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Mr. Speaker, time is up. It is time for the administration to quit stalling and make a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline project, the pipeline that comes from our friends in Canada from Alberta all the way down to my congressional district in southeast Texas, to the refineries in Port Arthur, Texas.
The House has done its job this week by passing a bill to move this decision along. Now its the Senates turn to pass this bill so that the administration finally makes a decision on the Keystone XL project that will create thousands of American jobs and decrease our dependence on unfriendly nations for energy.
I commend my friend from Nebraska (Mr. Terry) for passing this legislation and being the spearhead of this legislation.
All that has to happen is the State Department has to make a decision and the administration has to support that decision one way or the other. Its been 3 years for the administration to make a decision, yes or no, on the XL pipeline. Its time to fish or cut bait. Pick a horse and ride it. The administration must make a decision.
And this should be, to me, an easy choice for this administration. Either they can force Americans to continue to rely on unfriendly foreign countries for our energy, like Venezuela and the Middle Eastern dictators, by depriving Americans of a reliable source of oil at a time when gas prices are around $4, or they can work with our friends in the north to supply over 1.4 million barrels of oil per day.
Pipelines are the proven and safe, efficient source of energy. Best of all, this project creates thousands of jobs at a time when unemployment in this country is 9.2 percent. And it is climbing. I would think this job-creating, shovel-ready project which my liberal friends always talk about would be something they would support and the administration would support.
As the administration continues to stonewall our own domestic production, we must safely and immediately look for ways to meet energy needs.
The country needs energy. It needs jobs. This project provides both. Whats the holdup, Mr. President?
For every barrel of oil shipped a thousand miles, less than one teaspoon of liquid is lost from a pipeline.
Transporting good by pipeline has the lowest carbon footprint as compared with other transportation modes. Crude oil has to get to America some way. It either comes by barge or truck or rail or marine, and pipelines historically are the safest way to transport crude oil.
Attacking a pipeline on environmental grounds seems to be absurd to me. Pipelines have been the most cost-effective and environmentally sound way to transport oil and natural gas. A medium-sized pipeline, which is about 150,000 barrels a day, requires operating more than 750 trucks or a 75-car train every day to transport the same amount of crude oil.
Transporting oil through a pipeline is far safer than using transportation by oil tankers. When an oil tanker has a major oil spill, millions of barrels of oil can be spilled in a matter of a few minutes, a few hours, or just a few days.
Nearly half a million miles of natural gas and crude oil pipeline are in the United States 500,000 miles of pipeline. Over half of these are in the state of Texas alone 270,000 miles of pipeline. And about one-third of all of the Nations pipelines, I understand, go through the energy capital of the world, my district in southeast Texas.
If we dont use the crude oil from Canada in this pipeline, the Canadians could very easily, instead of having a north-to-south pipeline, have a pipeline east-to-west and pipe it to the west coast, and then ship it to our good buddies, the Chinese, who want to buy it.
You know, Americas energy plan seems to be twofold: send money to Brazil and let the Brazilians drill off their coast, and well buy their crud