 pm
executive review. tries to interfere with judicial review. and should be rejected by this body. so, first, let me talk about tar sands. the tar sand crude from alberta, canada, to other countries through the united states rather than through canada. it could go through canada. 700 miles through british columbia. but the canadians object. why? because they don't want the environmental risk in their country. they're asking the united states to do their burdens. it's not for u.s. energy use, it's for the international community and it poses significant environmental risks. we're talking about the dirtiest type of productions for energy sources that we know. in 2010, there was a spill in the can mizzou river in -- kalamazoo river in michigan. the estimated cost of the cleanup associated with that spill was $1.2 billion.
12:04 pm
spills happen. we're adding tremendously to the risk in our country. and, madam president, this isn't a backdrop that we see in the united states and globally, the price of oil declining dramatically. look at what we're paying at the pump for gasoline today. in the united states, we've had a 70% increase in u.s. oil production since president obama took office so we are getting the oil that we need. we don't need the dirtiest oil in the world. the u.s. is more energy independent today than we've ever before. why? -- the u.s. is more energy independent today than we've ever been. why? because we use less energy. let me give you one example, fuel economy standards in automobiles are up 25% since 2004. we're using less energy. we're developing alternative and
12:05 pm
renewable energy sources. our future is in clean energy. and i -- i'm glad we're having this debate on the floor of united states senate. we should be having a debate about additional sources for clean energy which will help us be energy independent, grow jobs and be friendlier towards our environment. let me just give you one example and that's tesla motors. recently chose reno, nevada, as the site of a $35 billion gig gigafactory that could emplo emy 6,500 workers. expected to be completed in 2020, it would produce 50 gigawatt hours per year of lit yon ion -- lithium ion battery packs, enough for 500,000 electric cars annually. once the factory is in full operation, it could help lower the cost of packs by 2017 and by
12:06 pm
50% by 2020. tesla expects to create 300 construction jobs. and that's important. construction jobs are important. and 6,500 permanent jobs upon completion, generating $100 billion in economic activity over the next 20 years. so let's compare that to what keystone is advertised to produce. they tell us the construction jobs are 42,000. but what they don't tell you is that the direct construction jobs are 3,900. the rest what they call are from the induced activities, people getting paychecks, spending them on groceries, et cetera, only during the construction period. permanent jobs are 50. look at that ratio. tesla is 2-1 permanent construction. here we're talking about 40,000 to 50,000. the ratio of permanent is so insignificant to the number that this does not generate economic
12:07 pm
progress in our country. why aren't we talking about the transportation bill? you want to talk about jobs. yeah, we'll get construction jobs. and thank you, senator boxer, for your extraordinary leadership on that bill. if we had a long-term transportation bill, we would be helping the construction industry, creating a lot of construction jobs. but guess what? at the end of the day, we would have a modern transportation system that would help economic growth in america. let me just give you one of those projects. the purple line in montgomery and prince george's county, maryland. we want to get that done. it will not only create construction jobs, it will not only create permanent jobs, it will help people live longer because they won't be stuck in traffic. it will really help our economy grow. that's the type of debate that we should be having. but instead,, instead we're talking about putting in a pipeline that poses incredible environmental risks, not just to
12:08 pm
the united states but to our entire global community. the national resources defense council talked about tar sands extraction methods are very dangerous to our environment, could release 11 million to 47 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, equivalent in our atmosphere. i mean, the way this is done, it's done in a way -- i was listening to my colleague from hawaii talk about it -- it's -- you're destroying the earth, you're in the process of trapping the tar sand oil. you're emitting carbon dioxide. so you're emitting greenhouse gasses in addition to the ultimate product, the tar sands itself being high emitters of carbon. it's the worst form of a carbon footprint that you could have in our environment. and the risks are real. the danger to our environment from spills. at a time when u.s. global
12:09 pm
leadership is so critical for action on climate change. according to the 2014 national climate assessment, the reality of climate change is clear and apparent. madam president, i could give you examples of the droughts in california or the increased wildfires in the west or extreme weather conditions in all parts of our country or sea level rising from miami, florida, to my own state of maryland, where most of my population live in coastal areas. they're very much concerned about what they see in the rising sea levels. so it's critically important to have u.s. leadership here. this is what it's about, u.s. leadership. president obama demonstrated that leadership when he met with president xi of china. now, the united states and china emit about one-third of the world's emissions. i've heard on this floor many times that, why are we doing things if china doesn't do certain things? well, guess what, china is responding to our leadership. congratulations to president obama to get commitments by
12:10 pm
president xi that china will accomplish certain achievable accomplishments in reducing their carbon footprint sphoask c to 2030, including non-fos i'll fuel sources equaling at least 20% of their -- nonfossil fuel sources equaling at least 20% of their emissions by 2030. that's u.s. working with china to help the global community. let us show leadership by rejecting the keystone pipeline. lastly, let me talk about process for a moment or two, if i might. the regulatory protections should not be circumvented by congressional action. state courts in nebraska or landowner rights should not be circumvented by congressional action. we need to listen to the people from the region as they have expressed their concern. and i'm -- i'm quoting from a person named ben gotskil from
12:11 pm
nebraska. and he said, "the cowboy-indian alliance shows our cooperation and our working together in mutual respect. that shared bond proves 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 lands best." madam president, we are talking about circumventing the regular order in order to have a narrow result that affects real people's lives. we can do better than that. we need to reject this pipeline by congressional action. congress needs to act in a responsible way. passing this bill is not. this pipeline travels through the united states so that canada can get its oil into the
12:12 pm
international marketplace. canada doesn't want the pipeline in their country for good reas reason, because they know the environmental risks of the pipeline. the energy will not have any major impact on the united states. it's for export. it's not for the united states. why are we doing this? very few permanent jobs. less than a hundred. we already heard that. the risks to our environment. we've seen that. we've seen it happen before. we know what tar sand oil can cause. we know what the cleanup costs are all about. why are we subjecting communities to this when they don't want it and the environmental risks are so gre great? why are we calling into question the u.s. leadership globally that we're able to get progress that we've been asking for, that this chamber's been asking for, to get china to act? and why are we trampling on the appropriate role of the executive and judicial branches and local government by what we
12:13 pm
are attempting to do here today 6? madam president, i hope my colleagues -- attempting to do here today? madam president, i hope my colleagues will reject this bill and we'll work together on an energy policy that makes sense for america, invests in clean energy, which will help our economy grow, help us to be independent and be friendly to our environment. with that, i would yield back whatever time i have remaining to the -- to senator boxer. ms. landrieu: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from louisiana. ms. landrieu: madam president, i'm going to ask for five minutes. i see the good senator from wyoming that is going to rebut t the arguments made by the senator from maryland so i'm going to take five minutes and then of course the senator from wyoming has all the time that he wants within the framework. first of all, let me say that i have great respect for the senator from maryland and he is an excellent debater. and you just saw the skills of his debating. but i want to put some things in the record that show he is absolutely, completely wrong in
12:14 pm
his assessments and statements, as respectfully as i can. he is completely wrong. first of all, this is the environmental statement. as you can see, it's printed, it's done, it's finished and it was finished in january of this year. this is the fifth environmental statement. so anyone that comes to this floor on the democratic side of the aisle -- because no one on the republican side will say this because they are all in unity with a group of us to build this pipeline -- they are wrong. it is factually incorrect that the environmental studies have not been completed because i have it in my hands. and i want to submit it for the record. this is the fifth. and let me tell you what the result of this environmental impact statement by the obama administration -- not by the
12:15 pm
bush administration, not by a former republican administration but the current democratic administration conclusion was. if people at home listening, you can get out your computers or your pen. this is what this study says. if the keystone x.l. is built, it will represent .015 of global greenhouse gas emissions. .015 of growing emissions. that is equivalent -- if people want to keep writing -- to 300,000 passenger vehicles in america -- seems like a big number -- except that we have 253 million cars on the road. okay, so think about this.
12:16 pm
the president's own environmental study, which is the fifth completed in january, has done its work, it has submitted this to the record. this is not subject to debate. and the conclusion of this study is, it will, taking everything into consideration, it will increase greenhouse gases by .015% of global greenhouse gas emissions, which is the equivalent of 300,000 passenger vehicles, of which is .12% of total cars in the u.s. so this is what we could do. we can build the keystone pipeline, creating thousands of temporary and millions of permanent jobs which are not created by the term city of the pipeline -- permanency of the pipeline itself, it's by the
12:17 pm
signal that america is serious about energy independence. that will create millions of high-paying jobs and there is no disputing that fact. it's not the jobs that build the pipeline that we're fighting for so much, although the steamfitters and pipe fitters and boilermakers and the unions are really fighting for that and i'm fighting with them -- it's the signal that it gives that we are serious about an honor and understand these are all pipelines that are already in our country. these are pipelines that are already in our country. we've been building pipelines in this country before most of us were born. all of us were born. that's what's so outrageous about this debate. and yes, this pipeline comes from canada, our best trading partner, our most reliable ally, a country that is the most equivalent to us in the united states of america, and
12:18 pm
because it's a pipeline connecting canada and the u.s., it's all become this boogeyman that's going to wreck the world. the environmental impact study, senator cardin, has been done. it's in. the second frame of evidence i want to give you is this -- we pass a lot of crazy bills around here. this bill is two pages. s. 2280, here it is. this is the first page, this is the second page. everybody in america can read it. i would strongly recommend those of you listening, get out and read the bill. it's literally will take you like 15 seconds. it's so simple. and senator hoeven and i wrote it to be simple. as i've said before, we wrote it to go the distance. we wrote it to go the distance. it is not complicated. it simply says this -- after waiting five years and after
12:19 pm
acknowledging all environmental studies have been done, all economic studies have been done, we direct the president of the united states to give his approval. we're not circumventing him. every report he's requested has been turned into him. every single solitary one. and in addition, madam president, you know this -- at your request and senator tester's request -- senator hoeven and i added this language -- private property savings clause. nothing in this act alters any federal, state or local process or condition in effect on the date of enactment of this act that is necessary to secure access from an owner of private property to construct the pipeline and cross border facilities. in other words, this language says all private property rights will be honored. be that was not in the house
12:20 pm
bill. but senator hoeven and i put it in this bill because we wanted to put that debate to an end. all private property rights are honored. the environmental studies have been completely completed, and also in our bill is respect for nebraska because we're not trying to run over nebraska. we say here -- and i'll point it out in just a minute -- that subject to the final decision by nebraska about where this is going to go -- nebraska can decide. i ask unanimous consent for two more minutes. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. landrieu: as you can see, all the other states have said fine to their line. nebraska has to decide. that's in the court. this bill says that they can still decide this. this doesn't tell nebraska where to build it. so i hope that people that come
12:21 pm
to the floor to talk about this pipeline will bring their facts and not fear. facts. not fear. now, i'm a fierce proponent of the pipeline, and they are fierce opponents and i respect them thrashed two people i greatly respect, barbara boxer and ben cardin but we are on the exact opposite side of this issue. so let's discuss facts. and let me say one thing about the -- and let me just say one more thing and then i'll give this to senator barrasso because this is more personal. i was very disappointed when the senator from kansas when he came down and said something like he finds it strange, i think his words were, he's kind of bemused that we would be debating this because he thinks that this is some kind of political opportunity. you know, i've a lot of respect
12:22 pm
for the senator from kansas. i worked with him as i was his chair and he was my ranking member and he was my chair on emerging threats. we've been through some pretty tough meetings together. when this country was under attack in 9/11, he was the chair, i was -- i was the chair of emerging threats and he was the ranking member when the twin towers burns. so -- burned. so he's a manned, i always joked he's a marine and i'm a girl scout so he has one up on me but nonetheless both have a pretty good code of honor. and for him to come to the floor after being in a foxhole with me on that day and say he thinks this is some kind of convenient opportunity for me is really beneath the dignity of himself, the marine corps, and the state that he represents. this is a serious issue. we should have debated it months ago and the only reason we didn't and harry reid is on the floor here, he's heard me say
12:23 pm
it in private and i will say it in public, is because neither lead could get their caucuses in a position to have this debate. and there are many reasons for it. but those reasons cleared up after this election. and that's why we're having this debate because i asked for it and i appreciate the members no matter how they vote, having a debate because we had more debates like this in america, people might be hopeful that we could get something done and i yield the floor to the senator from wyoming. a senator: madam president,? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: i want to use leader time. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: madam president, in faraway israel during morning prayer a horrific attack took place. a number of people were having their morning prayer.
12:24 pm
four rabbis were savagely beaten, hacked to death with a meat cleaver. two palestinian men entered a nothing in -- snapping in jerusalem and -- synagogue and murdered these rabbis in the midst of morning prayer. three of these victims were american citizens. the other, i'm told, was a british citizen. one of them was reading scholar, hassidic scholar. but, madam president, more than a dozen others were hacked, hacked with a meat cleaver. while they were there praying. a number of these people are in critical condition as we speak. secretary of state john kerry today said -- and i quote -- "innocent people who have come to worship died in a sanctuary of a synagogue" -- close quote.
12:25 pm
madam president, places of worship have always been a refuge in times of peace and in times of conflict. yet these terrorists hacked and brutally, mercilessly murdered the worshipers in the midst of a prayer. this is not a isolated incident. recently palestinian 'tis have carried out shocking attacks all across israel. seven israelis have been killed in these horrible attacks including a 3-month-old american infant, a baby three months old. an israeli soldier, border patrol officer. these attacks are a direct result of incitement and i call upon the palestinian leadership to condemn these attacks unequivocally. this butchry has no place in the modern world and they should
12:26 pm
stop it. the presiding officer: the senator from california. mrs. boxer: madam president, i want to thank the majority leader reid for his remarks. sometimes it really does feel that the world is falling apart, and we have to speak out as we are doing every time these terrorists rear their head. so i know we have some time over here by senator barrasso. i just wanted to make a point on the environmental impact statements, it's hard to get back, but as i understand it in the hoeven-landrieu bill, the e.i.s. is approved, and so if the nebraska bureaucracy determines that there's a new route -- and i think this is what my friend from maryland was getting at -- it doesn't matter what the new route is. the e.i.s. is deemed approved. and i just have to say i don't
12:27 pm
think that's right because i think that the people who live along that new route have a right to have a new e.i.s. if in fact now the pipeline is being moved in a different direction. so i understand that the bill calls for property rights to be respected and that's called eminent domain and i know my friends on the other side hate eminent domain usually but now they're embracing it because it's in your bill but the fact of the matter is if at as a result of a court case brought by property owners if route changes, it is our counsel's understanding that the e.i.s. is still automatically approved. so i wanted to get that on the record because my friend was, in fact, questioned and i think he was right and i yield the floor. mr. barrasso: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from wyoming.
12:28 pm
mr. barrasso: i come to the floor today to express my support for the approval of the keystone x.l. pipeline. this is bipartisan legislation. the house passed this bill with 31 democrats voting for it. last week senate republicans welcomed the news that the outgoing senate majority leader had finally decided to let the senate vote on this legislation and the vote is finally going to take place today. for years house and senate republicans have been pushing legislation to approve the keystone p.l. pipeline but until now the outgoing senate majority wouldn't -- majority leader wouldn't let the senate vote on this measure. it was part of the majority leader's efforts to protect the president and the president's agenda. the majority leader had hoped that the american people would forget about the senate. he had hoped they'd be satisfied with president obama's job approval. well, two weeks ago the american people made it clear they have not forgotten about the senate, the american people made it
12:29 pm
clear that they are not satisfied with president obama and his policies. instead, the american people want the president to work with the senate, to enact bipartisan legislation, to grow our economy and to create jobs. now, president obama and senate democrats can do that today by supporting the bill that we're approaching to approve the campaign x.l. pipeline. this pipeline is going to create thousands of jobs right here at home. it's not just my view, it's the view of the president's own state department. according to the state department, the construction of the keystone x.l. pipeline would support over 42,000 jobs. 42,000 jobs. that's the reason why many of the nation's largest labor unions support the construction and approval of the keystone x.l. pipeline. in addition the pipeline will facilitate crude oil production.
12:30 pm
specifically, it will ship up to 100,000 barrels of oil each and every day from north dakota and montana. currently there's insufficient pipeline to pass the oil out of north dakota. as a consequent commonsense producers must rely on railroads to ship oil out of state. it's more specify than shipping it by pipeline. th the keystone x.l. pipeline would pry oil producers a cheaper shipping method and in turn encourage production of more american energy. this pipeline will also increase our nation's energy security. specifically, the pipeline will provide additional access to canadian oil. we should welcome access to canadian oil. canadian oil is a far better alternative to oil from venezuela, the middle east or west africa. areas of the world which don't share our values and too often work against our american interests.
12:31 pm
in contrast, canada is a strong ally. canada is america's top trading partner. and canada already provides the united states with reliable and secure sources of energy. now is the time for president obama to make a decision on the plain and simple pipeline. as the senior senator from delaware, a member of the president's own party said last week, we have waited not just months but years for a decision on keystone. he said this is too long. in fact, the permit for the keystone x.l. pipeline has been pending for over six years. during this time, the state department has conducted five environmental reviews of the project. each of the reviews has been positive. now, i say to president obama time is up, and the excuses have run out. it is time for you, mr. president, to make a decision. president obama should once again acknowledge that elections
12:32 pm
have consequences. specifically, he should signal to the american people that he has heard the message that voters across this country sent just two weeks ago. their message of support for bipartisan legislation that grows our economy, that creates jobs, that puts people back to work, their message of support for legislation like the approval of the keystone x.l. pipeline. thank you, madam president. i yield the floor. a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from south dakota. mr. thune: madam president, let me just say that at long last this week we're going to be voting on the keystone x.l. pipeline. the vote has been a long time coming. years, in fact. republicans have spent those years trying to get this pipeline and many jobs it will support approved. it was the top of our agenda last january -- i should say it was at the top of our agenda for january when we take control of
12:33 pm
the senate, but we're happy to be getting a head start on that work a little early. it's just too bad that it took an election defeat and a runoff election to finally motivate the democrat leadership to allow a vote on a measure that should have received a vote years ago, because the fact is, madam president, the keystone x.l. pipeline really is, if there is such a thing, a win-win. it will create jobs. they argue about how many jobs the president's own state department said it would support over 42,000 jobs. it will decrease our reliance on oil from dangerous countries. it will increase revenue to state and local governments. it will free up space on overcrowded rail lines so the farmers can get their goods to the marketplace. and it will do all of that, madam president, without spending a dime of taxpayer money. our economy has been limping along for years. the unemployment rate is still hovering at near recession
12:34 pm
levels, nearly nine million americans are unemployed and millions more are working at part-time jobs because they can't find full-time employment. household income has fallen by nearly $3,000 since president obama took office while the price of everything else from food to health care has risen. americans need jobs and economic opportunities, and the keystone pipeline will help supply them. as i said, the state department estimates that my home state of south dakota alone, construction of the pipeline will bring 3,000 to 4,000 jobs and generate well over $100 million in earnings. it will also bring over $20 million in annual property taxes to south dakota counties, and i know some of those counties in the middle of my state are counties that are struggling to keep up with the cost of keeping their local governments going. school districts are struggling to survive, and the necessary property tax revenue or the property tax revenue that will come in as a result of building the pipeline will help sustain many of those local governments
12:35 pm
and many of those school districts during some pretty difficult times. and, madam president, my state is just one of the states that benefits. nationwide, the pipeline will support more than 42,000 jobs, construction jobs from welders to pipefitters to those who work at local hotels and gas stations. it will invest $5.3 billion in the u.s. economy and bring states a total of $5 billion in property taxes over the life of the project. that's a lot of funding. for local priorities like schools, law enforcement personnel and roads and bridges. opponents of the pipeline like to cite environmental concerns as the reason for opposing the pipeline and its jobs. madam president, five now, five separate environmental reviews from the president's own state department have found that the pipeline poses no meaningful risk to the environment. in fact, even the state department admits that the keystone pipeline is the safest way of transporting the oil.
12:36 pm
it is safer than rail or truck. it's important to remember that canada will be extracting and transporting its oil regardless. the only question, madam president, is whether we want it to come here to the united states, along with the thousands of jobs it will create, or whether we want to let canada ship that oil overseas. madam president, the american people have been very clear on their feelings about this project. poll after poll has shown strong support. republicans support the pipeline. democrats in both houses of congress support the pipeline. unions support the pipeline. the only peep who -- people who seem to oppose it are members of the far left wing of the democrat party. and the reason we haven't had a vote in the senate is not because a majority of senators don't support the project. it is because senate democrat leadership refused to hold a vote despite having support from
12:37 pm
their side of the aisle. so while it's unfortunate, madam president, that it took the democrat leadership this long to come around, i'm glad we're finally here, and i hope that the senate will finally approve the pipeline. and if this bill passes today, it will have one final hurdle to clear, and that's the president of the united states. i very much hope that he will listen to the voices of american workers and to the bipartisan majorities here in the congress. given his recent comments, i'm skeptical. the president has demonstrated a disturbing commitment to holding the american economy hostage to the priorities of the far left wing of his party. take his recent energy agreement with china which would force american companies to implement costly new measures while china gets to do nothing. on the national energy tax that the president unveiled back in june will put tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of american workers out of a job and devastate entire
12:38 pm
communities. madam president, the pipeline's economic benefits, the support of the american people and five, five successful environmental reviews haven't yet convinced the president to approve this project. i'm concerned that this vote probably isn't going to help, but i hope i'm wrong. by signing this bill, the president could send a powerful message about his willingness to work with congress and he could show the american people that he really heard their demands for change in washington and that their economic priorities will be addressed. madam president, i'm sorry that american workers have had to wait years for this project because let's not forget they are the ones who have been hurt the most by the administration's refusal to approve the pipeline, but i hope today marks the end of their waiting, and i hope that it marks the beginning of a new era here in the united states senate. republicans take over in january, bills like keystone will be the order of the day. we'll take up jobs bills that pass the house with bipartisan
12:39 pm
support but have been waiting for a vote in the democratic leader senate. we will take up legislation to create check growth here at home by opening new markets for agriculture and manufacturing overseas. we'll repeal the medical device tax which is opposed by members of both parties thanks to the fact that it is eliminating thousands of jobs in the medical device industry. and that, madam president, is just a start. and i hope that just like they did today, democrats will work with us on these bills to create jobs and economic opportunities for the american people because as the people of this -- it is the people of this country we ought to be doing everything we can to help and support. madam president, i can tell you, the people in the midwest, in the heartland that i represent already spend if they make $50,000 a year, 20% of their income on energy, either fuel or electricity, and all these proposals, the national energy tax, the deal with china continue to drive up the cost of
12:40 pm
energy and make it more difficult and more expensive for middle-class families who are increasingly squeezed by these policies. and i just want to close, madam president, by quoting from a letter that the leaders received from the national council of farmer cooperatives in which they urge congress to support legislation to approve the keystone pipeline keystone pipeline, and this is what they say. the keystone x.l. pipeline is part of a long-term solution to alleviating the transportation treasures many in agriculture have faced. this year, farmers around the country experience some of the largest harvests they have seen in generations. for some, their successful year has come to an alarming halt when trying to sell and transport their crop. farmer cooperatives in the upper midwest are facing major delays in getting their farmer's grain to market during the sustained shortage i rail equipment resulting from the increased use of rail to transport crude oil.
12:41 pm
the keystone pipeline will ultimately free up locomotives to bring more grain to market and improve year after year record harvests. yet another reason, madam president, yet another reason to support this project and the jobs that come with it, the energy independence that comes with it, the lessening, relieving, if you will, of the rail capacity issues that are plaguing many areas of the midwest and making it harder for farmers to get their products to the marketplace. this is a project, madam president, that is a win-win, and i hope that when the vote comes later today that we will have not just a majority of united states senators but the 60 votes that are necessary to move this to the president's desk. madam president, i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from california. mrs. boxer: i will be yielding to senator merkley. before i do, i'm so glad to hear a republican say he wants to work on jobs. i would just say to my friend
12:42 pm
before he leaves, the c.e.o. who runs the pipeline says there will be 25 permanent jobs. so i would like to suggest to my friend that if he really wants to help the middle class, he ought to join with us first in raising the minimum wage, which is critical, and secondly embracing a clean energy future while we still do where it is safe. domestic oil production, clean coal, things that we can do that don't threaten the air that our children breathe, pollute the water that they drink and destroy the planet. so to hear a republican stand up and talk about jobs is music to my ears, but i would like to put into the record a report i just got from my california people at home who say, and i quote them -- "california's economic recovery has outpaced the rest
12:43 pm
of the country since the so-called great recession while our state has implemented the nation's strongest climate policies." and they go on to talk about the fact that they are looking forward 1.5 million full-time jobs. i'm just saying to my friend if this is really about jobs, let's pass a transportation bill, let's make sure that we do the things that help our people. now, i'm going to hold up a picture of the air in china. this is what it looks like when you throw the environment under the bus. now, we know because in california we had some bad air until a republican president passed the clean air act, signed it into law. do you want to know public opinion? i'll tell you. the public supports the e.p.a. and they support clean air, clean water, safe drinking water, and this tar sands --
12:44 pm
this isn't about the building of a pipeline. it's what's going into it. the filthiest, dirtiest oil. and we have put in the record all of the elements, the pollutants that are in this oil, and you can laugh it away if you want, that's fine, but i have got to tell you when you hear about the health impacts that are going on in canada from this tar sands, when you go down to port arthur, texas, or meet with the people here as i did, what you will see there is a community suffering because this is the dirtiest, dirtiest oil. so yes, jobs, that's where it's at with this senator. you know, i come from a family that is first generation american on my mother's side. we worked for everything we got. education was key to it. hey, how about joining with us on that. how about reducing interest rates on student loans? but to stand here and say that this is the absolute job
12:45 pm
producer is phony. it is phony baloney. with that, i yield to my friend for 12 minutes. a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from oregon. mr. merkley: i rise to address senate bill 2280 which would approve construction of the keystone x.l. pipeline to transport tar sand oil. the key is whether this bill by authorizing the pipeline would contribute significantly to global warming which is already damaging our rural resources and our future economic prospects, with profound consequences for families in america and around the world. also, are there better ways to create jobs that would enhance rather than damage our world? in the words of president theodore roosevelt, of all the questions which can come before this nation, short of the actual preservation of its existence in a great war, there is none which compares in importance with the great central task of leaving
12:46 pm
this lnd even a better land for our descendants than it is for us. let's start in addressing the vision that president roosevelt put forward. let's start by examining the impact of the keystone pipeline on atmospheric, carbon dioxide pollutions and global warming. in this chart, we see going back 800,000 years that the carbon dioxide level has gone up and down. in recent years, been quite steady until the start of the industrial revolution. and then has soared, soared above levels it has been at for hundreds of thousands of years. and in this second chart, we see that there is absolutely no question that heat, put here in blue, correlates to the carbon dioxide level in red. carbon dioxide level goes up and down. the heat of the planet goes up and down. by many estimates, to contain
12:47 pm
global warming to 2 degrees celsius, humans can burn only about an additional 500 gigatons of fossil carbon. that is the fossil budget we have to work with to avoid catastrophic global warming. but currently the world's top 200 fossil fuel companies have identified 2,800 gigatons trapped in their fossil fuel reserves and that doesn't include the carbon from tar sands and oil shale. so here is the problem. to protect the planet from catastrophic global warming, we need to leave four-fourths of the identified conventional fossil fuel reserves in the ground. but building the keystone pipeline would open the faucet to rapid exploitation of a massive new unconventional reserve -- that is, the tar sands -- making it much less likely for human civilization to succeed in meeting that carbon
12:48 pm
budget that is so important to our future economic and environmental world. and that is why building the keystone pipeline is a great mistake. global warming is not some imaginary foe embedded in some computer model with effects 50 years from now. it is here and we can see it at this very moment. the warmest 10 years on record for global average surface temperature have occurred in the last 12 years. moreover, the effects can be seen in every state, in oregon and actually across the nation, the average forest fire season is getting longer. across the nation since the 1980's, the season -- the national season has grown by 60-08 days. and the average acres consumed annually by wildfires has doubled to more than 7 million
12:49 pm
acres. this sight has become all too familiar in my home state of oregon. one study estimates that global warming through the combined impact of greater pine beetle infestations and larger forest fires will decimate the western forests of the united states by the end of this century. in addition, the snowpack in our oregon mountains is decreasing, which means smaller and warmer trout streams -- that's not a good thing if you love to fis fish -- and less water for irrigation. the calamouth basin, a major basin in oregon, has suffered through three dry years and three horrific droughts just since 2001, in substantial part because of lower snowpacks. and we see here in this chart and these red circles represent a significant decrease in the snowpack. and as you can see throughout the northwestern united states,
12:50 pm
in oregon and washington, idaho and montana, stretching on into northern california, a huge decrease in snowpack having devastating consequences for agriculture. as the high levels of carbon dioxide in the air are absorbed by the oceans, the carbon dioxide becomes carbonic acid. that acid, as one would expect, makes the oceans more acidic. this chart, which presents the carbon dioxide and the p.h. time series from hawaii presents the challenge clearly. co2 in the atmosphere went up from about 320 parts per million to about 380 parts per million over a period of about 50 years. steady increase in carbon dioxide. we then see with this blue set of data that there is a parallel trend in the carbon dioxide that is in our ocean. and then we see from this light blue data that the p.h. level is
12:51 pm
dropping, which means that the ocean is more acidic. that's a 30% increase in the acidity of the ocean over a very short period of time. the greater acidity is having an impact on sea life. one impact is on coral reefs, which are the ocean's most diverse ecosystem and the base of the ocean's feed chain. fishing families around the world depend on coral reefs as a foundation for their livelihood another impact is on the reproduction of oysters. the whiskey creek shellfish hatchery in oregon, which i visited just a few weeks ago, started having trouble growing baby oysters, known as oyster seed, in the year 2008. the hatchery almost went out of business. but a scientist from oregon state university was able to help identify and address the problem. the problem, it turns out, stems from the increase in the asidity of the pacific ocean. the oyster seed or the canary in the coal mine, if they are having trouble forming shells,
12:52 pm
what else is going wrong in the ocean due to rising acidity? in summary, carbon pollution is having a direct and substantial impact on the vitality of our forests, our farming and our fishing. our rural resources are being damaged now and the problems will multiply with additional carbon pollution. so as members of the human family on this planet, with the moral responsibility to exercise wise stewardship of our resources for future generatio generations, we must address this challenge of carbon pollution and we must do so now. wise stewardship means that we must leave four-fifths of the conventional fossil fuels in the ground. so, madam president, as this bill before us, which would open the faucet to this massive new reserve of fossil fuels advance such stewardship? the answer is clear. stewardship demands that we not
12:53 pm
build infrastructure to unlock the tar sands, the dirtiest source of oil on the planet. but the proponents of the pipeline have come to the floor and made some interesting arguments, arguments worth examining to see if they actually hold water. first, they argue the pipeline would create a tremendous number of construction jobs. here is a comparison of the direct construction jobs created by the pipeline -- that's this little tiny, little wedge right down here; that's the pipeline jobs -- versus the jobs that would be created by the rebuild america act -- hundreds of thousands of jobs. so just 4,000 or so jobs in construction of the pipeline. hundreds of thousands from the rebuild america act. if anyone on this floor is actually serious about jobs, we would pass the rebuild america act today. well, proponents make a second argument. they say that bringing this additional oil into america would increase america's oil independence. we heard that argument just a few moments ago from my
12:54 pm
colleague from south dakota. and the argument goes, this strengthens american national security b by decreasing americs dependence on the middle east. but that argument overlooks the fact that this is not american oil, this is canadian oil, and this is not oil destined for the united states, it's destined to be refined in the gulf coast for export around the world. these tar sands do no more for america than as they were exported through canada to the world market. in fact, if you want the oil to be used in america, the best thing to do is not build the pipeline because that means that the area around the tar sands area will be the area getting that oil. shipping canadian oil to the world market via america adds nothing to america's security. the next argument from proponents is that the pipeline has no environmental effect. indeed, we just heard this argument as well. because the oil from the pipeline -- from the tar sands it's argued will reach the market by rail, if not by pipeline. this argument is demonstrably
12:55 pm
false. there is not enough rail capacity to substitute for the pipeline. and the costs of shipping oil by rail is much higher than pipeline. greatly reducing the economic incentive for rapid development of the tar sands. oh well, proponents say. if the keystone pipeline is not built, alternative pipelines will be built through canada. but that is certainly not at all clear f. it was easier and cheaper to build through canada, trans-canada wouldn't be trying to build through the united states of america. moreover, there is tremendous opposition within canada to building such pipelines. that's part of the reason trans-canada wanted to build it through the united states. the opposition within canada to additional pipelines is just as fierce as it is in america for the same set of reasons, fundamentally important moral reasons about the stewardship of our environment and our future economy. so it turns out the keystone pipeline represents a real risk to our rural resources, our
12:56 pm
farming, our fishing. it represents a real risk to our future healthy economy needed to sustain middle-class jobs. the pipeline itself creates very few jobs compared to a serious investment in infrastructure. and it adds nothing to our national security. and there are several other serious problems with this pipeline that have often been glossed over. for one, trans-canada is exempted from contributing to the oil spill liability fund. that's outrageous. you could call this bill the trans-canada protection act. why are we doing a special deal for a canadian company? oil spills like this happen with these pipelines all the time and they're not going to contribute one slim dime to the oil liability fund that american companies have to contribute to? why would anyone vote for that sort of special deal for a foreign company? that irresponsible failure to contribute a single dime to the
12:57 pm
oil spill liability fund. in addition, we are giving a foreign corporation the ability to exercise eminent domain to seize the lands of american citizens. since when do we give power to a foreign corporation to take land away from american citizens without their desire? it's fundamentally unfair to american landowners. now, the legal basis for eminent domain is that there has to be a compelling public good. what is the compelling public good in this situation? is it the generation of private profits for a canadian corporation? that doesn't meet the test. is it the damage from the oil spills that will occur in communities across america? that doesn't meet the test. is it the contributory damage -- the presiding officer: the senator is advised your time has expired. a senator: i ask unanimous consent for a infinite and a half more. -- for a minute and a half more. the presiding officer: without objection. a senator: is it from the damage from carbon pollution to our farming, fishing and forests? that doesn't meet the test. frankly, tackling carbon
12:58 pm
pollution is going to take enormous amount of international cooperation. just a few days ago, the u.s. and china entered into an agreement to address global climate change crisis. the chinese president announced china wouldina would reduce 20%f non-fossil fuel sources emissions by 2030, seeking to decrease chinese co2 emissions thereafter. that's the type of leadership the world has been asking for. we can't simply wish for nations to work together. we have to negotiate and we have to do our part. that's why today we should be talking about not how to turn on the tap to the dirtiest oil on the planet but how to meet the 2025 goals and how to create jobs by investing in energy conservation and renewable energy. let's remember the test president theodore roosevelt gave us. there is no more important mission than -- quote -- "leaving this land a better land for descendants than it is for us." this bill fails that test. thank you, madam president.
12:59 pm
the presiding officer: the senator from california. mrs. boxer: madam president, i think we're going to take a recess shortly. i just wanted to thank everybody on both sides for their statements. and to sum it up from my perspective, you've got a situation here that, frankly, i'm very glad we're confronting because there are lots of people who say, oh, this is no big deal. it's just a little pipeline. and we have so many pipelines. you know, senator thune said, oh, it's so much safer to transport this oil by pipeline than other ways. just try telling that to the people of marshall, michigan. there was a spill there in 2010, the kalamazoo river. they are still trying to clean it up because it's not the pipeline, folks, it's the dirty tar sands oil that is so much
1:00 pm
more dangerous, has more heavy metals, is more carcinogenic. it's a problem. and it sinks by virtue of its weight to the bottom and they cannot clean it up. i can't believe the statement was made about how safe this is. we've seen stories that there are problems with the welding in the existing pipelines. and you know, you might want to talk to the people in arkansas. may flower, automaker -- mayflower, arkansas. do you know exxon had to buy back the homes because they couldn't be lived in anymore because this stuff spilled and contaminated an entire neighborhood. i call this the x.l., the x-tra lethal pipeline. the pipeline itself is benign. it's what's going through it and what it will release in 45% more
1:01 pm
carbon over time. 45% mortar sands than you would otherwise have. so you figure everything gets increased by that amount. you know, there's going to be more carbon. there's going to be more sulfur. there's going to be more mercury, lead. so this is important today. i'm so glad we're having it. and i also, i really have to say, my colleagues say we never allowed a vote. that was a lot of boxing around the boxing ring on that one. we tried. i don't mind having a vote on this. i never minded having a vote on it. i think it's an important debate. people disagree. it's okay. air it out. but the bill before us would stop a process that is in place, that is very important not because it's a -- quote unquote -- process, but because two million people wrote
1:02 pm
comments about the keystone pipeline. we should say your voices don't matter. truncate the process. i don't care what you said. we already know there's a court case, and this bill would approve the e.i.s. even if nebraska moves the route to another route, guess what? this bill that's pending here, the hoeven-landrieu bill would already sait -- say the new e.i.s. is approved. that's wrong. 35 permanent jobs. most of this oil exported. economists saying our price of gas in the domestic market will go up, and you compare it to embracing a clean energy agenda while you still develop oil where it's safe and sound and you still develop all of the above where it's safe and sound. but if you embrace clean energy,
1:03 pm
i've got to tell you, the jobs will dwarf the 35 permanent jobs for sure that this pipeline brings us. in california, we are so excited with what's happening, and we don't want to look like the people in china where they walk around in masks. and we don't want to have little girls and boys in those inhalers because they can't breathe the air. this is real. this is real. this is about health. yes, it's about jobs. yes, it's about prices. and i find it really fascinating, a few years ago when this all came up, what did we say? we said this pipeline will make us energy independent. now we know that we're going to allow this oil to go right through the middle of our country. misery follows the tar sands spills. we've already had spills. we know what happens when
1:04 pm
there's a spill. and what do we get at the end? the oil goes to the rest of the world. and now our friends say, oh, it's still good. it's good for prices. no, it isn't good for prices. economists have told us it's not good for gas prices, and it doesn't help us become energy independent. and it imperils our planet with large amounts of carbon going into the air. and it imperils our families with pollutants that are very carcinogenic and very dangerous. so, to me, i just hope we'll let the process continue. i don't know what happens today. and i know the handwriting's on the wall. i know it is on this one. but you know what? when you see the country you love going down a route that makes sense, following a procedure that makes sense,
1:05 pm
letting court cases resolve themselves, letting the people's comments be looked at, making sure we know exactly what we're doing, and you see that process shortcut by legislation and people who, by the way -- and i'm talking about my republican friends. oh, we're not a scientist. we don't know if there's climate change. that's right, you are not scientists and you don't know, so you listen to 98% of the scientists who are telling us that the keystone is a dangerous move for this planet because it's going to allow this oil that is far more carbon intensive. look, i'm a humble person. i'm not a scientist. i do listen to them, and i've got to say to go blindly down this path is a huge mistake. but yet, that's what we're facing, and it's fine with me that we're facing it. and we will stand and we will
1:06 pm
debate until there's nothing more to be said. and we are probably getting to that place right now, so i will stop and retain the balance of my time. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the senate the previous order, the senate >> and there's some four hours of debate left on the keystone xl oil pipeline bill authorizing the pipeline with a final vote expected at 6:15 eastern. senators are breaking for their weekly party meetings, we'll have live coverage here on c-span2 at 2:15. throughout the day we've been asking you on facebook and twitter, should the senate approve of the keystone xl pipeline. join in the conversation at facebook.com/c-span or the hashtag c-spanchat. first, though, we want to get right to the white house. the briefing got underway just about five minutes ago. >> i think that's why we had 14 republicans join with almost
1:07 pm
every democrat in the senate to support this legislation. there's a lot of common sense in there. unfortunately, we haven't seen the house republicans be persuaded by that common sense to actually take it up. michelle? >> just to clarify what you said, steve asked if you'd received recommendations. you're not saying whether this is in the review stage at this point or whether he's still waiting for the full recommendations? >> that's right. i don't have an update beyond what i said last week, which is that the president is nearing a final decision on this. >> why don't you want to say whether or not he's received those relations? >> only because i don't want to be in a position of doing that regular daily or even hourly play-by-play of all of this. the president has indicated that he's going to act before the end of the year, and that timeline hasn't changed. >> in the meantime, rhetoric has been building out there with now threats of everything from impeachment, lawsuits and now shutting down the government. does the white house have a response to that kind of, you know, pretty serious rhetoric at times? >> well, it's certainly
1:08 pm
unprecedented rhetoric from republicans, unfortunately. even with a common sense piece of legislation that has bipartisan support, republicans have been vociferously critical of that bill for reasons that i'm not entirely clear on. the question that the president has before him is a pretty simple one which is given that congress and in this case house republicans have refused to act on legislation that would be good for the economy, good for the deficit, good for border security and given that the speaker of the house convened a news conference shortly after the elections in which he refused to commit to even take up this legislation again, the question before the president of the united states is, is he going to use his authority to actually do something good for the country that would be helpful when it comes to our border security in terms of strengthening our border security? is he going to take steps that would be good for the economy? and the answer to they question is, yes, the president is determined to take the kinds of steps that are in the best interests of the company. he would prefer for congress to
1:09 pm
fulfill their responsibilities in this regard, and that's why the president has indicated if congress does pass this legislation, the president is happy to have, you know, common sense comprehensive, bipartisan legislation that supersedes his executive action. but if they don't, the president is not going to use that as an excuse to not act himself. >> the suspension is killing -- suspense is killing everyone. [laughter] will the president veto the keystone bill? >> well, the president's been very clear about what our views are as it relates to the keystone bill. consistent with past practice, the state department has a method of reviewing these kinds of projects that span our international borders. and that means that the state department conduct a review that includes a wide range of considerations including at the president's direction the consideration about whether or not this particular project would substantially contribute to carbon pollution and the impacts of climate change. so there is a process that's underway that is currently going
1:10 pm
through its regular course. this is complicated at least a little by ongoing court proceedings in the state of nebraska as it relates to the route of the pipeline in nebraska. but there is a process underway, and the president is confident that that process will carefully evaluate the consequences of this specific proposal and that that's the proper way for a decision like this to be made. >> so that's a yes. >> it is, it is an answer to the president's view that the state department is the proper venue for reaching this determination. okay? justin. >> i just wanted to to back to something you said first about the possibility that republicans would attach something to a spending bill to defund it. whatever the president's executive actions on immigration or if that's not something you view favorably, is that in the same way you'd not view the
1:11 pm
keystone pipeline legislation favorably on a scale of veto to not veto? [laughter] i'm just trying to understand what you mean by that. >> well, it's hard to render, you know, a particularly definitive judgment on those kinds of proposals because they haven't been put forward yet. but i think as a general matter as it relates to the immigration reform decision that rests on the president's desk, that the president is confident that whatever action he will take will be within the confines of the law. so he'll be taking a lawful action that is not inconsistent with executive actions that previous presidents, including republican presidents have taken on the specific issue of immigration reform. so i think that's why in our view we would consider it to be up warranted for republicans -- unwarranted for republicans in congress to try to undo that executive action using the budget process. >> on the timing issue that's come up a few times, will you concede that part of your
1:12 pm
calculation is kind of the political consideration that you'd bring this out before a spending bill is brought up that gives republicans an opportunity to a approve the budget process that has to happen by december 11th? >> i guess the question you're asking is more about the legislative strategy, right? about whether the president should make this decision before congress has acted on either a cr or an omnibus with the thinking being that if the president waits until after they pass the cr or omnibus, republicans are less likely to attach some kind of rider that would defund the president's actions. i think the fact is you could probably argue this both ways. republicans, as they should be, are well aware of the president's intent to act before the end of the year, and my sense is that even if the president doesn't announce anything until late in december, that will not prevent republicans from preemptively trying to attach to the cr or an
1:13 pm
omnibus bill a proposal to make the implementation of that executive action harder. so there are a variety of views on this topic, and while i guess i would concede based on the long explanation i've given that this is something that's been discussed at the white house -- [laughter] that i'm not sure given you can argue it either way, i don't think that this strategic decision that you've raised here will determine the outcome at all. >> and last one, do you expect the keystone bill to pass today? >> i'm not nearly as keen an observer of the legislative process as all of you. i know that some supporters of the proposal say that they have the votes necessary to pass the bill, but, you know, they'll put the bill on the floor tonight, and i guess we'll all find out. cheryl. >> i'm going to try. [laughter] [inaudible conversations] >> senator mcconnell had asked for a formal statement of
1:14 pm
administration policy to find out what the administration's position is, will there be -- [inaudible] heading into that vote. do you plan on sending a statement of administration policy on the keystone bill today? >> i have not heard any discussion of doing that, but if our decision on that changes, we'll make sure that all of you get it, all right? laura. >> [inaudible] does the president plan to speak with prime minister netanyahu? >> laura, i don't have any phone calls to preview for you here. you've seen that the white house has put out a written statement from the president, and i believe he had the opportunity to address the senseless act of violence at the beginning of a meeting that he convened earlier today. so, you know, we obviously are, you know, deeply concerned about the, specifically about this terrorist act. we're talking about, you know, attackers senselessly and
1:15 pm
brutally killing innocent worshipers at a sin gold. sin -- synagogue. those who were killed include three american citizens. the fact is, there can be no justification for an attack like this against innocent civilians, and the thoughts and prayers of the american people are with the victims and families of those who were killed and injured in this horrific attack and in other recent violence. at this sensitive moment in jerusalem, it is all the more important for israeli and palestinian leaders and ordinary citizens to work cooperatively together to lower tensions, reject violence and seek a path forward toward peace, okay? angela. >> there's been a growing chorus of business leaders asking the white house to step in on the -- [inaudible] right now it's slowed down, but threatening strike out there right as the holiday season approaches. [inaudible] is that something that the president is considering? is it being discussed at various
1:16 pm
levels? obviously, president bush did step in in 2002 in a similar situation. >> yeah. angela, i don't know if there have been discussions about this at the white house. there are not, none that i'm aware of, but we can certainly look into that for you. >> is there a threshold at which the white house would weigh in or intervene? >> presumably, that's one of the things that would be discussed if discussions were ongoing, and i just don't know the answer to that. we'll have to look into that for you, okay? john? >> we get back to the immigration executive order coming? does the president still stand by what he said last year when he said, quote, i am not the emperor of the united states, my job is to execute laws that are passed? is that still operative? >> absolutely. >> [inaudible] >> that's right. >> because he was asking very specifically about the idea of expanding the deferred action executive order for the dreamers to their parents, and he said september 17th of last year, telemundo, very clearly if we
1:17 pm
start broadening that then, essentially, i would be ignoring the law in a way that would make it very difficult to defend legally, so that is not an option. is that still operative? when the president said specifically expanding the doc executive order is not an option? does he still believe that? >> john, i don't want to get ahead of any sort of announcements that the president may make before the end of the year about executive actions he may take to fix our immigration system. since this interview aired, the president did direct the attorney general and the director of homeland security to determine what, if any, authority he could use to try to fix some of the problems that house republicans have refused to address. so this is something that has been under consideration for some time by the attorney general of the united states and by the secretary of homeland security, and, you know -- >> so just to be clear, so you're saying this is no longer
1:18 pm
operative because we've had a review, so when the president said this expanding daca to apply to the parents of the dreamers would be broadening and, essentially, ignoring the law, that it's not an option, that statement is no longer operative? >> what i'm saying is we'll have an opportunity to evaluate the actions that the president has chosen to take after he's announced. >> i'm not asking about the options, i'm just saying -- does the president still stand by what he said in that interview of september of last year? >> well, john, obviously, there are some -- >> [inaudible] >> well, it's not. obviously, there have been some things that have changed, right? we have been in a situation where the president has ordered a broader, in-depth review of the existing law to determine what sort of executive authority does rest with the presidency to determine what kind of steps he could take on his own. the other thing we've seen is we've seen house republicans refuse to act even on common sense legislation that would fix so many of the problems of our
1:19 pm
broken immigration system in a way that would strengthen border security, reduce the deficit and and -- >> they'd already refused to act at this point. >> i guess it's fair to say they've been refusing to act for some time. now it's been almost a year and a half. >> why are you not using, spanish back to keystone -- swish back to keystone, why are you not saying previously when this issue had come up, you'd said you'd issued a statement of administrative policy that the president's adviser would recommend a veto. it seems sub substantively what you're saying is not changing, but is there a reason you're leaving options open? >> i don't want to leave you that impression. it's certainly a piece of legislation that the president doesn't support because the president believes this is something that should be determined through the state department in the regular process that is in place to evaluate projects like this. but, again, i'm not in a
1:20 pm
position to issue veto threats from here. but as you rightly point out, there are similar pieces of legislation that have been introduced in this congress where the president's senior advisers have recommended a veto. >> okay. just one other subject. the videos of jonathan gruber have now become almost a hit series, i guess there's seven of them out now, various talking about the stupidity of the american voter, of the ways that, you know, the process of passing the health care law, the ways in which people were duped as to what was actually going on. i'm wondering what your reaction to this. obviously, he was a very important figure in the crafting of the health care law, so what is your view of what he's had to say? >> well, i think the president, you know, when he answered a question on this at the news conference in brisbane over the weekend was pretty clear about the fact that the sentiments that were expressed by dr. gruber are not sentiments that the president agrees with and, frankly, don't actually reflect what actually happened in the process of passing and implementing this law. you know, the fact of the matter
1:21 pm
is i do think that people are understandably pretty tired of relitigating all of the political fights from 2009 and 2010 as it relates to the affordable care act, and there are some republicans, however, who do seek to sort of fan the flames of those old political arguments because they think it is politically advantageous for them to do so. my suspicion is that they do so because it's easier to talk about six and eight-year-old videos than it is to talk about how smoothly the opening of the second open enrollment period has gone so far or to talk about the millions of people that have gotten health care as a result of the affordable care act or to talk about how the growth in health care costs is the lowest in recorded history, again, in the aftermath of the passing of the affordable care act. you know, the affordable care act guarantees a bunch of patient protections including people can't be discriminated against because of a pre-existing position. all that stuff is inconvenient
1:22 pm
for people who opposed the law to talk about, so it's easier the talk about these kinds of videos. i don't think there's a particularly large audience of the american people that's eager to have this discussion. >> but you would acknowledge he was an important figure in crafting this law? >> i think the president acknowledged in the news conference that he did over the weekend when, i believe, ed ask about this, that mr. gruber was an adviser. >> would he be welcome to more government contracts, he's made more than $2 million from the federal government, $400,000 specifically regarding the health care law, and, you know, of course, a lot more money from the states as well. is he now kind of persona non grata, no more government contracts for jonathan gruber? >> well, i assume that those kinds of decisions are made on a, based on merit. but, certainly, the comments that he has now famously expressed are not views that are
1:23 pm
shared by anybody at the white house. >> i follow that? >> i'll come right back to you, wendell. april. >> different subject. i want to ask you, first, about something the president said about ebola. he said we are not out of the woods yet. is it the assumption that you're hoping for the best but expecting possibly another case scenario where you may have ebola coming into this cup or someone could -- into this country or someone could contract it -- [inaudible] >> i think the reason the president said we're not out of the woods yet is we continue to see bowl la cases reported in west africa, and there is new concern about the nation of mali, about the potential spread of the disease in that country. we've been pretty candid about the risk of a widespread outbreak of ebola in the united states remains exceedingly low, but that risk is, to the american people, is not eliminated until this disease has been stopped in its tracks in west africa, and that's why you're seeing a significant commitment of resources from the
1:24 pm
federal government to try to stop this outbreak in west africa, and that's why the administration has asked congress to pass some additional funding to increase readiness here in this country, to respond to ebola patients if there should be others that materialize in this country, but also and just as importantly and even more importantly, to make sure that we're mobilizing necessary resources to stop this outbreak in west africa. >> on my second subject, is this white house gearing up for a major fight come january? >> about anything specific? [laughter] >> january, both houses -- [inaudible] this is a very blue white house, and are you gearing up for a big fight? >> i guess i don't really understand the question. >> okay. well, you've got a congress that doesn't like health care reform this president put through, you've got -- >> that's been true for four years, right? >> they're now in control and looking at doing things to change it. immigration reform, the president's talking about
1:25 pm
pushing immigration reform through now, and in january when they're here, they're going to push back. are you concerned about a big fight? >> april, i think the president's been pretty clear about what he believes he can do with the next congress. and that is specifically that we should be able to find some areas of common ground where we can make progress for the american people. that said, we're going to have plenty of disagreements over probably lots of things, and i think the key here is to recognize that we don't want to be in a position where we prevent those disagreements -- some of them significant -- from allowing us to identify some common ground and make progress for the american people using that common ground. so, you know, whether it is tax reform or even making it easier for american goods and services to be sold overseas, there may be an opportunity for democrats and republicans to work together. and we'd welcome those opportunities. >> looking for common ground, congresswoman marcia fudge said you should talk to harry reid,
1:26 pm
put on the schedule to have ms. lynch, loretta lynch, have confirmation hearings before january because nothing will go through come january. that's what she said. what do you say to people like that? >> well, all i would say is that ms. lynch is an exceedingly highly qualified nominee, she's somebody with a stellar legal track record and somebody who deserves prompt and bipartisan confirmation in the united states senate. we've seen some early indications from republicans that they're going to give her a fair and prompt hearing. we would expect nothing less. and the president is confident that she'll, she'll get the bipartisan confirmation that she deserves. >> and. [inaudible] has this administration or this president, do you know anything about the potential of the verdict on this, the indictment or not indictment on this
1:27 pm
officer who shot and killed michael brown? >> well, i think it's been pretty broadly, widely reported that there are ongoing grand jury proceedings in ferguson related to this specific case. but nobody at the white house has any special knowledge of those proceedings. >> is there concern then from this white house that the national guard has been called up and there's a presence there to quell potential violence in that town if the verdict does come out that he's found not guilty? >> well, the president did have the opportunity to speak on the telephone with governor jay nixon from the state of missouri -- >> when was this? >> i believe it was november 7th. we put out a readout of that call, so i can send that to you after the briefing. the president spent some time talking about work that the governor has been focused on in terms of unsuring that the community -- insuring that the community is or that steps are taken to protect the community if necessary.
1:28 pm
you know, and that does include in this case the mobilization of some national guard units. the president has also been in touch with civil rights leaders over the last few weeks to talk to them about the important work they're doing in communities across the country to try to prevent any other violence associated with this particular circumstance. that said, i think the president's pretty mindful of the advice from mr. brown's parents who urge people to pay tribute to their son's memory by expressing their views peacefully. the president's mindful of that and hopes other people will be too. >> if the verdict does not come out or we don't know if they're nearing a decision or they're going to go up to the last day of the window, do you think it might be overkill right now to put the national guard troops out because right now they're there, and the people are just using their rights to speak out about what they feel.
1:29 pm
>> well, again, for any sort of tactical decisions about where and when to deploy national guard personnel, i'd refer you to the governor's office. obviously, they're making those decisions. the white house isn't. okay. wendell? >> back on jonathan gruber. in brisbane the president really downplayed his significance, i think, and you say that his views are not shared, his views about voters are not shared at the white house. steve ratner, msnbc, the president's former car czar, says gruber was "the man" on obamacare when he was here. >> i'm not sure the car czar would have a lot of insight into >> he was here. >> yeah, so was i. >> okay to. [laughter] >> and mr. gruber was an adviser, as the president himself said. >> he was a czar. [laughter] >> that could be, that could be. >> you downplaying his significance -- >> no. >> -- in crafting the affordable care act? >> he obviously is somebody who knows his profession as it
1:30 pm
relates to being a health care economist very well. he's somebody who has offered advice to democrats and republicans as they've implemented health care policy. dr. gruber was, obviously, involved with then-governor romney's efforts to implement health care reform in the state of massachusetts. that principally is why he was involved with this effort, because so many aspects of the affordable care act borrowed from the successes of that law as well. so he certainly is somebody who is well versed in understanding how economics will have an impact on health care policy. but i think he made, it's pretty evident from these videos, that he doesn't have nearly as much insight as it relates to politics or communications or legislative strategy. >> republicans say his comments show a lack of transparency in selling the affordable care act. for example, not calling a tax a tax. and they say that they're going
1:31 pm
to, based on that, challenge the president's veracity in selling obamacare. how much of a political problem is gruber now? >> well, i think i would quibble with that critique for a couple of reasons. the affordable care act is something that was debated over the course of 14 months, there were 79 bipartisan hearings that were convened in the house of representatives. there were about 100 hours of hearings on health care reform in the house including from 181 witnesses from both sides of the aisle. over in the senate there were 53 additional hearings on this matter -- >> i'll stipulate that. >> right, so, i guess, but the suggestion by some was this was something that had not been carefully worked through or not transparent, i assume that all these hearings were open. i guess that's why i just wanted to raise that because i do think it significantly undermines the charge that there wasn't a lot of transparency as it relates to the debate around the health care law. it was debated, and i'm just going to do the math on off the
1:32 pm
top of my head, 133, 132 congressional hearings. >> when you've got authors say, look, you can't call a tack a tax because politically it won't go through, that's a problem. >> well, again, it wasn't his responsibility to figure out how to get this bill through. we have people who are responsible for making those kinds of legislative decisions at the white house. his expertise was focused on the economics of health care. this is expertise that he lended to governor romney's administration or in massachusetts as they worked on health care reform there, and that was the role that he played here. it also, i think, is why it's pretty clear that the views he's articulated don't reflect what actually happened when it comes to the passing or implementation of this law, okay? chris. >> let me ask you a few more questions about the review of the hostage and the policy here. and i want to start with i know there's been a lot of talk about how much people who actually do pay ransom, particularly in
1:33 pm
european countries, whether directly or more likely to a third party or through a company actually do pay ransom, how -- [inaudible] and where is the effort on putting pressure not to pay ransom? >> well, we've made the views of this country very clear. and, again, the reasons for that are that paying ransoms or making it clear to other organizations that we're willing to pay ransoms only puts american citizens at greater risk. and that's something that, obviously, the president is very focused on. he's trying to protect american citizens. the other thing that we know based on our insight into the way that isil works, that they rely on these sort of ransom payments as a very important source of their financing. so shutting off that source of financing is an important part of our strategy for defeating them. so that's why -- and, again, this isn't a new policy, this is
1:34 pm
actually a policy that predates this president. >> but is there any progress on putting pressure on having any success in getting other countries, other organizations to back off on that? >> well, we've certainly impressed upon other countries and other organizations the wisdom of this view. but, ultimately, you know, they're going to make that decision for themselves. >> they're also at the time of james foley's parents were critical of the relationship, we've talked about it here, you've talked about it from the podium. have there been any changes since that time in the way this administration deals with the families of people who are being held hostage, and is that also part of -- >> that's part of the review. >> but no changes at this point? >> not that i'm aware of. but, again, you know, once this kind of, once this review is completed, i'm sure we'll have more that we can say about this. >> and just a quick question on immigration because today -- well, actually, on a number of occasions the president has talked about that he's tired of
1:35 pm
waiting, including at that post press conference. he suggested and you've also said here today that, you know, this isn't going to make a difference in terms of budget, that the republicans will go ahead anyway, you think, if they're going to do some sort of attachment -- >> i think the point i was making is i think you can argue it both ways so which is why a decision like that doesn't determine the outcome. >> harry reid said today, quote: i think it should be done now. is there any real reason for the president to wait beyond this week? >> well, i, you know, i think justin floated sort of the reason that you might consider doing that. i don't have any updates in terms of the timing. the president has been waiting a long time, more importantly, the american people have been waiting a long time for congressional republicans to stop blocking a common sense proposal that would actually do a lot to solve so many aspects of our broken immigration system in a way that would be good for the economy, the deficit and
1:36 pm
strengthen our security at the border. so there are some steps the president can take using his own authority that he's going to pursue to try to mitigate some of those concerns. but the fact is the president is not going to be able to do as much as this legislation would do. and that's why even after the president does take action before the end of this year, he's going to continue to press congress to take the kinds of steps that he believes are necessary. the president pointed this out in the news conference that he did in brisbane last week or over the weekend, i guess. it's not just the president who believes that the common sense, bipartisan proposal in the senate would be good for the country. the business community, the labor community, the evangelical community, even law enforcement believes that that legislation would be in the best interests of the country. i think it makes it very difficult for republicans to explain why they continue to block this proposal, because the other thing that we know about this bill is that if house republicans were just to allow it to come up for a bill, that
1:37 pm
it would surely pass the house of representatives also in a bipartisan fashion. so, again, we'll have plenty of opportunity to evaluate whatever steps the president takes, and is we can sort of at that point have a discussion about the wisdom of the actual timing that he chooses. but at this point i think the case is pretty clear for why the president should act and, eventually -- sometime relatively soon -- we'll have the opportunity to have a discussion about what steps the president is actually taking. okay? all right? leslie. >> could we go back to keystone? the times had mentioned in a story today, said the president's thinking was to veto now and go for some sort of a trade maybe or something after the state department review comes out. can you speak a little bit to is that his thinking, to wait on keystone and use it for some -- [inaudible] >> well, that presupposes that it's going to pass in the senate. so i think we'll probably wait
1:38 pm
and see what happens in the senate and see whether or not the president, this comes to the president's desk before we sort of make decisions about the next steps. >> but it sounds like there's already thinking about the next steps. >> yeah, i think that's probably fair to say. >> could you elaborate a little bit? [laughter] >> not at this point. maybe sometime soon if we advance further in the process. mr.-- [inaudible] >> what would be the advantage to waiting if the president so determined to do this? why doesn't he just do it this week? >> well, maybe he will, who knows? [laughter] >> you didn't really answer chris' question. why would he wait? >> well, maybe he won't. [laughter] >> who knows? >> who knows? >> [inaudible] >> i don't know. i'll let you guys sort of weigh the pros and cons here. when the president's made a decision, we will definitely -- we'll make sure you're among the first to know -- [laughter] >> right. >> and we'll have a chance to sort of walk through at that point what the president's decided and why he decided to
1:39 pm
take the action he took and at what timing. >> and perhaps you'll also explain how he can walk back his comments that he made which john referred to in september of 2013 -- >> well, i think -- >> about the limits of his legal powers. >> i think we'll be confidently able to explain to now what legal authority -- to you what legal authority the president's using to take these actions. that's exactly right. j.c.? >> josh, in light of the deteriorating situation in syria, especially the latest axe by isil, has the president discussed this since briefing with u.s. allies, and are they willing to put together some sort of concerted effort to deal with president assad who is actually giving them safe haven? >> well, i don't have any additional phone calls to world leaders to read out at this point -- >> at the g20? >> well, it was, that there was an effort to talk about that
1:40 pm
threat that isil poses to the broader international order here. and the president does remain very concerned about these reckless acts of violence that we see there. and, obviously, you know, our thoughts and prayers are with the kassig family today who is mourning the loss of their son. and, you know, the president has worked very hard to build a broader international coalition to take the fight to isil. we're very pleased with the kind of international cooperation that we've gotten in this endeavor. and it's precisely because of the threat that isil poses to the broader international community if they can establish a safe haven inside of syria. and you're right, it is the failed leadership of the assad regime that has created a power vacuum that has allowed extremist organizations like isil to try to gain a foothold and try to establish a safe haven in that area of the world. and that's why you've seen such a strong reaction from the united states and members of our international coalition to go after isil and to prevent that
1:41 pm
safe haven from being established. >> has this raised assad's profile at all with this administration in terms of what needs to be done? >> well, we've been saying for some time, j.c., that assad has lost the legitimacy to lead that country, and that's not based on a particular unique conclusion that the united states has drawn, that's based on what i think is pretty clear evidence that the people of syria don't support him being in power. and that's not a coincidence. this is somebody who has perpetrated terrible acts of violence using his nation's military against the nation's citizens. there's no place for world leaders like that, and that's why this administration and this president believes that he's lost legitimacy to lead. peter? >> could we circle back a little bit to john's question? >> sure. >> you said the circumstances had changed, the president had waited as he's waited now for republicans to act in the house ask and so forth, and i can see why that might affect his strategic calculation. i don't see how that changes the law he's referring to in
1:42 pm
september 2013. so the question is, does he have a different view today of what that legal authority was? has he been educated, has he amended his view of what the law is, not what the calculations of congress? >> well, let me go back to the first part of your question first, then ill get to the second. -- then i'll get the second. and i probably could have been clearer when i was answering john's question on this. it's not just that the president and the country have been waiting a long time for house republicans to act, we have, but it's also now where republicans have indicated that they're not going to be able to pass or not willing to bring that bill up for a vote in the house of representatives and not willing commit to bringing it up in the next session of congress. so it's no longer a situation where at that point house republicans were saying, well, this is something we may get around to. now house republicans are being pretty clear about the fact they're not ever going to get around to it, and that's what has caused the president or prompted the president to consider some they weres.
1:43 pm
and this goes to the second part -- some alternatives. and this goes to the second part of your question. what the president has done since this interview is to ask for a detailed, in-depth, professional review of what kind of authority can be wielded by the president of the united states, any president, to address some of these problems that congress is unwilling to cop front. there's a pretty well -- confront. there's a pretty well established pattern of presidents in both parties taking steps to reform the broken immigration system. i had a list here before that even somebody like president george h.w. bush took steps to expand the family fairness program to cover more than 1.5 million unauthorized spouses and children. this represented 40% of the undocumented population of roughly 3.5 million undocumented immigrants in the country at that time. so that's just one example. president reagan took a couple of steps that were also significant. in terms of using their
1:44 pm
executive authority to take actions related to our immigration system that would have a substantial impact on a large number of people. >> the question then is does president obama not know about those examples a year ago when he said he didn't have that authority? has he been educated in a way that's changed understanding of what that law was? >> i don't know whether or not he was aware of these specific examples. what i can el tell you is that the president has directed his team to conduct areview of the law. and what they have attempted to do is to try to determine what exactly can the president do within the confines of the law to try to address some of these problems? >> would you agree that his comments from a year ago lend themselves to critics who say he is expanding what his definition of the law really is given that a year ago he seemed to suggest the opposite? >> well, what the president is and his team are focused on is trying to figure out what exactly the law says and what
1:45 pm
that means for the's ability to wield some authority here to try -- the president's ability to wield some authority to try to solve problems. what capacity does the president have within the confines of the law to address some of the problems that republicans in congress just won't address? >> he was pretty certain when he was talking about the immigration act -- [inaudible] >> well, and a lot of these interviews the president has done, the president was repeatedly challenged to end all deportations. and that is what most often prompted the president to say that i'm not a king, i'm not an emperor, you know, i can't -- i do have to enforce these laws. the question is to what extent using his authority can he have an impact on those laws, and the fact is -- >> those aren't the only times he was saying that. he was also asked very specifically can you -- >> i know, i know. but you made reference to a large number of questions where the president has responded as
1:46 pm
i'm not emperor, i can't change the law. and that's the proper context -- that's the context in which the president most often delivered this answer. >> not always. >> no, but not always. >> [inaudible] >> and that's what john pointed out, is that there were other situations in which he was asked specifically about the deferred action program. and in this case the president has ordered a review to determine what exactly is contained within the law that would allow him to take some steps that would address some of the problems that exist. >> last question. is it fair to say he ordered this review because he was no longer certain his statements were correct? >> i think he ordered this review because he wanted to basically find out what authority he did have and to insure that we were sort of leaving no stone unturned in examining what authority the president of the united states could wield to try to address some of these problems that congress has been unwilling to
1:47 pm
confront. >> josh, could i just -- >> go ahead. >> in the past the president seems to be explaining, as you say, to those people who were calling for him to take these actions that he's not a king, he's not an emperor, is the president at all concerned about the message that it does send particularly to young people that, in fact, he does have some powers, that the general understanding that he doesn't have? is there concern about the message it sends even overseas? >> no, because i remain confident and the president remains confident that whatever he announces will be entirely consistent with what the law is. >> what about the response from the hill though? i mean, republicans in congress who are suggesting that the president would be acting unlawfully. >> well, again, once the president's made a decision and it's a decision that's been announced, we'll all -- republicans, democrats and each some reporters -- will have the opportunity to evaluate whether or not those actions are consistent with the law. i'm confident we'll have a very strong case to make about how those actions are consistent with the law as currently
1:48 pm
described, but i don't know if republicans will find that entirely convincing given their pretty staunch opposition to immigration reform in general. i'm confident they'll look for any excuse they can come up with to try to explain why they're against these actions. i think we'll have a strong case to make that what the president has done will be b good for the economy, will be good for the country, will be good for border security. but what we also know is it won't be as substantial as what congress could do if house republicans stopped blocking a common sense piece of legislation that passed the senate and allow it to come up for a vote in the house. okay? >> [inaudible] >> go ahead, katherine. >> and part of explaining the legal justification, will the white house release the legal opinion on this? >> we will have some material that we can release to you related to the legal foundation of some of these decisionings. but we'll get to that when we
1:49 pm
have some announcements to make. okay? jared, i'll give you the last one. >> josh, a week and a half ago before the trip you came out and in an answer to carr license question -- darlene's question you said the president didn't have a decision on loretta lynch. six hours later a statement, a paper statement under your name came out. did you know when you were answering the associated press' question that you were going to be issuing that statement later that day? >> i did not because a decision had not been made, but given the reports that had pushed this issue, a decision was sort of forced, and in reaction to that, a decision was made. >> so it was reporting and not any other consideration about legislation or anything else that forced the hand of the white house at that point? >> that's correct. all right. thanks, guys. have a good afternoon. [inaudible conversations]
1:50 pm
>> white house spokesman josh earnest did get a number of questions about the keystone xl oil pipeline up for debate and vote today in the u.s. senate. they will be back at 2:15 eastern back from their party lunches, four more hours of debate ahead and a final vote on the keystone bill at about 6:15 eastern. looking live at the u.s. capitol where last friday the house passed its own measure, this one by bill cassidy of louisiana who's facing mary landrieu in that senatorial runoff on december the 6th. that bill in the house passing with 31 democrats voting in favor. we're opening up our phone lines to get your thoughts before the senate gavels back in, should the senate approve the keystone xl pipeline? if you support the pipeline, 202-558-3885, opponents, 202-585-3886. make sure that you mute your television when you call in. join us on facebook and twitter, lots of comments on facebook, facebook.com/c-span.
1:51 pm
and also c-spanchat is the hashtag on twitter, and we will get to those momentarily. we also may be hearing from senators as they return to the senate floor from their weekly party lunch meetings, and our cameras are up on capitol hill,, and we may hear from some of them just ahead of the senate. first, though, an update on where things stand in the senate today from a capitol hill reporter. alannah shore is energy reporter with politico. what can you tell us on the status of that 60th vote the senate needs to pass the keystone bill? >> well, it's looking very grim for democratic senator mary landrieu of louisiana who has spent almost a week now furiously whipping votes, trying to get to 60. with very little help from her democratic colleagues. just minutes ago independent from maine angus king, who landrieu had been eyeing as a possible 609, came out publicly -- 60th and came out publicly. that leaves a very narrow view
1:52 pm
for senator landrieu. the only senator who has not said what he'll do is majority whip dick durbin. harry reid and chuck schumer are both nos on keystone, it's likely durbin's just staying silent to help his friend, mary landrieu. other than durbin, actually trying to flip a no to a questions during the vote. >> what kind of whip support is she getting on the floor, off the floor? >> we hear she has some support from joe map chin and heidi -- manchin and heidi heitkamp, the pro-keystone team for quite a long time. all of them are from red states, big oil and gas supporters, all of them have long backed this pipeline. it's their own leaders that have been holding up a vote on it, and it was a surprise to pretty much everyone that this was agreed to last week when landrieu pressed the issue to help her in her runoff.
1:53 pm
>> host: does the fact of that surprise, make it less likely then that mary landrieu's bill is going to pass today, and this is quite a change from last week when there seemed to be quite a bit of on optimism on this movig through the senate. >> guest: the source of optimism, frankly, just came from the near certainty this would have the votes next year when we have at least four new republican members replacing keystone opponents. in fact, keystone supporters may be within striking distance of a veto-proof majority next year. howrvetion they're still far short in the house. i just think some of that optimism may have bled over into the senate this week and made people more confident than they should have been. it was always going to be a tough hill to climb. >> host: sounds like still a high hurdle for mary landrieu at 6:15 this evening, but the what if, what if it does pass? what do we know about how the white house will handle the bill? >> guest: indeed, one should never count landrieu out.
1:54 pm
she's pretty scrappy, and she's got some strong personal relationships with fellow democrats. the white house has yet to issue the formal, official statement of how it would treat bill which is stoking a lot of speculation that there are bigger political reasons why the white house has held off, that the white house might be open to signing it, to making some kind of deal. but if you look back at statements that all of the president's top advisers and the president himself have said over the past week, they've all suggested what the president has said before, that he wants to let this process work its will, is still true. >> host: alannah shore is energy reporter with politico. read more at politico.com. thanks for that update. >> guest: thank you. >> our conversation with alannah shore from within the hour. the senate gaveling back in in 20 minutes, 2:15 eastern. they're in their party lunches. she mentioned angus king, the independent of maine, announcing his opposition to the keystone xl pipeline bill. he issued a statement just a short while ago saying congress
1:55 pm
is in the, nor should be in the business of legislating the approval or disapproval of a construction project, and while i am frustrated the president has refused to make a decision on the future of the keystone, i don't believe circumventing his administration is in the best interest of the american people. some of what was said from senator king. let's get to your comments. do you support or oppose the senate approving the keystone pipeline? you can also join us on facebook and twitter, we'll get to those comments too. let's go to manfred, oklahoma, glenn supports the pipeline. go ahead, glenn. >> caller: yes. for one thing the tar sands that will be pumped down through that pipeline, they are no worse than the oil that is being imported from argentina. that will offset the around general teach that oil which that country -- argentina oil which that country doesn't even like us. another thing, i worked in the
1:56 pm
oil refining business for 30 years. i have seen crude come through that are worse than tar sand. i've seen oils that are more pollutant, yet they are piped through safely. president obama cannot make a decision on anything. there have been five reviews saying this will cause negligible harm to the environment. he is just supporting his left-wing and environmental base. i fully support the pipeline. i'm originally from california, and truthfully, i've always been in support of this. it has a benefit to the american people in jobs, energy security
1:57 pm
and national security. >> host: all right, glenn. "the wall street journal" says that if the pipeline were built, 830 gallons -- 830,000 gallons per day would flow from canada to texas. disagreeing with glenn's view on the environment is this tweet from katie who says: c-spanchat, are you kidding? danger to the environment and huge aquifer. only beneficiary, greedy oil companies. bob's opposed to the pipeline as well. he's in new prague, minnesota. go ahead, bob. >> caller: yes. i agree with what angus king had to say about this. i find nothing beneficial to the american people about this pipeline. a minimum amount of jobs, the maximum amount of risk for oil that's going overseas, i just don't know how we can support this line. unless they decide to build extra refineries where we are going to get some of that oil to, i don't see any reason whatsoever why we should support this pipeline.
1:58 pm
>> host: and that headline in politico shows what the status of things is. angus king saying now opposing the pipeline, mary landrieu scrambles for a 60th vote for keystone. john supports the pipeline, he's in tallahassee, florida. good afternoon, john, go ahead. >> caller: well, i find the dichotomy of angus king's comment which i call a pontius pilate sellout, this or that, supporting the president in the process. and we all know the post that obama's not going to do anything as long as he's in office. the dichotomy is they'll say anything about the pollution in saudi arabia, iran, iraq, india and other places that are producing oil that we import and the harm that they're doing to the environment there. they have no environmental laws in saudi arabia, iran, iraq and the smog that's going on there. china's importing our coal. so to think that what we're going to do properly as senator
1:59 pm
joe manchin of west virginia so candidly said in this morning, to me, defies logic and is emotional argument. >> host: let's hear what some of the members are saying on twitter, twitter.com/c-span, all sorts of comments by senators in the pipeline. let's start with ed markey who says: your comments welcome too, c-spanchae hashtag. next up is paula who's opposed to the pipeline in gold hill, oregon. >> caller: me? >> host: that's you, paula, go ahead.
2:00 pm
[laughter] >> caller: oh, well, i am just opposed to it because it absolutely makes no good sense. and like so many people are saying, how it just, it's for the big oil companies and it's not going to do us any good, but harm our environment, and they do not have to pay a dime to clean it up. at least they could put that in there, that the companies that are running it should have to clean it up if there is a spill. and it just is plain and simple and common sense to me. >> host: okay. hey, paula, let me ask you though, you're opposed to it. what if the whole process goes true and say the bill fails in the senate, but the president decides anyway after review to go ahead with the pipeline? would you still be as strongly opposed? still feel the way you feel now? >> caller: yes. i hope he doesn't because it's just not good for especially the people that live along that pipeline and, you know, they'll be taking their property and
2:01 pm
possibly ruining it. how is that good for any american? but i would not, you know, that would bum me out, if obama did go ahead and sign it. >> host: interesting headline from the houston chronicle, gop vows to passkeystone later if not now. we heard some of that in our conversation with alannah shore from politico, certainly, they will have the majority going into the senate. here we are two weeks from election day, two weeks ago today, and this vote in the senate means a lot as did the house vote because that was supported by bill cass key who is to opponent -- cassidy who is the opponent of mary landrieu in that december 6th rub -- runoff. let's go to jerry in sterling, colorado. make sure you mute your television and go ahead with your comment. jerry erik i'm going to put you on hold for a second. make sure you mute your set, and listen to the phone and we'll come back to you. hsu bert is calling us from -- schubert is calling from us georgia opposed to the pipeline.
2:02 pm
hello. >> caller: hello? >> host: you're on the air. >> caller: yes, i don't know what's wrong with america. the canadians, they don't want the pipeline. they don't want it. they're throwing it at us. they want to pollute our land. that should never happen. what's wrong with the republicans? all the noise to put -- [inaudible] get money from the oil company and put as much money in their pocket and to pollute america. that's what they're doing. because the canadians don't want it, so why are we bringing it back to our country? it is a sham for us -- [inaudible] mary landrieu going to lose that election anyway, because a lot of people in louisiana do not know left from right, i think, because they don't know what is right, what is wrong. that's why they were able to vote for republican, they vote republican, the intention is to put everything in the packet to destroy america. that's exactly the republican agenda. sir. that's what i see the
2:03 pm
republicans doing. all they're doing, just like george bush did with halliburton in iraq, they put on -- [inaudible] in halliburton, and then they're just -- [inaudible] we still after years and years and fighting in iraq. >> host: appreciate your comments. we're about ten minutes away from the house gaveling back in at 2:15. they are on a break now for their weekly party caucus meetings. we're asking you about whether or not the senate should approve the keystone oil pipeline, and lots of comments at facebook.com/c-span. let's look at some of them. this one is from terry foster who says:
2:04 pm
facebook.com/c-span. and with us in sterling, colorado, supporting the pipeline is jerry. hello. >> caller: hello. >> host: jerry, go ahead. yeah. >> caller: yes. i'm in -- >> host: jerry, you okay? go ahead with your comment. [laughter] >> caller: yeah. i'm for it. >> host: all right. i'm going to let you go, sir. give us a call back later. glenn coe, oklahoma, jack supports the pipeline. what do you say, jack? >> caller: you know, i think one thing many people are forgetting about, we understand that canada is going to be bringing this oil down here and selling it to other people, but the security aspect of having a country like canada who is our friend, especially in a time of need or war or any circumstances like
2:05 pm
that, for them to actually bring that oil down here if we ever were in a bind or a situation, everybody knows that they would sell that oil then to us so at least we would be able to have the fuels we need to get through i a hardship time, and we never know what the future holds, you know, with different conflicts and stuff like that. and there's no better -- [inaudible] that you could call than canada than trying to call over to the middle east like we've done forever. >> host: all right, jack. regarding that runoff on december 6th, james 40man of politico tweeting this: stevie wonder will headline a pre-runoff rally during the first week of december. jim's from kentucky, and he opposes the pipeline. jim, go ahead with your comment. >> caller: thank you. i just wanted to say that if it actually benefited the united states as far as our oil and gas prices, i would be all for it.
2:06 pm
but, unfortunately, it does not do that. and i don't know why the gop and mr. boehner wouldn't approve having roads restructured and, you know, reconfigured in this united states which would benefit us. and so i'm thinking the only thing they're looking for is the shareholders' profits. so thank you very much. thank you. we saw a moment ago a look at the daily caller and their headlines, photographs from inside the senate offices where protesters have been up near some of the senate offices, activists bundle up to protest the keystone xl. and washington post.com this morning, a group of protesters yesterday in the rain outside senator mary landrieu's capitol hill home. in el dorado, kansas, charles on the line. he opposes the pipeline. good afternoon. >> caller: hello.
2:07 pm
>> host: hi. >> caller: hello. thank you for taking my call. this is -- i've been a republican all my life, ever since i voted and that's been quite a while ago, and this is one of the things i do agree with president obama and the democrats. i don't see what good this pipeline's going to do to us as far as shipping across our country, especially through kansas and go down to be shipped off everywhere else. if we're going to do this, why don't they run it down through montana, wyoming, colorado, new mexico? it's a straight line down to texas if they want it. >> host: what's the biggest concern there in kansas, charles? >> caller: well, i don't want it, you know, coming down through nebraska and this is our water area coming down through here. >> host: uh-huh. >> caller: and, again, taking
2:08 pm
land that belongs to, you know, the farmers and this and that where our wheat fields are and crops are growing, you know? put it out there where nobody lives in government land or whatever. if you're running it down through our farmlands, you know, that supports feeding, you know, the nation. you know? [laughter] you don't want to pollute these areas. and, you know, why can't canada just ship it across their own country? >> host: all right. charles in kansas there, headline from the new orleans times picayune. looking at the politics of this keystone debate. mary landrieu/bill cassidy runoff drawing attention on the senate floor. we got an update from capitol hill that the vote now looks like it will happen at 5:30. they ran extra long this morning before the party caucus meetings, so 5:30 p.m. eastern is the expected final passage vote on the keystone bill.
2:09 pm
matthew's in clarks burg, west virginia, supports the pipeline. go ahead. >> caller: yeah, hi, thanks for having me. >> host: yep. >> caller: this is the first time i'm calling in -- >> host: glad to have you with us. >> caller: well, i'm thankful for you taking me. i really am supporting this. we've seen the fracking here in west virginia just accelerate exponentially, and our infrastructure near west virginia, the roads and the rail, is getting completely tore up because of it. if we could get a pipeline as opposed to using our infrastructure, then we wouldn't be putting in all of this money. it could be, you know, allocated somewhere else. and as far as the previous caller, you know, with the
2:10 pm
nimby -- not in my backyard -- >> host: yep. >> caller: if not your backyard, if not my backyard, then whose backyard? we have rolling ticking time bombs, basically, as far as petroleum tankers, petroleum rail cars. we need to centralize that as opposed to having them rolling all across the united states. centralized, get it in one area where we can secure it and keep it taken care of. as far as everybody else's issues with the oil and that and who is going to take care of an accident, we need to make a type of an account or something where all the big oil companies pay into, and we can have that available in case something happens. >> host: couple more minutes of your calls, about five more minutes til the u.s. senate
2:11 pm
gavels in for continued debate and, again, a revised time on the final passage vote, expected about 5:30 eastern. your comments also welcome on twitter. the hashtag is c-spanchat, and a couple of those, this one is from stuart who says: again, the hashtag c-spanchat. next up is salt lake city, opposed to the bill, is opposed to the pipeline is joe. >> caller: yes. i'm opposeed to the pipeline because they're going to just go in, take people's property and run the pipe through it, and then if they spill oil all through i that area, they ain't
2:12 pm
going to clean it up. they're not going to be responsible for cleaning it up, they don't care to clean it up, and it's like why should we have to keep ruining our land and our country for somebody who wants to steal oil -- i mean, run oil down through us which they can take it out through their areas and ruin british columbia or run it across the other way. they don't want to do it in their country, why should we do it in ours? >> host: carrie on twitter also: dave is in ohio and a supporter of keystone. >> caller: yes. my main concern is i am for it. we as construction workers here in the united states have to be under such scrutiny all the time, and the thing is everything is safety, safety, safety on the job -- >> host: right.
2:13 pm
>> caller: -- on the job, on the job. and, you know, let's not undermine the fact that this is the usa, and the usa we are one of the smartest nations on this earth and that we have already back in january, it's already been said that this can be done safely and measures can be handled in a proper way, and the sates that do have it come -- states that do have it coming down through, yes, they have a say so in it. it's not like they don't have a say so in it, but it can be routed through. >> host: we're a couple minutes from the senate gaveling in. reporters are gathered outside the senate chamber in the ohio clock corridor there just outside the senate chamber waiting for leadership to come out of their meetings. we don't know who will come out first, but we'll keep looking and, again, the senate will be in momentarily too. and whether or not we bring these to you live, we will have the comments later in our program schedule for you on the c-span networks.
2:14 pm
we'll continue with your calls briefly here to denver, colorado. deborah, hello. opposing the pipeline. >> caller: hello. hi. i really have a question really. it's -- my question is what impacts will it have on the ecology system? if it ruins the water where it poisons the water and the water is no longer usable, then what does that do to the soil? and if the soil is killed and destroyed, then could that possibly cause a death pool beyond our imagination? and if that's the case, would that cause the famine that we've never seen before? and my question is, if it takes millions and millions of gallons of water to clean the oil, where are they going to get that water from when we're, you know, here in colorado our water supports nevada -- >> host: right. >> guest: -- arizona, california. and if it takes that amount of
2:15 pm
water to clean the oil, could that cause ecological, severe problems greater than we've ever imagined? >> host: lots of very good questions, and it looks like -- thank you for your call, by the way. looks like the senate's about to gavel in, so we'll take you there live here on c-span2. again, final vote expected at 5:30 eastern. the presiding officer: who yields time? neither side yields time. both sides will be equally charged.
2:16 pm
2:17 pm
mr. harkin: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from iowa. mr. harkin: first i ask unanimous consent that lila baggett, vincent brown and nay i pinkin be granted floor privileges for the remainder of today's session. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. harkin: madam president, i ask unanimous consent that i be allowed to speak for up to five minutes in opposition to the bill presently on the floor. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. harkin: madam president, i oppose this legislation to approve the construction of the keystone x.l. pipeline. again, i believe it's just one more step in the wrong direction, one more capitulation to our fossil fuel habitat, one more accelerant to global warming that threatens our children's future. madam president, i know i have limited time, but i just want to point out that we have had a number of studies done by the department of energy recently.
2:18 pm
one study found that retrofitting residential and commercial buildings had the potential to reduce consumer demand by 30% by 2020 and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1.1 gigatons each year, saving over $680 billion. a second study found that retrofits -- i'm talking about building retrofits in america -- could save a trillion dollars in energy spending over ten years and reduce co2 emissions by 10%. and what would retrofitting do for jobs? according to the rockefeller foundation, this type of retrofitting nationally would create 3.3 million new jobs. so why are we talking about building a pipeline that's going to cause the development of mortar sands oil, which is the dirtiest oil in the world, the dirtiest, when it's going to create a few jobs for a very short period of time, a couple
2:19 pm
of years and that's it. why aren't we focusing on what we know works and creates a lot of jobs and saves energy and saves money. that's retrofitting all of the buildings in america to make them energy efficient. 3.3 million jobs over that ten-year period of time, saving us untold billions of dollars in savings for consumers in america, and of course reducing greenhouse gases. so i find this whole issue of this keystone pipeline to just at this point in time when the planet is warming up when we may be at that tipping point where we can't do anything about it, i find this debate about the keystone pipeline just to be kind of out of bounds, considering the impact it's going to have. i guess i would say this,
2:20 pm
madam president. after all my years here, serving ten years on the science and tech committee in the house, serving here on agriculture and labor, health, education, pension committee as chair, study after study i have read, i have come to this conclusion on why i cannot vote for the keystone x.l. pipeline. i have come to this one conclusion. that every dollar that we spend today on developing and using more fossil fuels is another dollar spent in digging the graves of our grandchildren. i don't want to dig that grave anymore. it's time to get off our fossil fuel habitat. i'm not so naive as to think we can do this overnight. i understand that. but what we have got to be on is
2:21 pm
a very steep glide slope down, understanding that by focusing on renewable energies, the wind and the solar, ocean thermal energy conversion, all those things, geothermal, and yes, retrofitting buildings to be more energy efficient, would create hundreds of thousands more jobs, millions more jobs in the pipeline. it will make us more secure as a nation. and it could have the effect of getting us on that steep glide slope down to where fossil fuel, the fossil fuel era comes to an end. that's what we have to do, bring the fossil fuel era to an end, and the sooner we do it, the better it's going to be for our grandkids and our planet. i know that -- people say well, the keystone pipeline is just a
2:22 pm
small part of that. well, it's a small part, but they all add up and one step leads to another. there are those that say that, well, they are going to develop the tar sands regardless. i don't believe that. i have seen a lot of studies that show that canada can't ship that west and it's too expensive to ship it east on the rail lines, so the only way they have got to go is pipelines down through america. i don't know whether or not cutting out the keystone pipeline will slow down or stop the tar sands development, but i believe we have to do everything in our power to slow it down and to get our neighbors to the north -- the presiding officer: the senator has consumed five minutes. mr. harkin: just one more minute just to finish. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. harkin: and get our good neighbors, the canadians, our good neighbors to the north to start moving away from the development of the tar sands, both for their good and for the good of our planet. so, madam president, i don't want to keep digging the grave for our grandkids. i just cannot vote any longer
2:23 pm
for anything that would develop and use more fossil fuels, either in our country or globally. with that, i yield the floor. mrs. boxer: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from california. mrs. boxer: madam president, before the senator from iowa leaves the floor, i just want to thank him, not only for his heartfelt remarks, because, you know, what we're doing here, we're here a short period of time, in essence, whether they are here six years or 26 or 36, even longer. how long has the senator been here? 40 years. but we are here when you look at the universe a very short time, and he's always thought about our kids and grandkids, because that's what our job is. we're so fortunate that we had a life in america that gave us the opportunity, with policies that kept us healthy enough to do our work, and the tar sands are the dirtiest kind of oil that there is. my friend makes that point. and we need to protect the
2:24 pm
health of our families and the health of the planet, as my friend pointed out. so i just wanted to say to him how much, well, i think it means to all americans, just the leadership you have shown in your entire career and still the passion that you have today. mr. harkin: i might just respond in kind. i want to thank my dear friend and my colleague of long-standing here in the senate and in the house before, and to thank you for your intellectual and energetic leadership on all issues concerning the environment and the health of our people and the health of our planet. you have been a stalwart. you have been the rock of gibraltar around here in making sense, in making sense of our debate and the issues surrounding energy, energy use, energy efficiency, all keeping in mind what it means for the future of our kids and grandkids. as i leave the senate, i'm happy to know the senator from
2:25 pm
california will still be here. mrs. boxer: well, thank you so much. i'm waiting for -- oh, i see that senator murkowski is here, so we will retain the balance of our time. ms. murkowski: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from alaska. ms. murkowski: thank you, madam president. and i want to assure my colleagues from iowa, from california, my colleagues from around the country that as a senator from an oil and gas-producing state, a state where we have fossil fuels in abundance, that i, too, am focused on that next generation of energy security. i want to do what we can to develop those renewables, whether it is geothermal, whether it's our amazing hydrocapacity, whether it is what we have with our oceans or our tides, our winds and our sun, but i also recognize, i also recognize very cleanly that when we are talking about energy
2:26 pm
and energy security, that we also need to think about the geopolitics and our national security when it comes to energy use and our vulnerability. there is a lot of discussion on this floor right now about the keystone x.l. pipeline and the number of jobs that it will bring. i think we recognize that when you build something, there is that flurry of activity, there are those jobs that are very real, very good, very promising, but construction jobs come and they go, so what do you have left after you have completed an -- the keystone x.l. pipeline? what you have is in a very real sense an energy lifeline, a lifeline that connects our friend and neighbor, canada, to the north to our opportunities for refining capacity in the
2:27 pm
gulf of mexico, our opportunities within this country to be more energy secure, to be less energy dependent, and i wanted to take just a few minutes this afternoon to not necessarily talk about the jobs perspective of the keystone x.l. pipeline, as passionate as i feel about that, but i wanted to focus on just a couple points here. one is the art contingencies choke points that are created in north america if we do not move forward with the keystone x.l. pipeline. earlier this month, the energy information administration, e.i.a., they published a report on world transit choke points for the global oil and gas
2:28 pm
trade. there is about 90 million barrels a day of oil in that world market. of that, 56.5 million barrels, about 63% is transported by ship. it's moving around on our oceans. and this maritime trade that we see is dependent on a few choke points, and we have heard of some of them -- obviously, the straits of hormuz, 17 million barrels a day go through the strait of hormuz. you have the strait of malaca where there is 15.2 million barrels a day. but you also have the suez canal, the sunan pipeline, but effectively what you have are these -- these very tight choke points where this flow of oil that comes around the world, around the globe moves through. meanwhile, keystone x.l. would
2:29 pm
have the capacity of about 830,000 barrels per day. these are barrels, madam president, that are secure, both economically and strategically, from a -- a reliable friend and ally. and so when we -- when we talk about the pros and cons of approving this pipeline, i think it's important that we think beyond just the benefit to our country, the benefit that canada will have as a trading opportunity, but think about it from a national security perspective, from a global security by not approving the keystone x.l. pipeline, the president is creating an artificial choke point here. other pipelines are full. we know the rail capacity is -- is under severe restraint. so think about it, we have already got enough choke points out there in some of the most volatile points of the world. so factor this in to the
2:30 pm
discussion that we haven't had. i'd like to submit for the record, madam president, a copy of the e.i.a. report on the world oil transit choke points. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. murkowski: the other point that i'd like to make here is the integration of keystone as a -- as a source of supply when we are talking about north american energy independence. we talk about that a lot on the energy committee. and it is important when we talk about integration to understand how this piece from canada fits into the -- the source of supply for the americas. again, e.i.a. back in january accomplished a report on liquid fools in the america americas, north and south america hold about 536 billion barrels in proved oil reserves. back in 2012 the crude
2:31 pm
production was 19 billion barrels a day. in north america, mexico, canada, and u.s., this is the lion's share of the western hemispheric production that we have right here so integrating our markets, between the u.s. and the canadian side just makes sense and, in fact, it is -- it's the economic reality that is already on the ground. last week i came to the floor talking about keystone x.l. and said why, why is this such an issue, such a dilemma when we have existing 19 cross-border oil pipelines between canada and the united states? they've been operating, they've been providing a resource to the benefit of both nations for years, for decades, 19 of them. and now we're twisted in knots, arguing for five years about
2:32 pm
whether or not the keystone x.l. should proceed. i think we're going to look back on this a generation from now and we're going to wonder why and how we ever blocked this historic integration of our energy markets. and then, madam president, the last thing i want to raise here is how the u.s. refineries are truly -- and particularly those in the gulf -- are truly best prepared for the canadian crude, and thus bringing are great benefit to americans as a result of the pipeline. we've got total refinery or dis tillation capacity here in the americas about 27.7 million barrels per day. this was last year's number but it's roughly one-third of the world's refining capacity is here, again in the americas, nearly one third and of that capacity 17.8 billion barrels per day are here in the united
2:33 pm
states specifically for heavy cruise. we've got over half of the world's capacity here in this country. the largest refineries in the americas are down in the gulf coast as well as in venezuela. there are others on the midwest, the midwest -- the west, the midwest and on the east coast, but if you look at the map of where the refineries are around really the americas and really globally, it's obvious that the destination for the canadian oil is in the gulf coast area. madam president, this is a debate on keystone x.l. has that has generated a lot of emotion, a lot of discussion about how if you're opposed to it that what we need to do is cut off this
2:34 pm
canadian supply and somehow or other we will be to a new phase in our energy reducing and consumption -- production and consumption. the reality is the canadians will continue to produce, the good news i think for all of us is that the canadians utilizing technologies and innovation in the industry have come a remarkably long way in how they access the -- the crude in alberta and how they're able to process in a way that truly is better for the environment. so those that are concerned that we must stop this pipeline dead in its tracks now and if we do so, we will be a nation that has moved on beyond oil, i
2:35 pm
think that that belies our reality. i am one who wants to make sure that we are pushing ourselves always to utilize our smarts and our technology to do better as we access our resource and do so in an environmentally responsible way. but i also want to make sure that as a nation we have energy policies that are directed towards resources that are affordable, abundant, clean, diverse, and secure. and the security aspect of it is something that i don't want colleagues to forget and with that madam chair, i think -- i thank the president and i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from california. mrs. boxer: i'm going to yield for senator sanders for 10 minutes but i heard my colleague say how much she wants clean energy. for the record let us be clear the tar sands oil, one of the
2:36 pm
dirtiest known on the planet. heavy metals, we went through it chapter and verse, the hardest to clean up, it's a nightmare. so if my friend wants clean energy, she should vote no. with that i yield 10 minutes to senator sanders. mr. sanders: thank you senator boxer and thank you, madam president. the issue that we are dealing with today is of enormous consequence for our country and, in fact, for the entire planet, and for that reason i rise in very strong opposition to the legislation on the floor and to the construction of the keystone x.l. pipeline. i strongly oppose this legislation and this project for a number of reasons. first and foremost, at a time when the scientific community is virtually unanimous in telling us that climate change is real, that it is caused by human
2:37 pm
activity and carbon emissions, that it is already causing devastating problems not only in the united states but all over the world in terms of drought, forest fires, flooding, extreme weather disturbances and rising sea levels, at this moment when the scientific community is so clear about the dangers inherent upon a further dependence on fossil fuels, it is absolutely imperative for the future well-being of this country that we listen to the scientists and we begin the path forward to break our dependency on fossil fuel, not accelerate more drilling for the dirtiest oil on the planet. madam president, the scientific community is telling us that we
2:38 pm
have a narrow window of opportunity to address the crisis of climate change. we don't have years and years and years. there are some people who think, in fact, that the game is already over, that the problem is irreversible. but be that as it may, clearly our job now is to move as dramatically, as forcefully, as aggressively as we can to transform our energy system away from fossil fuel to energy efficiency, to weatherization, to sustainable energies like wind, solar, geothermal, bio mass and other sustainable technologies. the keen keen would move -- the keystone x.l. pipeline would move us in exactly the wrong direction. more dependence not only on fossil fuels but on some of the
2:39 pm
dirtiest fossil fuels imaginable. the dirtiest follow fuels imaginable -- imaginable and that is crazy. to reject what the scientific community is telling us and then to add insult to injury by going forward aggressively and accelerating the drilling of dirty oil is something that is almost beyond comprehension. i wonder what our kids and our grandchildren will think years and years from now when they have to deal with the damage that we have caused, when they have to deal with the floods and the extreme weather disturbances and the droughts and the wars that are fought by people over limited resources. i wonder what they will think about a congress which was told
2:40 pm
by those who know the most to move away from fossil fuels and, in fact, move in exactly the wrong direction by accelerating drilling for the dirtiest oil on the earth. that's the major point, madam president. but furthermore, this legislation is being referred to by some as a jobs program. well, in my opinion, we do need a jobs program. we need a major problems program. real unemployment in this country is close to 11%, youth unemployment 20%, unemployment in the construction trade industries, very, very high. we need a real jobs program. that is why we have to invest a substantial sum of money into rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, our roads, our bridges, our water systems, our rail, our airports, and in
2:41 pm
doing that, we improve life in this country. we make our nation more productive, more efficient. that is very different than creating jobs through the keystone pipeline which damage the future of our planet and the lives of our kids and our grandchildren. furthermore, when people talk about this being a jobs program, let us understand that there is no debate that what we are talking about are less than 50 permanent jobs. less than 50 permanent jobs. so to suggest that this is some kind of big jobs program is nothing more than a cruel hoax and misleading hoax to workers in this country who need decent-paying jobs. mrs. boxer: would the senator yield without yielding time? mr. sanders: yes.
2:42 pm
mrs. boxer: i ask that the time i use in this colloquy be taken off the time i have left. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. boxer: senator, your point is so well taken and i just wanted you to know that this morning i said that the c.e.o. of keystone commented that there would be only 35 permanent jobs with the pipeline. and i stand directed -- corrected. i went back and looked. 50 jobs. 50 jobs. the reason i want to take a minute to engage in this colloquy is my friend has been -- well, i'd say one of the strongest and most effective voices for job creation and building a middle class that we have in the senate, and i just was looking at the numbers and wanted to just go through a couple of things without my friend losing any time. in 2012 the u.s. installation of solar panels grew at a rate of 27%. i know my friend is trying desperately and i'm -- we're together on a lot of issues, trying to get us to put more of
2:43 pm
the spectacular panels on. in 2013, they the spectacular industry employed 132,000 americans in good-paying jobs. in 2013 the u.s. solar industry added 24,000. so just looking at solar and wind is another great story, at the end of 2013 the u.s. wind industry supported over 560 manufacturing facilities and supported 50,500 full-time jobs in developments, citing, construction, manufacturing, operation and services, direct jobs. and when you look at putting 50,000 a 500 full-time jobs, 142,000 jobs then from the solar and you pair it to -- compare it to 50 full-time jobs i think you are so right to make the jobs argument what you're making of it and it's not 50 jobs to do something that's going to make
2:44 pm
life better for our people. it endangers the planet and has these terrible pollutants which cause respiratory illness and cancer and the rest. but i just wanted to thank you for bringing up the issue of jobs because it is the biggest phony-baloney argument when you have the c.e.o. of the company itself of the pipeline admit that it's 50 full-time jobs permanently, i think we have to shatter this illusion and continue to talk about the clean energy future and really good jobs and i would yield back to my friend. mr. sanders: i thank the senator. i would mention several years ago we worked together to pass the energy efficiency block grant program which pumped billions of dollars throughout this country into weatherization, into sustainable energy. and i can tell you in the state of vermont right now work is being done weatherizing homes, saving substantial sums of money on fuel bills for working people seeing 30%, 40% reduction in
2:45 pm
fuel bills and equivalent reduction in the emission of carbon into the air. that's what we should be investing in all over america. let's create those jobs. let's create jobs building the wind turbines and the solar panels that we desperately need. we need to be aggressive in that area and above that and beyond that, everybody knows that bridges in vermont, in california, the senator is chairman of not only the environmental committee but the public works committee. she knows that as well as anybody. we need to rebuil -- rebuild our crumbling infrastructure. i understand why the construction workers want these jobs. high unemployment in construction industry. and we have got to put these guys to work, and we can do that. we can do it by transforming our energy system. we can do it by rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure. we are talking about millions of
2:46 pm
decent-paying jobs, not 50 permanent jobs or a few thousand construction jobs. we're talking about millions of permanent jobs. i would further add -- and we heard this discussion during the caucus today. i would ask the senator from california, the chair of the committee, if my republican friends are so concerned about jobs, please tell me where we are going with the wind tax credit and the solar tax credit which have been so very important to creating jobs in the wind and solar industry. clearly, our friends who talk about all of the above are enthusiastically supporting these tax credits. will my friend from california enlighten us? mrs. boxer: i'm so glad you raised the point. and today we had senator thune make an eloquent statement about jobs, eloquent. and i thought he was going to change his position on minimum wage. how about raising that?
2:47 pm
try raising a family on that. and these wind tax credits and the solar tax credits. this is creating a boom. i'll tell you, in my state like yours, i have -- i put something in the record today, we have bounced back from this recession better than almost any other state because of clean energy. it is such a win-win. but our friends on the other side, when it's something the oil companies want, oh, they are out there, oh, yeah, jobs, but we know this is 50 jobs. that's the c.e.o. of this pipeline company admitting that's it, 50 jobs. so it's not about the jobs. it's about their view of energy, which is the old way, which is going backwards, which is not embracing the clean energy future so that we can in fact create many more jobs and keep the planet clean. mr. sanders: if i just can
2:48 pm
reclaim my time and wind down -- finish my remarks. two basic issues. number one, i know that many of my republican friends deny what the overwhelming majority of scientists are telling us, and that is not only that climate change is real, that it is caused by human activity, that it is already causing devastating problems. to continue to deny that reality is to endanger the lives of our kids and our grandchildren and the planet in which they will live. to say to the people all over the world that we americans are concerned about climate change and yet vote for a project which will encourage and accelerate the excavation of some of the dirtiest oil in the world will make all of us look like fools and hypocrites throughout the world and will make future
2:49 pm
generations wonder what we were thinking about on that vote today. with that, madam president, i would yield the floor. i would ask to retain the balance of my time. mrs. boxer: thank you. the presiding officer: the republican whip. mr. cornyn: madam president, it took an election on november 4, it took an election, but here we are at long last, some six years after the initial application for the keystone x.l. pipeline was filed, and as you know more a long time now, i think at least since 2012, we have been trying to get a vote, the very
2:50 pm
same vote that is now scheduled for this afternoon. we have been trying to get a vote on the senate floor. so we could see whether there was a bipartisan majority, a supermajority of 60 or more who would join our colleagues in the house and pass this bill authorizing the keystone x.l. pipeline and send it to the president. we know that the keystone x.l. pipeline would be good for our economy. we know it would be good for job creation. and i know there has been some quibbling perhaps about how many jobs, but the department of state, the state department has said about 42,000 jobs would be created as a result of this project. we also know this would be good for u.s. energy security. to have a source of safe energy from canada, one of our best allies and partners to the north, as opposed to shipping it in from troubled regions like
2:51 pm
the middle east, it just makes sense from an energy security standpoint, and it would be good for national security as well. it would also be good for our strategic interests overseas. now, i have heard my colleagues mainly on the other side way that, well, there is -- we're concerned about the environmental impact, and i am, too. but president obama's own state department has once again found that the keystone x.l. pipeline would have negligible impact on the environment. in short, even at a moment of intense polarization here in washington, there is a strong consensus on keystone, and if we get 60-plus votes today, i think that consensus will be demonstrated. would we all agree? no. we have strongly held beliefs on both sides of this issue, but the way we function here is by actually scheduling votes like
2:52 pm
we're going to have today and let the majority carry the day, and that i predict will happen today. this is a day that i know my colleague, the senior senator from north dakota, senator hoeven, has been working for a long time, again, across the aisle. he has been our number one leader on this issue for years now, and he's consistently explained the benefits of the keystone x.l. pipeline. he happens to come from north dakota, the second, i think, most productive state in the country when it comes to oil and gas. i come from the number one state. i point that out often when it comes to producing oil and gas, and this has been a renaissance for the american economy and for american energy. what's happened here in america, thanks to private investment and innovation in the oil and gas
2:53 pm
industry. senator hoeven has constantly worked with people across the aisle to rally the kind of support that has led us up to this day, and he has repeatedly pressed the majority leader, senator reid, to allow a real binding vote on the floor such as we are going to have today. and then the next step will be to send it to president obama for his signature. we haven't had that kind of vote before the november 4 election. that's why i said elections can change things, and indeed apparently it has changed the majority leader's mind to allow this vote which at long last we will have this afternoon. well, why have -- has there been a change of attitude on the part of the majority leader to allow us to hold this vote this week? i will leave that to the pundits, but i will say this. our collective decision on keystone should be determined by
2:54 pm
what's in america's national interests, not the interests of a single political party or the interests of a single senator. the interests of our country as a whole should be our guide. for that matter, it's time for the president to put his cards on the table. i know once this vote was scheduled, the president's press secretary and the president himself made some ambiguous remarks, leaving in doubt whether he would actually sign or would ultimately veto this legislation. i hope we don't see a continuation of the gamesmanship that we've seen up until this point and that once this bill passes, if it does this afternoon, that we will send it -- the majority leader will send it promptly to the president so the president can make that decision. and what i say by i hope the gamesmanship doesn't continue, i know there is the flexibility the majority leader might have to actually hold the bill here and to wait until after the
2:55 pm
december 6 runoff election in louisiana before sending it to the president, but i hope we don't have that kind of gamesmanship. i think the american people deserve the truth, they deserve accountability, and it's been more than six years since this application first came through. the proponents of this project deserve this vote today, as do the american people. as a matter of fact, back in march of 2012 before his re-election, the president traveled to curbing, -- cushing, oklahoma, to champion the texas leg of the keystone x.l. pipeline project. now, he didn't have any real role to play in authorizing that because that was within the continental united states. the president's role and the one that this bill would force his hand on, literally, is what would authorize this international pipeline between canada and the united states. that does require his approval,
2:56 pm
and this legislation would require it or in effect mandate it. but he went to cushing, oklahoma, to champion the texas leg of the keystone x.l. pipeline project. it did not need his approval, but at the time he said he would work to expedite that portion. however, that portion didn't require his approval and it was already up and running at the time, so you will have to determine why the president would go there for a project that did not need his approval and said he would expedite it, what his real motivation is. but he said as long as i am president, we're going to keep on encouraging oil development and infrastructure and we're going to do it in a way that protects the health and safety of the american people. we don't have to choose between one or the other. we can do both. now, i actually agree with what the president said, the words i just quoted. i think that's a good statement of what our policy should be,
2:57 pm
but i have been around washington long enough to know that you can't just listen to what people say. you have to watch what they actually do because sometimes those are diametrically opposed. and in this case, notwithstanding what the president said in cushing, oklahoma, he has continued to delay and delay and delay making a final decision on the portion of keystone x.l. pipeline that requires his approval. but we are here this afternoon to say enough is enough. regardless of how this vote turns out, it's time for the president to explain his views on the project that his own state department has said would create 42,000 jobs in america. he can choose to endorse the keystone x.l. pipeline and thereby deliver a significant boost to america's economy, america's security and america's relations with our largest trading partner in canada.
2:58 pm
alternatively, the president can choose to oppose keystone and thereby miss a golden opportunity to promote a richer, stronger and safer american future. i can only hope he makes the right choice, madam president, and i would yield the floor. and i would suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
2:59 pm
the presiding officer: the senator from california. mrs. boxer: how much time is remaining on the other side? i ask the quorum call -- the presiding officer: the senate is in a quorum call. mrs. boxer: please dispense with it. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. boxer: how much time remains, please? the presiding officer: there is 51 minutes in opposition. mrs. boxer: and on the other side? the presiding officer: senator
3:00 pm
hoeven controls 67 minutes. and senator landrieu controls 32 minutes. mrs. boxer: okay. well, we're waiting for senator wows. he is on his way. i just want to focus the attention of those who are watching this debate on really what we are talking about. if this was about building a pipeline that was carrying something that didn't hurt anybody, i wouldn't be standing here. but this is about building a pipeline that is going to carry the dirtiest oil that we know of. and this dirty oil is already causing lots of problems. where it is refined in port arthur, texas, i met with the people there. i met with the people there you know, senators don't live near refineries. again, if i'm wrong on that, i would like to be corrected. people live near refineries.
3:01 pm
sometimes it's where affordable housing is. and this is what it looks like. and they don't want this stuff. and all the talk -- jobs, jobs, jobs -- let's be clear, the c.e.o. of the company said 50 jobs. so you want to lay this kind of misery on people who live in the community vote "aye." that's fine, but just take a look at this. just take a look at this. you don't see many kids playing in this playground because this pollution is vicious. it adds more heavy metals. it causes asthma. the pollutants cause cancer. we're talking about lead. we're talking about sulfur in very, very heavy quantities. so let's be clear, you don't see my friends who support this talking about what happens when you refine.
3:02 pm
but that's what happens. now, if this is the only thing we could do to make ourselves energy independent, that's one thing. but i've already shown with the senator from vermont, senator sanders, how many incredible jobs are being produced across this nation in clean energy. solar, wind, geothermal. and we're looking at potential millions. and in california, those clean energy jobs have led us out of the darkest recession we've seen since the great depression. and i put those statistics into the record. now, i've got to say this. in all the years i've been in public life, starting when i was a county official, not one constituent ever came up to me and said, barbara, the air is too clean. oh god, my air is so clean.
3:03 pm
the water i drink is so pure. please, don't get in the way of making it dirty. now, i've been in office for a very long time. no one has ever said that. on the contrary, what they say to me is, please, my child has asthma. please, don't back off. don't let big oil or big coal or the koch brothers or whoever it is stand in the way of my family having a good quality of life. now, we could take a look at a country where they've thrown the environment under the bus. here it is. this is what it looks like. that's what it looks like in china. now, i'm sure you've heard a lot of speeches in china that you're going to be hearing here. oh, we need the jobs and we need the -- we need the energy. well, they realize now they're in trouble, and the president
3:04 pm
just made a pact with the leader of china to cut back on pollution. but this is what happens when you throw the environment under the bus. people can't breathe. kids have to wear masks. that's a fact. i'll tell you, go to any school, you ask kids -- and i know my friend's a great leader -- you ask kids how many of you have asthma or how many of you know someone who has as marks honest to -- who has asthma, honest to good more than half the kids raise their hands. we need clean energy. we need clean energy. we need clean energy jobs, and if we can clean up our coal i'll be right there. if we can do safe nuclear and not build these plants on earthquake faults like they did in my state, fine. but don't unleash the dirtiest
3:05 pm
oil known to mankind when the c.e.o. of the company says it's 50 jobs. and we all know that oil is going to be pumped right out of here, and we all know it's the toughest oil to clean up because we've seen the spills in kalamazoo, michigan. we've seen the spills in arkansas. and because of the nature of this oil, the heaviness of this oil, they're still cleaning up that oil three years later. and now it's my pleasure to yield to senator whitehouse for ten minutes. mr. whitehouse: thank you very much, madam chairman. thank you for your constant leadership on this issue. i'm going to start on a somewhat unusual note because i want to compliment my lead adversary here, senator landrieu, who has fought so hard to bring this bill to the floor. she is passionate about getting
3:06 pm
this done, and it's because of her efforts that we are here. and i have to say that i am just as passionate as she in opposition to this bill. many of us come from coal states or oil states or natural gas states. rhode island doesn't have coal. at least it hasn't in generations. we used to mine coal in portsmouth and cumberland, but it's been a long time. we don't have natural gas sources. we don't pump oil. with a we do have is a coastline. and at that coastline, what coal and oil and natural gas are doing to all of us through the operation of natural laws, through the operation of laws of science -- stuff we can't get
3:07 pm
around, this isn't opinion -- is really harmful to rhode island. naval station newport has a tide gauge. my friend, senator manchin, was kind enough to come and visit from west virginia and we started out bright and early in the morning and our first stop was with the navy folks down at the tide gauge. and at the tide gawj, -- tide gauge what they show is since the 1930's, the water levels are up ten inches. we had something very big happen in the 1930's. we had the hurricane of 1938. if anybody wants to take two minutes and google hurricane of 1938 and hit images, you will see terrific destruction. you will see or capital city flooded to the top of the buses. you will see houses smashed to flinders and boats thrown up under the land.
3:08 pm
that was with a sea ten inches below what we have now, and every responsible scientist tells us the risk of worse and bigger ocean storms has increased because of the emission of carbons. so i have a very clear perspective on this, and that is that we really have to address our carbon pollution problem before it comes home to roost in really dangerous ways in my state. it's already there already. as the senator from west virginia saw, we've got fishermen who say this was not my grandfather's ocean. their world has changed because of the way we have changed it. this pipeline, because of the filthyness of the fuel that it brings into the market, will add additional carbon dioxide in the amount of nearly six million cars per year on the roads. six million cars per year on the roads.
3:09 pm
and that comes home to roost in rhode island. that comes home to roost in warming waters. narrangansett bay is nearly four degrees mean water temperature warmer than it was 40 years ago. i can remember driving over the newport bridge and jamestown bridge and seeing trawlers out at work. fishing, fishing for the winter flounder. well, the winter flounder has gone. it had more than a 90% crash largely because, as the scientists have told me, the warmer narrangansett bay is no longer hospitable to the fish. four degrees doesn't seem like a big deal to me, probably doesn't seem like a big deal to any human to whom the water is kind of an alien place, but to fish who live in it four degrees is an ecoshift. my wife, a professor in oceanography explained that to
3:10 pm
me decades ago for the first time. the argument is that this is going to bring jobs. i'm all for those jobs. but let's not be selective about when we're for jobs. if we're only for jobs when it's oil pipelines, then something else is going on than concern about jobs. where was the concern about jobs when a bipartisan piece of legislation called shaheen-portman for energy efficiency was here on the floor and was estimated to create not 42,000 temporary jobs, not less than 4,000 direct temporary jobs, not less than 50 permanent jobs, but 190,000 jobs. that bill got nowhere. it died here and it died here for reasons that were very open in the front of the paper. jeanne shaheen's opponent, who is a former colleague of ours,
3:11 pm
asked to have the bill die so that she would not have a legislative accomplishment to her credit. and so the agreement that the bill was going to pass got reworked and the folks came back to majority leader reid and said we're not ready to support this bill. we need a vote on keystone pipeline. we need a sense of the senate on keystone pipeline. leader reid said okay we can have a sense of the senate on keystone pipeline, agreed. then they came back again, moved the goal post again and said we need more than a sense of the senate now. we need a hard vote on the keystone pipeline. leader reid checked around and said i don't like this much but sure, fine. in order to move shaheen-portman, a 195,000 jobs bill, go ahead and have your vote. then they came back and moved the goal post a third time. they said we don't just need a vote on the keystone pipeline, we need to win the vote. if you can't give us a win on the vote, you don't get
3:12 pm
shaheen-portman. when the goal posts get moved that often, you can pretty much figure out there's something more going on than the merits of the bill. they didn't want the bill to pass. they didn't want it to come up. but where was the concern then about 190,000 jobs when everybody is in an uproar about these 40,000 indirect temporary jobs. i will stop right now and do anything to get infrastructure legislation passed and put people to work, rebuilding america's roads, rebuilding america's water pipes, rebuilding america's bridges. we can put hundreds of thousands to people to work doing that. but when we had the chance to do that, when chairman boxer brought a six-year highway bill out of the environment and public works committee, every billion dollars we invest in highway infrastructure supports 13,000 jobs. and this was a multi
3:13 pm
multibillion-dollar bill. did they fas? no. they filibustered it. stopped it and gave us a three- to five-month stopgap bill during which nobody is going to enter into any big contracts, depressing employment, but moving the bill into the next congress where they thought that they would have a majority, and in fact they will. so, if you want to do something about jobs, we can take your 42,000 dirty pipeline jobs and we can raise that by a factor of five just by doing shaheen-portman. we can raise it to a factor of 10 to 15 with infrastructure legislation. we can do big jobs bills and we're ready to do them but not when it's only dirty oil pipelines because there are two sides of the ledger. there is the side that says jobs and there is the side that says
3:14 pm
harm. and my problem with this is that our friends on the other side of the aisle will not look at the second page. they pretend that the second page doesn't exist. even in coastal states, where i've been down to georgia where the university of georgia has a terrific marine science undertaking that's gone on there for decades, they're all clear carbon pollution is doing real harm to the coast, it is raising the georgia sea level at a rate that is challenging the ability of the famous marshes to keep up. if they can't keep up, they flood. if they flood they get washed away and you lose that infrastructure that supports tourism and all the things important to the way of life in georgia. i say that because i see my friend senator isakson on the
3:15 pm
floor. you could use an example in every single state in the country and our colleagues will never ever look at that other page. if you were the c.f.o. of a corporation and you would only look at one side of the ledger, you go to jail for that. it shouldn't be asking too much to ask our colleagues to reflect on the fact that there are benefits to this pipeline and there are harms to this pipeline. and from my state's point of view, it's all harm. and from a net point of view, the harm hugely outweighs the value by, i think, virtually any states' measure. perhaps not south dakota. but there's real harm that this will cause. 6 million cars' equivalent of co2 added every year is more than we need. so i think we need to turn the corner. more importantly, it is not what i think that matters. the american people understand that we now need to turn the corner on carbon change --
3:16 pm
climate change and carbon pollution. doesn't matter who you ask. you ask independent voters -- it's better than 2-1. you ask all voters -- it's about 2-1. you ask young voters -- it's more like 4-1. there is a poll that shows that young republican voters, self-identified republican voartdvoters under the age of 3n asked about politician who denies that climate change is real, they were asked to check off a box. ignorant or crazy. i yield the floor.
3:17 pm
a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from georgia. zach mr. president, my oldest son -- mr. isakson: mr. president, my oldest son graduated with a master's degree in economics. he wrote a paper for his thesis called "the dutch disease." i had never heard of the dutch disease, but being my son, i read the thesis. you know what it's about? it's about a country that has an infinite supply of wealth -- i.e., resources -- but doesn't ever use the wealth to invest in their people. if you look at middle east, every country has a tremendous supply of oil and petroleum. they don't build universities, they don't make investments to themselves. they give country to their people. the money is not re-expanded.
3:18 pm
there is another disease -- my term -- called the dumb disease. the dumb disease is when you don't have a natural resource and have the opportunity to get some of it that you turn it away for reasons that don't make any sense. i have tremendous respect for the gentleman from rhode island and the distinguished laid did in california. in fact, i traveled with the distinguished lady from california to listen to dr. ally talk about climate change and climatology. while i completely realize that carbon is something we need to re-diewrks i don't completely buy into the enact it's the end all, be all destructor of the environment. i think it is good politics for all of us to reduce carbon every time but not by stopping progressing, is not by stopping jobs and not by stopping developing. you're going to have up to 500,000 barrels of oil a day traveling from the tar sands in canada to houston, texas, and the south of the united states to be refined, and it is not going to generate one single ice
3:19 pm
owisotope of carbon. you have less generation of carbon by building the pipeline than you would otherwise. secondly, as another alternative, that oil is going to go somewhere. if we don't build out the trans-canada palestine built by the keystone people and the united states, they're going to build a pipeline to vancouver and ship on ships the oil from the tar sands to china. in other words, it's going to get somewhere where there are not good standards. just because you burn it in america doesn't mean it's not going to get to china and vice versa. now, we have had estimates from people of expertise that this will generate 42,000 jobs. that's a lot of jobs. i think that's important. that's number one. number two, it will give us a diversified supply of petroleum in the united states and help continue the united states on the track of being an
3:20 pm
energy-independent country, the most important thing we can be for our national security. the only reason the russians went into crimea is because they held the gasoline and petroleum to hold those countries hostage. every time w improve our accesso energy, we're improving our national defense and security and we maintain ourselves as a superpower not just by name but by an economic force as well. so i'm all for reducing carbon isotopes in the atmosphere and i think running that pipeline does exactly that because it moves the petroleum without burning it, so you have the -- the cost of transferring does not put it in there. i'm for 42,000 jobs in america anytime we can get them. i'm for expanding our access. sure, some of the petroleum will be sold in the world markets. it will be refined in the united states. we could take the money and raise the price of petroleum in the world marketplace. let's not do something dumb and
3:21 pm
reject an asset our country has sitting there. we'd be sitting on a ham sandwich starving to death. we have the access to do it. the state department on five separate occasions -- five separate occasions -- has approved it. we've tried for six years to get this vote. regardless of how we're get being it i hope we get it and i hope we get all 60 or more votes here. i think the president will rethink his position on vetoing the bill because the american people are for it the petroleum industry is for it, the automobile industry is for it. it generates revenue for the united states of america, jobs for the united states of america, diversifies our supply of energy and makes us more energy-new mexico than we would otherwise be. so just as the dutch disease afflicts countries that don't take advantage of a natural resource, the dumb disease is when you have a wealth of natural resources and you pass it up. i'm going to cast my vote in favor of the keystone pipeline pipe. i am going to cast my vote for jobs in america and for common
3:22 pm
sense and for not succumbing to the dumb disease in the united states of america and instead investing in our petroleum and ablght to refine and use it. i yield back the balance of my time. mrs. boxer: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from california. mrs. boxer: before my friend leaves, since you said those that vote against this has the dumb disease -- and i know i am -- i think it is funny. i am not insulted in any way cialtion shape, or form, but i feel very differently because i don't think it's dumb to say "no" to a resource that you think is going to hurt the people because it's such dirty, filthy oil. and the c.e.o. of the pipeline company says it means 50 permanent jobs. when you could have so many more millions of jobs if you embrace clean energy. also, i don't think it's dumb at all to say what the economists are now saying. it's going to raise gas prices here at home because it's going to be exported. so i think, you know, dumb is in
3:23 pm
the eye of the beholder. and i think my colleague is very smart, but i don't think those of us who say "no" to keystone are dumb. i think we're smart. i think we're looking at the future. i think we're standing up for the health of the american people. i think we're standing up for jobs and a clean energy economy. and i feel very strongly about that. arntiondz you know, what we're talking about here -- and, you know, what we're talking about here is the dirtiest, filthiest oil on the planet. and with that, i would yield ten minutes to the senator from massachusetts. mr. markey: i thank the senator. the presiding officer: the senator from mass. mr. markey: this debate is really about some pretty simple fundamental principles. keystone is a canadian export line. that's what the oil is going to do. it's going to travel from the dirtiest tire sands fields in
3:24 pm
canada through a pipeline like a straw through the united states down to the gulf of mexico and then exported out of the united states of america. how do i know this? i know it because in the house of representatives i made the amendment on the floor of the house of representatives saying, this oil stays in america. you know who opposed it? the american petroleum institute and the canadian government. this is a canadian -- keystone export pipeline. we take all the environmental risks. this oil goes out of our country. ladies and gentlemen, we still pproximately the same amount of oil in 2014 as we imported in 1975 when we put the ban on exportation of oil. -- on the books.
3:25 pm
we're still exporting young men and women overseas into the middle east to protect tankers coming into our country. and we're going to build a pipeline for the canadians down to the gulf of mexico so they can use us as a straw to send it down and then export it out of our country? where's the american angle on this? i keep hearing it's about american security, about american energy security. do you want to know what tbhs? i'll tell you what it is all about. the canadian company -- companies want to make more money. they want to take the oil from canada, bring it down through the united states, bring it through the gulf of mexico and then send it to europe and latin america and china. why? because they will pay more for this oil than the united states
3:26 pm
will pay for this oil. they make billions of extra dollars that once they can get it on a ship, because the price for world oil is set at a price which is called "brent." but i.t it's the global price. well, in the united states, because of fracking, because of our wise in domestic energy prowrks and because of our dramatic increase this fuel economy standards, we're producing more oil and consuming less simultaneously, and the price of oil at the gasoline pump for people who use home heating oil as a way of heating their home, it's going down dramatically. and what does that translate into? well, every time the price of a barrel of oil goes down just one
3:27 pm
cent at the pump, it's $1 billion into the pockets of the american consumer -- $1 billion. so from july of 2008 until today, it's dropped from $4.11 to $2.88 at the pump. and americans all across america, they're not afraid to go into a gasoline station right now and fear that they're going to be tipped upside down and have money shaked out of their pockets because they can pay at $2.8 -.88, and it's dropping. if we keep that canadian oil in the united states, that price is going to drop own more, because we'll have to import even less than we do now from the middle east. that helps our security, that helps our economy. not taking all the risks and not getting the benefits. because the lower of prierk prie
3:28 pm
greater the economic activity. manufacturers say, i'll build my plant here. the price of energy is much lower. there's much greater economic activity because people have more money in their pockets to buy other american products other than oil, and they buy them in their neighborhoods. they buy ne them in their communities. that's what this should be about. what is this debate not about? i mean, decidedly not about. it's not about solar. it's thought about wifnltdit's . it's not about energy efficiency. it should be. if we are going to debate an energy future for our country, it should not be oil above all. it should be all of the above. and so right now what we're hearing from the other side is that they just might not support
3:29 pm
the extension of the wind tax break, even as wind has now created 80,000 new jobs in the american economy. they're not talking about extending the solar tax break for another five years, which they should be. that's created 142,000 new jobs in the american economy. and i'll tell you why. because this is an agenda to make sure that the oil industry gets what they want, on the one hand, and they can starve the competitors on the other -- wind and solar, energy efficiency. senator shaheen, senator portman, they had a bill for energy efficiency. it has been dying here on the floor of the united states senate for the last two years. what's it's biggest problem? it creates 190,000 new jobs in energy efficiency, which would reduce the need to use fossil
3:30 pm
fuels to generate the same amount of electricity because the single-wisest way to consume energy is to not consume it in the first place, so you don't have to take the money out of your pockets. that's workin working smarter, t harder. shaheen-portman, dead -- republicans kill it. the wind tx break, dead. the solar tax break not going to be extended. well, if we're going to have a debate in our country, if we're going to talk about job creati creation, if we're going to have something that really deals with the future of our country, let's put solar and wind and energy efficiency and biomass and geothermal, let's bring them all out here. let's have a big debate. not just something that helps the canadians use america as a conduit, as a straw to get their oil out of our country so they can make an extra $5 or $10 or
3:31 pm
$15 every barrel they sign. you don't have to go to harvard law school to see this business plan on a business card. it's simple. no thinking required here. what's in it for us? the dirtiest oil in the world goes through the united states so canadians, their oil companies can make money? makes no sense. not if america is generating hundreds of thousands of new jobs with wind and solar and those tax breaks for those industries are on the table to be killed. we should be trying to use this as a debate about the big issues. yes, reducing greenhouse gases. but it's job creation and it's national security. oif that oil stayed in america, this canadian oil, if wind and solar, biomass, geothermal, they were given the incentives, we can tell those arab nations we
3:32 pm
don't need their oil any more than we need their sand. that's what we should be talking about out here. that plan. that's not what we're talking about, however. we're talking about something that's very narrow, creates jobs in the short run. once the pipeline's built, it takes almost a handful of employees to run that pipeline. rather than, how do you create the permanent jobs in wind and solar, the permanent jobs in energy efficiency, the permanent jobs in solar panel manufacturing. how do you -- how do you possibly expect the american people to think that this institution is serious every we're not going to be having that kind of a debate? so, ladies and gentlemen, don't kill the production tax credit. don't kill the solar tax credits
3:33 pm
in two years. let's have the big discussion about where america's going. let's do it in a way that has a comprehensive plan which is ultimately put together. so i say to you right now, do not build this canadian keystone export pipeline. don't build it. until we have the debate which this country expects. young people on campuses all across this country, they expect a debate on wind and solar, they expect a debate on using technology. we're the brain country. we're the technology country. we're the country that can invent our way into this new world, into reducing greenhouse gases, into breaking our dependence upon imported oil. that's who we are as a nation. we put a man on the moon in eight years. we got challenged. we did it. we invented new metals. we invented new propulsion systems. we did it in eight years.
3:34 pm
we're the can-do nation. the new technologies are what young people want us to be looking at. we're not doing that here today. we're just helping the canadians get help and send it right out of our country. and if they were to accept an amendment to say that this oil stays here in america, that would change the debate a little bit. if they were willing to add wind and solar tax breaks and efficiency incentives, that would change the debate. but they're not going to do that. may i ask for one additional minute? i thank you. and by the way, i just served over in the house of representatives in the last four years when the republicans, the tea party took over the house of representatives. what did they do on an ongoing basis? cut incentives for renewables. cut the energy efficiency budget. kept passing bills which stripped the environmental protection agency of its ability to regulate pollution or its ability to increase the fuel
3:35 pm
economy standards not just for cars but for boats and for planes. that's not the direction our country should go in. so i urge a "no" on this bill. and i also want to say at the same time i have the highest respect for senator landrieu. she is a passionate and dedicated and articulate force fighting for her state and fighting for her beliefs. and i just want to say, there's no one in this entire institution who i respect more than her and her passionate belief in the cause which she is championing out here on the senate floor. but at the same time, i respectfully urge a "no" vote on the keystone pipeline. mrs. boxer: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from california. mrs. boxer: mr. president, i want to thank the senator from massachusetts, he calls it the keystone export pipeline. that's exactly right. that's exactly right. i call it the keystone extra lethal pipeline, given the type
3:36 pm
of pollutants that come with this oil. now, mr. president, i would ask that i can make a u.c. on something completely different and not have it count against. it's a 60-second u.c. which i think senator vitter's here to oppose but i don't want it to count against any debate time. is that okay? the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. mrs. boxer: thank you. so, mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the committee on the environment and public works be authorized to meet during the session of the senate on november 18, 2014, to conduct a business meeting where we would have three votes, to t.v.a. members and one nuclear regulatory commission member. all of these three have had he extensive hearings, in the case of mr. barron, 88 written questions and answers. the presiding officer: is there objection? mr. vitter: mr. president, reserving the right to object. the presiding officer: the senator from louisiana. mr. vitter vitter: mr. presiden, reserving righ the right to obj. there are many concerns particularly about the n.r.c.
3:37 pm
nonominee. has no technical background. he -- he has no technical back gound. and he visited his first nuclear plant this summer. and there is no precedent anywhere to have a four-year n.r.c. nomination, and not have a normal, routine nomination hearing -- that's all i'm asking for -- given all that, i object. the presiding officer: objection is heard. mrs. boxer: continuing the agreement that this not count on keystone time. i need to make the point that mr. barron, who is the subject of mr. vitter's complaint, already has been confirmed. we're just putting him in a different seat on the same confirm that has a different expiration date. and he had a hearing. and senator vitter himself asked 58 -- 56 questions. so i just think it's sad. republicans won the election. yes, they did. oh, we're going to get busy. we're going to get busy and we're going to work.
3:38 pm
so all i want to do is have a meeting to do our work out there off the floor on people that have had extensive hearings. oh, no, we couldn't possibly do that. and then to talk about the lack of experience when, in fact, he already was confirmed and republican commissioner spinickey was nominated, she had never even visited a power plant. no one ever said anything about that and we all let it go. so i just think sadness is in my heart, really. this is our work. we're here to work. i thought that's what the republicans said they wanted to do, they wanted to work. oh, no, they come here and they object to a meeting off the floor of the senate so that we can move forward. i want to make a point. the t.v.a., the tennessee valley authority, that's a very important authority. they deliver electricity and they do it in a good way and they do it in a cheap way and they do it in an environmentally
3:39 pm
sound way. that's their job. they need the commissioners on there. the nuclear regulatory commission -- my god, after fukushima, you'd that i people would want to work together. we have a great nominee who worked over in the house for years. he's already been confirmed. so let it be known to the world, as i stand here today, after an election where i admit we lost and they won. and they said they were going to be good soldiers and cooperate. but the first thing that happens, we can't mark up. so now i'm going to have to use another technique i have in my rules and i will. but i don't want to do it. i wanted to have a bipartisan meeting. but if they force me just to do it with the majority, which we now have, so be it. but i'm not about to allow these vacancies to continue. in the case of the n.r.c., the nuclear regulatory commission, it's actually dangerous. i've got nuclear power plants
3:40 pm
sitting on earthquake faults, in tsunami zones. i want to have an n.r.c. that's functional. so in any case, i will calm down and i will get back my keystone voice and i will say to my friends who aren't here, they block this now but unfortunately we're going to have to use the rules to get this done because that's our job. we have to fill these slots. i will thank you very much and then i will notice that my colleague's here, he wants to speak on the time of senator hoeven so i'll get out of the way, allow him to proceed. and how much time remains now on our side? the opponents' side? the presiding officer: 29 minutes remaining in opposition. mrs. boxer: 29. and how much on the pro side? the presiding officer: he controls 62 minutes on the pro side. 62 minutes.
3:41 pm
mrs. boxer: thank you. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: and the senator from louisiana still has 32 minutes. so they have a total of 94 minutes. mrs. boxer: i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from montana. mr. walsh: mr. president, i rise today in support of the keystone x.l. pipeline, a critical infrastructure project that has been delayed by political games for far too long. and just recently, mr. preside mr. president, the american people have said they are tired of political games. they want action in washington, washington, d.c. the keystone pipeline will provide good-paying construction jobs to americans, including hardworking montanans and at no cost to the american taxpayer. and as the bakkan region tons boom, this pipeline will provide an important on-ramp for montana oil which will boost local economies.
3:42 pm
this year the bakken formation produced its 1 billionth barrel of crude oil. that means hundreds of millions of dollars have been invested in local dmoa economies to support good-paying jobs in the united states instead of being sent abroad. and it also means 1 billion barrels of oil did not come from places like iran and russia. a few weeks ago i got to see firsthand the remarkable development that is happening in eastern montana and the work that is being done to help secure our energy independence. i have seen firsthand the costs of dependence on oil from hostile places. during the iraq war, i commanded the largest deployment of montanans to war since world war ii. and world war ii, our strategic interests in the middle east has been oil. our dependence on foreign oil should never again be a reason
3:43 pm
for war. by carrying canadian and american oil to american refineries, the keystone x.l. pipeline will play a vital role in making us more energy secure and prosperous while insulating our economy from price shocks caused by foreign conflicts. the continued delay in approving and building the pipeline is also costing montana and other states along the route millions of dollars in lost tax dollars each year. and i say again, millions of lost tax dollars each year to those states where that pipeline is going to come through. as responsible domestic energy production continues to boom, we must also address the serious infrastructure limitations to safely transporting american oil to the marketplace. in march i commissioned a report from the government accountability office to study
3:44 pm
recent rail traffic trends, especially those patterns associated with the oil boom in the bakken. report identified several safety concerns as a result of rail traffic. the increase in rail congestion has also impacted montana's farmers, who rely on rail to bring their crops to the market. these challenges are not going to go away. in fact, the department of transportation expects freight traffic to rise by 51% between 2007 and 2040 in part due to limited oil pipeline capacity. any further delays in approving this project presents serious threats to the health and safety of our people as well as our economy. by building this pipeline with proper precautions taken to guarantee pipeline safety and reliability, we can provide energy producers with the infrastructure that they need to
3:45 pm
deliver their products to consumers in a safe and efficient manner. i want to make clear that building this pipeline does not distract from our responsibility to address the challenge of climate change across our economy. coming from a state like monta montana, where we cherish our clean air, our clean water and our beautiful public lands, it's very important that we maintain our environment. but we won't solve global problems by stopping individual projects. we need more comprehensive solutions that transition us toward a more cleaner economy. thes a competitive delays in approving this project is another example of how washington is broken. the state department has finished the environmental impact study required before approving the clean clean -- keystone x.l. pipeline and, this project enjoys estrogen bipartisanship in congress and the american people have spoken they want bipartisan support and they want action from the
3:46 pm
representatives that they send to washington, d.c. this is our opportunity to act on behalf of the american people. it's time to build this pipeline and build it right with the best possible materials while preserving protections for landowners and implementing effective energy response plans and we can do it and we can do it safely. today, we have an opportunity to show the american people that congress is still capable of meaningful action to promote a strong and stable economy while reducing our reliance on countries who wish to do harm to us. mr. president, today i encourage all of my colleagues to vote yes on this vital project. i yield the floor. i see the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
3:47 pm
3:48 pm
3:49 pm
3:50 pm
mr. inhofe: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from oklahoma. mr. inhofe: i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call in progress be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. inhofe: i ask i be recognized as if in morning business. the presiding officer: without objection.
3:51 pm
mr. inhofe: mr. president, it came -- i came to the floor to talk about china's inability to keep its promise with the united states. you know, we had someone go over there, of course, the president talked to president xi and they gave the assurances that certain things were going to happen and i've always said and for quite some time i've had occasion to visit with the chinese, a lot of them are hoping we would restrict things in this country so that the only place they can go to get power would be places like china, india, mexico and all that. but one of their -- the promise, but a statement made by the president of china was they would stop increasing their emissions by 2030. but it's impossible to accomplish this goal because of its current domestic energy mix and heavy reliance on coal for affordable electricity to its power. even if that statement were accurate and that they would
3:52 pm
stop the increase, what they're saying not only are we not going to lower our emissions, but we are also going to increase our emissions from where we are today until 2030. that's a long ways from now. so nonetheless, i made a speech last week, i said that china has no known reserves of natural gas and i was wrong. i was wrong due to some of the misinformation we got. the fact that they are not able to realize these reserves is very significant. and that shouldn't distract from the fact that china has a difficult road ahead in developing affordable sources of fuel to meet its energy demands. according to a forbes article, august 19 of 2014, -- quote -- "china is not in the united states and faces technological, the geological, technical and top owe logical hurdles in developing its shale gas
3:53 pm
resources." that was a quote in "forbes" magazine. with these setbacks china announced in august it had to lower its natural gas production forecast significantly. in 2012 the chinese projects they would produce 206 billion to 100 billion cubic meeters from shale. in august they cut that to only 30 billion cubic meters and additional 30 billion cubic meters of production is expected to come from coal field sources. all told this would meet 1% of china's total electricity generation needs by 2020. that's 1%. that's all. we're talking about here. if all these assumptions were right. this is by their own admission. as "the new york times" reported on october 21 of this year, china's ability to extract sufficient natural gas is in serious doubt and its natural
3:54 pm
gas production is growing at a slower pace than its decelerating economy. china's problem is that its shale deposits are much different than ours, the formations are deeper and they're more laden with clay making it more difficult to extract them and more specify to get out and get you to loutout through hydraulic fracturing process. hydraulic talking started in oklahoma in 1948. and the difference here is the united states to say the least, the difference between the united states and china. so they just don't have i a way to do that at this time. and they may not for a long period of time. chinese companies have had a difficult time bringing on line the natural gas that they've found. one company, far east energy, recently shut a quarter of its wells for a number of technical
3:55 pm
and transportation problems including a lack of gas gathering pipelines. this underscores that china simply doesn't have the deep technological know-how we do in this country and has made the shale revolution possible we've enjoyed so much in the last five years. it was built on the back of a hundred years of successful oil and gas development and technological advances in this country which obviously they haven't had. china will continue to rely heavily on coal for electricity generation and we see this happening today. china continues to build the equivalent of one new coal-fired power plant every ten days. think about that. in the last seven years and in talk i made on the floor we calculated the number of coal-fired plants that they have and it is -- they're -- they are going to continue that in the future. other options for producing electricity with lower co2
3:56 pm
emissions is nuclear, however, the country eye nuclear plants have stalled following the fukushima disaster in japan. and other options can't power the world's largest economy. i doubt china will stick to any agreement to reduce greenhouse gases emissions if it puts at risk the country's economy. meanwhile the united states has agreed by the president's statement to -- on our greenhouse gas emissions to reduce from 26% to 28% by 2025 so that the president can solidify a lagoon -- legacy that will be at the cost of the american people. we're handcuffing our economic future to the president's policies which fail by their own measurement, acting unilaterally the president's greenhouse gases regulations will reduce global temperatures by only 0.01 degrees celsius,
3:57 pm
that's -- that's 86 years from now. so i think and we've been doing this for quite some time. ever since they started the united nations meetings to get together all these countries that make all kinds of promises and projections, china has always been there with tongue in cheek just wondering if we were really going to do that in this country. you stop and think about what china is doing right now and its development, and its growth and the fact that they are just cranking out these coal-fired plants at a rate that is hard for us to understand. but nonetheless they are doing it. and will continue to do it by their own admission until 2030. with that i yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. i'm sorry. a senator: mr. president, i would ask that the quorum call be suspended. the presiding officer: without
3:58 pm
objection. mr. kaine: mr. president, i -- the presiding officer: the senator from virginia. mr. kaine: i rise in opposition to the bill approving the keystone pipeline. i oppose the project because accelerating the development of tar sands oil is contrary to our national security interests and environmental interests. i believe there is no way to fully analyze this question without grappling with another question, is carbon pollution from human activity affecting the world's climate in a negative way? because if carbon are carbon pollution doesn't affect the climate, tar sands would not be a significant issue for me. but if we accept the general scientific consensus and virginians do that carbon pollution does cause negative changes in climate stopping or even closing slowing the development of tar sands oil is good for the united states and for the world. some have encouraged me to support this project, duck when i ask this question, do you think manmade carbon pollution affects our climate?
3:59 pm
one c.e.o. basically told me i don't know, i'm not a scientist and a representative of the united states chamber of commerce testified similarly before the foreign relations committee this year. about those of us who take an oath to serve here have a responsibility to consider the scientific evidence. in virginia the second largest region is hampton roads comprised of 1.6 million people living along the chesapeake bay and the atlantic coast. it's a thriving economy and the home of the largest concentration of naval power in the world. it is next to new orleans the region most directly affected by rising sea levels and all agree that rising sea levels are cause in part by carbon pollution. climate change are a today issue in virginia. throughout hampton roads rising sea levels are causing significant challenges, flooding homes, economic harm to families and businesses. a current projections the main
4:00 pm
access road into the u.s. navy's principal base in hampton roads will be flooded and impassable three hours a day by 2040. with an economy so dependent upon the naval presence anything that threatens this military investment is potentially devastating. i sponsored a symposium in hampton roads attended by hundreds with bipartisan representation from local. state, and members of congress. the concern is virtually all estimates of sea level rise in this community pose staggering challenges to every aspect of life here for years to come. it's not just hampton roads. virginia's largest industry is ag and forestry, very affected by climate. tourism is a major industry, very affected by climate. aquaculture, an important industry, very affected by climate. so those who would want to duck the question of climate change or challenge the scientific evidence, i say to them come to virginia with me and talk to people

94 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on