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tv   [untitled]    February 7, 2012 10:00pm-10:30pm EST

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then they put it in pipelines, there is a 250-mile pipeline from fort murray down to edmondton that's been doing this, as the chairman says, for decades. nobody is going to say the canadians aren't concerned about environmental stewardship of the line or they aren't concerned about spillage of the pipeline. i'm less concerned. i think the keystone pipeline spills were at pumping stations, and those issues have been resolved and rectified and remediated and we don't live in a perfect world. so if there is contamination that gets remediated, then you move forward. i'll then yield back. >> mr. chairman -- >> i yield back to the chairman. yield back to you. >> i yield now to the gentlelady of california. >> i just wanted to comment on your comments, mr. chairman. that was the period of time that
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you mentioned is the maximum allowed for a study. that's not the earliest date, so it kind of undermines what you said. i know you don't support the amendment, but it seems to me that we are, again, on a -- as i mentioned earlier today, i think we're on a really slippery slope. we passed laws, we work together, we put things on the be books for the benefit of the american people, and what do we do, we come on today and leapfrog over the work that we've done. but it can be done in a shorter period of time. that's the maximum, and i appreciate your yielding. >> i appreciate the clarification and will reiterate my pledge that if, in fact, they come back sooner, next month, whatever, if they have some serious issue that they would like to raise with us, i look forward to the gentlelady to address it. i yield back my time. is there further discussion on this amendment?
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it was my time before, so mr. waxman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. as i understand the amendment that's before us is to ask that there be a study about the safety of transporting tar sands, sludge or bitaman that's commonly diluted so they can be forced through this pipeline. the government or agency involved had never done this study. i think it's reasonable to request it and understand if we're going to be undertaking additional risk, and i don't think we're talking about a huge delay in time, so i strongly support the amendment. i would be happy to yield to the gentlelady if she wants more time. >> i appreciate it. i think that in the haste to somehow jam this thing through that we're really overlooking some very serious things.
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for those that are totally committed to the pipeline being built, i think you undermine your case by leapfrogging over very important things. and i mean that sincerely. at the end of the day, people hold their own views on these things, but i think this is really an under dts mining process, and i don't have a good feeling about it. i think it's going to come back to haunt us. thank you, mr. chairman. >> i want to take back my time and just point out that this study is going to be done. it's prudent, and it seems to me, a wise policy. in fact, we owe it to every farmer, rancher, citizen to propose half this pipeline to ensure that adequate safety standards are in place. and this review -- it's -- if we don't support this, it's consistent with the home bill that's before us. don't get the facts, let's just
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make the decision. let's make sure the xcel pipeline can go. then we can make sure there are safety problems we didn't know about and we didn't care enough to hold off at least to get that information. so i strongly support the xcel amendment. >> you yield back? >> i yield back. >> before i yield to the gentleman from kentucky, let me just say that in a confrontation with mr. waxman, we decided that if a recorded vote is asked for this, we will roll it with the other two that are previously ordered, go to mr. doyle's amendment, and at that time i understand there is no further amendment and we'll have all the votes in sequence. with that i'll yield to the gentleman. five minutes from kentucky, mr. whitfield. >> it's my understanding this
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study is simply to review the adequacy of existing regulations, and those regulations apply to any pipeline that is out there. and it would seem to me that if this study comes out and determines that the regulations are not adequate that congress would then take action to make sure that the inadequacy is met, and it would not only be applicable to keystone but to any other pipeline. the fact that we maybe would not support this amendment would not mean, as mr. upton said, if the study comes out that it shows we need to do additional things, we certainly can do it, and i would like to yield the balance of my time to mr. gregory. >> i appreciate the gentleman from kentucky for yielding, but yes, it would seem to me this study that is not due for 18 months, if it was going to make any sense that it would require
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that you stop, cease and desist, any existing oil in the pipeline. my understanding is 7500 barrels a day are transported through that line right now. it's the same product, is it? if someone can explain to me it's a different product, please do, but if it's the exact same product and we're transporting it through the keystone pipeline, this keystone xcel just allows for more, maybe 60% more, transportation of the very same product through the very same type pipeline that runs just a little bit different route and goes to more refinery types in the united states, increases domestic production which we'll talk about over and over and over again. if this amendment were approved, and if you took it to its
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conclusion that you would just literally shut down the transportation of the crude through the existing keystone pipeline. with that i yield to mr. terry for his expertise, the gentleman from nebraska. >> thank you, mr. whitfield, for yielding your time for the record. this is really, i believe, a red herring issue used assen an ex to try to kill this pipeline. that's the way they've presented it. let me state two reasons why i think this is a red herring issue. number one, it's already been stated but it's very true. in fact, we discussed that at the hearing about how long that heavy crude, the bitaman, has been transported through pi
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pipelines. it's been decades. the agency recognized that, stated that, asked then if you've done a study. what, you've not done a study that's been going on for 20, 30, 40, 50 years? if you want one, let's go ahead with one, but they also know the safety and soundness of heavy crude through pipeline using bitumen. number two -- this is interesting that we keep talking about this leapfrogging like we're jumping over the environmental study. in fact, i can't jump that high. the two feet of environmental impact for this route that pinza signed off on that they had their input in, because of their experience with heavy crude and bitumen, made some recommendations. and here not just from pinza but
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from others were 37 additional requests, recommendations, that are part of the final environmental impacts. so the work's been done, there is no jumping over. all we're saying is this is the exact stuff that -- environmental study, all the expert conditions that were put on them, the 11 jurisdictions that signed off as the final, and we're going to allow earth to use the same materials that the president had available and then used bogus nebraska argument to kill the pipeline. there is no jumping over. we're letting them use the recommendations. so i'll yield back the rest of my time. >> time has expired. are there other members wishing to speak?
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the lady from colorado. >> thanks very much, mr. chairman. i've been listening with interest to the debate today because i have a crazy view of things like this. i think that we should try to get energy projects built, but we shouldn't make shortcuts on making sure they're done in a safeway. i know that's a crazy view, but that's my view, that we really need to make sure that we cross all the t's and dot all our i's so that we don't have collateral environmental damage when we do this. and that's why i support miss eschew's amendment because i don't really think we should proceed with this pipeline when the pipeline safety administration haven't reviewed the rules to see that we approve the pipeline. transcanada and the supporters have repeatedly assured the public and the congress that we
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shouldn't worry about the pipeline carrying tar sands sludge through the middle of america and the ogallala aquifer because it will be ultra safe and state of the art. the problem is we've heard these kind of assurances before. in 2008, transcanada received approval to construct and operate the first keystone pipeline which also transports tar sands oil. this pipeline began operation in june of 2010. and we were told this would be state of the art using the very latest safety technologies and oil spills were expected to occur only once every seven years. but what happened was, during the first year and a half of operation, the first keystone pipeline had 14 spills totalling over 23,000 gallons of oil. the largest one of those was when about 20,000 gallons of oil erupted from the pipeline in north dakota, and it was a 60-foot geyser of oil.
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amazingly, the spill was not detected by transcanada, but it was reported by a local farmer. so response to this bill and others, on june 3rd, 2011, the pipeline safety agency issued a corrective action order temporarily shutting down the original keystone pipeline. the agency based this finding n on -- based its action on a finding that continued use of the pipeline without corrective action would be hazardous to life, property and the environment. since starting operations, the keystone pipeline has now experienced another spill of 420 gallons in kansas. now, we had a whistleblower who worked as a safety inspector during construction of the original keystone pipeline come forward with an allegation that related to the construction of the keystone pipeline, including weak foreign steedoyle,
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and also it cracked when the workers tried to wield it, and adequate foundations for pump stations and other improper construction practices. he said that safety tests were, quote, fudged. so my concern is, we really need an active regulator to review standards to make sure they're adequate for these pipelines, and we need to make sure we're not cutting corners when and if we do this. i'd rather try to prevent environmental damage before it happens by constructing this right than to have to go back in and remediate the damage and to shut down the pipeline on a temporary basis. so i think this amendment is very sensible and i hope everybody votes for it. i'll yield back the rest of my time to ms. eschew. >> i thank this gentlewoman from colorado for her confidence and for yielding the balance of her time to me. this is going to be the very first time that this large of a pipeline is to be built, i
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think, coming right down the middle of our country transporting diluted bitumen. it seems to me that the pipe, that this stuff is going to travel through, should be reviewed by the agency that's responsible for the safety of what travels through the pipes. now, it was said earlier that we're not leapfrogging over things. you know what? yes, you are. look at the base bill. no presidential permit is required for keystone. you tell ferg that they have to issue a permit for the construction within 30 days of receiving the application. you tell them what you want the outcome to be. you waive other applicable requirements under nepa. if fert doesn't act on the permit, within 30 days it's received, the permit is deemed
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to be approved. what kind of legislation is this? if that's not leapfrogging, then i don't know what jumping is. now, there are members on this side of the aisle that are with you on supporting the pipeline, but they, reservations about how this is being done. and the warning of the chairman of meredith that the route that you're taking with all of this leapfrogging is going to end up in a mountain of litigation. so i think that this is offensible. i'm not going to su gu are all getting this done. i'm not going to stop it, i'm just saying slow down a little and make sure these pipes are safe enough to carry something that could be highly detrimental. >> the gentlelady's time is expired. the gentleman from oregon. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and
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all i know is i'm just glad that every pipeline sought to be constructed in america needs to approve itself in congress or none of them would even get done. i think the transcanada pipeline was actually approved on not too different of a schedule as this and therefore it was built in rapid time. in terms of the conditions for keystone xcel and keystone pipeline, these are the 57 items that were highlighted by our counsel earlier, and i think it's important because we all want to make sure this pipeline is built to the highest standards and that there are a requirement that they do that, and that they monitor that. and so when you start reading through this, and maybe everybody could, it talks about play coiloccurrence, pipe
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quality control requirements, monitoring for extreme fatigue in transportation. steel pipe must be puncture resistant to an excavator weighing 65 tons for a general purpose of 2.54 inches by 1.73 inches. there is a pipe coating, field coating, coatings for trench installation, bend quality. keystone must obtain and retain certification records of factory induction bins and factory we would -- weld bins. they must react to a certain standard. temperature control, overprotection temperature control, construction plans and schedule, and then they get into depth of cover. we had this discussion because of the issue involving the farmer. keystone shall construct pipeline with soil, cover with minimum depth in all areas except in consolidated rock.
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minimum consolidated rock areas, 16 inches. 42 inches in all other areas. cultivated areas where maintenance requires 40 inches of coverage, they must alert others to the presence of the pipeline. then they go into the additional coverage pressure test and the schedule for that. and then the scan rate and a whole schedule there. i'm only at number 25. alarm management, we heard about leaks. there is alarm priority determinations, authorities' responsibilities, the number of alarms are specified. alarm management policies and procedures, leak detection systems are clearly addressed here and specified very thoroughly, and collaboration and maintenance of those sorts of detection systems, main line and check valve control specifications, cathode
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detections, coating surveys, coating position, patrol the right-of-way at intervals not exceeding three weeks but at least 26 times each calendar year for excavating certain activities, washouts, leakage or other conditions, respecting the safety conditions of the pipeline, on and on and on. and so i think this is above and beyond what i believe is required in the pipeline safety law and that is part of the final environmental impact statement which here takes up six, seven, eight, nine, probably ten of these giant federal agencies that said there is no environmental impact. so the basic environmental impact work has been done, especially right through nebraska. once that's been chosen, that
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can be done then. i think it's time to get on with it. this is about jobs in america, this is about billions in new tax receipts to our local communities, 20,000, 100,000, you pick the number, the estimates are across the board in terms of real jobs for real americans. we're talking a lot of blue collar workers, a lot of trade jobs for pipefitters and electricians and others that we need in this country. canada is our best trading partner, bar none. the premier candidate, harper, is in china today. china is a huge investor in oil development in canada. they are on the verge of making the decision to just go a different route and just take this across over to the pacific and right on out to china. i mean, that's -- this is going to come out of canada. they're going to produce this oil. they're going to make money on it. the question is, do we get any of those jobs? do we get this to flow into our part of the world, or does it
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just get exported into china? >> the gentleman's time has expired. i'd like to finish this debate. mr. engle, you're recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'm one of the people ms. eschew described. i tend to be sympathetic to the pipeline because i do believe that we have tough choices to make. they're not easy, they're not black and white, and they are all shades of gray, and i think basically we can benefit from the pipeline, but i want it done right. i don't want a kangaroo court, i don't want something that's preordained. i want it done right. now, the majority -- i've been in the house for a while now, and the majority can do whatever it wants, it's majority rule. i've always felt even when we were in the majority that it kind of makes sense to try to broaden the intent to get more people involved with legislation. you can pass whatever you want
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on a narrow, essentially, party line vote, but to me it doesn't make any sense to try to ram this through. yes, it's true that maybe some of the amendments are looked at in an attempt to slow things down. each person here has his or her own priorities. that's certainly not true with me. i think what miss eschew was saying makes sense. i'm troubled by the legislation because, look, the state has it, mr. dingle in an amend we're going to vote on talks about president bush's executive order. i think it's fine in state. i think, you know, it's good the way it is. what troubles me about moving into ferg, and i'm not terribly annoyed at moving into ferg, i think he can make a case for it, but what really bothers me is
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the mandate in this bill that ferg has 30 days to approve it, and if it doesn't approve it, it becomes law, anyway. what kind of review is that? that's absurd. either you want a real review of it or you don't. and if you don't, what's the whole point of bringing it to ferg, anyway, telling them they can review it, but if they don't do it within 30 days, too bad, you do it, anyway. that doesn't make sense to me. the problem with nebraska that still hasn't been -- the piece that hasn't been put together, i would go one better if it were in place and i would be more likely to vote for something like that. but it seems to me that what we're doing here is we're just ramming it through. the gentleman from california, i think, raise az lot of important issues. some may agree, some may not agree, but i think certainly we
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want to have a real view. the whole point in government doing this is i know some people on the other side don't like government, but for me, i want government to protect the environmental standards. i want to make sure that the mechanisms that were set up for public protection are there. i just don't think ramming this thing through is the right thing to do, just the way i don't think that preventing this is the right thing to do. let's do the pipeline. i'm all for it. i really am for it because i'll tell you why. i think that we have to say yes to something. we can't keep saying no to this, no to that, no to every bit of energy. to me, and nothing is 100%, you have to weigh it, i think on balances of the pipeline, it's probably a good thing but not the way we're doing it now. not the way we're doing it in this bill. not the way that we are disregarding any modicum of
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review to protect the environment, to protect the american people's health and safety. this is really the wrong way to go and i'm troubled. i do support the gentlewoman's amendment, and i yield back the balance of my time. >> the gentleman yields back. are there other members wishing to speak? seeing none, the vote will occur on the amendment. those in favor of the amendment will say aye. those opposed say no. the nos appear to have it. the amendment is not agreed to. the gentleman from pennsylvania. recorded vote is asked for. we'll have recorded vote as part of the other two on notice already. the gentleman from pennsylvania has an amendment. >> yes, i have an amendment. >> say the title of the amendment. >> the amendment offered by mr. doyle of pennsylvania. >> the amendment will be considered red and the gentleman is recognized for five minutes.
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>> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. chairman, despite all the controversy surrounding this pipeline, i think this is a good opportunity for us to examine some of the claims that the applicant for keystone xcel pipeline is made. let me just say at the very beginning, i support building this pipeline in a way that protects the environment and creates american jobs. and when i first started reading about 800,000 tons of steel to be used in the keystone xcel pipeline, like a lot of other people from my neck of the woods, i was pretty excited about the prospects for u.s. manufacturers, especially steel manufacturers, having u.s. steel head quartered in my district and being part of the steel caucus. so i have to admit i was a little confused when i called up my friends at u.s. steel, one of the largest u.s. steel manufacturers, and asked them how much of 800,000 tons of steel in the keystone pipeline were they getting.
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and they told me that they were getting zero, that u.s. steel didn't have a single order for the keystone pipeline. i was puzzled. i had talked to my friends at the steelworkers union to find out why they weren't a lot more supportive of this project because of all the steel involved. and i found out that we're not going to see many steelworkers union people on this job, either. now, that confused me and i thought, well, there must be a mistake because transcanada has been touting that 75% of the steel in this project is going to be sourced from north america, either canada or the united states. so i tried to reach out to transcanada and ask them some clarifying information. i know yesterday here at opening statements, my good friend tim murphy, we sit on the steel caucus together, was touting the wonderful effects of jobs being created in our country in the steel industry, and i share that concern with tim. we've worked very hard to help
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u.s. steel manufacturers. so i reached out to the permit applicant, transcanada, and several other sources to try to get some clarifying information to find out where this 75% of steel used in the keystone pipeline directly outsourced from north america would be. unfortunately, the best answer i could get seems to be there is a single pipe manufacturer in little rock, arkansas that's providing most of the steel for this pipeline. now, the trouble with that is the manufacturer doesn't actually use u.s. or north american steel to make their pipes. in fact, the little rock plant very clearly told me that they make their pipe out of foreign steel. in fact, they have already imported 148 miles of ready made pipe from india. so that's sitting on their block right now. and the rest of the steel for which they will make pipe is sitting there in slabs in little
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rock comes from foreign sources, not from the united states, not canada. they take those slabs and they heat them up and they're going to bend them and make pipe out of them. so they're going to do the finishing there, but the actual manufactured steel, i don't believe there to be one ounce of u.s. orca n canadian steel in t entire pipeline. so i'm simply asking for truth here. we hear a lot of claims about this pipeline, and i just want to be honest with the american people. so my amendment just says this, that transcanada has told us that they have made every effort to source as much steel from north american mills as they can. i'm simply asking them to certify that plane. through my little amateur investigation, i don't believe there is a lick of u.s. or canada steel in this pipeline, but i would love to be proved wrong, and so if the folks can ce


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