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Senate Proceeding on Mar 17th, 2011 :: 7:04:05 to 7:22:40
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Jeff Bingaman

7:04:01 to 7:04:23( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: we've the g.a.o. to ghet resolved and move on to a budget that brings us our spending and our revenue into balance without raising taxes and ruining economic growth. this should be the big priority for this body, and i hope that when we get back from this recess, this is what we'll be working on, the spend be measure to close out this fiscal year, a budget that will put us back 0

Jeff Bingaman

7:04:05 to 7:22:40( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Jeff Bingaman

Jeff Bingaman

7:04:24 to 7:04:44( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: on a success stainingable path and pro-growth policies that'll lead to the job creation that we need. with that, madam president, i yield the floor. mr. bingaman: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator recognized. mr. bingaman: mr. president, i ask permission to speak up to 15 minutes as if in morning business.

Jeff Bingaman

7:04:45 to 7:05:05( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. bingaman: madam president, i wanted to just take these few minutes to discuss high oil and gas prices, gasoline prices. irthink when we get -- i think when we get them to our respective states this next week we're going to find that many of the people we represent are

Jeff Bingaman

7:05:06 to 7:05:28( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: understandably concerned about the rising price of gasoline at the pump. and they -- they have good reason to be concerned. senator murkowski and i hosted a senatewide briefing on tuesday afternoon with three top oil industry analysts.

Jeff Bingaman

7:05:29 to 7:05:54( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: we had dr. richard knewel, head of the energy information administration, mr. bob mcal inly, part of the bush administration's white house team on energy markets, and mr. frank rostro, who is the head of the energy and natural security program with the center for strategic and international studies. and they gave us their.

Jeff Bingaman

7:05:55 to 7:06:16( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: bangalore and they gave us their ins bing and they gave us their insights as to what is caution the rise in gasoline prices at the pump. let me go through four charts here to try to summarize what they told us that he briefing. i think it is very useful information for my colleagues and for anyone else who's interested in the subject.

Jeff Bingaman

7:06:17 to 7:06:39( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: this first chart is "gasoline prices reflect the cost of crude oil." a fundamental truth which they all subscribe to is that the primary driver of the price of gasoline at the pump is in fact the price of crude oil on world markets.

Jeff Bingaman

7:06:40 to 7:07:01( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: this chart demonstrates that. if it shows the price trends since 2005 for gasoline. that's the yellow line on this chart. and it shows the price of crude oil. that's the green line. while some past gasoline price

Jeff Bingaman

7:07:02 to 7:07:22( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: spikes can be attributed to phasing out of the additive mtbe, for the last three years, gasoline price movements have exactly tracked global crude oil prices. society idea that our gasoline prices are high today because of some particular action that the administration, the obama

Jeff Bingaman

7:07:23 to 7:07:43( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: administration has taken, is just not supported by the facts. the reason for the -- the reasons for the current crude oil price increase are equally straightforward. in listening to each of thagessists highlight the factors that -- in listening to each of thage iflts highlight

Jeff Bingaman

7:07:44 to 7:08:04( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: the factors that he thought crude oil was at high levels we haven't seen since 2008, i was struck by two instances that haven't been advanced in many of the political speeches here in washington and around the country about oil and gas prices. fangly, the conclusions or the

Jeff Bingaman

7:08:05 to 7:08:25( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: allegations or arguments made in those political speeches did not comport with what these analysts were telling us. first, none of the experts that talked to us highlighted the administration's permitting process in the gulf of mexico as being a significant factor in

Jeff Bingaman

7:08:26 to 7:08:46( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: determining world oil markets. i asked dr. newel whether the current base of permitting had any implication for the energy information administration's short-term price forecast, and his answer was refreshingly direct. he said "no." and i would point out that neither of his copanellists

Jeff Bingaman

7:08:47 to 7:09:07( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: disagreed with that conclusion. second, any anticipated environmental protection agency regulation of greenhouse gases at refineries was not included in any of the presentations as a driver behind the current increase in prices. in fact, more broadly, neither

Jeff Bingaman

7:09:08 to 7:09:28( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: the e.p.a. nor any kind of u.s. regulatory action were discussed as important to understanding world oil prices. i noi know some of my colleagues, the main concern that we have not built a new refinery in the united states since the 1970's, i'd like to assure them that the data suggest that their concerns are

Jeff Bingaman

7:09:29 to 7:09:49( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: not well-founded at this particular point. demand for refined products is believed to have peaked in the united states. at the moment, 17% of our existing refining capacity in this country stands idle. and that's not because of environmental regulations. it's because demand for refined

Jeff Bingaman

7:09:50 to 7:10:10( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: products has come down. in my opinion, it does not make a lot of sense to be debating whether we need new refineries when we're not using the capacity that we already have in existing refineries. so, having explored those factors that are not influencing oil price movements, let me spend a few minutes discussing factors that are contributing to

Jeff Bingaman

7:10:11 to 7:10:31( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: increased oil and gasoline prices. the bulk of the discussion at the this briefing -- at this briefing we held on tuesday about high oil prices was about what's going on in the middle east and north africa. and this chart depicts what has happened to the price of oil.

Jeff Bingaman

7:10:32 to 7:10:52( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: u.s. oil prices january through march of 2011. so from the beginning of this year until the current time. i think it is obvious that this is -- that the major force driving oil prices is the instability that we've seen in the middle east and north africa.

Jeff Bingaman

7:10:53 to 7:11:16( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: when the world -- when the world's key oil-producing and exporting region -- which is the middle east and north africa -- when that region is unstable, world oil markets are also unstable. when political unrest threatens major choke points in the world oil transit routes, world oil markets react, as they have.

Jeff Bingaman

7:11:17 to 7:11:38( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: and when a member of opec, the organization of petroleum-exporting countries, stops exporting oil, which has virtually occurred in the case of libya, world oil markets react. also, when there are fears that a nearby neighbor and a close ally of saudi arabia, home of

Jeff Bingaman

7:11:39 to 7:11:59( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: the world's largest oil production capacity, begins to have political upheavals, that raises tensions in world oil markets as we will. so, as you can see from this chart, oil prices are very sensitive to these kinds of developments. oil prices went up as regime

Jeff Bingaman

7:12:00 to 7:12:20( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: change was realized in egypt, amid concerns about access to the suez canal, pries prices quickly came down again, as it looked increasingly unlikely that traffic through the canal would be disrupted. then libya became the first a major oil-exporting country to be affected by the wave of

Jeff Bingaman

7:12:21 to 7:12:41( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: popular uprising spreading throughout the middle east and north africa, and oil prices reacted immediately, indicating market concerns that the situation might get worse before it got better. indeed, it has worsened. we now have all libyan oil exports terminated or stopped or suspended.

Jeff Bingaman

7:12:42 to 7:13:02( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: sanctions against qaddafi's government combined with chaos on the ground in libya have driven libyan oil exports to near zero. there's been little help for improvement so far nlt near future. -- in the near future. so we're just beginning to face a potential further escalation of tensions in the region. on monday, of course, saudi

Jeff Bingaman

7:13:03 to 7:13:25( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: arabia sent troops across the causeway onto the island neighbor of bahrain, and this adds to world tension. world oil markets have reacted with expectations, and here i'm avoid the use of the more politically loaded term "speculation." although i do believe that that

Jeff Bingaman

7:13:26 to 7:13:48( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: word is appropriate, it is speculation or expectations that the situation is at risk of getting worse before it gets better. so into this uncertain environment we now have a new source of even greater uncertainty -- that the earthquake that has plagued the

Jeff Bingaman

7:13:49 to 7:14:09( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: island nation of japan, the ensuing tsunami, the nuclear disaster that has struck japan -- all that have has introduced the possibility that the world's third-larges might be -- might be consuming less oil in the future than was earlier assumed. world oil markets have again reacted, this tile to falling to

Jeff Bingaman

7:14:10 to 7:14:31( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: under $100 per barrel as we try to better understand the size of the scope of the disaster thatture japanese friends and allies are facing. what can congress do to help ease the burden of high prices for u.s. consumers when oil prices are determined mostly outside our borders, as i think they clearly have been?

Jeff Bingaman

7:14:32 to 7:14:56( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: i think a realistic, responsible answer has to be focused on becoming less vulnerable to oil prices -- oil price changes over the medium and the long term. and by doing so, we become less vulnerable by using less oil. i believe that increased u.s. oil production can play a significant role in world oil

Jeff Bingaman

7:14:57 to 7:15:19( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: marktsz. the united states has fairly market resources compared to the rest of the world. our base of proven reserves is small. many people have observed that the united states has less than 2% of the world's proven reserves. despite what economists and analysts agree is a relatively modest resource base, the oil and gas industry in our country

Jeff Bingaman

7:15:20 to 7:15:40( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: has led the world in developing state-of-the-art technology for oil exploration and production. our companies are continuing to get more oil out of the ground and into world oil markets than any of us could have believed was possible. to use a boxing metaphor, we're punching above our weight in oil

Jeff Bingaman

7:15:41 to 7:16:03( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: and gas production, thanks to the technology lead that our companies have developed. according to energy information administration, oil production in north dakota has risen by 150% since 2005.

Jeff Bingaman

7:16:04 to 7:16:24( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: that's all from to the bakken shale formation. it is a success story that we all can celebrate. let me now talk about this third chart. oil production is up strongly across the united states in the last few years. this chart demonstrates that current increases in oil

Jeff Bingaman

7:16:25 to 7:16:45( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: production are a significant change from what we've seen in the last several decades. we have not had to repeal any environmental laws to achieve this or change the protections that apply on public lands. let's not forget that even with u.s. production strongly

Jeff Bingaman

7:16:46 to 7:17:06( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: increasing, oil prices have also been increasing. while domestic oil production plays an important role in ensuring the energy security of the country, its contribution to the world oil balance is just not sufficient to bring global oil prices down. it's therefore not a complete

Jeff Bingaman

7:17:07 to 7:17:29( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: answer to the high oil and gas prices that tax our consumers and that threaten our country's economic health. so this leads me to conclude that the key to reducing our vulnerability to world oil prices and volatility is for us to find ways to use less oil. we need to diversify our sources of transportation fuel.

Jeff Bingaman

7:17:30 to 7:17:50( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: we need to set ourselves on the right path as we did when we passed the energy independence and security act of 2007. that law required us to make our vehicles more efficient and to shift toward relying more on renewable fuel.

Jeff Bingaman

7:17:51 to 7:18:12( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: this chart, this final chart shows how the energy information administration's long-term forecast for u.s. dependence on imported oil, how it was predicted to go, what they predicted our level of dependence would be prior to the passage of that 2007 bill and

Jeff Bingaman

7:18:13 to 7:18:33( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: what they predicted, what they now predict it is after the passage and implementation of that bill. there are two main features of this graph i think are particularly noteworthy. first, prior to the enactment of this bill in 2007, the energy information administration had been predicting that u.s. reliance on imported oil would

Jeff Bingaman

7:18:34 to 7:18:54( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: continue to increase in large part because of the biofuels and the fuel efficiency policies that we included in that act. the latest forecast shows that our reliance on imported oil probably peaked in fact in 2005 and is now going down and is

Jeff Bingaman

7:18:55 to 7:19:17( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: expected to continue going down for the rest of this forecast period, which is out to year 2035. second, the amount of oil that we now will not need to import from today to 2035 -- that is the oil that we will be able to save because of the energy independence and security act we

Jeff Bingaman

7:19:18 to 7:19:38( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: passed in 2007 -- amounts to about 26 billion barrels. that compares, compared to the previous forecast. what i'm saying there is that the difference between the blue line which was the earlier projection and the red line, when you take that out to 2035, the total oil involved there is

Jeff Bingaman

7:19:39 to 7:20:00( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: 26 billion barrels of oil. this amount is greater than the total u.s. proven oil reserves which are estimated at 23 billion barrels. so i hope we can all agree that this has been a significant success. how do we continue on this path

Jeff Bingaman

7:20:01 to 7:20:23( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: toward reduced oil and gas, reducing our oil dependence? i'll conclude by highlighting three areas, three key goals that i hope we can focus on in the senate in the coming weeks. first, we need to enable further expansion of our renewable fuel industry, which is currently facing infrastructure and financing constraints. second, we need to move toward

Jeff Bingaman

7:20:24 to 7:20:45( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: the time line -- move forward the time line for market penetration by electric vehicles. and finally, we need to make sure that we use natural gas vehicles in as many applications as makes sense based on that technology. every barrel of oil that we displace from the transportation sector and that we, therefore,

Jeff Bingaman

7:20:46 to 7:21:06( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: do not need to consume in the united states makes our economy stronger, not to mention our personal pocketbooks less vulnerable to the volatility of the current marketplace. so we need to keep drilling. we're good at that, and it is helpful to have more supplies on the world market.

Jeff Bingaman

7:21:07 to 7:21:28( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: and i'm not arguing against that. but at the same time we need to recognize that the long-term solution to this challenge is to move away from such great dependence on oil. this is a strategic vision that president george w. bush who previously had worked in the oil industry clearly articulated in his 2006 state of the union address.

Jeff Bingaman

7:21:29 to 7:21:49( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: we subsequently proved in congress in 2007, the year after that state of the union address, that we have the ability to make significant changes in our energy consumption and that it is possible to mobilize a bipartisan consensus to do so. the bipartisan path that we laid out in the energy independence

Jeff Bingaman

7:21:50 to 7:22:14( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: and security act in 2007 is the right approach, as part of whatever bipartisan approach we take to energy in the weeks and months ahead, we need to continue moving in this same direction. madam president, i yield the floor, and of a the presiding officer: the

Jeff Bingaman

7:22:15 to 7:22:20( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Bingaman: clerk will call the roll.

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