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Mr. STEVENS. Mr. President, I have come to floor this morning to talk about the priority of national security issues. Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, debate in the country has changed. We now focus on issues we used to take for granted. We must look at those issues from the perspective of national security.
Senator FRED THOMPSON has repeatedly called for a review of our export control laws for dual-use technologies. In the past year, as chairman and now as ranking member of the Senate Government Affairs Committee, Senator Thompson has repeatedly called for increasing our defenses against cyberterrorism. He has also sought to halt proliferation of nuclear weapons. For all of these issues, export controls, cyberterrorism and nuclear proliferation, he has cited national security concerns--real national security issues. He is right. They are national security issues.
The week before the September 11 attacks, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee heard testimony about terrorism. At that hearing, the committee heard from former Senator Sam Nunn and the ex-CIA Director James Woolsey. They described in detail the threats of biological and chemical weapons as tools of terrorists. They described the need for more vaccines, stockpiles of drugs and antibiotics, and the new technologies for delivering these medicines. Senator Nunn stated it best when he said: ``Public health has become a national security issue.''
Sam was right.
The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee held a hearing to discuss the FAA's response during and after the terrorist attacks. At that hearing, Chairman HOLLINGS properly noted: ``Airport and aircraft security are national security issues.'' He, too, was right.
The Bismarck Tribune in North Dakota reported on September 20 that Robert Carlson, president of the North Dakota Farmers, said food security is an issue that should ``become important in the mind of Congress.'' As head of a farm group from a farm State, this position is understandable. And Senator Dorgan repeated that position here: food security is a national security issue.
On October 11, Representative HENRY WAXMAN called for the regulation of sniper rifles under the National Firearms Act. In his statement, he cited a national security need for such legislation.
He was right. Self-defense is a national security issue.
On October 11, Newsday reported that several television networks had discussed screening video footage of Osama bin Laden before airing that footage publicly. Such screening is necessary--it is a national security issue.
In July, the Senate Appropriations, Intelligence, and Armed Services Committees held hearings on terrorism. On October 12, the House Committee on Government Reform held a hearing to assess the threat of bioterrorism in America. Clearly, these are all national security issues.
Just a few days ago, the junior Senator from Washington, Ms. CANTWELL, said the northern border is a national security issue because it controls the flow of people and goods between our country and Canada. Representative MARGE ROUKEMA voiced similar concerns about the northern border and the need to triple the number of border agents patrolling the area. These are national security issues.
Congress is considering a seaport security bill, an economic stimulus package with infrastructure security measures, increased funding for the intelligence communities, and better preparedness within the health community. All of these specific items have been tied to national security.
But none of these national security issues faces the threat of a filibuster. To filibuster any of these actions that involve national security would be wrong for the country. Amazingly, some Members of this body have now threatened to filibuster specific portions of the comprehensive energy bill.
Tuesday's Baton Rouge Advocate reported the President may direct an additional 70 million barrels of oil be put into the National Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The President realizes that energy is a national security issue.
My colleague, Senator Murkowski of Alaska, the ranking member on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, has been calling for a comprehensive energy package for over 2 years. He has been joined by Senators BREAUX, LANDRIEU, THOMAS, CRAIG, and others. Most recently, Senator Inhofe took to the floor to make the point that energy should be at the top of the list of national security issues. I agree with my colleagues and countless others who have called energy a national security issue.
Yesterday, several veterans groups called on the Senate to consider an energy bill. In early October, the Printing Industries of America called for an energy plan in response to last year's domestic energy shortages and high fuel costs. Charles Jarvis, chairman and CEO of the United Seniors Association, called on the Senate to consider legislation that would lower our dependence on foreign oil. His members do not want to be held hostage by countries that do not share our interests.
If any issue should be debated along with an economic stimulus package, health preparedness, and airline security, it must be energy. Planes cannot fly without jet fuel. Americans cannot drive without gasoline. Roads cannot be made without crude oil, and many medicines cannot be made without the chemicals that come from crude oil. Many of our everyday products are in fact made from crude oil. Economic stimulus, health care, and transportation are all tied to energy and oil.
In 1973, the Senate debated the amendment to create a
right-of-way from Alaska's North Slope to Valdez, which I offered with my then colleague from Alaska. The amendment allowed the transport of 2 million barrels of oil a day, which that pipeline is capable of carrying. At the time there was a tacit understanding in this body that any item dealing with national security would not be filibustered. Perhaps Senator Moss of Utah put it best when he said:
I cannot get overly upset about the ritual mating season for Alaskan caribou when in the city of Denver last weekend it was almost impossible to find gas. How long do you suppose the people of this country will tolerate an empty gas tank while we debate the merit of a pipeline to bring 2 million barrels of oil a day over a right-of-way traversing lands that belong to the people of the United States?
Mr. President, one of the arguments put forth by opponents to that right-of-way was the potential impact of the oil pipeline on caribou. Nearly 30 years and over 13 billion barrels of oil later, there are more than 4 times the number of caribou in that area of Alaska compared to the years before the oil pipeline.
During the debate on the Alaska oil pipeline amendment, Energy Committee Chairman Henry Jackson, my great friend from Washington, said the pipeline ``involves a national security issue.'' He said, ``There is no serious question today that it is urgently in the national interest to start north slope oil flowing to markets.''
He also said that if he saw any more attempts to delay construction of the pipeline, he would push legislation to have the Federal Government build the project. The national security concerns were that important to Scoop Jackson, and they are important to me.
Even Senator Walter Mondale supported the construction of the Alaska oil pipeline and the transport of oil to the lower 48. He said then, ``It has always been my position that we need Alaskan oil and that this oil should flow to the lower 48 as soon as possible, consistent with environmental safeguards and the greatest benefit for the entire country.''
In addition to that, Senator Bartlett of Oklahoma said then, ``We need every
possible drop of crude oil production that can be developed and maintained.''
We debated the construction of this 800-mile pipeline when we believed there was a probability we could recover 1 billion barrels of oil from the area near Prudhoe Bay. As I said, last year, Alaskans produced our 13 billionth barrel of oil from Prudhoe Bay.
I want to talk about that same pipeline today being used to transport oil from the Arctic Coastal Plain--an area predicted to contain a minimum estimate of 5 billion barrels of oil, with the possibility of up to 30 billion barrels of oil. This is a resource on Federal land; it is not a State resource. Not to have it available to produce puts us at the mercy of foreign interests who produce the oil we import.
The Alaska oil pipeline carried 2 billion barrels during the Persian Gulf war. It was up as high as 2.1 billion barrels a day. We increased it, through special means, to secure the
supply for America and to assure that we had domestic oil to rely upon then. Now our Alaska pipeline is only half filled with oil coming from Prudhoe Bay and other north slope wells. If the remainder of the pipeline is to be filled, it must come from the coastal zone, from the ANWR area. At the minimum estimate of 5 billion barrels, being produced at 1 million barrels per day, that oil supply would last for over 14 years. At the medium estimate of 10 billion barrels it would last for 27 years.
As I stand here, I remember the debate on the oil pipeline. I remember Alan Bible of Nevada sitting right there across the aisle from me. We were in the minority. Senator Bible then was in the majority. He said to me that he had not made up his mind about the pipeline. I don't think I have seen it since--I had never seen it before. But Senator Bible sat there for the whole time of the debate on the floor, and just before the end of that debate he came to me and said: I am going to vote with you because I know this is a national security issue.
There is no question today, because of the security crisis we face and our dependence upon foreign oil, the oil from Alaska's north slope is a national security issue. We now import nearly 60 percent of our oil daily. We have over 700,000 barrels of oil a day coming from Iraq--Iraq, Mr. President. There was not one barrel of oil coming from Iraq at the time we debated the concept of what we should do during the Persian Gulf war. Obviously, there has been a great change.
It is estimated that we will import nearly 230 million barrels of crude oil from Iraq by the end of this year. Almost 40 million barrels of that will be unloaded in California. Why? It is replacing oil that used to be delivered to California through the Alaska oil pipeline.
As I said, we delivered 2.1 billion barrels a day during the Persian Gulf war. Today, it is 1.2 billion barrels a day. At a rate of $20 per barrel, we send over $5 billion a year to Iraq to buy oil that we could produce in our own country.
During peacetime operations, the Department of Defense uses about 300,000 barrels of oil a day. Most of it is jet fuel. That has increased now by over 200,000 barrels a day, as it did during the gulf war. Defense fuel usage is increasing daily because of our activities in the global war against terrorism, particularly the events in Afghanistan.
During the Alaska pipeline debate, Senator Paul Fannin of Arizona gave two reasons for why the pipeline was a national security issue. First, he said it would reduce our dependence on foreign countries. Obviously, that was a valid statement.
Senator Fannin's second point was the construction of the pipeline would create tens of thousands of jobs. It did. Economic reports show that a small pipeline connecting the Alaska pipeline to transport oil out of the Coastal Plain will create several hundred thousand jobs nationwide.
Just yesterday I was given a study completed by the American Petroleum Institute. It stated that oil transported from the Coastal Plain down the pipeline to the Valdez terminal would require the construction of an additional 19 tankers to transport that oil to the coastline of the United States, particularly the west coast.
It will take 19, as I said, new tankers, with 2,000 direct construction jobs and 3,000 support jobs for each tanker. That is 5,000 jobs per tanker resulting in over 90,000 new jobs just in the shipbuilding industry by opening the coastal plain of ANWR for exploration and production.
During the debate on the Alaska pipeline issue in this body, I said, ``We cannot afford to bury our heads in the snow and freeze, nor must we allow our economy and the jobs of thousands to be endangered while we stand idly by.'' That was true then, and it is even more true now.
Drilling on the Arctic coast and going forward with production of oil in the United States will help stimulate this economy. I intend to raise this issue again and again as we talk about stimulus for the economy.
I hope we will not hear the threat of filibuster against this measure to bring oil from the Arctic coast to the United States. It is a national security issue, and it must not be filibustered. No national security issue has ever been filibustered on the floor of the Senate. To do so now would be not only a violation of tradition, it would be a travesty of justice during a time of war.
I intend to speak often on this issue in the days to come. We cannot end this session of Congress without a national security energy plan which includes Alaska's North Slope oil and gas potential, particularly the oil and gas from the coastal plain.
I suggest the absence of a quorum.
The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The clerk will call the roll.
The assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
Mr. BINGAMAN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded.
The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Without objection, it is so ordered.
Mr. BINGAMAN. Mr. President, I wish to speak in morning business for up to 5 minutes.
The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Without objection, it is so ordered.
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