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Motions to Instruct Conferees on H.R. 4348, Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2012, Part II

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. MATHESON. I thank the gentleman from Georgia for offering this motion and I thank him for yielding me this time.

We've heard a lot from different Members out here already about what the construction of this pipeline would mean in terms of increased capacity, of product coming from North American sources for U.S. oil consumption. We've heard about the jobs for the construction of the pipeline, and I'm not going to repeat all of those numbers and statistics. But I thought it would be helpful to talk about a couple of the issues that have been raised about this pipeline and try to clarify some of the facts about what's going on with this type of product and this type of pipeline.

A lot of people think this is a brand new product. They're worried about product from oil sands. In fact, according to the Congressional Research Service, there are already five other pipelines that are bringing this product from Canada to the United States. In fact, for years this product has been coming to refineries in the State of Utah, where I'm from, and refined in refineries in North Salt Lake.

The most recent of those five pipelines that brings this product from Canada was actually approved by the Obama administration in 2009. It brings 800,000 barrels a day from Canada into the United States. And when that project was approved by the Obama administration's State Department, the State Department said that the pipeline would send:
A positive economic signal in a difficult economic period about the future reliability and availability of a portion of United States' energy imports, and in the immediate term, this shovel-ready project will provide construction jobs for workers in the United States.

Now, when it comes to the Keystone proposal, as it was going through 3 years of environmental review, when discussing this pipeline, Secretary Clinton's Coordinator for International Energy Affairs, David Goldwyn, stated:

Balancing jobs and energy security ..... I think the case for a pipeline is overwhelming and she will approve it.

This is a project that has received a lot of scrutiny. It's not a new type of project--five other ones come to this country. I know there may be some unique aspects of this specific pipeline proposal, but in general there are five other ones that bring this product to the United States already.

This has become a symbol. We can have honest disagreements about what we think about issues, but we should make sure we understand what the facts are about this pipeline. As I said, this product has already come into this country many times.

I thank the gentleman again for offering this motion to recommit, and I urge passage.


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