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Public Statements

Energy Security

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. SHIMKUS. Madam Speaker, what does the Iranian nuclear threat to Keystone XL pipeline and the payroll unemployment insurance, doc fix, and jobs bill all have in common? Well, I'm going to use this 5 minutes to tie them together.

Yesterday on the floor, we addressed a concern of the Iranian nuclear threat. We did so with two pieces of legislation: H.R. 1905, the Iranian Threat Reduction Act; and H.R. 2105, the Iran, North Korea, and Syria Nonproliferation Reform and Modernization Act.

Why did we bring these bills to the floor? We brought these bills to the floor because of our concern of a nuclear Iran that has threatened its neighbors and one of our closest allies, Israel.

So what's the Iranian response? Well, I would turn your attention, Madam Speaker, to an article published yesterday, December 13, from, with the title, ``Iranian Official Threatens Military Drill Sealing Off the Strait of Hormuz.''

I will read the first two paragraphs:

``A high-ranking Iranian official has said Iran's military will practice sealing off the Strait of Hormuz, the world's most important oil transport channel, in a provocative move that illustrates Iran's capability of disrupting the world's oil supply.

``The announcement Monday by Parviz Sarvari sent oil prices up about $3 to $100 a barrel based on the speculation of a disruption during the military drills.''

Sarvari, a member of the Iranian Parliament's National Security Committee, is quoted as saying, ``Soon we will hold a military maneuver on how to close the Strait of Hormuz,'' in a statement reported by Reuters. ``If the world wants to make the region insecure, we will make the world insecure.''

So the Keystone XL pipeline--which is the second part of this discussion--we heard on the floor yesterday, and it was acknowledged by both sides that, at a minimum, 20,000 jobs would be created, maybe up to 110,000 jobs. We also heard about organized labor being all in on the Keystone XL pipeline. I quoted a couple of members of organized labor. One would be Brent Bookers, director of the construction department at the Laborers' International Union of North America. He said, ``For many members of the Laborers, this project is not just a pipeline; it is a lifeline.''

But what doesn't get told about Keystone XL pipeline enough is its importance for energy security.

Now, look. If Iran can shut down the Strait of Hormuz, why do you think we're in the gulf? Why is the Middle East so important? We all know why it is; because that's where all of the crude oil is.

So why would we not access the third largest oil supply to the Earth from our northern neighbor, Canada?

The map is right here. Right up here you have the great Canadian oil sands in Alberta. The red line is already a pipeline called the Keystone pipeline. What is being proposed is the Keystone XL pipeline, which would help bring Canadian crude to the oil refineries in Texas.

Now, I already have Keystone crude oil coming to my refinery in Wood River, to the terminal in Patoka, and to the Marathon refinery in Robinson, Illinois, and that crude oil, once refined through pipeline, goes to Cleveland, goes to Detroit, goes to Chicago and goes all over the country. There can be no more secure route for crude oil for this country than the Keystone Pipeline and the Keystone XL Pipeline. Do we dare as a country still have to fret over threats by a member of the Iranian parliament because they want to shut down the Strait of Hormuz? We will have to continue to worry about this unless we continue to build and work with our Canadian allies on the Keystone XL Pipeline.

We know it's a jobs issue, we know it's an organized labor issue, and we know it's an energy security issue. And I just thought this story was timely with respect to our vote to hold Iran accountable. So we're on the record: We need energy security and we need the Keystone XL Pipeline.

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