North American Energy Security Act

Floor Speech

By:  Mitch McConnell
Date: Dec. 7, 2011
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. McCONNELL. If the Senator will yield on that point, it is my understanding, and is it not correct, that these are not jobs sometime in the future but these are, in fact, jobs that just as soon as the President would sign off on this, this project is ready to go. We don't have to borrow any--the government doesn't have to borrow any money and they don't have to try to stimulate anything. This is a project, as I understand it, I would ask my friend from North Dakota, that is literally shovel ready and will not cost the government a penny?

Mr. HOEVEN. This is a project that is absolutely ready to go and will not cost the Federal Government one penny. It puts 20,000 workers on the job right away.

The hurdle was the route through Nebraska, but we have now worked with the State of Nebraska. They have had a special session. They have set up a process to clear that part of the route. Our legislation says within 60 days after passage of this bill the route is deemed approved. That is after 3 years of process through the EPA.

So we are ready to go. We have addressed the issues. We can put these people on the job now if we can get the Presidential approval.

Mr. McCONNELL. In fact, I would say to my friend, the Senator from Nebraska is on the Senate floor with us right now. He could further underscore that the people of Nebraska, having now satisfied the concern they had earlier about location, seem to be ready to go.

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Mr. McCONNELL. Could I ask one further question of either or both of the Senators--and Senator Isakson as well.

I understand there is a suggestion that there may be political concerns on the President's part, and we all know that most environmental groups are very much on the Democratic side. But is it not the case that there are a number of unions in the country--most of which, certainly, do not support Republicans anywhere I know--that also feel passionately about this issue and would like to get to work? Is that not the case?

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Mr. McCONNELL. Could I ask the Senator from Nebraska a further question?

It strikes me--correct me if I am wrong--that America not going forward does not prevent this from happening, just in another country. And a good option for the Canadians might well be to just ship this product to China. Is that not correct?

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Mr. McCONNELL. Just one final observation, and then I am going to leave the colloquy to all the rest of my colleagues. But it strikes me--and I wonder if my colleagues agree--this is about as close to a no-brainer as we will ever run into in America. There is no government money.

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