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tv   Washington This Week  CSPAN  December 4, 2011 12:30pm-2:00pm EST

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could. it certainly would have been a lot sooner than nixon did, with the country's tail between its legs. >> scott farris, quickly. >> i do not believe anyone will ever run as an anti-war candidate exactly the way he did. he showed what a presidential candidate can and cannot say about a war when america is involved in it. people were very unsettled when he was so uncompromising and graphic in his language. it is indicative that ever since george mcgovern, presidential nominees have felt the need to stretch their bonafide as a potential commander in chief. calling for increased defense spending, because they do not want, as mike dukakis said, to be called another mcgovern. i'll be more skeptical that we hear anyone talk about war the way that george mcgovern did. >> we need to wrap up on that point. we want to thank the mcgovern center. the head librarian at the museum.
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i would also like to thank jack martinson, and senator mcgovern's daughter and senator mcgovern as well. a big thank-you to our guests can i end with your final thoughts, since you are the presidential author here? what is the legacy of george mcgovern? >> again, he transformed the democratic party in ways that very few people in american politics have ever transform a party. his food for peace, his humanitarian efforts on behalf of the nation's hungry may be his greatest legacy. who knows how many people are alive because of george mcgovern. also, bill clinton was his texas coordinator. the campaign spawned a lot of idealists that went into politics and made a name for themselves. for a man that lost the presidential election, he
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probably had more influence than many who won. >> thank you both. >> it was a flood. people were trying to keep the greenback -- keep the river back. he took off his jacket. he filled three sandbags, setting a low, went back to the plane. the night, it was him filling sandbags with his shirt off. >> they talk about the legacy of ronald reagan. they discuss the american dream and opportunities in the u.s.. the astronauts are awarded the
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congressional medal of honor. for the entire thanksgiving day schedule, go to >> he did not have a lot of romantic ideas. he sought it for what it was, a dirty business. >> the documentary filmmaker examines the life of his father. >> my father changed after he was thrown out of the agency. if you watched the film closely, he is a soldier. he took on the toughest, dirtiest assignments given to him by the presidents. when it came time for the president to ask him to lie and mislead congress, he could not do it. >> that is tonight at 8:00 eastern and pacific.
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>> on friday, a house energy and commerce subcommittee hearing focused on the pipeline project. the obama administration is delaying a decision until after the election. republicans and labor unions say the delay is costing jobs. if approved, the pipeline would run from canada through six u.s. states. this is just over two hours. >> the obama administration led us to believe they would make a bycision on the pipeline t
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december 31, 2011. the administration says they are incapable of making a decision before 2013. i might add that the original application was filed in april of 2008. in the meantime, thousands of american workers are forced to wait at least another year for possibly the most shovel-ready of all projects. the announcement to the way the decision until after next year appears to be blatantly political. the president had a golden opportunity to take bold action in create jobs. he declined to do so. it appears he is appeasing environmentalists and casting aside the opportunity to create jobs. opponents of the pipeline deceive the public with a series of misguided statements such as
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how pipelines are dangerous or that the pipeline will increase gasoline prices or how killing the pipeline will stop oil sands production. rather than confront the opinions with my own words, i want to simply read a series of quotations. having canada as a supplier of our oil is much more comforting than having other countries supply our oil. that is secretary of energy stephen chu. synthetic crude oil and eluted bitumen -- synthetic diluted bitumen a similar to that being refined in gulf coast refineries. gasoline prices in all markets served by the gulf coast refiners would decrease from
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including in the midwest. that was the deputy assistant secretary of energy. it is naive to think the oil sands would not be developed if they do not fill the pipeline. that was former white house economic adviser austan goolsbee. the president's own advisers make numerous statements about the pipeline that completely but ebut allments -- r arguments. why does the administration insist on waiting to make a decision on the project? i think it is safe to assume the latest delay has nothing to do with pipeline safety or even the state of nebraska. it has everything to do with appeasing a small, vocal group of opponents of the project.
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congress makes policy decisions based on our best information and judgment. the most important decisions we make involve economic and policy risks. since the president did not act, congress must act. if we do nothing, the american people will have to wait at least another year until after the election to enjoy the benefit of the energy security and jobs the pipeline can bring. we must find a way forward. we must find it fast. today we want to explore what the pipeline means to our job creation and the economy. we want to know what remains of the review process and help it can be corrected. the pipeline and hazardous safet -- material safety administration -- this is the
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most technologically advanced and safest pipeline ever proposed. it has 16,000 datapoints to monitor flow rates, pressure, and detect leaks. that is one sensor for every 548 feet. i want to thank the witnesses for being here to explore this important project. we look forward to your testimony. i would like to yield and recognize the ranking member of the sub-committee for his opening statement. >> today we are holding a hearing to discuss ways to force the obama administration to expeditiously make a decision on the keystone xl pipeline.
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even after the republican- controlled legislature and the governor in nebraska just recently voted to reroute the pipeline away from the ecologically sensitive sand hills region in the district. as i and stand it, the nebraska bill was just signed into law two weeks ago on november 22. it is formalizing the state planned to conduct its own supplemental environmental review of a yet to be determined new route for the pipeline. the state-level review will not
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even be completed before mid to late 2012. it is hard for me to believe those who believe in states' rights want to trample over the rights of the state of nebraska. i believe it is appropriate and necessary for the administration to conduct a thorough review of the pipeline 's new proposed route before they issue a final decision. we understand that safety laws and safeguards are secondary in importance to allowing industries to move toward unfettered and under-restricted.
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i believe the obama administration is asking -- acting prudently and responsibly and legally as the law requires in allowing the state of nebraska to conduct its own environmental review of the new route, making its own decision on the new proposed route. if this was truly about jobs for my republican colleagues, they would not be trying to stifle every aspect of every job- creation program that president obama has been pushing congress to our own, improving -- approving new infrastructure projects that would put thousands of construction workers back to work.
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if this committee -- if my republican colleagues wanted to work on creating jobs, why not support the american jobs act? it appears to me that this is just one more in a long line of opportunities for my republican colleagues to try to hammer the obama administration and portrayed the president as not doing enough to spur job creation when in fact, it is the majority party in this house that have not -- that have stated their number one priority and main goal is to make president obama fail
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regardless of how it affects the rest of the country. i am interested to hear from all of our panelists on the issue of jobs stemming from the pipeline as well as the research and development of green alternative fuel projects. i yield the rest of my time to mr. green. >> thank you for allowing me to give a statement. i was extremely disappointed with the state department announcing the additional delay of at least 15 months on the permit for the pipeline. it has been 38 months since transcanada first filed an application to build and operate the keystone project. this demonstrates extensive review has gone towards the pipeline. other pipelines were granted within 24 months. is in our national interest to have a stable source of crude oil. there are thousands of jobs on
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the line. our economy is still trying to recover. i represent five refineries in the houston area the like to be customers of our closest neighbor to the north. i am disappointed in the direction the administration has taken. i hope the project can avoid this the way. our construction workers cannot afford delay. i appreciate your inviting my friends to be witnesses before the committee. my hope is the committee will develop thoughtful legislation that can pass the house and senate. this issue has become a contentious. it is about jobs and energy security. thank you for your time. and recognize mr. upton for his statement. >> the white house has assured us the final decision on the pipeline would come by the end of 2011. we approved earlier legislation
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on the house floor to guarantee return the decision on the long overdue project. a formal statement of the ministers and policy called the bill unnecessary because the state department was committed to reaching a decision by december 31. last month, the white house announced what many of us had feared. this is administration had no intention of making a decision on this vital project. the longer the project is delayed, the louder the advocates and detractors have become. environmentalists tried to halt oil sands production. it will continue regardless of this decision. workers represented by some of today's witnesses are clamoring for the immense job creation potential of the pipeline. i am willing to take the position the white house put off until after the election in november. the administration called a 14-
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month time out. the president had a chance to greenlight a private sector project that would immediately create 20,000 jobs, strengthen our energy security, and create an additional 118,000 spin-off jobs. he did not do that. instead he placed election politics about jobs in the country. the president has been using the ," but "we can't wait wait is what he told the employees and families. unfortunately, this could last for ever. another lengthy delay could kill the project. we are not the only country in need of canada's oil supplies. our northern neighbor could look to other customers around the globe if we continue to stall.
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the canadian prime minister recently talked about the necessity of canada making sure they're able to access asian markets for energy projects. he said that would be an important priority of his government going forward, particularly if we continue to say no. this pipeline is a rare opportunity for us to access energy from our closest friend and ally, reduce dependence on less reliable sources. have we learned nothing since 1973? a steady stream from canada delivered to u.s. refineries at the lowest transportation cost could save -- stabilize oil prices and those of gas and other refined products. it makes sense to keep the refining at home. that means jobs and stable supplies. i recently visited a pipe manufacturer with miles of pipe
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ready to go on this very. fine. without a decision, it sits in his stock. waiting for the white house to do the right thing and say yes to american jobs and to increase our energy security. the hearing allows us to discuss where we go from here, take a closer look at a pipeline and the promise for job creation. i look forward to hearing from the witnesses. i yield the balance of my time to the gentleman from nebraska. >> thank you for yielding time to me. this is about jobs. good, high-paying labor jobs. i think we have a good solution going for it. the bill will be introduced after the hearing today with the support of the full committee chair, the subcommittee chair, and i think everybody sitting here.
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it would recognize nebraska's compromise to move the pipeline often -- off of the sand hills area and route it. it is the goal of those engaged in negotiations to have the siding and in our middle studies finished within about six months. it is a move of about 60 miles off of sensitive areas. that is it the to the compromise. the bill i am introducing recognizes that when nebraska office of internal quality is finished they will submit it according to our legislation to the expert agency in pipelines and will understand much greater
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than the state department about pipeline safety. there will be a clock of 30 days to review the supplemental to the supplemental to the eis to determine if it is appropriate. then we will issue the permit. the point is to avoid the politics and get to the jobs. i yield back. >> are recognized the ranking member of the full committee, mr. waxman, for his opening statement. >> we all want more jobs. that is why i support the president's jobs program. it is being blocked by the republicans. they do not want it to be paid for by any increases on taxes on billionaires in this country. instead, they want to get jobs from areas that benefit some of their best friends, the oil
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companies particularly. my greatest concern is that the keystone xl would make as more reliable on the dirtiest source of fuel available. the tar sands emit more carbon pollution and conventional oil -- than conventional oil, almost 40%. this pipeline would carry a sludge through the middle of america on 80,000 mile pipeline. it takes huge amounts of energy to take something the consistency of tar from canada and turn it into synthetic oil. we should be reducing our oil dependence and using cleaner fuel. keystone is a big step in the opposite direction. by moving tar sands oil to the gulf coast refineries, the keystone xl pipeline would open
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world markets to tarzan's oil. the pipeline would remove the existing restraints on production, dramatically increasing carbon production for decades. it would be the equivalent to building five large coal-fired power plants. last month, the international energy agency issued its authority of outlook for 2011. iea found that in just five years, business as usual investments in energy infrastructure will lock in enough carbon pollution to commit the world to potentially devastating warming and 11 degrees fahrenheit or more. the chief economist called such an outcome "a catastrophe for all of us. we face a choice of making the
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necessary changes in our energy infrastructure to mitigate the damage. keystone xl is the wrong choice. supporters make a number of arguments that do not stand up to scrutiny. they say the pipeline will enhance energy security for the united states. the department of energy found we will have access pipeline capacity from canada -- excess pipeline capacity from canada for the next decade without keystone. there's nothing to stop gulf coast refineries from exporting refined product. that does not improve our energy security. the obama administration's fuel economy standards will do more to boost our security by saving 1.8 billion barrels of oil wells saving consumers money at the pump. -- while saving consumers money at the pump.
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republicans are beating up on the obama administration for these standards. proponents say if we do not build a pipeline, the oil will go to asia. there are legal and political hurdles for a large new pipeline, including a unified opposition from more than 70 first nations with land and water rights on the pipeline route. a ban also exists of the british columbia coast. alberta energy minister said absent new parklands, the greatest risk is that by 2020 we will be landlocked. one argument we will hear today is legitimate. the project would produce several thousand short-term construction jobs. it is on the minds of us and our
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witnesses today. people need jobs, particularly in the hard-hit construction industry. with this project, we will be paying a very high price over a long time for some short-term benefits. instead we should be focusing on good, clean energy jobs that are going to last. there's going to be $38 trillion investment in new infrastructure of the next 20 years. our new economic growth and national security will be determined by whether we succeed in building these new industries. i support the administration decision to take additional time to do a thorough evaluation of the climate and other environmental impacts of the proposed pipeline. it is imperative we start to move to a clean energy economy now. keystone xl would take us in the opposite direction. i yield back time. i ask consent from my full
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statement to be made part of the record. i ask unanimous consent that we enter into the record written statements from the transport workers' union of america. it discusses the reasons for their opposition to the pipeline. the global institute parkland -- testimony discusses the project. the institute's conclusion is it will create far fewer jobs than has been claimed. >> without objection. i would also like to ask unanimous consent for rebuttal to the study be placed into the record as well. i would like to introduce our witnesses. thank you for taking time to do with us today on this important
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issue. we have mr. alex pourbaix. we have the director of the construction department for the labor union of north america. we have the assistant director of the international union of operating engineers. we have mr. david burnett, the special representative for the united association of journeymen and apprentices of the plumbing and pipe fitting industry of the united states and canada, pipeline division. we have mr. burton, the international representative for the brotherhood of electrical workers. we have the chief business officer of bard holdings
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incorporated. we have the executive director of bowls, nebraska. we will recognize each one of you for 5 minutes for your opening statement. when the light goes red, your five minutes are up. we will try to get through opening statements before we have votes on the floor. mr. pourbaix, i will recognize you for 5 minutes for your opening statement. please be sure and put your microphone on. >> transcanada is a $50 billion infrastructure company with more than six years of experience in the responsible development and operation of north american energy infrastructure. we employ over 4200 employees
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with half of those in the united states. we operate the largest gas pipeline system in north america over 40,000 miles with the capability to transport 20% of the natural gas produced in north america every day. keystone will bring many benefits to the united states. i believe the most important role in will play is to bring energy security to the united states during what has beenunse. the debate comes down to a simple debate for americans. the they want secure, stable oil from friendly canada, or do they want to import conflict oil from unfriendly regions such as the middle east or venezuela? keystone xl pipeline will link canadian and u.s. crude supplies with the largest refining markets in the u.s. canadian oil reserves are vast,
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and 175 billion barrels, compared to u.s. reserves of 21 billion. people forget that while transporting oil from canada, keystone will also move domestic crude oil. we will move oil from montana and north dakota to the gulf coast. we expect to pick up 150,000 barrels of oil from cushing to the gulf coast. domestic oil production has been a goal of the united states, but production cannot grow if it cannot reach market. the fact that pipeline access is needed is apparent in the significant price discount u.s. mid continent producers have been receiving for their production. this project will create valuable jobs for americans. construction of the segment from cushing to the gulf coast would have created 4000 construction jobs next year in kansas,
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oklahoma, and texas. these are high-paying jobs. they are heavy equipment operators. construction of the northern segment through montana, south dakota, and nebraska would have created an additional 9000 construction jobs and 7000 manufacturing jobs, 20,000 jobs in all. these thousands of direct construction jobs were planned to begin next year. the majority were union jobs that would have started a couple of months from now. contracts and subcontracts have already been awarded. americans were hired and ready to work. local businesses would have benefited from 118,000 spin-off jobs keystone would of created for local restaurants, hotels, and suppliers. keystone is expected to add $20 billion to the u.s. economy and pay over half a billion dollars in taxes during construction
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alone. the need is crucial to day, when u.s. consumers are struggling to cope with the high cost of gasoline. specifically, the project has a capability to reduce by 50% u.s. dependence on opec oil supply. the type of canadian crude keystone would ship is similar to the heavy crude already refined by gulf coast refineries. canadian oil is not new or different. at present, 2 million barrels of canadian crude is imported daily to refineries all over the u.s. about pipeline safety -- many people have talked about safety. core one of transcanada's values, the safety of our employees and the communities we go through. keystone will be safe. we are using the latest technology and strongest steel pipe. we have agreed to implement 57
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additional safety and integrity conditions that significantly exceed current federal standards, burying the pipe deeper in ground, conducting inspections, and placing more isolation valves. the pipeline will be monitored seven days a week, 24 hours a day. we have 21,000 data points that are linked to satellites which feed data to our control center every 5 seconds. if any sensor detects a drop in pressure, it will remotely close valves, shutting down within minutes. i want to emphasize the project has already gone through a thorough review process. this has been by far the most exhaustive and detailed review ever conducted of a crude-oil pipeline in the u.s. the state department concluded that keystone xl pipeline would be the safest pipeline ever constructed in the u.s.
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we submitted our permit 40 months ago and are now faced with a potential delay of a further 12 months or more, bringing the total time to 50 months. the length of this review was unprecedented and beyond any reasonable expectation. >> the gentleman's time is running out, if you want to conclude. >> i am happy to do so. once again, to finish off, the fundamentals of this project have not changed. keystone will reduce u.s. reliance on unstable foreign oil from venezuela and the middle east, and replace it with secure supplies from canada. we will create 20,000 american jobs at a time when employment is needed. the benefits are clear. time is of the essence to receive approvals we need so americans can experience benefits of keystone. we can create jobs immediately and would like to get started. >> thank you very much. i was not aware of it, but we
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have a vote on the floor right now and have about three minutes left on the vote. we are going to have a total of about seven votes, which means it might be an hour before we get back. i apologize to you in advance. we have some marvelous delicatessens downstairs. you can get yogurt and drinks. [laughter] mr. rush said "on my dying -- my dime." we look forward to hearing your testimony when we come back, and then we will start our questioning. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011]
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>> thank you for all of your patients. -- patience. if there are witnesses in the hallway, if we can roust them. i think mr. booker was next, since mr. booker is not in place. the fumes are already taking
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over. mr. barnett, the you mind if we start with you? -- do you mind if we start with you? could you give us your statement? five minutes, go ahead. >> thank you, congressman terry. members of the subcommittee, my name is david barnett. i am a special representative of the association of plumbers and pipefitters, which represents more than 3000 -- 30,000 members in the u.s. and canada. i am a third generation, 35-year member of the united association. i began my career on the trans alaska pipeline project. pipelines are all i have constructed and that is what brought me here today. the united association is the leading trainer -- trade unit,
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representing pipeline units -- pipeline workers, in the u.s. and canada. there is a nationwide local which would comprise the largest single craft, working on the project. we invest roughly $200 million in training, to insure our members are the most highly skilled our industry has to offer. the united association strongly supports the keystone xl pipeline for several good reasons. it is a project that represents billions of dollars of capital investment, hundreds of million in tax revenue, and approximately 13,000 construction jobs. i cannot emphasize how important these jobs are. the industry has wrestled with unemployment as high as 27% over the past two years. we have seen countless families lose livelihood's, homes, and in some cases their hope of a better life. this is not just jobs.
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these are american families. one of the best parts about this project is that it is funded entirely with private-sector dollars. all these benefits, at no cost to the taxpayer. accordingly, according to the u.s. department of energy administration, oil and national -- natural gas will be needed to meet over half our energy needs through at least 2035. it is critical to secure and reliable -- term support -- reliable long-term supply of crude oil. there are challenges including middle east instability in key oil-producing regions, as well as substantial growth in worldwide demand, due to margin -- emerging economies like china and india. keystone xl pipeline will help us overcome these challenges. canada has the third largest oil reserves in the world, and provides us with more oil than any other country.
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we will be able to get more oil from canada, and less from places like the middle east, which i think is good for america. environmental crimes have been made about the impact. the keystone xl pipeline has been exposed to the most extensive review of any pipeline project in history. the state department concluded it would have no significant impact on the environment. canada's oil sands are going to be developed, whether we build this pipeline are not. transcanada's next best option would be a pipe line west to serve china. it is hard to see how the environment is better off with the oil from canada being processed by china rather than the u.s. i represent the most highly trained pipeline workers in the world. in addition, while pipelines are an environmentally safe method for transporting petroleum, transcanada has pledged to make
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keystone xl the sickest in america, -- safest in america, buried deep under the ground up with extensive monitoring systems, and with a labor agreement with the best work force in the world. in closing, there are pipelines in the u.s. we should be concerned about. across the country, there are thousands of miles of 100-year- old oil and gas pipelines that are well beyond their useful life. we have seen increasing numbers of these pipelines explored -- exploded and burst, causing deaths and jeopardize in public health. the kalamazoo river is an older pipeline that should have been replaced some years ago. business and government should get behind efforts to repair and replace these pipelines. however, in focusing attention on keystone xl pipeline, we have focused on the model pipeline rather than the problem pipelines. we hope we can move forward with
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the keystone xl pipeline, and onto a discussion of those pipelines which to pose a problem. thank you again for the opportunity to testify. >> perfect timing. we will move from left to right, as we see it. mr. booker, you have five minutes. thank you. turn on your microphone. >> i think that is right. on behalf of the laborers' international union of north america, thank you for holding this hearing. we strongly support the construction of the keystone xl pipeline, which will move oil from canada to existing refineries in texas, oklahoma, and the midwest. we have been involved in the project for three years and believe the benefits are too many to be derailed by environmental extremists. it will create good jobs in the u.s. and canada and increase energy security of providing a reliable source of crude oil from a friendly and stable
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trading partner. it will provide state and local governments with new revenue that could provide services to the public. this project is not just a pipeline. it is a lifeline. the construction sector has been hard hit by the recession. unemployment in construction is higher than any industry section -- sector, with over 1 million currently without a job in the united states. to many americans are out of work. this will change the situation for thousands of them. nobody can argue this will not create thousands of good jobs for construction workers. the economy desperately needs private capital generated by the keystone xl pipeline. transcanada's labor agreement covers the construction, a kind of high-road employment that allows workers to earn family- supporting wages and benefits. additional jobs will be created in extraction and refining, and
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the manufacturing and service sectors. economic experts might disagree on the scale of the impact, but there is no disagreement that construction will have a ripple effect of consumer spending that will have a positive effect on communities where the pipeline will be located. many groups outside the construction industry do not understand the positive impact for workers. they called the unrealistic belief that if the project is not built, development of the oil sands will cease. however, with or without the keystone xl pipeline, there will be no effect on the production of oil from western canada. many groups are attacking the work members of our unions have chosen as careers. they believe construction jobs are lesser value because there is a completion date and the job will end eventually. they call these jobs temporary in order to diminish their importance, and recruit others to a course of negativity,
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climbing those jobs have no value to society. they should be ashamed. even in terrible economic times, most in the construction industry work over 40 hours a week. the work evenings, weekends, and holidays to finish jobs and take care of an emergency. construction projects create work for people with different talents and educational backgrounds -- managers, clerical workers, accountants, engineers, and inspectors. those that dismissed the nation -- nature of the work should think hard about the people whose value they seek to diminish before dismissing the nature of their professions. construction of this pipeline will produce needed revenue at the federal, state, and local levels. these can help local governments protect communities from budget cuts that have led to the elimination of needed services. there are considerable environmental benefits associated with oil imports from canada via the keystone xl pipeline.
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gulf coast refineries will continue to seek supplies of heavy crude oil. failure to secure oil from canada will force continued reliance on oil from foreign regimes where environmental regulations scarcely exists, carried by tankers who employ low-wage workers drawn from nations other than our own. keystone xl pipeline will be the safest built in the world. there is a degree of safety greater than any domestically construct a pipeline system. a significant portion of oil, about 85% of spills, goes to break out tanks rather than surface waters. this minimizes environmental impact compared to discharge spills that occur at sea. if the pipeline is not built, canadian producers will seek alternatives to american markets. the oil will not sit idle. it will come to market. several projects are in the
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planning phases that will allow them to move these resources to ports for shipping to china. denial of a presidential permit to the keystone xl pipeline increases the likelihood american markets will miss a needed miss an opportunity to secure this resource, which will go to canada. we need to meet our petroleum- based energy needs. keystone xl pipeline will allow us to develop safe energy from a reliable neighbor. unfortunately, there has been at a volume and theatrics. just last week, a poll found that 60% of likely voters a least somewhat support building the pipeline and just 24% are opposed. if the opponents of american jobs succeed in preventing this from being built, socio-economic benefits will not be realized. there will be no additional
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income to property owners. our nation will continue to import oil from unstable regimes that tried to undermine the well-being of our citizens. the jobs that will be created by this mass of private investment will be lost. thank you for inviting us to participate. >> thank you. >> members of the subcommittee, my name is jeffrey. i am here on behalf of the union of operating engineers, representing 400,000 men and women in the u.s. and canada, most of whom worked in the construction industry. thousands of members to operate heavy equipment in the sector hope to build the keystone xl pipeline. we are profoundly disappointed by the state department action to postpone a decision until 2013. the decision leaves in question the creation of thousands of jobs for operating engineers and other workers. as the general president said in his recent letter to secretary
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clinton, because of the unique authority the administration possessed to create jobs almost immediately, without congressional action or a dime of public investment, this decision will reverberate throughout the management -- the membership of operating engineers. we believe the best way to analyze project impacts, particularly in light of the state department decision, is to consider what will happen without the keystone xl pipeline. what will happen if the state department action kills the project? without the keystone xl pipeline, american crude oil from the fastest-growing field in the united states will continue to move out of the region. it will move in the most dangerous, most expensive way possible -- by tanker truck. the environmental review says that trucking is 87 times more likely to result in a fatality than a pipeline.
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trucks are 35 times more likely to result in a fire and/or an explosion than a pipeline. the rapid growth in crude production in this formation has outstripped the infrastructure to move it. according to the state department of environmental review, 25,000 barrels per day move to refinery by truck. the keystone xl pipeline, as you heard earlier, would provide an on ramp in baker, montana, with a contractual commitments to move 65,000 barrels at the start of operations for keystone xl pipeline, and more expected later with the dramatic growth in oil. without the keystone xl pipeline, this american crude will be transported to refineries in ways that increase risks to the environment and to human health and safety. second, with or without the pipeline, there will likely be no effect on the production of oil sands from western canada.
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the third point, related to the second, is that if the pipeline is not built, the u.s. may lose a chance to secure a long-term energy supply from our canadian allies. if the pipeline is not built, canadian producers will seek alternatives to american markets, likely sending dramatically more crude to china. for those who think asian options for canadian crude are speculative and unrealistic, i would make three quick observations. first, the northern gate with project, which would move oil sands to british columbia for export, is but one option to move the commodity to asia. kinder morgan offers to expand its pipeline to china. 71 tankers departed the british columbia to deliver oil sands to
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chinese refineries in 2010. kinder morgan proposed to quadruple the number of shipments. third, state-owned chinese oil companies have dramatically increased their presence in canadian oil sands. sion -- sinopac has offered not only an equity investment, but technical assistance. even since the release of the final environmental impact statement, an article in "the globe and mail" in september identified a second chinese state-owned oil company that has taken an indirect financial interest in the project. fourth, without the pipeline, gulf coast refiners will continue to demand heavy crude, with attendant environmental and national security consequences. finally, if the keystone xl pipeline, the socio-economic benefits of the project will not be realized.
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there will be no local, state, and federal revenue. there will be no jobs created. there will be no employer contributions to the health and welfare funds of the operating engineers and other craftworkers. there will be no contributions to pension and a fire -- retirement funds for these workers, no investments in apprenticeship and training in our labor-management training programs for the public sector. with the high rate of unemployment in construction, currently at 14%, many workers will remain jobless, relying on unemployment insurance and other public assistance. it is no wonder why the state department concludes, and the fdis, that the keystone is preferable to no product at all. one wonders why, given that finding, the administration postponed the decision until 2013. >> thank you, chairman with
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filled, and members of the committee -- chairman qhitfield -- whitfield, and members of the committee, for the opportunity to testify. >> my name is bruce burton. i am an international representative with the international brotherhood of electrical workers. on behalf of the 725,000 members, i thank you for the opportunity to testify in support of the keystone xl pipeline project. as an electrician who began his apprenticeship in 1981, i have distinct memories of members of my local union telling stories about their work on the trans alaska pipeline. members of my local union in michigan spent months working on the pipeline, which covers 800 miles and carries oil from the north slope of alaska to valez,
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alaska. approximately 70,000 jobs were created. depending on the season, between 2000 and 4500 individuals remain employed on the trans alaska pipeline. members from all across the united states were able to save their homes during the rough economy of the 1970's, because they were able to work on the trans-alaska pipeline. our primary concern in the energy debate is jobs. like the trans-alaskan pipeline of 35 years ago, keystone xl pipeline would create jobs and help our members through this difficult economic time. in his letter to secretary of state hillary clinton, requesting approval of the presidential permit necessary to build keystone, our president, edwin hill, wrote, "at a time when job creation should be the top priority, the keystone xl pipeline project will put
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americans back to work and have ripple effects throughout the economy. the shovel-ready pipeline will create 20,000 direct jobs and 118,000 indirect jobs. our members look forward to being part of this historic project, and pledged the highest quality of work to make it a success." our highly-skilled, trained, and licensed journeymen electricians, lineman, apprentices, and information control technicians would work on pump stations which would move oil through the pipeline. pump stations are to be located approximately 50 miles apart, built on small parcels of land approximately five to 10 acres each. each pump station contains two to five pumps, driven by high- faulted matures. initially, our members would work on 15 stations, with
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potential for 15 more in the future. each station would require approximately 6000 electrical labor hours to complete. in addition, many stations are to be built in remote locations. therefore, new high-voltage transmission lines must be built to get electrical power to the stations. for example, in nebraska, a would be 74 miles long and carry -- a new transmission line would be 20 -- would be 74 miles long. it would provide approximately 55,500 hours of labor for linemen. just like the benefits from the trans-alaskan pipeline, the benefits -- the benefits from keystone will not be localized. from pipe manufactured in arkansas, motors in ohio, and transformers built in pennsylvania, to the men and women who will work on the pipeline itself, workers from all over the u.s. would benefit
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from the project. the keystone xl pipeline would be built under a project labor agreement with the international union of north america, the international brotherhood of teamsters, the united association of plumbers and pipefitters, the union of operating engineers, and the pipeline contractors association. only the highest-skilled workers will be employed on the project. this will insure the safest pipeline possible. today, the u.s. is experiencing the worst economic downturn since the great depression. the keystone xl pipeline is shovel ready. as soon as a permit is granted, jobs will be created, jobs that our country and our members desperately need. i thank you for your time and look forward to your questions. >> thank you, mr. burton. >> my name is jerome ringo.
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[inaudible] >> would you pull your microphone closer to you? is it on? >> is this better? >> perfect. thank you. >> again, my name is jerome ringo. i am the chief business owner for an allergy harvesting and extraction project that is creating advanced technologies as alternative energy and pharmaceutical resources. my thanks to the chairman and members of the committee for inviting me to speak on this important subject. i spent over 25 years working in the louisiana petrochemical industry as a member of the oil, chemical, and atomic workers union, both in construction and operations. i spent 13 years on the board of directors of the national
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wildlife federation, where i became chairman. i also was the president of the apollo alliance, a 17 million member coalition on alternative energy. i am currently with barred holdings. i would like to offer long-term perspective. i understand our need for energy and economic stimulation. it is important we meet this demand with smart choices for our economy while minimizing adverse impact on the safety of the water, the air, and the land we depend on. in fact, american workers have proven again and again that we can create jobs by pursuing environmentally smart pass this forward. -- paths forward. i recognize the jobs impact of construction projects, but sometimes best intentions can deliver negative results. i agree with president obama
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that we need to take time to understand the impact of this project, and not rush to build. the idea of the destruction of northern canada along with the safety challenges to the american people from such a problem is enormous. the environmental justice impact on communities surrounding gulf refineries have never been adequately examined. according to a nasa scientist, james hansen, tar sands are a game-over scenario with respect to climate change. the keystone xl pipeline would transport corrosive sand under high pressure along more than 200,000 miles, jeopardizing the lives of citizens along this route. transcanada and the state of nebraska have agreed to move a small part of the pipeline. i am not reassured, however, because i now wonder what part
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of america is going to be willing to sacrifice the next spill of magnitude. according to the state department's environmental impact statement, a spill from the pipeline could reach 2.8 million gallons. if we pay attention to what is happening in michigan, we can see the consequences, because it has happened. last year, is similar pipeline spilled more than a million gallons of parse and oil into kalamazoo river. the river is still closed today. it has ruined drinking water, harming the safety of nearby residents and killing wildlife. the epa has recovered more than 1.1 million gallons from the kalamazoo, but says no and is in sight for the cleanup because tar sands are more difficult than conventional oil. we have no idea how much oil has been spilled. as we continue in our goal to declare energy independence, it
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is important we not shift our dependency from the middle east to canadian oil. our goal is not to switch seats on a sinking ship. the middle ground in search lies in creating jobs to meet energy demand while simultaneously improving our environment and economy. the answer is investment in clean and alternative energy products. this is a win-win-win on jobs, national security, and the environment. a clean fuel strategy is powerful and under way right now. the new fuel economy standards recently proposed for cars and trucks together would cut america's need for oil by 3.4 million barrels per day, more than three times the proposed capacity of the keystone xl pipeline. put differently, that equal savings greater than the proposed pipeline, plus all the oil that is currently imported
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from the persian gulf. investing in alternative fuel vehicles and the renaissance in auto and manufacturing sectors -- according to the bureau of labor statistics, it has added 125,000 direct jobs in the auto industry. energy investment is a long-term investment. we need to think long term. i urge congress to put long-term interests of the american people as a top priority, and not rush to build the keystone xl pipeline. >> thank you. i am here today on an issue that has captivated our state for several years. i am the head of an advocacy group from nebraska. hearings like to they give us citizens an opportunity to not only think you -- thank you for your dedication to our country, but to ask for your help.
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president obama made a tough and right decision by asking for more opportunity to study this pipeline. he stood up for our families, our farmers, and our ranchers, who have been bullied by transcanada. i ask you to stand with us as we figure out a path forward. our broad coalition of individuals and groups speaking out against the pipeline have become more than a group speaking out on an issue. we have become a family, and we are doing everything we can to defend our land and our water. some will try to say, because we passed two bills last month in our state, that everything is fine in nebraska. i am here to tell you everything is not fine. transcanada has yet to propose a new route that will avoid the sand hills and our precious of or four. land owners are still on pins and needles, knowing the
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easements transcanada now owns can be sold to other pipeline companies today. we have not even started the new state process to study this pipeline, and yet are being told by members of congress that we need to rush the decision within 30 to 60 days. simply put, we are looking to you, our elected officials, and each of our elected officials back at home, to do right by landowners and do right by it small businesses, like clear creek or gimmicks, which relied on the -- organics, which rely on the acquifer. with the transcanada keystone xl pipeline, it is easy to turn this into the familiar jobs versus the environment friend.
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we believe this puebla and represents more than one energy project. -- this pipeline represents more than one energy projects and endangers more jobs than it will produce. we have seen figures ranging from 3000 to 1 million. steven colbert did a funny bit about the jobs the would be produced by the pipeline. whatever the real figure is, and we are still wondering, i stand with president obama and nebraskan who know we must figure out a way to create jobs while protecting our land and water. this pipeline is risky. it is massive. we literally have no long-term studies on how tar sands will affect our land, water, and health. several elected officials have made it clear in other hearings that we literally have no idea how tar sands will affect our
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land, our water, and our health. we are seeing that play out in the kalamazoo river, where hundreds of families have been displaced and have had to move because of the tar sands spill in their backyard. i am asking for your help to get a study done on tar sands, so we can be firm and we can be clear. there will be clear answers we can find in the past to work together. while the process might seem to be taking too long, we still have no proposed route in nebraska, and no study on how tar sands affect us. if this oil is meant for the united states, a patch that to the bill. make it clear when -- a touch that to a bill. make it clearer the oil is for the united states.
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transcanada needs to get to our ports, whether it is the gulf or maine a. -- or maine. they want to sell the commodity on the international market. this process has taken a long time. it has been over three years that transcanada has been bullying our landowners, threatening eminent domain when they have no permit for their project. it has been three years of our state being bombarded with misleading advertisements about jobs and tax revenue. next week, we will release a new report that shows that transcanada has over promised in how much they are paying our counties in nebraska. just because you create jobs does not give you the green light to take american land for your private gain. that is what transcanada is doing. six families in south dakota are in court with transcanada,
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trying to protect their land. as a nation, we are facing our next moon challenge. energy is our moon that challenge. when i looked at my three little girls, i want them to know that i did everything i could to fight for sustainable energy. i know each of you want that as well. we want energy that is revitalizing our communities, not putting them at risk. i know as americans that we can meet this challenge. we can do right by landowners and workers. we are americans, and we can do this together. >> thank you. at this time, i want to thank all of you for your testimony. it is very insightful. it is time to begin our questions. i yield to the gentleman from illinois for five minutes. >> thank you for the courtesy of letting me go rapidly, because i am going to board a plane.
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when i fly from st. louis, it is heavy crude from canadian oil sands that is piped down to my comical philips refinery that is piped to the -- conocophillips refinery that is piped to the oil field. it is established. there are jobs already because of this. the oil sands is the third largest oil venue in the world. you talk about north american energy security -- this is what you are talking about. i have been up to the oil sands. these things are massive. they are five stories tall. the tires are one story tall. uaw teams drivers -- this is what the fight is about. come see it after the hearing. we mine it, surface mining, or
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you get it in situ. it is going to my marathon refinery in robinson, illinois. good paying, great benefits. members of organized labor already benefit. how many pipelines go through the offer right now? -- the aqua for -- the aquifer right now? >> in the state of nebraska, there is one crude oil pipeline. >> what is the other ones? there are three pipelines that go through the aquifer today. i am reclaiming my time. >> i live in nebraska. >> i am recalling my time. >> that oil costs -- >> i would like to go to -- people are more than welcome to come view this.
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i have studied this stuff quite a lot. i know it is quite a lot of jobs. how many jobs do you project will be produced from your segment? >> for the laborers international union, it would be a guess, but i can tell you what other projects we of done quickly. roby pipeline in el paso, we provided 2.1 million man hours on a pipeline that generated $24 million in benefits for our members. >> this is a 1,700 mile pipeline. how many jobs do you think this produces? >> we expect this project to create over 1500 jobs for our welders. >> you talk about the trans- alaska pipeline. my father-in-law was a microwave transmission -- technician.
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he moved to alaska for those jobs. you're talking about the engines that are being built. the same time a father in law move to alaska for this high- paying job, do you have a job number for this project? >> the contractors shared with us your proprietary estimates. how much government money is going into this? is this a show already project, in your view, members of organized labor? >> yes. >> which sector is the president
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going to make a decision. is he going to blow off his supporters in organized labor, or his friends in the environmental left after the election? he has to do one, right? i am standing with labor, and i am standing with jobs. it is a great environment. sometimes, members of the republican side are not considered to be a total friend of organized labor. we get that, and i do my best, as many of you know. if you want to help the president of the united states win reelection, this is the fight he should have four jobs, 20,000 jobs. the last point i will make is the biggest oil spill occurred we're? ---- where? prince william sound. how many millions of gallons?
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55 millions of gallons of oil through a tanker. do not preach to us about spills from a pipeline, when the biggest damage that could occur is tankers traveling around the world. i yield back my time. >> we recognize another gentleman from illinois, mr. rush,. >> thank you. i know the issue of jobs is constantly being bandied about here. i am extremely sensitive to that issue of jobs and unemployment. my district, the first district of illinois, the unemployment rate is more than twice the national average, and as much as 50% for many of my constituents.
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i have multi-generation unemployed people in my district. some of the concern about jobs, the concern i have had for many years, is one that i face daily. i have asked many of the experts, those who are proponents of this, including energy representatives, about the potential effect on minority-owned businesses and contractors in the pipeline
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industry. it seems like nobody, absolutely nobody, to give me an answer. i am for jobs. i am for the environment. i am also for minority and women-owned businesses. i cannot find evidence that there is any minority-owned businesses and contractors in this entire industry, not one. i have asked until i am literally blew in the face. -- blue in the face. the fact that none of these experts could give me an estimate on minorities in construction of pipelines in this country leads me to believe the numbers are so small that there may be none listed. to address this issue and shed more light on it, i want to include a comprehensive study on this issue, on the bill that is
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currently being renegotiated. i have union friends here. i must say that some of them are friends who have supported me in the past. but i am really kind of a little disturbed and surprised by some of the issues right amount. -- right now. those of you representing labor , can you see any meaningful level of participation of minority contractors, workers, or businesses engaged in each of your respective organizations? if not today, can you forward that information to my office within a few weeks? i want to know how many minority contractors, how many minority workers, and how many minority businesses are associated with the pipeline industry.
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can you answer that question? >> i do not have the figures in front of me. i would be happy to provide them. the showing the support we have, for minority businesses, business people, and laborers, we have the full support of the hispanic chamber of commerce, the full support of the hispanic veterans association. that is an example of significant support among minorities in this country. perhaps some of the other gentleman from labor could shed some light on that. >> i do not have specific information. we would be happy to forward to your office upon conclusion of the hearing. >> operating engineers are happy to provide data, particularly on apprenticeship programs, where we can provide you a good look
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at what we do for people of color and women in the operating engineers union. >> a first of all, i would like to say we are a membership- driven organization, not contractor-driven. we do not track that information. we have a large number of minorities in our local union. they go out every day and perform their work. those are the people we go to bat for every day. >> i know my time is up. there are songs i cannot really dance to. i am sorely disappointed. i think that is an issue that this committee and subcommittee is going to have to address. as for the members of labor that have supported me before this subcommittee, the fact that you do not have good firm information for me, i think that
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is a choice. with that, i yield back. >> our next rep also has transportation issues. you are recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. before this hearing, and i want to look back at some of the things that were in the press in the 70's before the alaska pipeline. there, the criticism was the effects on the tundra, pollution, harm to animals, geographic features, and lack of engineering. they went ahead and built it across three mountain chains, 30 rivers. it seems to have worked. i am just curious, in the last 30-some years, since the pipeline was put in in the 70's, how much we have improved.
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i have heard all the scare tactics from friends on the other side, that this is a corrosive, a difficult product to handle. but i think engineers, over the years, have developed ways of handling it. we can have ceramic-lined pipes. we can do a lot of things. if we can pipe hydrochloric acid, we can pipe crude oil. i am curious, from a panel -- from a construction background, some of the improvements we have made. i assume 30 years later -- we did not have 80 kip steel. some of the welding techniques we have learned about and developed -- the low hydrogen the we are using.
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can you amplify some of the improvements that have happened over the last 30-some years in construction, why we should have a greater comfort level? >> i would be happy to. if you look at pipelines, the majority of incidents come from corrosion of the pipeline and third-party strikes, whether it is a back hoe. it could be a third-party agency on the pipeline. since the alaska pipeline, let us talk about corrosion. today, all new pipelines are built of stronger steel. you mentioned x80 steel. it is stronger and more puncture resistance. there is protection, running an electrical current through the pipe to inhibit corrosion. on top of that, every joint of the pipe is coated with effusion epoxy coating. when you combine that, you would
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expect that 50 years from now you would take those joints of pipe out of the ground and they would have no evidence of corrosion. that is how far the industry has come on corrosion. online strikes, as i said, we are using stronger steel. one of the 57 voluntary conditions we agreed to is that instead of burying the pipe 3 feet under the surface, we are burying it 4 feet under the surface, which should largely remove that risk. we have accepted an obligation to maintain that depth of cover over the entire pipeline over the entire time it is operational. finally, when it comes to leak detection, you have heard other people talk about that today. we have 21,000 sensors on this pipeline, generating data every 5 seconds. if there is a drop in pressure, the pipeline will be shut down automatically, in literally minutes.
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we would have a clean up situation. >> what was that like on those leak detectors on the alaska pipeline? >> i do not know the exact amount. we have multiple redundant leak detection systems. >> there was another issue that was raised by the national chief of the deni nation. he made some excellent points. one had to do with years ago, back in the 70's, when the were not using epdm liners. they were using clay liners, primarily. our construction knowledge has expanded so much over the 30 years. are you going to be using liners for your tailings'? >> we do not produce oil ourselves. we just moved it.
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i would say a good number to think about that is, going forward, approximately 75% of all future oil developments in the oil sands are going to be done through in situ drilling with well bores. those do not even require tailings ponds. >> you are now using a special steel on areas we did not have available years ago. technology has moved from 30 or 40 years ago. i do not understand, unless there is another agenda here. that is a little bit more sinister, about why we are not allowing this to progress, and putting our people back to work. i think technology is fine. the political side of it is where we are hung up right now. >> time has expired.
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at this time, i recognize the full committee. ranking member mr. waxman. >> for those of you viewing this hearing, they would be struck as i am that the only way republicans can deal with the fact that some people have questions about the pipeline is "it is a conspiracy, there is a hidden agenda, it is all politics." one republican who asked questions said, "who does president obama choose -- environmentalists or labor unions?" they think in those terms and want to make it a political issue. the decision to go ahead with this pipeline is serious. we need to fully understand the implications of improving energy infrastructure that will last for decades. i would not make light of it just because republicans want to use this hearing for political purposes. purposes. i


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