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Senate Proceeding 05-17-11 on May 17th, 2011 :: 2:01:55 to 2:20:30
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John Cornyn

2:01:55 to 2:20:30( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: John Cornyn

John Cornyn

2:02:11 to 2:02:32( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: the floor. correspondent madam the presiding officer: the senator from texas. mr. cornyn: madam president, i would yield myself up to 15 minutes. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. cornyn: madam president, i want to talk just a minute about the ill-considered proposal that we'll be getting on at 6:15

John Cornyn

2:02:33 to 2:02:53( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: tonight and the administration's chaotic approach when this comes to national energy policy. i say "kay otoike pproach" because to pay attention to what the president and this administration have said about fossil fuels and energy will give you whiplash if you try to keep up with it because so many apparently inconsistencies

John Cornyn

2:02:54 to 2:03:15( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: between what is said and what is actually done and then when something like high gasoline prices becomes very much a concern around kitchen tables in america, then all of a sudden the president again, as he announced the last day or two, that he's all of a sudden hope for more domestic production here in america.

John Cornyn

2:03:16 to 2:03:37( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: but it is a problem for a number of reasons. one is that who in their right mind would invest the kind of money that is necessary in order to develop our domestic energy reserves when the administration and the president himself seem to be of two minds about whether we should punish domestic production or whether we should encourage it?

John Cornyn

2:03:38 to 2:03:58( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: and i would suggest to you that the message has primarily been one of how to discourage or how to punish domestic production of energy in favor of imported energy from abroad. for example, one of the mixed messages the president gave was in march of 2010 when he

John Cornyn

2:03:59 to 2:04:19( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: proposed expanding offshore drilling along the atlantic coastline, the eastern gulf of mexico, near my home in texas and the north coast of alaska. at the time he said, as follows. he said. "the answer is noter drilling everywhere all the tievment but the answer is not also for us to ignore the fact that we're going

John Cornyn

2:04:20 to 2:04:40( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: to need vital energy sources to maintain our economic growth and our security." wcialtion i agree with that statement. but, as you know, following the deepwater horizon incident last anger the administration overreacted in a way that killed jobs and discouraged energy production here at home.

John Cornyn

2:04:41 to 2:05:01( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: now, we all agree that when something like this terrible incident occurs, tweendz find out what happened -- we need to find out what happened, fix it and make sure it never happens again. but every time there is a car accident, we don't ban driving. every time there is an airplane crash, we don't ban flying. we find out what the problem is, we fix it, and then we move on.

John Cornyn

2:05:02 to 2:05:26( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: and that's not what happened in the gulf of mexico. first there was an overbroad moratorium that was issued by the administration, which ultimately ended up being struck down by a federal judge. but after that the administration was not through. where the former moratorium no

John Cornyn

2:05:27 to 2:05:48( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: longer existed, there was a permatoriu. m and only 12 deepwater permits have been approved in the last months. only 12. there were in addition cancellation of the dozens of lease sales in utah and montana and exclusion of new areas in the gulf of -- eastern gulf of

John Cornyn

2:05:49 to 2:06:11( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: mexico and off the atlantic coast. that's, to me, completely inconsistent with the president's statement just in march 2010. then we know there are numerous examples where the environmental protection agency has thrown up roadblocks and impediments to energy production right here at home. well, because the president has

John Cornyn

2:06:12 to 2:06:32( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: not had an adequate response or at least his actions have been inconsistent with his words, he reversed himself again this saturday and he said, now he supports more domestic oil and gas production, like he did more than a year ago. but my conclusion, madam president, is this is not an energy strategy.

John Cornyn

2:06:33 to 2:06:53( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: this is a public relations strategy. this is a how do i get reelected strategy. it does not solve the problem or the pain that americans are feeling at the pump. and, unfortunately, this strategy too often ends up being a job-killing strategy as well. but when high gas prices are in

John Cornyn

2:06:54 to 2:07:15( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: the news, when people around kitchen tables all over america are complaining about the loss of their discretionary income, the fact they're having to cut corners so they can drive their kids to school or they can drive to work, finally we hear -- have a new speech and a new announcement from the administration, but very little when it comes to a coherent

John Cornyn

2:07:16 to 2:07:37( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: energy strategy. another mixed message is that the administration at times have suggested that we have actually overproduced domestic energy. and you may ask, how could that be possible? how could it be possible that we are producing too much oil and gas here at home when we have to

John Cornyn

2:07:38 to 2:08:00( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: import 60% of what we use from abroad? well, the congressional research service that we depend on -- the arm of the library of congress -- has documented that america's recoverable resources are far larger than those of saudi arabia, china, and canada combined. we have more here at home than

John Cornyn

2:08:01 to 2:08:22( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: saudi arabia, china, and canada. and america's recoverable oil, natural gas, and coal endowment is the largest on earth. and we've learned in the last couple of years that america has more shale gas from previously unrecoverable reserves, thanks to new technology, horizontal

John Cornyn

2:08:23 to 2:08:45( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: trill drilling and the like. we've got enough natural gas to last us 100 years here in the united states. but compare that -- really, that gift we've been given of domestic energy at home with what the administration said just in 2010. the treasury department issues an interpretation or explanation of the administration's policies

John Cornyn

2:08:46 to 2:09:06( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: when it talks about energy production, and this is what the treasury department said in 2009 or 2010. the treasury department -- this is secretary geithner, appointed by the president, confirmed by the senate. but the treasury department said, to the extent the tax credit -- the tax credits we're talking about here -- encourage

John Cornyn

2:09:07 to 2:09:29( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: overproduction of oil and gas, it is detrimental to long-term energy security. so the treasury department, president obama's treasury department, are making the extraordinary claim that i have not heard any senator make here because it is so implausible, that these tax provisions encourage overproduction of oil and gas right here in the united

John Cornyn

2:09:30 to 2:09:52( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: states. if we are overproducing oil and gas in the united states, why is the administration telling existing lease holders they have to use or lose the leases that we have? it is an ideological fixation that says we have to discourage production of oil and gas even though about 80% of our energy

John Cornyn

2:09:53 to 2:10:13( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: needs are -- come from fossil fuels, because we prefer alternative forms of energy. well, i do, too. you know, solar panels, wind, biodiesel -- these alternative sources of energy are important, but we simply don't have enough of them to keep our economy

John Cornyn

2:10:14 to 2:10:34( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: moving and to remain -- and keep prices low for our domestic production, our domestic consumers, i should say. well, another part of this mixed message is our dependency on imported oil. on march 30, 2011, president obama was called -- called for reducing foreign imports by a third. but then he went to brazil

John Cornyn

2:10:35 to 2:10:55( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: recently when he told the people of brazil that he encouraged offshore drilling in brazil. and he said that america wanted to be brazil's best customer. in other words, other than producing what we have been given by the good lord right here in america, american

John Cornyn

2:10:56 to 2:11:18( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: production, american jobs, he wants us to be brazil's best customer by importing energy from abroad. well, part of the vote that we'll be having at 6:15 or so tonight is another part of the mixed messages that we have been getting when it comes to energy. this is the so-called close big

John Cornyn

2:11:19 to 2:11:42( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: oil tax loopholes act. now, we know why the senators who introduced this bill have dodge so: because they've been getting so much heat back home because of high gas prices, their constituents are demanding that they do something. but what we are proposing to do has nothing to do with bringing down the price of gas at the pump. in fact, it will likely increase

John Cornyn

2:11:43 to 2:12:04( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: the price of gas at the pump. in fact, the chairman of the finance committee on which i sit, he said, you know, this is not going to change the price at the gasoline pump. that's not the issue. i don't see that as an issue at all. the senior senator from new york said this was never intended to

John Cornyn

2:12:05 to 2:12:26( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: talk about lowering prices. the majority leader himself said, it's not a question of gas prices. its a a question of fairness and priorities. well, madam president, if gasoline prices being paid by americans all across this country aren't the priority, and if jobs that are created and

John Cornyn

2:12:27 to 2:12:49( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: sustained by producing domestic oil and gas right here in america aren't the priority, my colleagues who are proposing this legislation have the wrong priority. well now we're told they've got a new idea. the money that we supposedly save from these tax provisions will be used to pay down the deficit.

John Cornyn

2:12:50 to 2:13:13( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: but the truth is, the amount of money that would go to -- quote -- "pay down the deficit" -- even if our friends across the aisle had a conversion and decided that that was their priority rather than spending 43 cents on every dollar in borrowed money, borrowed from our kids and grandkids, and bought by the chinese it would only be a drop in the bucket in

John Cornyn

2:13:14 to 2:13:35( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: the $1.5 trillion deficit that we're spearnsing this year and the -- that we're experiencing this year and the $14 trillion national debt that we're going 0 have to reckon with in the next couple of months. if the deficit -- if deficit reduction is the priority, i submit the very best way we could do that is to pass a balanced budget amendment to the

John Cornyn

2:13:36 to 2:13:56( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: united states constitution. but that's not the priority of the majority leader or of the majority, or of our friends across the aisle. so if the rationale is not to reduce gasoline prices, if the rationale to this bill is not to produce a balanced budget, then what is it?

John Cornyn

2:13:57 to 2:14:18( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: what is it? well, the majority leader suggested it was fairness. fairness. well, the chamber of commerce, united states chamber of commerce calls it punitive taxation, picking out five taxpayers in america saying we're going to raise your taxes and leave everybody else's the

John Cornyn

2:14:19 to 2:14:39( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: same is discriminatory and it is punitive. but it also, in the immortal words of rahm emanuel, former white house chief of staff, now the mayor of chicago, i guess it never let's -- it's a case of never letting a crisis go to waste to, advance another ideological agenda. but the truth is we know that

John Cornyn

2:14:40 to 2:15:00( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: our tax code is already biased against u.s. domestic energy producers. and if your goal is to tax people who are making money in america, this chart demonstrates that the oil and gas industry is down the list of industry sectors that are making far more money.

John Cornyn

2:15:01 to 2:15:22( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: the tobacco and beverage industry, the pharmaceutical industry, the computer equipment industry, the chemical industry, the electrical equipment industry, the manufacturing industry, the apparel industry, the machinery sector. all of those come well ahead of the oil and gas sector when it comes to making money. but you know, i didn't think

John Cornyn

2:15:23 to 2:15:44( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: making money was a crime in america. i thought we still believed in the free enterprise system and the very people that our friends across the aisle are going to be punishing are the retirees and the pension holders, the people who own stock in these oil and gas companies that are going to be forced to pay higher prices and ultimately be passed along

John Cornyn

2:15:45 to 2:16:07( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: to the consumer, i believe, in higher energy the other revealing thing about this debate is they want to punish people who produce american energy right here at home, and they're going to leave opec and these other countries to pay lower effective relative rates. so if you raise taxes on

John Cornyn

2:16:08 to 2:16:29( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: american producers and you don't do anything to similarly raise taxes on their competion, what's going to happen? what's going to happen to the saudi arabian oil company? what's going to happen to the iraq national oil company, the kuwait petroleum company, the state-owned oil company of venezuela and the like?

John Cornyn

2:16:30 to 2:16:51( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: these are places where we end up buying oil because we don't produce it at home, and we're going to raise taxes on the people who produce it at home, and to make it in effect cheaper on domestic energy producers to produce it and sell it to us. it makes absolutely no sense. it's punitive. it's discriminatory, and it's

John Cornyn

2:16:52 to 2:17:12( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: not going to solve the problem that most america is complaining about today, which is high gasoline prices. in fact, it will make it worse. but if my colleagues want to talk about fairness, let's talk about fairness to the 9.2 million people who are employed in the oil and gas sector in america. now, i've witnessed the people who work in this sector in my state.

John Cornyn

2:17:13 to 2:17:33( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: in march, i visited a brand-new drilling rig that's using the very latest technology to produce natural gas from the hainesville shale in east texas. this is an amazing technology that goes down thousands of feet and drills horizontally and uses high-pressure fluids to fracture

John Cornyn

2:17:34 to 2:17:54( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: this shale, in effect a rock, to get natural gas out of it. down in the gulf of mexico after the moratorium was issued, i stood on a deepwater drilling platform that was left idle because -- the presiding officer: the senator has corn madam president, i'd ask for -- mr. cornyn: madam president, i'd ask for two more minutes.

John Cornyn

2:17:55 to 2:18:15( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: the presiding officer: without objection. mr. cornyn: i could go on about the impact on job creation in my state and across america, but if in fact our colleagues are interested in tax reform, if they really are concerned that the tax code is unfair and some people don't pay enough and others pay too much, i would just ask them to consider the fact that according to the

John Cornyn

2:18:16 to 2:18:36( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: congressional research service, 77.9% of our primary energy production in america is fossil fuel sources and that federal tax support targeted energy in 2009, 12.6% went to fossil fuels. 12.6% of those federal tax

John Cornyn

2:18:37 to 2:18:58( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: supports went to people who produce oil and gas. conversely, 10.6%, the congressional research service tells us, of primary source energy was produced using renewable sources. yet the federal tax support targeted to renewable sources of energy was 77.4%.

John Cornyn

2:18:59 to 2:19:20( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: so why are we picking on american oil and gas production, forcing us -- well, actually hurting job creation at a time when unemployment is unacceptably high, forcing us to rely on imported energy and actually rewarding our foreign competitors who will not have to pay higher prices. and when in fact, even as our friends across the aisle

John Cornyn

2:19:21 to 2:19:41( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: acknowledge at the very best, this won't bring down the prices tufrpl, they say that -- prices at the pump, they say that's not the point. if that's not the point, the point appears to be a game of

John Cornyn

2:19:42 to 2:20:02( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: got kh ha and -- got cha and this finger pointing we've seen inside the beltway. i think the american people are sick and tired of this game playing when in fact they sent us here to solve real problems. if we could find a way instead of this game playing, instead of this phony game of got cha to try to work together to solve

John Cornyn

2:20:03 to 2:20:25( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: real problems to increase domestic supply which would bring down prices at the pump as the president acknowledged when he said we have to look at domestic production i think we could reward them in terms of appreciation, appreciation in terms of jobs being created here.

John Cornyn

2:20:26 to 2:20:30( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: madam president, i yield the floor. mr. rockefeller: madam president? the presiding officer: the

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