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Landrieu blasts Sen. Roberts’ “convenience” comments involving Keystone Pipeline
Written by  // Tuesday, 18 November 2014 12:10 //

landrieu-cassidyHow politically convenient is the timing of the debate in the US Senate today regarding an issue very important to Louisiana and to many of the “Red” Republican states who support the Keystone Pipeline construction?

That is an issue raised during today’s Senate debate.

 

In the video and text below, US Senator Mary Landrieu took  to the floor of that chamber to argue for the passage of the Keystone XL Pipeline.

During her argument, she addressed the private property issue being raised by opponents, specifically concerns about the placement of the pipeline running through Nebraska.

Landrieu also rebuked comments made by Kansas Republican Pat Roberts, a supporter of the pipeline, who according to Landrieu, made remarks referring to the timing of the Senate vote, alluding to Mary Landrieu’s runoff with Republican Congressman Bill Cassidy.

Throughout the debate on the issue today, supporters and opponents of the controversial have given Senator Landrieu credit for pushing for the debate on the issue.  

Below are the comments from Senator Roberts and Landrieu’s response.

Also, watch the video of the debate which includes Senator Landrieu’s response, a comment from Senator Harry Reid concerning attacks in Israel and further criticisms of the legislation by California Democratic Senator, Barbara Boxer.

Sen. Pat Roberts 

NOW, I'VE LONG SUPPORTED THIS LEGISLATION, MR. PRESIDENT. NOW WE NEED TO HEAR FROM PRESIDENT OBAMA YES OR NO. NO WAFFLING AROUND ANY LONGER. IF THIS BILL PASSES TODAY, AND HOW CONVENIENT THAT WE FINALLY HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO AT LEAST VOTE ON THIS BILL JUST BEFORE AN ELECTION IN LOUISIANA. BUT IF THIS BILL PASSES TODAY, WILL THE PRESIDENT SIGN IT INTO LAW OR WILL THE PRESIDENT SIMPLY CONTINUE TO STRADDLE THE PIPELINE UNTIL AFTER THE RUNOFF ELECTION IN LOUISIANA? SEEMS TO ME THE PRESIDENT OWES THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AN ANSWER AS TO WHETHER HE SUPPORTS THIS PROJECT OR NOT. THE QUESTION IS, IT'S PRETTY OBVIOUS, IF THE PRESIDENT OPPOSED THIS PROJECT FROM EVER BEING BUILT, THEN WHY ARE WE WAITING? WHY WOULDN'T YOU JUST SAY FROM THE GET-GO THAT YOU HOLD THE VIEWS OF A FEW ABOVE THOSE OF MOST AMERICANS WHICH INCLUDES EVERYBODY FROM LABOR UNIONS TO PRO-ENERGY TRADE ASSOCIATIONS TO MANUFACTURING, ET CETERA, ET CETERA. I WOULD ASK THE PRESIDENT WHY DIDN'T YOU JUST COME OUT IN 2008 AND SAY NOPE, WE'RE NEVER GOING TO BUILD THIS AS LONG AS I'M IN THE WHITE HOUSE BECAUSE I THINK THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT IS HAPPENING. IT'S TIME TO QUIT STRADDLING THE PIPELINE. LET'S GET ON WITH IT OR GET OFF. AND I WANT TO MAKE MYSELF CLEAR. IF WE PASS THIS BILL AND PRESIDENT OBAMA VETOES IT, THAT'S HIS DECISION, THAT'S HIS PRIVILEGE, BUT THE RESPONSIBILITY WILL LIE SQUARELY UPON HIS DESK. BECAUSE WHEN WE COME BACK IN JANUARY UNDER A REPUBLICAN MAJORITY, OUR TASK WILL BE TO NOT ONLY PASS THIS LEGISLATION BUT WITH THE VETOPROOF MAJORITY TO OVERRIDE WHATEVER OBSTACLES THE PRESIDENT TRIES TO PUT IN ITS WAY. AGAIN, THIS PROJECT MAKES SENSE ECONOMICALLY AND SHALL, ENVIRONMENTALLY AND FROM A NATIONAL SECURITY PERSPECTIVE. I BELIEVE THAT WE SHOULD GET THIS THING FINALLY MOVING. THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. MADAM PRESIDENT. I YIELD THE FLOOR AND NOTICE THE ABSENCE OF A QUORUM. MRS. BOXER: IF YOU WOULD WITHHOLD, WE HAVE A SPEAKER. IF YOU WOULD WITHHOLD FROM ASKING FOR A QUORUM CALL. MR. ROBERTS: I THINK THERE IS A SENATOR WAITING TO BE HEARD.

Sen. Landrieu

SENATOR FROM MARYLAND SO I'M GOING TO TAKE FIVE MINUTES AND THEN OF COURSE THE SENATOR FROM WYOMING HAS ALL THE TIME THAT HE WANTS WITHIN THE FRAMEWORK. FIRST OF ALL, LET ME SAY THAT I HAVE GREAT RESPECT FOR THE SENATOR FROM MARYLAND AND HE IS AN EXCELLENT DEBATER. AND YOU JUST SAW THE SKILLS OF HIS DEBATING. BUT I WANT TO PUT SOME THINGS IN THE RECORD THAT SHOW HE IS ABSOLUTELY, COMPLETELY WRONG IN HIS ASSESSMENTS AND STATEMENTS, AS RESPECTFULLY AS I CAN. HE IS COMPLETELY WRONG. FIRST OF ALL, THIS IS THE ENVIRONMENTAL STATEMENT. AS YOU CAN SEE, IT'S PRINTED, IT'S DONE, IT'S FINISHED AND IT WAS FINISHED IN JANUARY OF THIS YEAR. THIS IS THE FIFTH ENVIRONMENTAL STATEMENT. SO ANYONE THAT COMES TO THIS FLOOR ON THE DEMOCRATIC SIDE OF THE AISLE -- BECAUSE NO ONE ON THE REPUBLICAN SIDE WILL SAY THIS BECAUSE THEY ARE ALL IN UNITY WITH A GROUP OF US TO BUILD THIS PIPELINE -- THEY ARE WRONG. IT IS FACTUALLY INCORRECT THAT THE ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES HAVE NOT BEEN COMPLETED BECAUSE I HAVE IT IN MY HANDS. AND I WANT TO SUBMIT IT FOR THE RECORD. THIS IS THE FIFTH. AND LET ME TELL YOU WHAT THE RESULT OF THIS ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT BY THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION -- NOT BY THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION, NOT BY A FORMER REPUBLICAN ADMINISTRATION BUT THE CURRENT DEMOCRATIC ADMINISTRATION CONCLUSION WAS. IF PEOPLE AT HOME LISTENING, YOU CAN GET OUT YOUR COMPUTERS OR YOUR PEN. THIS IS WHAT THIS STUDY SAYS. IF THE KEYSTONE X.L. IS BUILT, IT WILL REPRESENT .015 OF GLOBAL GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS. .015 OF GROWING EMISSIONS. THAT IS EQUIVALENT -- IF PEOPLE WANT TO KEEP WRITING -- TO 300,000 PASSENGER VEHICLES IN AMERICA -- SEEMS LIKE A BIG NUMBER -- EXCEPT THAT WE HAVE 253 MILLION CARS ON THE ROAD. OKAY, SO THINK ABOUT THIS. THE PRESIDENT'S OWN ENVIRONMENTAL STUDY, WHICH IS THE FIFTH COMPLETED IN JANUARY, HAS DONE ITS WORK, IT HAS SUBMITTED THIS TO THE RECORD. THIS IS NOT SUBJECT TO DEBATE. AND THE CONCLUSION OF THIS STUDY IS, IT WILL, TAKING EVERYTHING INTO CONSIDERATION, IT WILL INCREASE GREENHOUSE

GASES BY .015% OF GLOBAL GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS, WHICH IS THE EQUIVALENT OF 300,000 PASSENGER VEHICLES, OF WHICH IS .12% OF TOTAL CARS IN THE U.S. SO THIS IS WHAT WE COULD DO. WE CAN BUILD THE KEYSTONE PIPELINE, CREATING THOUSANDS OF TEMPORARY AND MILLIONS OF PERMANENT JOBS WHICH ARE NOT CREATED BY THE TERM CITY OF THE PIPELINE -- PERMANENCY OF THE PIPELINE ITSELF, IT'S BY THE SIGNAL THAT AMERICA IS SERIOUS ABOUT ENERGY INDEPENDENCE. THAT WILL CREATE MILLIONS OF HIGH-PAYING JOBS AND THERE IS NO DISPUTING THAT FACT. IT'S NOT THE JOBS THAT BUILD THE PIPELINE THAT WE'RE FIGHTING FOR SO MUCH, ALTHOUGH THE STEAMFITTERS AND PIPE FITTERS AND BOILERMAKERS AND THE UNIONS ARE REALLY FIGHTING FOR THAT AND I'M FIGHTING WITH THEM -- IT'S THE SIGNAL THAT IT GIVES THAT WE ARE SERIOUS ABOUT AN HONOR AND UNDERSTAND THESE ARE ALL PIPELINES THAT ARE ALREADY IN OUR COUNTRY. THESE ARE PIPELINES THAT ARE ALREADY IN OUR COUNTRY. WE'VE BEEN BUILDING PIPELINES IN THIS COUNTRY BEFORE MOST OF US WERE BORN. ALL OF US WERE BORN. THAT'S WHAT'S SO OUTRAGEOUS ABOUT THIS DEBATE. AND YES, THIS PIPELINE COMES FROM CANADA, OUR BEST TRADING PARTNER, OUR MOST RELIABLE ALLY, A COUNTRY THAT IS THE MOST EQUIVALENT TO US IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, AND BECAUSE IT'S A PIPELINE CONNECTING CANADA AND THE U.S., IT'S ALL BECOME THIS BOOGEYMAN THAT'S GOING TO WRECK THE WORLD. THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STUDY, SENATOR CARDIN, HAS BEEN DONE. IT'S IN. THE SECOND FRAME OF EVIDENCE I WANT TO GIVE YOU IS THIS -- WE PASS A LOT OF CRAZY BILLS AROUND HERE. THIS BILL IS TWO PAGES. S. 2280, HERE IT IS. THIS IS THE FIRST PAGE, THIS IS THE SECOND PAGE. EVERYBODY IN AMERICA CAN READ IT. I WOULD STRONGLY RECOMMEND THOSE OF YOU LISTENING, GET OUT AND READ THE BILL. IT'S LITERALLY WILL TAKE YOU LIKE 15 SECONDS. IT'S SO SIMPLE. AND SENATOR HOEVEN AND I WROTE IT TO BE SIMPLE. AS I'VE SAID BEFORE, WE WROTE IT TO GO THE DISTANCE. WE WROTE IT TO GO THE DISTANCE. IT IS NOT COMPLICATED. IT SIMPLY SAYS THIS -- AFTER WAITING FIVE YEARS AND AFTER ACKNOWLEDGING ALL ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES HAVE BEEN DONE, ALL ECONOMIC STUDIES HAVE BEEN DONE, WE DIRECT THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES TO GIVE HIS APPROVAL. WE'RE NOT CIRCUMVENTING HIM. EVERY REPORT HE'S REQUESTED HAS BEEN TURNED INTO HIM. EVERY SINGLE SOLITARY ONE. AND IN ADDITION, MADAM PRESIDENT, YOU KNOW THIS -- AT YOUR REQUEST AND SENATOR TESTER'S REQUEST -- SENATOR HOEVEN AND I ADDED THIS LANGUAGE -- PRIVATE PROPERTY SAVINGS CLAUSE. NOTHING IN THIS ACT ALTERS ANY FEDERAL, STATE OR LOCAL PROCESS OR CONDITION IN EFFECT ON THE DATE OF ENACTMENT OF THIS ACT THAT IS NECESSARY TO SECURE ACCESS FROM AN OWNER OF PRIVATE PROPERTY TO CONSTRUCT THE PIPELINE AND CROSS BORDER FACILITIES. IN OTHER WORDS, THIS LANGUAGE SAYS ALL PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHTS WILL BE HONORED. BE THAT WAS NOT IN THE HOUSE BILL. BUT SENATOR HOEVEN AND I PUT IT IN THIS BILL BECAUSE WE WANTED TO PUT THAT DEBATE TO AN END. ALL PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHTS ARE HONORED. THE ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES HAVE BEEN COMPLETELY COMPLETED, AND ALSO IN OUR BILL IS RESPECT FOR NEBRASKA BECAUSE WE'RE NOT TRYING TO RUN OVER NEBRASKA. WE SAY HERE -- AND I'LL POINT IT OUT IN JUST A MINUTE -- THAT SUBJECT TO THE FINAL DECISION BY NEBRASKA ABOUT WHERE THIS IS GOING TO GO -- NEBRASKA CAN DECIDE. I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT FOR TWO MORE MINUTES. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION. MS. LANDRIEU: AS YOU CAN SEE, ALL THE OTHER STATES HAVE SAID FINE TO THEIR LINE. NEBRASKA HAS TO DECIDE. THAT'S

 


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