Mr. TERRY. Mr. Speaker, I'm the author of one of the bills sitting in the Senate, the ``forgotten 15.'' This is a bill that will instantaneously create 20,000 jobs and spin off a potential 100,000 to 200,000 additional jobs and put us on the path to energy security. I'm talking about the pipeline bill, the Keystone XL pipeline.
Now, that bill was passed on a massive bipartisan vote, 279-174, one of the best bipartisan showings of nonsuspension bills. It was placed on the Senate calendar on July 28. We held a press conference asking the Senate to take it up. We sent a bipartisan letter to the majority leader asking him to place it on the calendar for vote.
This bill just simply set a timeline for the President and State Department to make a decision. Then, it was November 1. We sit here on this day, November 4--I think it's the 4th--and the President just said 2 days ago to a local Omaha TV station anchorman that he'll make a decision in a few months.
Well, I would encourage the Senate to take up this bill; change the date, obviously, maybe to December 1 or December 15 or December 31. But the reality is this permit for this pipeline is 1,142 days old. That's double the record time for any other transcontinental pipeline--double.
Yes, there is a political storm about environmental safety. This trans-Canadian pipeline has been studied more than any other pipeline. The environmental assessments say this is the most secure pipeline ever designed and has little to no impact to the environment of the sand hills of Nebraska and the underlying aquifer.
Now, since all of the studies have shown there's little to no risk to the environment and pipelines remain the safest way to transport oil to our United States refineries, this puts us on a path to energy security. In fact, the 700,000 barrels that come from our friend Canada offset the oil we import from Venezuela. And even the Department of Energy said that this will almost offset all of OPEC oil. I think that secures our Nation.
And did I again--should I mention the 20,000 labor jobs created by this pipeline, the fact that it doesn't impact the fragility, the ecosystem or environment of the sand hills and the aquifer?
Mr. Leader, bring this bill up in the Senate. Let's create these jobs, let's produce our infrastructure, and let's secure America's energy future.