Mr. KINZINGER of Illinois. I thank the gentleman from Nebraska for generously yielding.
Mr. Chairman, I'm also from Illinois. And I can tell you, in Illinois there is a very tough economic environment right now. We've got a tough budget. There is a lot of talk about the budget right now. We've got huge unemployment. We've got people who desperately want to go to work. And when I do town hall meetings, when I'm in the 11th Congressional District in towns like Joliet, or when I'm in Ottawa, or Princeton, or some of those towns, I get this from a lot of people: Why can't we just become energy independent? Why can't we just become energy secure? And I think that's a great question.
When people look at Washington, D.C., and they say, Washington, D.C., is broken, I think one example of that is the fact that we can't get our act together and do what we need to do to increase oil that we're not pulling in from the Middle East. I mean, it's just very basic. How can we do anything in this Congress if we can't even agree that our partners to the north can bring their oil here for our consumption so that we can come off of that oil we're buying from the Middle East that, in some way, is always going to fund the people that we are fighting overseas and the terrorists that we're fighting?
But when we talk about the Keystone pipeline, let me ask you, what does the pipeline mean for the United States and for Illinois? For starters, it means creating more than 100,000 American jobs. We've been seeing the jobs reports lately. They're not good. How would you like to add 100,000 American jobs? That's what we're offering. It means 1.3 million barrels of oil from our friends to the north, which means we need less oil from the Middle East, from Venezuela, and less oil from other countries that we can no longer rely on and are not friendly to the interests of the United States. What's bad about that? It means $5.2 billion in new property tax revenue for bankrupt States, like my own, like Illinois.
The North American-Made Energy Security Act expedites a final decision on the Keystone XL pipeline, a project that would allow millions of barrels of Canadian oil supplies to flow into U.S. markets and requires the President to issue a final Presidential permit decision by November 1, 2001. This bill does not require the President to accept the benefits of the Keystone XL pipeline. It merely requires him to make a long overdue decision on this pipeline.
The State Department has, at their discretion, the authority to decide if the U.S. benefits from this. The fact is that someone will benefit from the oil out of Canada. If it's not the United States, it will be China. Unless we take immediate action to expand the Keystone pipeline, it will be American businesses, American consumers, and those who are unemployed that are desperately seeking a job in this terrible economy who will suffer the consequences from our inaction.
According to a Department of Energy report, the pipeline extension will ``essentially eliminate'' our oil imports from the Middle East. I urge my colleagues to oppose this amendment and support the final passage.
Mr. RUSH. Mr. Chairman, I really want my friend from Illinois to know that I don't have to travel to Joliet, Illinois, or any other part of Illinois; I don't even have to come down to his district in Peoria to see unemployment, to see the joblessness. I am not standing here fighting against jobs. I am fighting for jobs. But I think at the same time that we fight for jobs, we have to also fight so that the American people have input in terms of making decisions such as this. Mr. Chairman, I also believe that at the end of the day, we want to ensure that this pipeline benefits America and not China.
I yield back the balance of my time.