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Protecting Investment in Oil Shale the Next Generation of Environmental, Energy, and Resource Security Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. BARTON of Texas. I thank the gentleman from Nebraska for yielding.

I am actually here to speak on Mr. Markey's amendment, the previous amendment. I do want to oppose the amendment of my good friend from Chicago, Mr. Rush, but I think Mr. Terry eloquently made the case as to why it is not in order at this point in time.

Mr. Chairman, I want to go back to the previous amendment that Mr. Markey offered, which would restrict the use of both crude oil and refined products that come in from the Keystone pipeline to have to be sold in the United States. It goes without saying that if it's crude oil it would make absolutely no sense to transship it through the Keystone pipeline to the gulf coast and then put it in a tanker to go overseas. If you're going to export crude oil, it makes much more sense to export it directly from Canada.

On the refined product end of it, you have to know one thing, which is that this crude oil that we would be importing from Canada is a heavy crude oil. We have some of the best refineries in the country that have been upgraded by billions and billions of dollars so that we can handle not just the light sweet crudes, like West Texas Intermediate or Saudi Light, but so we can handle these heavy crudes, like the Canadian crude oil, that would come down.

When you have a barrel of crude oil, you can't just say, I want to make it all gasoline. You can make a lot of gasoline, but you're going to end up having to make diesel oil and asphalt and a lot of other products. Our refineries are the best in the world at cracking these heavy crudes. As they come down through the Midwest to the Louisiana and Texas refineries, most of the refined products would be sold in the United States, but the United States is primarily a gasoline market. The European market, on the other hand, is primarily a diesel market. So, as our refineries have become better and more competitive, it makes sense not to put a restriction on the refined products but to let the market allocate it. It would actually create jobs in the United States. We could ship some of these refined--primarily diesel, but some of the distillates could go to the European market. You'd get a better margin, create jobs, and protect jobs here in the United States. The primary market will always be the United States. Currently, about 75 percent of the crude oil that's refined on the gulf coast is used in refined products that are sold in the United States, but somewhere around 20 to 25 percent has been going to Europe, primarily the distillates and the diesel.

The Markey amendment would turn that market on its head. It would be counterproductive to our economy, counterproductive to our consumers, and counterproductive to the general oil markets in the world.

I know Mr. Markey is trying to do what he thinks is the right thing, but in actuality, we defeated his amendment in the committee, I think, 34 14 or something like this. We got eight Democrats--about 40 percent of the Democrats--to vote with us against the Markey amendment in committee. We ought to defeat it by that same margin here on the floor of the House of Representatives.

At this point, I also want to thank Mr. Whitfield for his excellent leadership on this issue.


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