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Public Statements

Keystone XL Pipeline Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. WELCH. Mr. Speaker, at the heart of this issue are two questions:
First, is climate change real? Is it a threat to our economy, to jobs,
to our environment, and to our security?

Speaking for Vermont, climate change is real. In the past 5 years,
Vermont has had 10 Federal disaster declarations from severe weather,
including Tropical Storm Irene that did nearly $1 billion worth of
damage. Our farmers, ski area operators, and maple sugar producers are
all trying to contend with the changing climate.

Also, we know that that oil is the same. This is not sweet Texas
crude. Tar sands produce about 20 to 40 percent more carbon emissions
than that Texas oil, and extracting it is going to produce about 27
million metric tons of carbon emissions.

The second question is this: Should Congress now or should Congress
ever pass a major piece of legislation without any committee hearings,
particularly when that legislation is only about oil going through our
country, not to our country?

And this legislation includes a special provision that exempts a
foreign corporation from contributing to an environmental cleanup fund
all our domestic corporations are required to pay into.

On the issue of jobs, these are good jobs, about 2,000 jobs. But if
this Congress would do its job, we would pass a surface transportation
bill that would create 200,000 jobs and put those 3 million men and
women in our labor unions to work on good things that are going to
rebuild this country.

Mr. Speaker, this is the wrong bill, it is passed in the wrong way,
and at exactly the wrong time.

I urge a ``no'' vote.


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