Providing for Consideration of H.R. 3408, Protecting Investment in Oil Shale the Next Generation of Environmental, Energy, and Resource Security Act; Providing for Consideration of H.R. 3813, Securities Annuities for Federal Employees Act of 2012;

Floor Speech

By:  Ed Markey
Date: Feb. 15, 2012
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. MARKEY. I thank the gentleman.

So last year the oil industry made $137 billion in the United States. This year, of course, heading to $5 a gallon gasoline. They're tipping American drivers upside-down so fast that they'll probably make $200 billion.

They've got to raise about another $40 billion to pay for this transportation bill. They could take away the $4 billion in tax breaks each year over 10 years, $40 billion that they give to ExxonMobil. They really don't need that money. The taxpayers shouldn't have to pay twice, once at the pump and then once as taxpayers. So they could have solved all of this just by taking away the oil tax breaks.

But here's what they do: They say, one, we can drill for shale in Colorado and Wyoming. And we know that Shell Oil and the Department of Interior say that there is no commercially available technology. Two, they can drill in the Arctic refuge, but we know that there are no votes in the Senate to make it possible for that to happen. And three, their next proposal is to drill off of the beaches of California and Florida for oil--off the beaches. The Republicans are lining up themselves in these States to say I want to make the amendment to make sure we don't do that.

So, none of this is going to happen in terms of the revenues that they say they're going to generate. These are phantom revenues from phantom drilling that's never going to happen.

Moreover, they want to export the natural gas out of our country. Well, let me tell you what T. Boone Pickens says about this. This is what T. Boone Pickens says about exporting U.S. natural gas:

If we do it, we're truly going to go down as America's dumbest generation.

It's bad public policy to export natural gas. Why is that? Because natural gas in the United States is six times cheaper than in Asia, it's three times cheaper than in Europe. That's why our agriculture is doing so well, that's why manufacturing is coming back. The cost of a unit of production of any product in terms of the energy which is needed has plummeted. That's our advantage in coming out of the recession.

Finally, on the Keystone pipeline, why don't we keep the oil here in the United States? The Canadians want to take the oil, build a pipeline through the United States over our environmentally sensitive areas, bring it to Port Arthur, Texas, an export zone, and then send the oil to Asia and Latin America. Where's the American part of this? What do we get out of the Keystone pipeline? Nothing.

So I will have an amendment that says, if we build that pipeline--if we let the Canadians--that we keep the oil here in the United States because the oil should stay in the United States, the natural gas should stay in the United States. We shouldn't be pretending that we're going to be raising the revenues from these other places where they are just phantom revenues from phantom drilling, which is never going to happen.


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