Keystone Pipelineby Senator John Hoeven
Posted on 2015-02-11
HOEVEN. Madam President, I would like to speak on the subject of
the Keystone XL Pipeline. The Keystone XL approval bill which we passed
in the Senate will be voted on this afternoon in the House. I believe
the House will pass the bill with a strong bipartisan majority, just as
we did in the Senate.
This bill is about energy, it is about jobs, it is about economic growth, and it is about national security through energy security. I have been on the floor in the Senate talking about all these issues as we worked on this bill. The Keystone XL Pipeline approval bill was the first bill we took up in the Senate in this Congress, S. 1. I think there were on the order of 250 amendments filed on the bill and we voted on more than 40 amendments with rollcall votes. We debated, Senators brought forward their amendments, and we voted on the bill and the bill passed, as I say, with a strong bipartisan majority.
Now the House will vote, as I say, this afternoon on the bill as well. I think it is remarkable that today is the day we will pass the bill completely through the Congress. I think it is remarkable because it is on the very same day the President has sent to the Congress an AUMF, authorization for use of military force, to deal with ISIS. It is on the very same day the President has sent us an AUMF, authorization for use of military force, to actually send our soldiers, our men and women, our combat resources to the conflict in the Middle East, the very same day we are passing legislation that will help our Nation with the production of more energy, not only in the United States but also working with our closest friend and ally, Canada.
This pipeline is about the infrastructure we need to help us move to energy security, meaning that we produce more energy than we consume. Today in the United States we consume about 18 million barrels of oil a day. Of that total, we produce about 11 million barrels a day, and we import from Canada about 3 million barrels a day. So if we do the math, that means there are about 4 million barrels a day we need to import from other countries. We get about half of that from OPEC, roughly 2 million barrels a day. The Keystone XL Pipeline will move 830,000 barrels a day. Some of that will be produced in Canada, some of it will be produced in the United States, but it will move 830,000 barrels a day to our refineries. That is almost 1 million barrels a day we don't have to import from somewhere else.
So go back to the math. I just said we were importing from countries other than Canada 4 million barrels a day, half of that from OPEC-- about 2 million barrels a day. This project is almost half of what we are importing from OPEC right now. That is why I say it is remarkable on the very same day that we are working to build energy security for this country, where we are working to develop the infrastructure we need to move oil from where it is produced to where it is refined and consumed in this country, we are also dealing with the conflict in the Middle East. OPEC--we are getting oil from the Middle East and we are dealing with conflict in the Middle East. Let's break that cycle, right? At the point that we produce more energy than we consume, we are more energy secure. It is not only about growing the economy and creating jobs, but that means we don't have to get oil from OPEC anymore. That is one more reason we may not have to be involved in a conflict in the Middle East in the future. So here we are in a bipartisan way in the Congress doing the work the people sent us to do in the Senate and in the House on a project that has overwhelming bipartisan support, on a project where all six States on the route of this pipeline--Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas--all of the States have approved it.
They didn't have to particularly hustle because they had 6 years to do it. The administration has held up this project for 6 years. Here we are with something that Congress overwhelmingly supports on a bipartisan basis. All six States that have this pipeline have approved it, and the American people overwhelmingly support it.
In poll after poll, 65 to 70 percent of the American public said, yes, build this infrastructure, create an energy future where we produce the oil and gas we need in America and we work with Canada. We the American people don't want to rely on OPEC or the Middle East anymore for our energy. We don't want to have to import oil from the Middle East. That is what this legislation is all about.
On the very day we are approving this bill through Congress, we are getting the President's request for the use of military force. He is sending that agreement to us and, I believe the President is saying to us, Congress, join with the Obama administration to work to deal with the terrible problem of ISIS, and we need to do that.
We are going to give that AUMF, authorization for use of military force, careful consideration. I think the Congress will work its will. Then we will, together, as representatives of the American people--the Executive and the legislative branch--work to defeat ISIS.
Just as the President is sending that document today, we are sending him a document. We will be sending him a law dutifully passed by both the Senate and the House in a bipartisan way and saying, Mr. President, we need you to work with us too. Just as you want Congress to work with you on an authorization for use of military force, we want you to work with us on behalf of the American people who have spoken loudly and consistently that they want energy security.
[[Page S916]] Mr. President, we need you to work with us to build that vital infrastructure so we can produce our energy here at home and work with our closest friend and ally, Canada, and not be dependent on energy from the Middle East anymore.
Don't be fooled--don't be fooled. We are in a battle right now for global market share to determine who is going to produce energy in the future. Is it going to be OPEC? Is it going to be Russia? Is it going to be the United States? Who is going to produce energy in the future? The reason the price at the pump has come down over $1 over the course of the past year is because we are producing so much oil and gas in the United States and because we are getting more from Canada. More supply pushes prices down. If that were a tax cut, it would equate to more than a $100 billion tax cut for the American consumer. So what is going on? On a global basis OPEC is pushing back, because they know if they push back, instead of our industry and our energy industry in this country continuing to grow, it starts to shrink again. Who is back in the driver's seat? OPEC is back in the driver's seat. What do you suppose is going to happen then? Prices will go right back up, and that benefit consumers get at the pump we will not have anymore. Also, that security issue I am talking about we will not have because we will have to continue to bring in oil from the Middle East. This is about a long- term strategy for national security.
It is more than just sending our combat resources into a conflict. A long-term strategy for national security also includes energy security, and just as the President is sending us an AUMF today, we are sending him legislation today that will make our Nation more energy secure. I hope the President will join with us in that endeavor on behalf of the American people.
Thank you, and with that I yield the floor.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oklahoma.