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Keystone XL Pipeline

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. QUAYLE. I thank the gentleman, my good friend from Colorado, for yielding.

Back home in Phoenix, Arizona, in my home district, one of the big things that we worry about is the cost of gasoline. I went to the pump the other day and it was about $3.60. It's about twice as much as it would cost back before President Obama was elected. And if you look at the statistics, in 2011, the average American household spent a record $4,155 at the pump. This is equal to 8.4 percent of the median family income. So this is a huge issue, that we need to continue to find stable sources of oil so that we can have a secure source of oil and we can make sure that we have more supply of oil so that we can start to bring the prices down for gas at the pump.

Back before the President made his decision, I would go around and talk to people around my district and I would say, What if I told you that with the swipe of a pen the President and his administration could create 20,000 immediate jobs and over 100,000 jobs over the long term and there wouldn't be any taxpayer dollars put at risk or expended; what do you think we should do? Every single one of the people that I talked to said this President should sign that as soon as possible and let's get to work making sure that the Keystone pipeline gets put into effect and get people back to work.

And then something funny happened. The administration decided to placate the radical fringe element of their party, and the President punted to 2013--didn't even make the decision whether a yes or no, just pushed it down the road. But House Republicans decided that we were going to give the President a second chance, a second opportunity to do the right thing, an opportunity to realize that the State Department had already done an environmental impact study that showed that there was very little chance for any environmental damage to some of the sensitive areas where the pipeline would be going. Maybe we could have the President realize that this is not the time to play politics; this is the time to get American people back to work. And that's exactly what the Keystone pipeline would do. And yet, once again, the President punted.

Now, we can't give him too many more chances. We've already given two chances for this one already. But when we all sat here at the State of the Union and we heard him say that we were going to adopt the all-of-the-above approach, as some of my colleagues mentioned earlier, we actually realized that that's not really the case, because it seems as if there are only favored sectors that actually get some attention from this administration. You have companies like Solyndra.

Solyndra received a $535 million loan guarantee from the government as well as nearly $15 million in severance money for its employees when that company went bankrupt. A total of nearly 550 million taxpayer dollars were squandered. This is a risk that the American taxpayer should never have taken. And there is very little chance we're going to get any of that back because our rights were actually put lower than people who were giving loans after the American taxpayers.

Now, then, we have another company, Ener1, received $118.5 million in stimulus grants before going belly up just a few moments ago.

According to The Washington Post, Obama's $38.6 billion green job loan guarantee program has created just 3,545 permanent jobs. That's a cost of $5 million per job, $5 million per job in a favored sector. You know how many taxpayer dollars would be spent to create hundreds of thousands of jobs for the Keystone pipeline? Zero. And yet the President couldn't sign a simple sheet of paper to get this done. This is a no-brainer, as many people have said.

So I hope that the President will reconsider. I hope that the House Republicans will continue to push this issue because this is something that we can do right away. It is shovel ready, to borrow a phrase, and this is something that will make sure that we are looking towards the future for our energy security.

And I thank the gentleman from Colorado for addressing this important issue and for starting this conversation tonight.


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