tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN November 18, 2014 4:00pm-6:01pm EST
a current projections the main 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 whose lives are being
seriously affected today by climate changes caused in part by escalating carbon pollution. so what's the answer to this problem and how does it relate to the keystone pipeline? we have to continue to move toward a cleaner energy economy. we can't throw the brake on the use of fossil fuels. that would be unrealistic and would hurt our economy. as governor of virginia, i supported building a state-of-the-art coal plant in exchange for converting a plant that predated the clean air act to natural gas. i support development of offshore energy. we can use a phased approach to produce energy cleaner tomorrow than today, reducing pollution caused by energy sources through innovation and creating jobs. and guess what, mr. president? as you know, that's exactly what we're doing. wind power involves no carbon pollution and it's the fastest growing energy source in america, cleaner tomorrow than today. utility scales solar electricity output has increased 23-fold in the last decade.
cleaner tomorrow than today. the revolution in natural gas production in the u.s. has turned our country into the world's leading energy producer and helped us reduce carbon pollution. cleaner tomorrow than today. innovation driven by smart regulations in the american auto industry means we're producing cars that go much farther than ever before. these developments help reduce the demand for foreign oil and prices that consumers experience, cleaner tomorrow than today. virginia ratepayers are supporting nuclear investments over the years that veteran abled us to generate 40% of our power through noncarbon technology. cleaner tomorrow than today. and just as new technologies helped us make coal plants cleaner in the 1980's to battle acid rain, there are ways to make our existing and future coal plants emit less carbon pollution. cleaner tomorrow than today. and with the u.s. taking significant leadership steps, it's more likely that other nations will do so as well. i believe our innovative path forward is one of the reasons why china was willing to announce recently that they will take similar steps. cleaner tomorrow than today.
the u.s. is now becoming a global leader in reducing carbon pollution and we're there because of smart regulations and especially american innovation. we always have to make sure that regulations strike the right balance, but by becoming cleaner tomorrow than today, we're creating jobs, protecting the environment, reducing our trade deficit and ending our overdependence on energy from foreign nations and as members of the armed services committee, the members here on the floor, the reduced energy independence is great for american national security. and, mr. president, this is why i oppose the ceernts project. tar sands oil is dirty energy producing significantly more carbon pollution than conventional petroleum. after all we have done to be cleaner tomorrow than today, why would we embrace the technology that is a huge backslide, that produces more, not less carbon pollution than conventional sources. embracing a dirtier energy technology moves us precisely in the wrong direction. now, keystone is a simple
project. not the energy panacea that some promise. but whether or not we embrace tar sands oil development does send a message about how we intend to meet american global energy needs. we can either send the message of cleaner tomorrow than today or send a message anything goes. because u.s. innovation is helping us lead the world to cleaner tomorrow than today energy future, we shouldn't turn back now. there are those who say that the tar sands fields of alberta will be developed anyway, so why doesn't the u.s. just go along? the owners of the resource may well develop it and find alternate routes to ship it through canada. they can make that decision on their own, although falling oil prices may make the relative costs of such investment noncompetitive, but even if the owners of those fields decide to move forward in this development, the official policy of the united states should not in my view to embrace, promote and accelerate tar sands oil. our official policy should be cleaner tomorrow than today, not anything goes.
for these reasons, mr. president, i oppose the bill to force approval of the keystone pipeline project and make accelerated tar sands oil development the official policy of the united states, and i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from arkansas. mr. boozman: thank you, mr. president. this is what the american people have been wanting to see. they want washington to work together to grow our nation's economy. sometimes that takes debating what some would consider a tough vote. i personally don't see the authorization before us as a difficult vote by any stretch of the imagination. to me, this is a no-brainer. here's why. keystone is a job creator. this project will bolster the american economy, and arkansas', once we move forward on it. in my home state of arkansas, newcorps steel in vladeville and well-spun tubular in little rock
are two companies that should be employing people to work on the pipeline for the project right now. these are two communities in my home state that would have already benefited from the project if the president had not made stalling the approval of the -- been stalling the approval of the ceernts pipeline. in fact, well-spun had been producing pipe for the keystone x.l. project. hundreds of miles of pipe produced for the project is just sitting at their facility. unfortunately, due to the administration's delay, the company was forced to lay off employees. the keystone pipeline proposal has been studied to death. every box has been checked. and our friends to the north are moving ahead with or without us. canada will develop their oil resources whether or not we approve the pipeline. where the refine something done depends on the president's decision on keystone. right now, canada is currently using other methods of transportation like railroads to
ship their oil. without keystone, they most likely will build their own pipelines to ship their crude oil to asian markets and refineries in china who have lax environmental standards. instead of working with us to avoid that scenario, the president has unnecessarily prolonged the process, giving canadian officials more reason to seek opportunities in china. the senate majority has provided cover for the president's delay tactics for six years, simultaneously putting the brakes on thousands of employment opportunities for americans. during that time, the project has received approval in every study the state department has conducted. the review process has been exhausted. there is no reason for additional delays. the pipeline is ready to go, and my colleagues have tried to move it forward, but until now, the senate majority has prevented us from having an up-or-down vote on the authorization.
meanwhile, the house has voted nine times to approve the keystone pipeline. the most recent of these votes came last week. now we finally have a chance to send something to the white house that forces the president to make a choice once and for all. without congressional activity, the president sees no reason to make a decision. the american people delivered a reason on election day. they want to see washington work. we could start by passing the keystone pipeline. the president claims he heard that message. let's pass this authorization and give him a chance to prove that. the presiding officer: does the senator yield the floor? a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from indiana. mr. donnelly: thank you, mr. president. i rise today in support of the keystone -- mrs. boxer: whose time is the senator taking at this point?
mr. donnelly: i believe this would be senator landrieu's time. mrs. boxer: that's fine. thank you. mr. donnelly: i rise today in support of the keystone x.l. pipeline. the strong energy economy is critical in both my home state of indiana's economy and our country's economic success, and it's critical to our national security. i support this project because it would promote economic competitiveness and energy security for both indiana and the united states. the keystone x.l. pipeline is about creating jobs, investing in infrastructure and going all in on american energy. put simply, it's about opportunity. it's an opportunity to strengthen our economy, to strengthen our national security and to become more energy independent. energy security and national security. it means all in.
don't be for keystone and then be against solar and wind. all of those are part of the equation of making our nation stronger. from solar and natural gas, from nuclear to clean coal, from biofuels like ethanol made of indiana corn and biodiesel made of indiana soybeans all renewable to wind and oil, we should pursue every resource possible to increase our energy independence while also respecting our environment and using the most advanced technologies possible. developing energy sources makes sense for american business, it makes sense for american families and it makes sense for america's national security. we should take every smart
opportunity to stop sending billions of american dollars overseas and begin to continue to develop home-grown energy sources that help provide affordable energy in the future and put more americans to work today. this is about investing in pipefitters, in iron workers, in plumbers, in steelworkers and electricians and all kinds of building trade folks and many, many other people who then have a chance to make their american dream come true. and this is about investing in our energy infrastructure and cutting red tape so stalled projects can move forward. earlier this year in april, i joined ten of my senate colleagues in sending a letter to the president asking him to make a final decision on keystone. facing an indefinite extension
of the review, i joined many colleagues in cosponsoring legislation to approve it. we are still at this point stalled. we are still waiting to move forward, and i'm glad we have the chance to vote on this commonsense legislation that authorizes the pipeline. this product is already being shipped by other means today. i stand here to support the keystone pipeline because it creates jobs, has support in both parties, makes america energy independent and helps increase our national security. this is the kind of an investment we can and should make in energy that democrats and republicans can support. going all in on energy. and that means wind and that means solar and that means ethanol and that means biodiesel
and so many other things. it makes our country stronger and it creates more jobs right here. it's good for america. it's good, as has been said, for our national security. that's why i urge my colleagues on both sides to vote yes. and i want to thank my colleague senator landrieu and senator hoeven for bringing this bipartisan bill forward. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor. a quorum call. the presiding officer: notice the absence of a quorum. the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from north dakota. mrs. heisman: i ask that the -- ms. heitkamp: i rise to respond to some of the concerns that have been expressed regarding the keystone x.l. pipeline and to urge my colleagues to move this important shovel-ready project forward. mrs. height camp: i had a chance this morning to listen to a fair amount of the debate -- ms. heitkamp: i had a chance this morning to listen to a fair
amount of the debate as i presided. ms. heitkamp: in some ways confused messages. i don't know if we're talking about stopping the oil sands in canada or if we're talking about approving a pipeline. i don't know if we're talking about doing the state's work in siting a pipeline within their state or if we're talking about making a determination as -- as directed by legislation from this body to the president to make a determination on whether approval, which is to take that pipeline across the border of this country, is in the national interest. i think we've confused a lot of dialogue here and i just want to take a moment to start from ground zero, and that is that we have a requirement that when a pipeline, a legislative requirement that when a pipeline is going to come across a border, the state department has an obligation to determine whether that is going to be permitted and the determination is whether it's in the national interest.
i don't think anyone anticipated that a pipeline would take six years, six years of dialogue, six years of study, millions and millions of dollars and actually billions of dollars of stranded investment waiting for approval of this pipeline. and so anyone who says let's wait for the process to work is not facing the reality that the process is broken. this process has not worked. this process has not brought this project to some kind of finality. yes or no. yes or no. people who say we need to wait for the nebraska supreme court, nothing's going to go through nebraska until the people of nebraska, through their representatives, actually approve a route. so that's, that's an issue, in my opinion, that belongs to the people of nebraska and to their elected representatives and to their people. when they say, look, the e.i.s. may have said that, but it's not
reality. when the e.i.s. commissioned by the state department says there will not be a carbon impact as a result of this pipeline, but we aren't going to talk about that because we don't agree with that fact. we don't agree with that fact in the e.i.s., that this isn't about stopping the oil sands in canada, the oil sand development. this is about a pipeline and whether it's in the national interest to bring that pipe south. now i want to tell you why i think it's in the national interest. i think it's in the national interest because when i talk about energy independence for our country, when i talk about energy independence for our country and looking at how we can deploy our resources for the good of the world, i talk about north american energy independence, whether it's collaborating with our great friends to the north, canada, or whether it is in fact building relationships and building infrastructure with our
neighbors to the south, mexico that, has a huge mexico holding, a huge amount of oil and gas reserves. i also find it curious because there's been a lot of discussion about gasoline prices and how, kind of like, see, we don't need keystone x.l. production because look at what's happening with gas prices, and they're going down. this is classic supply-demand economics. you know why gasoline prices are going down? because we are producing more oil in north america, because we are adding to the supply. the supply obviously is meeting world demand, meeting the conditions. we have a little discussion in opec. i will acknowledge that. but fundamentally it's economics at work. when you have a greater supply and you have reduced demand, the price goes down. and that's why we're seeing lower gasoline prices. and so when so many people say we won't benefit from the
keystone x.l. pipeline and they talk about employment to that pipeline and they talk about what it means to have this system be deployed, i will tell you that we can thank what's happening in canada in energy production for gasoline prices that now are for the first time in a long time below $3 in many parts of our country, below $3, because we are producing more domestic and north american crude oil. and so i think we need to be honest about what we're talking about here. and i frequently say that the pipeline has taken a role in american politics that is way disproportional to what it is. it is a pipeline. there is over two million miles of pipelines in america today. this is going to be just another one of those, and it's going to
be state-of-the-art. can i predict a perfect world? can i predict there will never be any kind of consequence, any more than i can predict what's going to happen tomorrow with any kind of natural resource or any kind of transportation infrastructure. but i can tell you that i have seen the extra precautions. and i just want to report some of those, some of those things that trans-canada has done, the pipeline company which built keystone pipeline, to respond to the concerns. they've agreed to 57 special safety conditions that go above and beyond what's required in federal regulation, including the installation of automatic shutoff valves not only every 20 miles but at specific spots at cross waterways. there is over 2.3 million miles of pipe in the ground and around 160,000 of those miles are being used for crude oil transport.
you think about that and you think about the need for this infrastructure, and a lot of discussion today about how this oil will fly out of the country magically. and i will tell you the reason why, contrary to what you've been told today, that this pipeline is destined for south into the united states, you've been hearing that the pipeline didn't go east and west because canada didn't want it. that pipeline went to the south because that's where heavy crudes are refined. and a lot of heavy crudes that are refined in texas and in the southern gulf states is crude imported from venezuela. who would you rather buy your crude oil from? venezuela or would you rather buy it from our friends to the north, canada? and so we have so politicized, for lack of a better word, something that should be a clear
economic decision. and we have made this a, an important cause in both sides. i will call out both sides. this is a pipeline. it is a pipeline that will transport an important commodity that will be used in our refineries in our country to produce gasoline and diesel fuel that drives the engine of our economy. certainly our transportation economy. we are buying it from our friends to the north, canada. canada officials have years of responsible investment, responsible development of their infrastructure, and they are people that should want to do business with. and instead of simply making the decision based on, yes, environmental considerations which we can't ignore that e.i.s. says there are not any environmental impediments to
this pipeline and people say what about if it changes in sneb? do you honestly believe that if there is a change in nebraska there is going to be a change that will put more of the nebraska environment in harm's way? do you honestly believe that's the outcome of the nebraska supreme court decision? no. and so when we look at this, we need to begin to focus on what this is. and it is a pipeline. tass -- it is a critical piece of energy infrastructure, and it is something that has languished too long because of a failed process. six years. six years. there's young people here, the pages. what if i told you that you couldn't get your drivers license for six years? what if i told a business we're not going to permit you for six years? what if we told anyone down the road who needed some kind of license or approval from the federal government, six years,
that's what it's going to take. six years. there is no one who thinks that's appropriate. and so if this process today that started by my great friend, mary landrieu from louisiana, spurs a further discussion that resolves this issue one way or the other -- one way or the other -- we've accomplished a great deal today. we have accomplished a great deal by having this important discussion which obviously heartfelt opinions on both sides. in fact, my colleague from california has described it as a vote of conscience. and i will tell you from my perspective, it is a vote for common sense. it is a vote for common sense in moving this piece of infrastructure forward and making sure that we are doing everything that we can to provide affordable energy that drives this economy. and that is the new dynamic, the new energy renaissance.
and i believe that we will approve this pipeline. i'm hoping it's today. but we will approve this pipeline. and at the end of the day, all we've done is result in incredible frustration and incredible delay that has cost money for not only the pipeline, but for the taxpayers of this country. it is time to approve the keystone x.l. pipeline. and i yield the floor. ms. landrieu: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from louisiana. ms. landrieu: mr. president, how much time do i have remaining as a proponent that was originally given one hour? the presiding officer: seven minutes. ms. landrieu: seven minutes. okay, i'd like to take one minute now and then we're going to ask for some additional time. mr. president, i want to thank the senator from north dakota for her just really clear and direct explanation of this and her such practical approach to
what we do here. and it's so refreshing and it's so wonderful to hear her knowledge and depth of her knowledge about this. i put this up again just to remind the american people that what she said is absolutely true. we already have 2.6 million miles of pipe moving oil and gas from where it's produced to where it's needed. this pipeline which i've outlined in blue here is just one of many pipelines that are going to be in our country. our country needs this energy. we need oil. we need gas. we need clean coal. and, yes, even when we build solar, huge solar operations out west where we have a lot of sun -- we don't have sundown south -- or we build windmills off of the massachusetts border, you still have to move that power to the places that need
it. this infrastructure is absolutely essential to the economic power of the united states of america. and if the middle class is telling us anything, they want more economic power in america. the other senator from north dakota is also right, and when i speak about energy independence, i like to talk about canada and mexico as well, north american independents. we might be able to do it in just the 50 states and territories of the u.s., but i am confident we can do it with canada and mexico. the added benefits are these. we don't have to be dictated to by russia and china. hooray. we can create jobs not just in the u.s. but in mexico. hooray. people who can work in mexico and have good jobs in mexico might stay in mexico and hooray for that.
instead of desperately looking for work in the united states. it can help us solve some of our immigration problems. what is wrong with this? and we can create technology transfer from the u.s. to mexico. so this is a win-win. i'm sorry that people have taken this keystone pipeline to be the beginning and end. it is just another pipeline, but it is a symbol of common sense. it is a symbol of infrastructure necessary for us to be energy independent. i don't want to hear one senator coming down here to the floor to say we're going to be energy independent without infrastructure. all they say is wind or gas or oil or coal or solar. that's all the words people use. lovely words, but unless you're talking about pipes, transition lines, right of ways, highways, roads into rural areas, you're not talking about energy. you're just talking nonsense.
absolute nonsense. this is an infrastructure bill, an important pipeline. it should have been built and given permission years ago. and as i've said, people say, mary, why are you circumventing the process? how long could the process possibly be? six years is a long time. it should have taken like a year or two. and we have the report that's finished. we're not circumventing the process, trying to shortchange it like some people have claimed. this is the final report. it was issued in january. i got this report in january. i read it. senator hoeven read it. then we filed a bill in may. january, february, march, april, may. we drafted the bill carefully, giving six months after the report was given thinking surely that is enough time for people to read this report. you could read it in one sitting. but we gave them six months. when it didn't happen, senator hoeven and i dropped our bill. not the house bill that had all
sorts of bells and whistles and a lot of messaging that wasn't going anywhere. we dropped a bill, clean keystone. i would have liked to have tied it with something else. i tried tying it with energy efficiency thinking that would get us to a debate on the floor. we could maybe tie it to minimum wage and get votes on it. you could tie it to something that might make sense but never get either side to agree on the piece to tie it to. i've only got two minutes left. i'm going to ask unanimous consent for another five. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. landrieu: and speak to these other two. the presiding officer: she's asking fordditional time. mrs. boxer: [inaudible] -- five minutes for our time. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. ms. landrieu: tell me when my two minutes is. you know, we waited for six mofntmonths after the final rept
hack done. it's been six years, clearly in america's interest. we have labor unions, business organizations, the association of petroleum institute, the american chemical association, and let me talk just a minute and put their letter in the record here. cal dooley signed this letter to me today. he said "on behalf of the american chemistry counsel" which is all over the country, delaware, michigan, minnesota, illinois, new jersey -- he said, "this project could add 407,000 permanent new jobs by 2023." he is not talking about the specific pipeline but what cal is talking about and the chemical council is the symbol that america is ready, willing, and able to be energy-independent and all the blessings that that will bring to our country and our economy, and we don't have to rely on
china and russia, and we can clean it as we go. we can make it greer greener ase move. so that's why i've brought this debate to the floor today. i am excited for this debate. whatever side you're on, i think it's been a fresh air for the senate of the united states to actually talk about something that people can understand and may we have the vote at the time allotted. and i thank my dear colleague from california for allowing that five minutes, and, of course, our side -- i'm the only one on the floor, so we'll be ab happy to give those additional five minutes. i reserve the balance of my time and suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quoarp quoruquorum call:
ms. landrieu: i ask unanimous consent to dispense with the quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. landrieu: how much time do the republican proponents have left? the presiding officer: 52 minutes. ms. landrieu: 52 minutes. and we have -- i only have five? okay. and how much time does -- do the democratic opponents have? the presiding officer: 27. ms. landrieu: okay. thank you. i suggest the absence of a quorum. okay, could i ask consent -- i don't know, senator h.o.v. isn't here, senator box certificate here. i know our vote is at 6:30, and it's 4:30. should we divide the time more equally or how would you think this could work? if senator hoeven would want to
see what he thinks, we could do a third, a third, and a third? or do you -- what do you want to do the senator from california? maybe half and half, or ...? mr. hoeven: mr. president, i would respond to the question from the senator from louisiana. my understanding is that we were targeting maybe to have the vote about 5:30, so certainly happen- certainly happy to take some time to work with you and senator boxer to figure out how we finish up closing statements and set the vote for 5:45 or whatever we work out in that time range. mrs. boxer: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from california. mrs. boxer: i think would be very helpful if the three of us could get together for a minute here and work out the details of how to close out and then we could make a unanimous consent -- so senators would know exactly what we plan to do. so could i suggest that we put
in a quorum call that it come off all three sides, that we just have a couple of minutes to discuss this. is that all right? mr. hoeven: mr. president, that seems like the right way to go, so watt without objection, - so without objection, i would offer the same. the presiding officer: is there objection? mrs. boxer: i ask unanimous consent that we take no time off anybody's time at this point and just meet and discuss how we're going to close this. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. boxer: thank you. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
bovment bovmenmrs. boxer: mr. p? the presiding officer: the senator from california. mrs. boxer: mr. president, i would yield five minutes to my friend from washington state, senator murray. ferraro the senate is in a quorum call. the presiding officer: the senate in a quorum call. mrs. boxer: and i ask that the quorum call be removed. the presiding officer: without objection, the senator from
washington. mrs. murray: i ask unanimous consent that denise dickerson be granted floor privileges. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. murray: i wanted to come to the floor to talk about the legislation that we're considering regarding the proposed keystone pipeline pipe. mr. president, as with too many controversial issues, we have lost track of the facts and the basic process for moving a project like this one forward. so let's be clear. the legislation that we're voting on today isn't just a bill to say "yes" or "no" to the keystone pipeline. this is legislation that would have us skip the established process for determining whether a major infrastructure project with potential impacts to millions of americans, our economy, and our environment should be approved. we're still in the middle of that process. but if this bill passes, it would mean that we're bypassing all the scientists and engineers and experts who are evaluating
the proposal. if would put an arbitrary manufactured time line ton a project and shortcircuit the process. regardless of how different members feel, we should all agree this is no way the united states government ought to approve a project of this scope. so, mada mr. president, that's e reason i willing voting against this legislation because when this comes to protecting our environment, we should rely on facts and patience and a fair process. now, there's no denying that the proposed keystone pipeline project has become larger than the sum of its parts. and i understand the desire of my colleagues to expedite a project that they do support, and i understand cutting through red tape to get things done. but when we're considering a project that could have significant impacts on our economy and our environment, making a decision before we have all the facts can be reckless and it could be dangerous.
the keystone pipeline proposal is a great example really of why our process for evaluating the potential consequences of projects like this one is not only important, it's absolutely necessary. we simply cannot put expedience ahead of scientific facts regarding climate change, because as a country we've done that for far too long and now we're paying the price. earlier this year, as chair of the budget committee, i held a hearing on the impacts of climate change on our country. we heard testimony from business leaders and environmental experts, from industry leaders and even military officials, and their message was clear. the consequences of climate change are not hypothetical and they are not exaggerated. the impacts of human activity on our planet are real, they are significant and they're happening right now. the federal government, for example, spent three times more on disaster relief in the past decade than it did in the
previous decade. and if we do nothing, continued climate change will result in more frequent and more intense episodes of extreme weather, just like we saw during hurricanes katrina and sandy. the u.s. department of transportation today sends about $22 billion a year to state and local governments just to help them keep their existing transportation infrastructure in good repair. but hotter temperatures and more frequent flooding will wash out roads and will put added stress on bridge supports and public transit systems and will require substantial additional federal investment. we know that an uptick in temperature and heat waves will reduce annual yields of major crop and call more livestock deaths. it will hurt farmers and agribusinesses, cause consumer food prices to rise and really create a ripple affect that will increase costs to u.s. taxpayers. and our military experts say that climate change will act as
a catalyst for instability and conflict around the world, creating additional threats to our country and adding to the cost of protecting our nation's interests. so, mr. president, with all we already know about the impacts of climate change, how can we possibly move this project forward before we have a thorough understanding of the environmental impacts that will result from building the keystone pipeline. how can we force a decision that could very possibly make the impacts of climate change even worse? as a senator from the state of washington, i'm very proud of my work to protect the environment and i'm proud of my state's leadership in combating climate change. and even though the keystone pipeline would not run through my home state, washingtonians know well that the pipeline's impacts could quickly reach our communities from seattle to spokane. so, mr. president, i come to the floor today to oppose this legislation and i will continue to oppose any efforts in congress that ignores or brushes aside the environmental
consequences of our actions. for far too long, we've put short-term interests ahead of our environment and long-term realities and that's got to stop. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor. mrs. boxer: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from california. mrs. boxer: i ask unanimous consent that notwithstanding the previous order with respect to debate time on s. 2280, the time until 5:45 be equally divided between senators hoeven, landrieu and myself or our designees and that at 5:45 p.m., senator hoeven be recognized for up to two minutes for closing remarks. that upon the conclusion of his remarks, senator landrieu be recognized for up to two minutes. that upon the conclusion of her remarks, senator boxer be recognized for up to four minutes. that upon the conclusion of senator boxer's remarks, the senate proceed to vote on passage of s. 2280 with all other provisions of the previous order with respect to the bill remaining in order. and finally, i ask that the time
used by senator murray count towards senator boxer's time. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. boxer: and, mr. president, it is with great pride that i call on my colleague from california as she gets herself ready to speak to this issue. senator feinstein and i represent a state that is creating so many clean energy jobs and am very proud to yield her five minutes. mrs. feinstein: thank you very much, madam chairman. the presiding officer: the senator from california. mrs. feinstein: and, mr. president, thank you too. i want to congratulate senator boxer on her leadership on this issue. we clearly have had a intensive debate in our caucus on this. there are varying views and i have thought a lot about it. i've had 120,000 california constituents write and call, of which about 93% are strongly opposed. and i'd say to the chairman of
the committee, one of the things that interested me from reading these constituent letters was really how informed individuals were about this pipeline. let me lay out some of the environmental concerns. you've heard this but perhaps you haven't heard it in entirely this way. the keystone pipeline was proposed to accommodate increased extraction of oil from the tar sands of alberta. now, these tar sands cover an area of 54,000 square miles. that's roughly the size of new york. so it is huge. i first came upon this by reading a march 2009 issue of "national geographic." and in that they showed part of the desecration to the land. forests down, tar sands. it looked like a moon face.
a huge portion of these deposits can only be accessed through open pit surface mining which destroys natural forests and bogs. then the oil sands are mixed with heated water, chemicals are added. it is driven up with steam in order to separate it from the sand. these methods are costly, they're energy intensive, they're carbon intensive and they leave behind a significant amount of toxic waste. and that's just extraction. transportation of the oil poses additional risks to the environment, namely, the risk of pipeline spills. the first keystone pipeline, which is already operating in our country, had to be shut down several times for safety concerns. it leaked 14 times during its first year of operation. and across the border in canada, the same pipeline spilled 21
times in its first year of operation. and these pipeline spills are dangerous and difficult to clean up. the danger from spills is even greater since the new leg of the pipeline would run over nebraska's ogallala aquifer, a critical source of drinking water for millions and an irrigation source for farmers. beyond degrading our environme environment, this project also runs against our efforts, as has been said many times on this floor, to combat climate change. according to the national energy technology laboratory, by the time oil from keystone makes it to a car in the form of gasoli gasoline, it has already produced 80% -- 80% -- more greenhouse gas emissions than typical crude oil. here's how the math works out.
producing, refining and combusting oil from keystone will release up to 27 million metric tons more carbon dioxide every year than would be produced from burning the same volume of crude oil. those additional emissions are equivalent to the emissions of 5.7 million cars on the road or eight coal-fired power plants. that's i think pretty impres ime as to the totally negative impact of this. so this would be a poor way to begin meeting the president's pledge in day jing to dramatically reduce -- in beijing to dramatically reduce our emissions if the first time we do something creates 27 million metric tons more carbon dioxide every year and is equivalent to the emissions of 5.7 million cars.
on the economics of the pipeli pipeline, there is simply not enough benefit to outweigh the environmental damage. the project is not going to lower gasoline prices for american drivers. the oil is intended to be sold on the global market, not for the benefit of american motorists. the state department has concluded that the pipeline would have little impact on prices u.s. consumers pay. so i believe this project has terrible environmental hazards and risks. it is not necessary. and it certainly is not helpful to our environment. i thank the chair. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: who yields time? mrs. boxer: i suggest the absence of a quorum and it be taken off everybody's time for just a moment here.
mr. hoeven: i ask that the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. the senator from north dakota. mr. hoeven: i just want to take five minutes to respond to some of the comments that the senator from california made in regard to the environmental impacts. first, if you look at the environmental impact statement, actually there were five environmental impact statements done and what they found and said very clearly is that the keystone x.l. pipeline will have no significant environmental impact. let me repeat that. no significant environmental impact. and that's from the environmental study done by the obama administration. so, again, that's not me saying it, that is the state department for the obama administration saying no significant environmental impact according to the environmental impact statement. in addition, i would point out that this oil, if we don't build
the keystone x.l. pipeline, this 830,000 barrels of oil a day moves by railroad. now, think about it. what's going to produce more greenhouse gas emissions? moving all of this oil, 830,000 barrels a day by rail, which, by the way, takes 1,400 rail cars. 1,400 rail cars a day? or you're going to have to move it in tankers going across the ocean to china where it will be refined in refineries that have much higher emissions. or you put it in a pipeline. so again, just common sense. what's going to produce more greenhouse gas emissions, having the pipeline or 1,400 rail cars a day or sending it in tankers to china to be refined in their refiners, who have just higher emissions? not to mention the fact that what are americans going to think about, okay, we're going to make canada send their oi oio
china so that we in america can import oil from the middle east. that's a pretty tough sell. again, with the pipeline you've got the lower greenhouse gas emissions. in addition the heavy crude we import now from venezuela has higher emissions than the oil that will be provided by the keystone. and i'm not even including the fact that it's not just canadian crude that comes in, it's also light sweet bakken crude from my home state of north dakota and our great neighbor 0 the west, montana. we're not just moving canadian crude, we're moving our own crude and if we don't we're going to continue to get the oil from venezuela which has higher greenhouse gas emissions. in fact, the heavy crude in california, the good senator's own state, has greenhouse gas emissions that is equal to or higher than the crude that would come through the pipeline. that's produced in california.
and the final point that i would like to make on the environmental aspects, 80% of the new production in canada in the oil sands, 80% of the new production is being done by what they call in situ drilling. so instead of excavating which is what's being done now with much of the production in the oil sands, they're going to go to drilling and what they'll do is they'll actually drill down, similar to the way would you drill for oil with conventional drilling, and then put steam down in the hole and have that bring up the oil. and so the carbon footprint is reduced using this in situ method which 80% of the production will be this method, and that will reduce the greenhouse gas emissions and footprint to similar to conventional drilling in the united states.
and so i mean when you look at the environmental track record in canada, the canadians care about their environment, too. we all want to find ways to produce energy and do it with good environmental stewardship and i submit to you stow the way to do that is to empower and enable the deployment of new technologies that not only reduce that energy, more cost effectively, more dependably but with better environmental stewardship because you're using the latest, greatest technologies instead of moving the product through rail cars you're loving it -- moving it through the latest pipeline with the latest safeguards. again, i just wanted to to take five minutes to respond to some of those environmental issues and i would thank the senator from california and -- and turn the floor back to her. mrs. boxer: madam president, could you tell us who has how much time at this point?
the presiding officer: the senator from north dakota has 14 minutes. the senator from louisiana has 19 minutes. and the senator from california has eight minutes. mrs. boxer: well, madam president, i'll take three minutes of that time. the presiding officer: the senator from california. mrs. boxer: as we get ready to have a vote here in a while. you know, what makes me very sad about this debate is that if we would all really embrace an all-of-the-above energy future, we wouldn't have to have these arguments. but we can't get any support over there for clean energy. we just can't. let's call it what it is. and it's sad because when i look at my home state, we are booming. we are booming because our state has always been an environmental
leader and with it comes jobs. and as jerry brown has shown, balanced budgets. people are smiling. i don't want to look like it looks in china. we have a photo here. this is what it looks like in china, madam president. i know you've been there. people walking around with masks on their face because they can't breathe the air and you can't see. and yet and still we go down this path, the heaviest polluting oil is what the tar sands oil is. the heaviest polluting oil. i stood with doctors and nurses, they joined in my call for a health review, my colleague said, oh, this thing than studied up and down and up and down and down and up. well, i don't think so. neither senator whitehouse, neither do the nurses who all joined with us. they're the most respected
profession, so don't listen to me because i'm in one of the least respected professions i'm sad to say. listen to the nurses. they say we need nor studies on the health of the people. we don't want our people walking around like this. i remember the days in los angeles when the air looked like this. i don't want to go back to that. this is the filthiest, dirtiest oil. that's why it's called x.l., extra lethal. the pipeline itself is a pipeline. it's what you putting in it, it's what you are unleashing, and it's going to mean a 45% increase in the tar sands oil into our nation. and there will be consequences. and i've got news for you, senators. don't live near refineries, take a look at what that looks like. senators don't live near pipelines when there are spills. this is what it looks like. lovely, isn't it incomes
important arthur, texas. i stood with the community leaders. this is what it looks like. this is filthy, dirty oil. with pollutants that kill. and that's the truth. and yet it's all, oh, how many jobs? i'll tell how many jobs. the c.e.o. says -- of the pipeline company says it's 50 jobs. the presiding officer: the senator has used three minutes. mrs. boxer: thank you very much. i yield one more minute. the c.e.o. of the company itself says it's 50 jobs, this is why we're risking the health of our children? the fact that they have to run away from the playground because they can't breathe? this is worth it, this is supposed to be in the national interest? and the kicker is, as senator markey pointed out, all of this oil is going to be exported. it's going to drive up the price of gasoline here at home.
this -- i know this is counterintransit tiff but it's a -- counterinpresident clinton tiff. the oil will -- counterindue itive. the oil is going to move out of this country and our gas prices are going to go up so kids have to suffer this because oil companies want to make more profit. not in my world. so i reserve the balance of my time and i will note the absence of a quorum and ask unanimous consent that the time be deducted equally. the presiding officer: without objection. the clerk will call the roll.
ms. landrieu: how much time do i have remaining? the presiding officer: 18 minutes. ms. landrieu: thank you. madam president, first of all let me just associate myself with the remarks of my cosponsor, senator hoeven, who before i had to slip out of the floor to take a call relative to this vote, was really very clear on so many important points that he made. the first one is, is that this -- the most important point, i think in this debate debate -- and there are many and there's a respect -- the opponents of this, but the most important point, the basic fact is this -- this resource will be developed by canada, no matter what anyone in the united states, in the house or the senate of either party does. that is the fact. it is indisputable.
how do we know that? because the president of canada, the prime minister of canada, the prime minister of the province have told us that. of all the different parties, it's unquestioned truth, they are going to develop this resource. and they are going to send this resource through their avenues out to either china -- excuse me, could i have order -- they are going to develop this resource. this debate isn't going to stop them or start them. number two. if we have to develop partnerships for progress, which no country, even as powerful as the united states is, can hardly do anything completely by ourselves, we do lots of great things and have since the moment we were formed. but we've always had partners, even in the revolutionary war. france came to help us and the netherlands lent us money, a tinily little country that could
fit inside of louisiana. we've always had partners. so the question here for this debate is the first point, this resource will be developed and will go on the market to the world. period. second point. america needs partners in our energy production. who is the best partner we could possibly have, the one that's closest to us geographically, closest to us in terms of our democratic outlook, closest to us in environmental standards? even the senator from california would admit if i asked her and she's standing right here next to me, which country has one of the highest environmental standards in the world besides the health netherlands and one or two scandinavian countries, it would not canada. in some ways you could argue their environmental standards are higher than our own. i'm sure they're listening to the debate feeling very to by united states senators about a
process that they have tighter environmental standards than we do. number two -- number three. contrary to the ranting on some people that this is for export, it is contrary to -- contrary to the fact and i'm go to read from trans-canada, the pipeline it says comments were received throughout the review process speculating whether this heavy crude oil carried by the proposed pipeline passed through the united states would be loaded on to vessels ultimately for sale in markets such as asia. as crude of foreign origin, canadian crude is eligible for crude export license as long as it's not commingled. hamper, however, such an option appears to be economically unjustified given transportation costs and market conditions. keystone is not for export. it is actually to come to the refineries on the gulf which is
why i have been a supporter from the very beginning because this is my home. louisiana and texas are kind of the april center for refining -- epicenter for refining heavy crude. we transformed from light crude when we were running out of it when venezuela was discovering its heavy crude, i took a trip are with frank murkowski when i was a freshman member of the committee. wint, he said you've got to see this heavy crude, this is what the future is. our country doesn't have much, we'd rather get it from venezuela than the middle east. i've been to venezuela. years and years ago. our refineries don't need permission from us. these are business people making business decisions. they transform their refineries to heavy crude. so the heavy crude that comes from canada is a great partnership with the refineries in the gulf coast. this is business, not politics. and business is good for this
country. contrary to popular opinion. so this was a business deal, a good deal for canada, for the united states, for our economy, for jobs, and because it is a of negligible impact to the environment. i know that democratic senators will come down here and talk about the environment. this is the last of five environmental studies. it has been published since january of this year, january. senator hoeven and i waited to introduce our bill. he kept coming to me, saying should we introduce our bill. i kept going to him, should we introduce our bill? let's give them a little bit more time. don't want to really rush it. it's been six years, you know. we have tried to be patient. finally, by may, after this had been, you know, published, that says clearly there is negligible environmental impact from
president obama's own state department and e.p.a. they said it's much easier, safer and cleaner to transport this oil by pipeline than it is to put it on barges going down the mississippi river, which we are at the end of, we would know about this. it's safer than putting it on rail cars that go through towns. it could potentially blow up. that's what they say. i know people don't want to read it, but that's what this says. so it's not for export. it is a partnership with one of our best and longest allies in the world. canada with the highest environmental standards being built. it's a high-tech state-of-the-art pipeline that's going to put thousands of people to work, but more importantly than the people building it is the signal it's going to send to chemicals, to manufacturers, to our manufacturing base that has seen an extraordinary
renaissance, not just in the gulf coast where our unemployment rate is in some places 2.5%, but it's in places for ohio and michigan and pennsylvania and the midwest and, yes, the west coast and the east coast. that's the third major argument. the fourth major argument is that this has absolutely nothing to do with climate change. it just simply has to do with smart partnerships, economic business partnerships to produce the resources that north america has in the most environmentally friendly way, and if we could vote on this today, which we will finally. we have been working for years to get a vote. finally to get a vote and hopefully passage, we can then move on to a broader discussion which should take place about climate change.
i am not a denier of climate change. i'm not. i understand that there are impacts to the environment. this doesn't happen to be one of them. this does not happen to be one of them. this resource is going to be produced. either the cleanest with canada and the u.s. doing it in the cleanest, most efficient way possible or it's going to be an inefficient way to partners that do not have oversight, do not have e.p.a., do not have standards. it's a no-brainer. and then we can get on the big debate that senator boxer and i have had, senator sheldon whitehouse and i have had, others about what to do with the human impacts of the environment and start talking about real issues that can move us one way or the other by also maintaining our commitment to economic growth. and so that is why i have been fighting for a debate and a vote on the keystone pipeline.
how much time do i have remaining? the presiding officer: nine minutes. ms. landrieu: i want to call the attention to the bill itself, because we talk a lot, we talk about many bills. we don't really debate many bills, so this has been a refleshing -- wouldn't you say, senator? it's been a refleshing day on the floor of the united states senate. i haven't seen a day like this in eight years, so i am encouraged by what i think the outcome will be, but i am really encouraged about this debate that we're having on the floor of the senate, and i think people watching this debate, maybe not everybody is glued to the television but there are a lot of businesses in america that are focused on this. there are a lot of labor unions and their leaders that are watching this. the pipefitters are watching. the boilermakers are watching. the engineers are watching. the operating engineers are watching because they have been fighting for this pipeline for their members for five years, and their cries for help and for
support have fallen on deaf ears on this side of the chamber. so they are watching. unlike a lot of bills that we debate, this bill is a page and a half. this is the bill. it's s. 2280. it was drafted to be very simple. the bill basically says since for six years every study that is required by law has been completed, every study that's been completed and published and been made public, since the process is finished, over with, the congress is directing the president to build this pipeline based on his own studies that have greenlighted it time and time and time again. there is no study to be turned in. the only issue, the only issue
outstanding -- and it's important, but the only issue outstanding is the issue of in one state, in one portion of the state of nebraska there was an aquifer -- there is an aquifer that the people of nebraska did not want the pipeline to go through, and so the leaders in nebraska moved the pipeline away from the aquifer. when they did that, an environmental group that is against all pipelines, against the keystone pipeline, they are a small and vocal group filed suit to say the way they did that was wrong, so the process was wrong. so they're in court now, but that is going to be resolved literally -- the supreme court has already taken arguments. it's going to happen any friday. it could be this friday, it could be next friday or the next friday. that's it. it's done. we could start building parts of
it and eventually get to nebraska because they have already approved it to go through the state. it's just a matter of exactly who had the authority to do it. that will be resolved by nebraska. our bill acknowledges that and says nothing shall step on private property rights. so as i have said over and over, the bill that senator hoeven and i drafted carefully with consulting, with senator tester from montana by private property rights, talking with the senators from nebraska about respecting nebraska but saying enough is enough. six years is long enough. like the senator from north dakota said, if a base wanted to get a permit to dredge a channel or to build a dock or to put up a big store in a mall and they walked into city hall and they said that's lovely but you have to wait six years, no one in
america can function this way. it's not right. it's wrong. now, it is so clear to the people of louisiana that this pipeline should be built, it is so clear to the people of texas. many democrats in our part of the country, members, strong members of the black caucus have voted for this pipeline. cedric richmond, my congressman, has voted for this pipeline. benny thomas, the congressman from mississippi. james clyburn. because the coalition is broad. it's very diverse. they are republicans, th democrats. the black caucus, labor, the business community, saying what is wrong with the members of congress that they can't understand six years is long enough, the reports are in, the facts are what they are. this pipeline needs to be built
for all sorts -- i mean, for many, many good reasons. and i want to just end my few minutes and reserve my last two minutes. this is america's hour to become energy independent. we don't have to kowtow to russia. we don't have to be held up by the politics of putin and his bullying of eastern europe. we can help japan, a strong ally of ours, to stand with us. we can help europe. and most importantly, we can help ourselves and we can build a new energy renaissance that's all of the above. that's the cleanest, the most environmentally sensitive that we can. let's get on with doing this. so i am so proud to have literally kick started this debate. i hope this is a beginning of many important debates that take place. no more theater. no more positioning. no more chess games that nobody understands because if you're
not at the chess board, it's really hard to follow. even on television when you watch chess, it's a real hard game to get excited about. let's get back to what we do best -- debating bills that have impactful outcomes, and in my opinion in this bill in a positive way for the people of the united states. let us build a middle class. again, most importantly, let's listen to them, let's pay attention to them and use our common sense. i yield the floor and reserve the balance of my time. the presiding officer: the senator from california has just under four minutes. the senator from north dakota has 13 minutes. and the senator from louisiana has two and a half minutes. mrs. boxer: and that is before we get to the final series of
moments? the presiding officer: that's correct. mrs. boxer: okay. well, madam president, i just want everyone who might be watching us from louisiana to know that without mary landrieu, we would not be having this debate, and she makes a point it is good to have this debate. it is really good to have this debate. we've had others before while i have been here, for health care. i put them in a bit of a different category, but this is an important debate. and i do want to cover a little ground here. first of all, it's important to note that we democrats are a big umbrella. we have senators that agree with the big oil philosophy. we have senators that agree with the all of the above philosophy, and we have senators who are pushing for clean energy. this is true about our caucus, and i'm proud. now, mary landrieu and i, we worked hand in glove on katrina, and there was one thing that she
asked me to do for her in my capacity as chairman of environment and public works that i said no to because she is a great senator. she is a great senator. the way i feel about keystone is not the way she feels about it, and that's the beauty of our party. now, i just want to lay it out on the record. i have met with canadians who live near the extraction of the dirty tar sands oil. i have met with the people in port arthur, texas, who live near the refineries of the dirty tar sands oil. and i have talked to community activists who saw a little league team had to flee a field in chicago because the pet coke that is so filled with particulates that you can't breathe when you're around it, started to fly all over the little league field. and i will tell you the canadians i met with were not happy with their government. and i'm not here to pass
judgment, but i will put in the record in october, 2014, the canadian office of the auditor general issued a scathing report detailing the canadian government's failure to adequately protect the environment during tar sands development. i would ask unanimous consent to put a summary of that into the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. boxer: so, you know, i can't get into how good canada is on a daily basis, but i can tell you when it comes to the tar sands, they don't have a good record. and i stood with doctors from america, i stood with nurses from america who are all saying this is dangerous, dangerous stuff because it has heavy metals, it has sulfur dioxide, it has nitrogen oxide, it has particulate matter, it has carcinogens and all of these things, and so welcome tar sands oil to america to cut through our country and then be exported
to other countries. i have got to say it just leaves me in amazement. and i thought that senator markey laid it out. we're going to see higher gas prices because of this because they can just unleash more of their oil and get it out of here because they get a higher price abroad than they do in america. so, you know, when you stand with the people who live along the -- the excavation route, when you stand with people who live right near the refineries, when you stand with people who have their kids playing little league and soccer right near the petroleum coke, you have to say what is in the national interests? i ask for one minute. the presiding officer: the senator's time has expired. mrs. boxer: i ask for an additional minute. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. boxer: and i would add a minute to senator landrieu as well.
the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. boxer: so to me, all of these health reasons are reason enough to say let's not interrupt what the administration is going through now, which is careful study of whether or not this is safe for our people. two million people sent in their comments. don't shortcut that. and then it's the whole issue of the climate. we know this tar sands oil is far more carbon intensive and it is going to hurt our planet. and we want to have a planet that's habitable for our children and our grandkids and generations to come. so i embrace this debate. i think it is an important debate to have. but you really have to ask yourself the question, is it worth exposing our people to these risks who i stood with shoulder to shoulder, and is it
worth exposing the planet to these risks when we can create millions of jobs in a clean energy economy like we're doing in my state and we're going gangbusters. so i thank my colleagues and i say to the people of louisiana, you couldn't have had a better fighter. and we're in the ring together, and it's tough, but that's the beauty of the democrat party, that we are an inclusive party. and i would yield the time. the presiding officer: who yields time? time will be charged equally to both sides.
would you like to use your 3 in addition to the agreement for the final 8? would you like to go with your final 3 minutes at this time? ms. landrieu: i just need three minutes to close. mr. hoeven: do you want to do that now, and then you still have 2 minutes after i'm done as well. i'm trying to find out how you'd like to utilize your remaining time. ms. landrieu: we can do the closing now. you can do your closing and i'll do mine and then senator boxer. would that be okay? mr. hoeven: madam president, that's fine, sure. madam president, i'm going to go through a series of charts here. they're actually getting a little worn because i've used them now for a number of years. and i'm very hopeful that after today or certainly after the first part of the next year that i can retire these charts
because it's long past time to approve the keystone x.l. pipeline. this is an effort that started in september of 2008. the trans-canada company applied for the keystone x.l. pipeline permit. they started this process in september of 2008. i wasn't in the senate then. i was governor of north dakota at that time. worked on it for two years as governor and now worked on it for almost four years now in the senate not building the project, but trying to get approval for this project. and the irony is, one of the many ironies is that the trans-canada company actually built the keystone pipeline. a lot of people go what? what do you mean? i thought that's what we're talking about. no. what we're talking about is the keystone x.l. pipeline. the keystone pipeline has already been built.
in 2006, the company applied for a permit to build a pipeline from hardisty down in alberta down to patoka, illinois, for the keystone pipeline. they applied in 2006, granted a permit in 2008 and by 2010 they had the pipeline built and operating bringing about 600,000 barrels a day down through canada going through north dakota, through zack, -- through south dakota and illinois. permitted and now done. what we're talking about now is the keystone x.l. pipeline. it's a sister project. and the company has been trying for six years to get a permit. here you see the route; very similar but it also goes down to
cushing and to the gulf of mexico. it's hard to believe six years in the making. we've passed legislation to try to get a decision out of the administration. this does not -- not only is this not the first pipeline. this is the keystone x.l. pipeline which after we've built the keystone pipeline, but this is not the first bill we've had to approve it. in fact we've passed other bills to approve it. as a matter of fact, in 2011 i introduced a bill which we passed in 2012 attached to the payroll tax holiday so the president wouldn't veto it. and what that bill said is, mr. president, you need to make a decision on the keystone x.l. pipeline. if we're going to have an energy plan for this country, if we're going to make this country energy secure, energy independent, we've got to have the infrastructure to move that energy to market. we've got to have this vital infrastructure.
so all that bill said in 2012 is, mr. president, make a decision. it's been years in the permitting process. make a decision. and he did. he turned it down. he turned it down because he didn't like the route in nebraska. so what did we do? we went to work with the good people of nebraska and set up a different route. we addressed the concerns that the president said he had. we rerouted the pipeline and we came back. still no decision. still no decision. making it very clear that the president -- he won't turn down the project. you have to ask why isn't he turning it down? because it's about jobs and energy and economic growth. it's about energy security; therefore, national security. and the american people overwhelmingly want this project. 60%, 70% every time it's polled. that's why he doesn't want to turn it down, because the american people want it. but he won't approve it.
so what's his strategy? his strategy is defeat through delay. defeat through delay. don't take my word for it. actions speak louder than words. we are now in year six of the permitting process. so what does this bill do? what does this bill do? senate bill 2280, we have 56 sponsors on this bill. 56. it's a bipartisan bill. already have a majority of the senate. now we just need to get to 60. what does it do? if the president won't make a decision, then congress needs to. so what this bill does is that under the constitution -- excuse me. under the commerce clause of the constitution, congress has the authority to oversee trade with foreign powers. we have the authority and the responsibility to oversee trade with foreign countries. so we have the authority to
approve the cross border, approval for this pipeline. we have that authority under the commerce clause. this bill simply says, all right, congress approves the cross border authority for this pipeline. that's it. the states still have their right to the route and the oversight in their respective states. we honor, we respect and we protect that. we protect property rights. we're just saying under the commerce clause of the constitution that you can bring this pipeline across the border just like the many other pipelines that have come across the border. and this pipeline will have the latest, greatest technology, and it will be part of the more than, the millions of miles of pipeline that we already have except this one will be newer with safety features that the other ones don't even have. so that's what this bill is about. that's what it's about. and that's what we're working on
today. and it really comes down to a very simple decision. you make a decision for the american people or do you make a decision for special interest groups that oppose the project? so i want to thank my colleagues for this very vigorous debate on the keystone x.l. pipeline today. it's very appropriate that we debate it and it's very appropriate that we vote on it. i had not anticipated getting to a vote until the new congress, but i am pleased to get a vote today. and it's certainly past time that we approve the keystone x.l. pipeline. as i say, six years -- six years in the permitting process. how in the world are we going to build an energy plan for this country that truly makes us energy secure and energy independent if we can't build the infrastructure to move that energy around the country, to move the energy that we produce and that our closest friend and
ally, canada produces from where we produce it to the refineries and to the markets around the country? you can't build an energy plan for this country if you don't approve and build the infrastructure to make it work. a lot has been written, a lot has been said over these six years, but i go back to the important point, and that is let's make this decision on the merits. let's make this decision on the facts. it is about energy. it is about jobs. it is about economic growth. and it is about national security through energy security. environmental issues, after five environmental impact statements the department of state says there is no significant environmental impact. this isn't me saying it. read the environmental impact statement. and it's not like we just did it once. it's not like we just did it twice or even three times. five of them. think about it. where's the common sense here? five environmental impact statements.
verdict, no significant environmental impact. on the jobs issues, the department of state, again in the environmental impact statement says 42,000 jobs. some say 42,000 jobs, those aren't good jobs. those are construction jobs. really? if they're not good jobs, why are all the major national unions strongly supporting the project? ask them if these are good jobs? furthermore, energy is a foundational industry. low-cost dependable energy helps all the other industry sectors in our economy go and make us more competitive in a global economy. on the export issue, i think we've heard our president say it's all going to be export. well, that's interesting, because his department of energy says otherwise. if you look at the report from his department of energy, it says we're going to use that oil here in the united states. we're going to refine it. we're going to use it here in the united states. and interestingly enough, in order for the oil to be
exported, you've got to get approval from the department of commerce, from the obama administration's department of commerce. one other interesting point, it's not just oil from canada. it's oil from my great state of north dakota and oil from mt. light, sweet balkan crude that we've got to find a way to get to our refineries in the united states. right now north dakota produces almost 1.2 million barrels of oil a day, and it's going up. the only state that produces more oil than north dakota is texas. now that almost 1.2 million barrels of oil a day that we produce, 700,000 right now is moving on rail. 700,000. 700,000 barrels a day. that's a problem. this pipeline alone takes, will take 1,400 railcars of oil -- 1,400 railcars a day to move
that amount of oil. if we don't have keystone, we're going to have 1,400 railcars a day moving that product. we already have a problem. we already have our ag products backlogging the midwest because we're trying to move all of this oil. look, we need infrastructure in the right balance. we need pipelines, we need rail, and we need roads. without it, you've got more congestion on the rail and also more risk for accidents. for all these reasons and more, as i said just a minute ago, the american people have spoken clearly. they said that it is time to approve the keystone x.l. pipeline, and i hope that today that's exactly what we do. so we're here now, and we agreed to have a vote at 5:45. and i know know that my colleags from louisiana and from --
madam president, i think i have two minutes remaining to start the final portion of the debate prior to the vote. without objection. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. hoeven: so i turn to my colleague from california and my colleague from louisiana. the time has come to vote. we've had the vigorous debate. i will go back to what i said on this floor repeatedly and will continue to say until we get this project approved. this is about what the american people want. we work for the american people. so i've gone through the merits. i've gone through the arguments. i've laid out how the bill works. i've talked about the history. but at the end of the day, this is about our job representing the people of in great country and listening to them and doing what they want us to do, and the american people overwhelmingly support this project and want it approved. and so i ask for an affirmative vote today to approve the
keystone x.l. pipeline. madam president, i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from louisiana. ms. landrieu: i just want to ask the senator yield so that i can personally thank him for his leadership. it's been a pleasure working with him to build the keystone pipeline. he and i have worked together now for several years. we have negotiated every step of the way, when to introduce our bill, what the bill should say. and i just wanted to personally thank you for your leadership. and i've been pleased to work with you on it as an individual member of this body as well as the chair of the energy committee, and i look forward to working with you on many projects in the years to come. let me close by saying a couple of points. one, first of all, i want to put a statement from the mayor of port arthur, delores bobbiprince is strongly in favor of keystone. i know you thought there was hesitation on the mayor.
she says our unemployment is very high. she represents the city, keystone. we have a poverty rate of 25%. these are my closing points. one, to the opponents of this that have stopped it and stalled it every step of the way, i'm going to say again, this resource will be produced. nothing that we do on this floor, what they do in the house or what the president of the united states does will stop this resource from being produced. two, this product will move to these refineries. it's going to move by rail or it's going to move by car or it's going to move by barge, and the studies are in, done, signed, sealed and delivered. it is less efficient, it is more dangerous to the environment, and we should use a pipeline that is state-of-the-art. number three, these heavy oils will not be exported. this is for energy to florida, which doesn't produce an awful lot. this is energy to california. they do a great job of
conservation. i'll give it to them. not a great job of production. we actually do very well at both in louisiana. this is for americans, for american jobs to build an american middle class. and it will create 40,000 immediate jobs. if the people of this congress have not noticed, there are some long unemployment lines in some parts of this country. the people at the very top might be doing very well but the people in rural america, the people in small-town america, the people that that don't have $1 million in their 401(k) plans could use a job, and it is going to create, according to the american chemical council, 407,000 jobs in the next nine years and that's just a beginning. and finally, let us do more than send a message. let us do more than talk. by our actions, send hope to the middle class. i want to conclude by thanking senator mark begich, who will no longer be with us, senator
donnelly, senator hagan, who will no longer be be with us, senator heitkamp, senator manchin, senator mccaskill, senator tester, senator walsh, senator warner, senator carper, senator casey, and senator ben.net for their great -- nennette, for their great, great leadership. and i specifically in the 30 seconds i have left want to thank the industrial union of the operating engineers that have fought for six years, the international brotherhood of electric workers, the laborers international union of north america, the pipe fitters and plumbers and the north american building and trades union that represents them all and has fought every day for six years to try to talk this administration and this congress into acting on their behalf. the time is now to build the infrastructure necessary to make america energy-independent. we can spend $6 on wars in iraq
and afghanistan and we can't give a green light to a pipeline that's gotten five environmental reviews? the time to act is now. i yield the floor. mrs. boxer: madam president, i'm really happy. we would have been voting on this a long time ago if my republican friends didn't block the shaheen-portman bill from being part of a unanimous consent agreement. so let's just stop the i had poo crasscy that's going on here. we would have had a vote. but, no it's only about big oil and the koch brothers and all that. fine, i'm looking forward to this vote win or lose because we had to have it at some point and i was for having it a long time ago. if we want to grow this energy economy with good jobs and want to protect our families' helmet, we want to protect our plan i think from devastating climate change, the vote is "no" on the keystone x.l. pipe lierntion
which i call "extra lethal." and i will tell you if the president vetoes this, i hope we'll sustain his veto if it passes today. we should work together for the future, a clean energy future that would create far more jobs than the 50 permanent jobs, even the c.e.o. of the keystone pipeline says is the right number. that's how many jobs permanent will be created. i come from a state that is booming with hundreds of thousands of jobs with balanced budgets, clean energy future and i come from a state that embraced cleaning up the environment and building the economy and jobs. and they go hand in hand. and anyone who tells us that they don't really don't understand anything. and i could tell my friend -- he talks about polls. i want to tell him about another poll that he won't like, and that poll is that huge
majorities of americans want the e.p.a. to clean the air, clean the water. they want them to do the job. it's very popular, even though some of my colleagues have tried to undermine the work of the e.p.a. so why don't we work together on a clean energy future? and if you want to know the way, come to my state. now, we're looking at millions of jobs all across this nation in clean energy. why vote against this pipeline? we know misery policy this pipeline. that's not rhetoric. here's port regar arthur. i met with the community leaders, who live around here and breathe this stuff. you know, senators and mayors, with all due respect, don't live in these communities. now, what's in all this black smoke that goes into your lungs, if you happen to live there?
it is huge amounts of pollution. more sulfur dioxide, far more lead and this is serious stuff. it's not rhetoric. it's fact. there is something called p.a.h.'s, which are cancer-causing pollutants. that's approvening. we put a peer-reviewed study into the record. i'll shoi a picture of petroleum coke. senators don't live near this, either. neither do mayors, in general -- maybe some do. this is what happens after you refine this tar sands oil. it goes to these holding areas, and i will tell you what happened in this particular carecasein chicago. there was a little league baseball game going on right near this pet coke. the wind came up. the pet coke blew around and this is a direct quote from the newspaper. "kids that were playing ball
just had to get the heck out of there because all this stuff was going into their eyes and their mouth." for what? 50 jobs in 50 jobs and a lot of profit in the pocket of the people that own the tar sands? honestly, what is in the national interest? i will just close with this. i would ask for 30 seconds additional. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. boxer: i want to show you a picture of a little girl and she has on over her face an oxygen mask. and i am tell yoing you, madam president, when the insures stood with me and the public doctors stood with me and they said, you know what? let's be careful here because this pipeline is going to unleash 45% more of the dirtiest, filthiest air and that's why i call it the keystone "extra lethal" pipeline, and i hope we won't lead it up today. i hope we'll vote it dowfnlt i
hope the president will veto it if it passes. i will be on my feet because i came here to protect people like this. thank you, and i yield the floor. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the clerk will read the title of the bill for the third time. the clerk: calendar number 371, s. 2280, a bill to approve the ke keystone x.l. pipeline. the presiding officer: under the previous order -- is there 0 a sufficient second? there appears to be. the yeas and nays are ordered. under the previous order, the question occurs on the passage of s. 2280. the yeas and nays have been ordered. the clerk will call the roll. vote: