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Public Statements

Keystone XL Pipeline

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. SCALISE. Mr. Speaker, you are going to be hearing a lot, and we're all going to be talking a lot, about the Keystone pipeline. And the reason that we're talking a lot about it is that between now and February 21, President Obama has a decision to make. President Obama has been tasked by this Congress to make a decision by February 21 on whether or not to approve the Keystone pipeline.

Now, the President, frankly, should have approved this project months ago when, back in August, the State Department, which was tasked by the President to make a recommendation, was getting ready to actually make a recommendation to move forward on the Keystone pipeline. And of course what we're talking about is creating jobs in America. There will be 20,000 American jobs created if the President moves forward with the Keystone pipeline. But also American energy security is at stake here.

The President has continued to punt this issue. In fact, just a few months ago, the President tried to push this issue off until after the election. Just right after the State Department was getting ready to say, Let's go forward with the Keystone pipeline, all of a sudden, some of the radical environmental groups came forward. And these radical environmental groups, who are against any form of American-created energy that doesn't involve wind and solar power--whether it's oil, gas, nuclear--they're against all American energy.

So these radical environmental groups went and had a protest over at the White House. And they intimidated this President enough to where President Obama said, okay, he's going to push it off until after the election, thinking that he could just hide behind radical environmentalists and say, Oh, well, we've got to look at the environmental issues.

Well, this has nothing to do with whether or not it's good for the environment because, frankly, the State Department looked at the environmental issues already. President Obama knows that. The State Department looked at these environmental concerns and said they're not there. In fact, if the President approved Keystone tomorrow and said yes to those American jobs, the Canadian Government and the company that would be building the pipeline would still have to comply with the environmental laws of every single State that that pipeline would go through.

So it's not a question of whether or not Keystone would comply with the environmental laws. They have to comply with all the environmental laws. But what is at stake is whether or not we're going to take these 20,000 jobs in America or whether those jobs are going to be shipped to China because China's already said that they want the Keystone oil, they want the oil that would be created by these oil sands in Canada.

So the question is, Are we going to have that oil from Canada sent into America, or is that oil going to go to China? And of course what that really means is, Are we going to take the 20,000 jobs in America, or is President Obama going to send those 20,000 jobs to China? What does President Obama have against the creation of 20,000 American jobs?

The President loves to give all these speeches, talking about the middle class. And, Mr. Speaker, when the President talks about the middle class, he can't say that he supports the middle class if he rejects the Keystone pipeline because he'll be turning down 20,000 American jobs that will be coming down with over $7 billion of private investment that's coming from one of our best partners in the world, Canada. Canada is a great trading partner with America.

If the Keystone pipeline is built in America and we start partnering with and taking about 700,000 barrels a day of oil from Canada, that's oil that we don't have to get from Middle Eastern countries who don't like us. So look at the policy. First of all, if they do this, they have to comply with the environmental laws not only in the United States but in every State that it goes through. So the environmental issues don't exist that the President raises.

But what is at stake is whether or not we are going to get 20,000 American jobs and whether or not we're going to get oil from our friend Canada or are we going to get oil from Middle Eastern countries who don't like us. So that is what this debate is about.

Between now and February 21, the President has got to decide whether or not he's going to say yes to American jobs or is he going to side with his radical environmentalist friends who went over to the White House and threatened him and all of this kind of foolishness and said that they want to send that oil to China.

The good news is that the President doesn't really have to decide whether or not that's going to happen because he can just go look at what his own State Department said. The State Department said that they think those jobs should stay in America. But the President has got to decide whether he is going to side with the radical environmentalists or whether he's going to side with American families and workers who just want jobs and want American energy security.

And, frankly, if we've got a choice--because our demand for oil hasn't gone down--it's a question of whether or not we want oil from Canada who's a friend or from Middle Eastern countries who are not and if we want to create 20,000 American jobs. So that is what is at stake between now and February 21.

With that, Mr. Speaker, I urge, first of all, the President to side with America in the creation of 20,000 jobs and to approve the Keystone pipeline.


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