Keystone XL Pipeline Act—Motion to Proceedby Senator Edward J. Markey
Posted on 2015-01-13
MARKEY. I rise for recognition to speak on this issue.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator is recognized.
Mr. MARKEY. I thank the Presiding Officer very much and I thank the Senator from Washington for her great leadership on this issue.
We are having the beginning of an historic debate here on the floor of the U.S. Senate. We are debating whether the dirtiest oil in the world, the tar sands from Canada, is going to be brought through the United States in a pipeline, like a straw, and brought right down to Port Arthur, TX, to a tax-free export zone so that it can be exported out of the United States.
What is in it for our country? Well, when you think about it, we are going to take the environmental risk, but the benefits flow to the Canadian companies. The benefits flow to the oil companies. This whole argument that it deals with American energy independence is false, and the way in which we are going to ensure that we are protected is that we are going to bring an amendment out here on to the Senate floor to debate whether this oil should stay in the United States. We export young men and women overseas to protect these ships coming back from the Middle East with oil. Why should we export the oil that is already in the United States when it can reduce our dependence? That is our challenge, and we must deal with that.
As well, the Canadians under existing law are exempt from paying a tax into an oilspill liability fund. That can no longer continue as well. That is upwards of $2 billion over 10 years to deal with oilspills in the United States created by Canadian oil, and they are exempt. That is wrong. That is just plain wrong. So this is a very important debate, but it goes right to the heart--let's admit it--of energy independence in the United States. That oil should not come to our country, go right through it and out. We have a responsibility to the young men and women we send around the world to not provide any false advertising about this oil and where it is going to go.
Net Neutrality Secondly, I want to talk a little bit about net neutrality. We are coming up to the first anniversary of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals striking down the rules the Federal Communications Commission had put on the books to protect the Internet, to ensure that it is open, that it is entrepreneurial. Network neutrality is just a fancy word for nondiscrimination, just a fancy word for saying that it is open, that entrepreneurs, that smaller voices have access, so they cannot be blocked by communications behemoths. This is an issue that goes right to the heart of job creation in the United States of America.
Consider this. In 2013, 60 percent of all of the venture capital funds invested in the United States of America went toward Internet- specific and software companies. That is all you have to know. That is 60 percent of all venture capital money. That is why 4 million people have registered with the Federal Communications Commission their views that net neutrality is central to this entrepreneurial activity in our country. The FCC is going to promulgate or announce the beginning of the promulgation of new regulations in February. We are on the first anniversary right now of the rules having been struck down. There are none.
From my perspective, this goes right to the heart of the new generation of companies. Yes, we have Google and eBay and Amazon and YouTube and all rest of these first-generation companies, but there are new companies like Dwolla and Etsy that are at the heart of the new job creation, and we have to make sure they and others like them are not denied access.
So, in both of these issues, net neutrality and on the pipeline issue coming down from Canada, it is all about [[Page S170]] job creation. It is all about making sure that if America is going to take the risk, America should get the benefit. And it is not going to on the pipeline issue. It is not. This is the dirtiest oil in the world. This is going to contribute to dangerous global warming.
Yet the oil companies are going to be able to sell it out on the open market. And why? Because the price of a barrel of oil on the open market is $17 higher than it is in Canada. You don't have to go to a business school to figure out this model. Get it out and onto the open seas, sell it to China, sell it to Latin America, sell it to other countries around the world. That is what this is all about. That is what is at the heart of this entire Keystone Pipeline agenda.
It is wrong for us to be short-circuiting a process that will guarantee that the environment of our country, the environment of our planet is, in fact, protected by the President and by the process that has been put in place.
I am so glad we are finally having this debate to make sure we put all of the facts out on the table.
I yield back the remainder of my time.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Georgia.