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Frank P.
Democrat NJ 6

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  • Keystone XL Pipeline Act

    by Representative Frank Pallone Jr.

    Posted on 2015-01-09

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    PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Gene Green) for a unanimous consent request.

    (Mr. GENE GREEN of Texas asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.) Mr. GENE GREEN of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 3.

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 3, a bill to approve the application for the construction of Keystone XL pipeline.

    I rise in support of this bill because I support North American energy development.

    Today, the Nebraska Supreme Court affirmed that Keystone XL should be built.

    Keystone XL pipeline not the first cross-border pipeline project built in North America.

    But if some opponents had their way, Keystone XL pipeline would be the last pipeline we built in North America.

    Energy prices are at their lowest point in the last decade.

    Energy imports from partners like Canada and Mexico, and domestic production, have put more than $900 a year in the pockets of the American people.

    Keystone XL will continue this success in a time of struggle.

    The United States still imports approximately 40 percent of the oil we use domestically.

    The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has decided to directly challenge the new North American energy market by maintaining, and in some cases, increasing production.

    This is a direct affront to North American producers and an all-out price war.

    This, however, is a struggle we can win, with the help of our North American partners.

    Breakeven prices for North American crude, including Canadian oil sands and United States shale oil, are as low as $40 per barrel.

    Our producers can support our domestic demand while further driving out more expensive competitors.

    Unfortunately, our domestic producers cannot win without cost- effective and environmentally sound transportation.

    Keystone XL offers that advantage and I support it, although I do not believe H.R. 3 is the perfect legislation.

    I believe that oil sands should be subject to the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund.

    Almost every other source of crude oil that transits the United States is subject to the Trust Fund tax and oil sands should be as well.

    It makes fiscal sense, it makes environmental sense and it makes competitive sense.

    Oil sands should not be favored over any other sources in our country.

    The Keystone XL pipeline is the most scrutinized project in as long as I can remember.

    As we face the 114th Congress, we have real problems that require answers.

    Keystone XL pipeline is good for the United States, it's good for North America and we should support this bill.

    {time} 1145 Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 5 minutes.

    Today, Mr. Speaker, we are voting once again to grant special treatment--and I stress ``special treatment''--to TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline. It is the 10th time since Republicans took control of the House.

    American families face many pressing problems, and they want us to use this new Congress to work together to solve them. Unfortunately, we will begin this new year with a bill crafted solely to help the Canadian tar sands industry. The administration issued a statement in opposition to this legislation and indicated that the President will veto the bill. I heard my Republican colleagues talk about the action or inaction, whatever it was, by the Nebraska Supreme Court today; but I would stress that the White House press office still says in a statement that regardless of the Nebraska ruling today, the House bill still conflicts with longstanding executive branch procedures regarding the authority of the President and prevents the thorough consideration of complex issues that could bear on U.S. national interests, and if presented to the President he will veto the bill. So the bill will still be vetoed by the President, which is another indication why we are wasting our time today.

    Mr. Speaker, oil prices are at their lowest level in more than 5 years. Gas prices are now below $2 a gallon. Domestic U.S. oil production is skyrocketing. Tar sands are among the dirtiest and most carbon-intensive of [[Page H175]] all fossil fuels. Approving the Keystone XL pipeline will create a dependence on tar sands crude, reversing the carbon pollution reductions we have been working so hard to accomplish. According to some experts, building the Keystone XL pipeline will triple production of the tar sands, and that is totally inconsistent with any future scenario for avoiding catastrophic climate change.

    We don't need this oil. Approving and constructing this pipeline won't lower gas prices for Americans. In some areas, it may even raise prices. This pipeline is a terrible deal for the United States. We get all of the risk while the oil companies will reap all of the rewards.

    I was at the Rules Committee the other night and all I kept hearing was how wonderful Canada is, how we have to help Canadian companies. This is all about Canada. Frankly, I don't know why we are so worried about a Canadian corporation. It wasn't clear during the Rules Committee hearing, based on the conversations and debate we had with the Republican side, that this pipeline would even ever be built. And yet here we are rushing to basically say to the President: We don't care what you or the State Department or the Department of the Interior says what is in the national interest; we are just going to do this because of some Canadian interest.

    Mr. Speaker, this is a new year and a new Congress. We have new Members who will vote on this bill without the benefit of any hearings or markups or floor amendments, without the benefit of learning how our changing energy picture alters the need for this pipeline, and without considering whether our time might be better spent on efforts to promote other cleaner energy sources.

    We need sound energy policy in these challenging times. As the ranking member of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, I am anxious to begin working with all of my colleagues on pragmatic energy policy; but we need a balanced energy policy, one that takes into account current circumstances, one that takes into account our need to combat climate change, and one that works with the President rather than against the President to actually deliver legislation that the President can sign rather than veto. This legislation doesn't meet any of these criteria, so I urge my colleagues to vote ``no'' on the bill.

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