Democrats fighting Chinese takeover of Canadian oil company

Massachusetts Congressman Ed Markey explains


This is a rush transcript from "Your World," July 31, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


ERIC BOLLING, GUEST HOST: China is very interested in your oil as well. You would rather sell your oil to America than China, sir?

PERRIN BEATTY, CEO, CANADIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: Obviously, our closest partner, our closest trading relationship is the United States. It makes sense for us. We have a deeply integrated economy. We -- our companies operate on both sides of the border.

Much of the investment is in the oil sands is American. And it makes sense for us to have the first relationship with the United States. But the prime minister has made it clear that we will sell our oil to world markets on those people who want it.


BOLLING: Well, you heard a Canadian official on this show yesterday tell me, since the U.S. rejected the Keystone XL pipeline, Canada is looking to China for business.

But one deal in particular is not sitting well with some Democratic lawmakers here. Chinese oil company CNOOC is buying Canadian oil company Nexen for $15 billion.

But my next guest is urging Treasury Secretary Geithner to block it unless some conditions are met. Ed Markey is a Democratic congressman from Massachusetts, and he joins us now.

Thank you, sir.

So when I heard this and I saw the letter, I was trying to figure out why Tim Geithner would get involved in a deal between China and Canada. Can you explain that to us?

REP. EDWARD MARKEY, D-MASS.: Well, the Canadians own leases on American land that allow for them to drill for free, not paying any royalties to the American people at all.

And they are selling these leases, or proposing to sells these leases, to the Chinese. And I just don't think it is right for the Chinese to be drilling on American land without paying any royalties whatsoever to the American people, any more than I think it is OK for the Canadians to build a pipeline through the United States, the Keystone pipeline, and then not agree to keep the oil that they are transmitting here in the United States.

They are saying they are free to sell that oil anywhere around the world, including to China. And I don't think we should let the Canadians get away either with the Keystone pipeline being built and not selling the oil to Americans, or to let them sell to the Chinese.

BOLLING: All right, Congressman, Congressman...


BOLLING: ... you made two points, the first one being you don't think that the Canadians should be allowed to sell some infrastructure here in the United States to the Chinese.

But let me just take you through a couple in the last couple of years. Statoil is buying in a partnership with a Texas oil company October 2011. Sinopec, another Chinese oil, petrochemical company, doing a deal with Devon shale assets. North Korea doing a deal. The deals go on and on, sir, but you are picking this deal, this Canadian deal, as the one you want to letter to write to Tim Geithner to say stop.

Why this one?

MARKEY: Look it, the Chinese won't sell us their rare earths, because they say that is a precious resource that they want to use for their own purposes, but we need it for our own wind and our solar industry. But they're saying no.

So why do we finally stand up to the Chinese? When do we finally say to them, we're not letting you take our natural resources until you open up your own natural resources?

BOLLING: It's not ours, sir. We are not talking about our natural resources. We're talking about Canadian. We're talking about Canadian -- the vast majority of that deal is Canadian oil, not American oil, Canadian oil.

MARKEY: But there are leases -- there are leases in the United States on American land that they should -- they should pay royalties to the American taxpayer.

BOLLING: Sir, Representative, Representative, 20 years in the oil business, you and I have talked about this stuff quite a bit.

There are a lot of ways around this. Number one, we could drill our own oil. You don't want to talk about that. Number two, we can do things like the XL pipeline that would bring hundreds of thousands of barrels a day into America, oil that we need, but you do not want to do that either.

MARKEY: Just for the record, when Bush left office in January 20, 2009, we were 57 percent dependent upon imported oil. Under Obama's drill baby, drill, agenda, we are down to 45 percent dependence.


BOLLING: You know those numbers are skewed.

You know yourself that President Obama said it takes three or four or five years to get an oil molecule out of the ground from permit to drill. You know that, sir.


MARKEY: That is how long it is going to take to dig out from the Bush recession, by the way, because that is the one legacy he did leave...


BOLLING: Fine. Fine. Let's stay on -- let's stay on the pipeline for a second.


BOLLING: Now you are saying -- the second part of that quote, you said you are concerned where the refined product -- after the oil comes down to the Texas refineries, you are worried about where that gasoline goes, is that right?

MARKEY: Exactly. Exactly.

So, my feeling is this. We have hundreds of thousands of young men and women that we send overseas to protect the importation of oil coming in from the Middle East. The Canadians say we want to build a pipeline through your country.

And, by the way, wouldn't that be great for North American energy security? We say, yes, that would be great, potentially. Will you keep that oil in the United States if we let you build a pipeline 1,500 miles over aquifers and rivers all throughout the United States?

The Canadians say, no, we are sending it into the global market. We will not keep it in the United States. So where is the part of this where the United States gets anything out of this?

BOLLING: But you can't -- you can't tell the refineries where to do - - whether it is Canadian oil or Saudi Arabian oil or Venezuela oil, you can't tell them where they're going to sell it anyway. It doesn't matter.

So why not bring more oil in, bring more inexpensive oil in?

MARKEY: So, fine. Just stop talking about energy independence. Just stop talking about backing out imported oil, if the oil that comes in from the Canadian just gets sold right out of our country, and all we are is a conduit through our country, taking all of the environmental risks, without getting the benefit of the extra oil that would lower the price to American consumers.

The Canadians and the Republicans will not stop that.

BOLLING: You hit it there. You hit it on the head, sir. And that's what it is. It's the environmental risk.

I'm going to have to leave it there. Representative Ed Markey from Massachusetts, thank you, sir.

MARKEY: Thank you.

BOLLING: All right.

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