BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT
Mr. RUSH. I want to thank the ranking member for this time, and I thank him for his leadership on this issue.
Mr. Chairman, I find it remarkable that we are here today debating a bill that is essentially a regulatory earmark for just one company, and that company is called TransCanada. And we're here debating whether to build a pipeline through the heart of our country without even allowing the appropriate State and Federal agencies to completely conduct their due diligence and their oversight responsibility.
Mr. Chairman, this legislative gift wrapped in fine gift-wrapping to TransCanada on behalf of my Republican colleagues will completely circumvent the State Department and the other State and Federal agencies, those agencies that have the know-how and the expertise, to thoroughly examine this process, and Mr. Chairman, they will require that FERC, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, issue a permit for the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline within 30 days of the receipt of the application.
If FERC does not act on the permit application within the meager 30 days, the permit shall be considered approved automatically.
Mr. Chairman, how insane can insanity get? How ridiculous can ridiculous be when we are telling an agency that if they don't pass this permit within 30 days, if they don't do all their investigations within 30 days, then this permit will automatically be approved?
Mr. Chairman, the Keystone XL project is too big, too consequential, too important to the American people for this Congress to completely ignore all the established protocols that have existed prior and exist now and set a precedent of bypassing State and Federal oversight procedures. The very people whose lives will be most affected by this pipeline deserve to have the responsible agencies complete their review process to ensure the American people that this project has been thoroughly examined and vetted.
Mr. Chairman, even my colleagues who may support the merits of the Keystone XL pipeline are appalled--and they should be appalled--at the majority party's attempt to hijack the process and circumvent the appropriate State and Federal agencies in order to hastily, irresponsibly green-light this project.
This sentiment can be summed up best by a letter sent to me on February 9 by a citizen of this Nation, a Nebraskan rancher by the name of Randy Thomas, who said:
The short circuiting of the process leaves those of us who live and work along the proposed pathway of this project with many lingering doubts about its safety, and the impacts it could have on our livelihoods.
BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT