tv [untitled] February 3, 2012 12:00pm-12:30pm EST
thousands of so-called navigable water way, never received one 404 permit. so when we talk about all of these great job programs, this ways of stimulating the economy that were in the past, we have to remember just how much regulatory oversight and regulatory obstructionism has occurred since then. there are things that we've done in the past and would not be legal to do under today's regulations. and we need to address that. the other issue i want to raise is the fact that though it takes a 404 permit to put a pipeline over a wear theway to transport oil, there is no 404 permit required to transport the same oil by truck over a bridge that spans a navigable water way. the same way will is no requirement for a 404 permit for a train to go across a bridge that spans a navigable water way. even though the risk of having spills caused by truck and train
transport into those navigable water ways is much higher. there is the issue of the fact that nobody talks about, the risk of the pipeline but don't look at the no project transportation option. it is 87 time more dangerous to human lives that an accident would occur than with transport by oil. so when we get into these issues as you someone who has worked in environmental agencies have had the privilege of being a regulator, i think the environmental impact of the no project option is one that no reasonable person who really cares about the environment has to understand. the fact that the state department admitted that the transport of this oil by alternative sources on the same route or in any route related to it would be many times more polluting than the use of a pipeline. i am shocked that the same state department, though, cannot quantify how many metric tons a
year would be emitted by going to the other alternative transports, the truck and the train? coming from california and working on the board, we would tell down to the minute of what it is because we use good science to make those decisions. the state department admits that the air pollution impacts for transport by the alternatives are higher than the transport of this pipeline. they have not been given a fair hearing and quantified in a responsible way. before you start turning down these projects, you have to look at what is going to be the impact of the environment before you do that. and let me just close. one of the things i'm really concerned about is canada is being treated like we can't trust canada with their environment. i think their history on environmental issues is something that really puts into question why we approve the many crossings in mexico and we're
holding this one up to canada. i yield back. >> thank you. >> mr. chairman? >> yesh, sir? >> i understand that mr. engel would like his three minutes. >> mr. engel, you're recognized three minutes. >> gentleman yield to me? >> yes. yes. i'll yield. >> i thank you for yielding. this last statement by my colleague from california made no sense to me. he's criticizing the different alternatives of bringing these tar sands down from canada and saying if it's done by railroad as opposed to pipeline. the real issue is whether they're going to do the tar sands at all. if they can't bring it into the united states, they're not going to develop those tar sands. and in accepting the tar sands which is the dirtiest source of coal, they have to spend so much energy to refine it sufficiently
they have it go through a pipeline and train. at some point it's going to have to be refined. and the energy used to refine it adds to the green house gases. i just want people to understand there's not just a question of how it's going to be transported. we have pipelines, by the way. we're not against pipelines. any pipeline ought to be reviewed by the appropriate agencies. the first two witnesses are taken out of their opportunity to review any proposal. there is only about one specific pipeline that's going to be given a treatment that no other pipeline has had. and that's nobody reviews it. if they review it, they have 30 days. they have to come up with the right conclusion. that is a special interest bill, an earmark for this one project. and it's really troubling because we have had -- they're going to be adding to the graee
house gases. it affects canada but not the whole world at a time we should be reducing the green house gases. we're going to be committed to that source of energy where we ought to be looking for other ways to use less energy and make us more independent. i think our witnesses on the second panel have more to say about that issue. and i thank the gentleman for yielding part of his time. >> i would like to reclaim my time and say i have an open mind in general about the whole issue of keystone. but i have -- i'm very concerned about this. removing all federal reserve of all agencies except ferc and mandating they issue the permit to me doesn't sound like we're really weighing the pros and cons. we're rushing to make a decision on one side. the health and safety of the american people is parra mouni .
it really troubles me. the other thing that troubles me is i have, you know, i feel much more comfortable if i knew that the oil that was coming down to be refined from canada, to be refined in texas went for domestic consumption in the united states, i sat through hearings that this committee has had. i'm still not satisfied or convinced that that oil isn't going to get shipped to china or some other place. so those are some of the questions that i have about this. >> mr. chairman, just for the record, i misstated. i said the word coal. i didn't mean coal. i meant oil. this is the dirtiest source of oil in the tar sands. that's what i meant. >> glad you were not talking about coal. >> no, we're not. i wouldn't want to take you on on that issue. >> at this time i would like to introduce the panel. the second panel. we have witness retired brigadier general stephen anderson, united states army, who is originally from california. and we have mr. randal thompson who is a rancher in nebraska and
we welcome you to the hearing. we appreciate you being here very much. and at this time general anderson, i recognize you for your five-minute opening statement. and i think that the little box on the table there with the red light will come on when the five minutes is up. so you are recognized for five minutes. thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'm steve anderson, i'm owner of a small business in knoxville, tennessee. i'd like to thank the opportunity for this community and thanking my president for the courageous decision he made to deny the keystone xl pipeline. frankly, as a political conservative and a long time registered republican, i don't often agree with president obama. but on this matter, he absolutely got it right. i strongly oppose the keystone xl pipeline because it will degrade our national security. the critical element is simply this. the pipeline keeps our great
thags addicted to oil. a dependence that makes us both tra steejicily and operationally vulnerable. as retired general officer with over 31 years of service, i believe i'm fully qualified to comment on both of these vulnerabilities. the pipeline will keep us dependent upon outside sources to meet most of our energy needs. in reality, keystone only addresses a symptom of our illness. the source of our oil. it does nothing to cure the disease itself. which is overreliance on oil. and as nation ands china india continue to deny more oil themselves, competition will increase and such international tension threatens our security and stability that we enjoy today. abigsally, continued carbon based energy consumption drives co 2 emission that's will lead to climate change and weather events. the potential instability puts us all at risk.
furthermore, the pipeline keeps us strategically vulnerable because our economy will remain petro sen trick. and thousands of companies will be providing renewable energy solutions won't grow capacity and capability as quickly as america needs. keystone will set competitive in oil back 20 years. now dubai is an emirate surrounded by the world's largest oil fieldsment they're economy is 250 times smaller than ours. yet they are a a. substitute enough to see the consequences of an oil dependent economy and are willing to invest now with renewable energy in a big way. why aren't we? and because we're not fully committed to developing you are newable energy capabilities, our
soldiers in arm's way are operationally vulnerable, too. serving for 15 months in iraq, i struggled with the challenge of providing three million gallons of oil every day to sustain our forces. i saw the huge impact of not having any renewable energy systems and being completely dependent upon oil based power generation. in consideration with the fully burning could the of fuel and the combat zone, taxpayers are spending well over $30 billion annually for our fuel needs. and now that pakistan cut off our access to afghanistan, it will be even higher this year. the dollar cost doesn't concern me near as much as the human cost. over 1,000 american troops have been killed during the wars in iraq and afghanistan, executing fuel missions. we should all be outraged by this loss of life. and to make matters worse, our oil addiction is empowering our
enemy. and the revenues from sustaining our oil habit bring the enemy the resources they use to kill us. imagine the benefits of our military if they were fighting a much less capable enemy? imagine leveraging solar, wind and geothermal technologies to end the war sooner to save billions of dollars and soldiers' lives. now allow me o to comment on the jobs issue associated with this pipeline. as a former soldier, i'm extremely concerned that high unemployment rates for our vets. of course i want more employment opportunities for my brethren. but they need jobs with staying power. they need careers. america is best served by an economic climate that generates jobs for vets for 100 years, not 100 days. and every job that pipeline produces, a clean energy economy could produce 1,000. bottom line, the pipeline feeds an addiction that makes us less
secure and enables our enemies. now is the time to make the hard choices and deal with this disease head on and put our prosperity in the hands of middle america rather than big oil. i stand before you today absolutely convinced that the national mission and focus that put a man on the moon 42 years ago can once again prevail. stopping this pipeline today will help set the conditions needed such that our innate american will to win and entrepreneurial drive will succeed in breaking our terrible addiction to oil. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. you're recognized for five minutes for your opening statement.
>> i'd like to thank the kmarm and the committee for the opportunity to be here today. i'd like to start my testimony today by thanking president obama for making the right decision by denying the permit to the keystone xl pipeline. i'm proud to thank that the voices of nebraskans had an impact on his decision. those of us who live and work along the proposed path of this pipeline applaud him for placing our welfare ahead of the interests of big oil companies. as a life long nebraskan, i can honestly tell you, i have never witnessed any project that has stirred the motions in my fellow nebraskans like the keystone xl has. contrary to what you may have heard from some of our leelecte officials, i can assure that you the dust has not settled in nebraska on this issue.
trans canada built a mountain of distrust among the ordinary citizens of our state. and even with their voluntary agreement to move the pipeline out of the sandhills, we remain very skeptical. many nebraskans, including myself, view transcanada as an overly aggressive company who thought they could come in and intimidate and bully their way across our state. and having witnessed transcanada's actions during the application process has made us worry on what they would do if they were empowered by a premature permit. and i fear that an early permit would place a tremendous amount of pressure on the state of nebraska to hurry through its review process. transcanada has been granted plenty of free passes and now they seek yet another. they want their political allies to free them from the tangled
mess that they themselves helped to create. perhaps it's time for the free passes to come to an end. if the keystone xl truly has america, then it should be able to withstand a rigorous and comprehensive review that it deserves and has not gotten. if this type line is built, thousands of us in the heart lands will have to live and work next to it for the rest of our lives. and probably for the rest of my kids' and my grandkids' lives. they will cross our wear the ways and lakes and streams and only get riskier with the passage of time. short circuiting the review process would be an injustice and a gross injustice to all of us that have to live and work along the proposed path of this
pipeline. we do not feel that a foreign corporation as any right to take our land for their private use and gain. we have no doubt that this project is in the national interest. we're seeing no evidence that this pipeline is anything other than an export pipeline providing access to the world oil market for canadian tar sands. outside of providing a few months of temporary employment for some americans, it yields few other benefits. mr. terry himself in a speech a week or two weeks ago in the state of nebraska said there would be no more than 30 permanent jobs as a result in the state of nebraska as a result of the pipeline project.
and we're being asked to risk some of our greatest national resources and a lot of folks' livelihoods and we're going to get 30 permanent jobs. completion of the pipeline would actually increase the price of the oil we are currently importing from canada. this is an undisputed fact. i mean really, does this make any sense? we help them build the pipeline and as a result we end up with higher oil and fuel prices in the midwest? you know, why don't we just take a gun out and shoot ourselves in the foot? that would make more sense to me. perhaps it's just my nebraska logic. but from my perspective, it appears that the united states is getting the shortened of the stick on this deal. canada and the big oil companies are reaping all the rewards. while americans are being left
behind to fix the fences. thank you very much. >> thank you, mr. thompson. i'm going to defer my five minutes of questions and at this time recognize the gentleman from kansas for his five minutes of questions. >> thank you. i begin by asking unanimous consent to enter into the record an article that appeared in the "wall street journal" february 1st written by ted olson. >> without objection. >> thank you. you know, i understand that mr. waxman doesn't like this pipeline. he called this hearing. he asked for witnesses to come. but the incredible political nature of it became really parent when he had his chance to ask questions. he had five minutes. i watched the clock. he spent four minutes and 31 seconds testifying. so he drawed two folks out from the united states government, brought them here this morning us asentencebly because he was keenly interested, he thought it was critical that the committee hear from them. they got between two and two 1/2
questions, 29 seconds. it didn't appear to me that there was anything but blatant politics, a chance for him to speak more about folks that are constituents of mine. he's implied this new standard. mr. waxman has the benefits standard. his notion of legislation, apparently, is you decide a piece of legislation depending on who benefits. >> mr. chairman, i want to make a point of order. i know the rules on the house floor would not permit the gentleman to make such a personal attack. members motivations or actions. i'm happy to answer it when i got my turn. but if i answer it and don't have enough time for questions to these witnesses, they'll say i didn't ask them enough questions. i think it's inappropriate. a make a point of order that the words be stricken. >> mr. waxman -- >> will the gentleman hold for one minute? >> certainly.
>> unless the gentleman wants to withdraw those comments, then he can go on. >> i'm happy to withdraw so we can proceed this morning. that's fine. i'm happy to with drought comments. >> i withdraw my point of order. >> appreciate the gentleman. >> certainly. we have now this standard that is being applied by folks across the aisle. folks across the aisle have -- we try to decide whether there is a personal benefit wlchlt someone would or would not benefit from a particular stance. this is a private investment. $7 billion private investment. but, you know, i watch. i want here. i watched this committee last year as we were debating and discussing, it was a little different. we didn't have hearings like this very often. but i watch them on the floor debate obama care and the stimulus package. there was no discussion from the left about who might or might
not benefit from those taking from the taxpayer, enormous government programs. i just think that it is intellectually desperate, dishonest to now for us to all have this different standard. we should have a standard about policy. we ought to all do that and not have a standard where we say we're looking to see who benefits or who does not benefit from a piece of legislation. with that, i yield back my time. >> the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. i recognize the gentleman from california for five minutes for questions. >> mr. chairman, before i get to questions, i want to point out that since it's been commented that i'm being political, the chairman of the subcommittee raised the issue of whether the president is in the full campaign mode trying to respond to these extremists in the environmental side attributing his voters for that. he says this is all presidential politics.
and suggested that perhaps we ought to look at mr. sore yoes who has a train which can take this tar sands pipe oil down to texas instead of using a pipeline. my point was never that -- >> it's now mr. soros. >> i'm sorry, the other guy you don't like, mr. buffet. so i consider that a political argument. but my republican colleagues and the american petroleum institute make several argue ams for building this pipeline. they say we need the oil. it will lower gas prices and make us more secure as a nation. the facts just don't support the claims. the energy information agency which is part of the department of energy is projecting that what america -- that america's oil consumption is no longer growing. it's no longer growing. the reason it's no longer growing is because we insisted
on more efficient automobile that's have better fuel mileage. the standards will further reduce our oil dependence. so with growth and consumption now in check, i don't think we have to be stampeded into something like this oil tar sands deal from canada. last year transcanada admitted that the pipeline will raise crude oil prices in the midwest. there's a debate over how much it will raise the pries. but certainly it won't lower them. so that leaves the question of national security. and we have general anderson -- can you just briefly state what your experience, your relative american experience has been? >> 31 years service in the army. i'm a professional logostitian, served in the pentagon for two
years as chief in logistics and before that, general petraeus' logistics officer iraq c-4. >> in your statement you said you didn't think this pipeline was in our national security interest. you said that america's oil dependence threatens our national security. is this a concern? >> i don't think so. although i'm not sure i can call myself a national security expert. i am an expert in regards to experiencing the operational impacts of our oil addiction in iraq and afghanistan. i still do work in afghanistan. i still -- i spent quite a bit of time over there. we haven't changed at all in ten years. we're still incredibly wasteful and inefficient and we don't have any renewable energy technologies that i believe we need to save soldiers' lives. >> this is not oil that is going
to be put through a pipeline through the united states. this is a different kind of oil. it comes from tar sands. and, therefore, can have problems in the pipeline. the transcondition da has one pipeline. it's been around for i think a year and a half. they've already had 14 spills in the last year and a half. a lot of people are concerned about the safety in the pipeline. but the pipeline doesn't carry this crude oil. if i understand it, the situation. it's not going to carry this kind of tar sands. and to get the tar sands ready to go through any pipeline, there has to be such a use of energy to refine it sufficiently to go through the pipeline that it's going to cause us more green house gases adding to
climate change problems. is that way you see it? >> that's exactly the way i see it, sir. and i think it's very detrimental to this nation to continue the co 2 emissions that we are doing and will no doubt do with the encouragement of this pipeline. i believe that ultimately brings about climate change and global instability. and when that happens, i think the likelihood that soldiers like myself will have to fight and die in order to protect the stability of this nation -- of the world is much more likely. >> the threat of tar sands oil spills is another reason why many people oppose it. and michael clink who works for transcanada, the first keystone pipeline that had 14 spills, wrote an op-ed in the lincoln journal star which i would like to have put into the record. he describes seeing the first keystone pipeline constructed with cheap foreign steel that
cracked when workers tried to weld it. i'd like to ask unanimous consent. >> without objection. >> and i also have a letter -- this is in addition to his op-ed. i also have a letter that i would ask unanimous consent to be put in the record. >> without objection. >> my time expired. i want to thank the two gentlemen for their testimony. i think that we ought to hear another side to this issue. don't have it rammed through the congress. don't give it to special interests treatment. this is a big decision. we're going to be living with the consequences for maybe 50 to 100 years. and it's in the wrong direction that's going to take our nation in terms of green house gases and in term of carbon emissions and in terms of pipeline safety, in terms of danger to the people who were around the pipeline and the taking of the property for those people whose property is going to be taken for this
special interest purpose. i yield back the balance of my time. >> the gentleman from virginia, mr. griffith, is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i do appreciate you gentlemen taking your time to be with us today. we may disagree on some of this. but we do appreciate your american citizens exercising your rights under our constitution to speak to the government and commend you for being here. i do have some issues with some of the comments about jobs. you know, we can always argue over the numbers. but one thing that i find just really interesting is that if you accept the argument that folks are going to -- that oil is going to come in and then the oil is going to go out to other countries, and this is just a pipeline that will send the oil somewhere else, if that argument is ep accepted, you have to accept the argument that brit goes to the other countries, it's going to be refined in the united states, thus adding value to do that. you have to add jobs to add that
value. when you add that value, you add strength in our economy and tax dollars. so i recognize the situation you have, mr. thompson, being personal and property rights involved. i have not personally looked at that. but what i do see is a significant situation where it's been studied for a long time. i do believe that there are jobs that are created by having the keystone xl pipeline. i think a lot of the opposition, not necessarily yours, but others, are folks who do not feel that we should continue to use carbon based energy. i think that the general falls in that category. and i don't agree with that coming from a coal rich and natural gas rich area of the united states. i would be remiss if i didn't tell that you i think at least for the foreseeable future we're going to need to use oil. we're going to need to use coal. we're going to need to use natural gas. while we should be looking at green energy sources long term, i certainly wouldn't want to put us in a situation e