Senator Joe Manchin (DW.Va.) asks President Joe Biden to resume construction of the Keystone XL pipeline as gas prices continue to skyrocket across the country.
Gas prices have risen steadily since Biden took office, when he made a series of changes to America’s energy policy, violating President Donald Trump’s policies over concerns of “environmental justice.”
According to the Labor Department’s Consumer Price Index (CPI), prices for all energy sources rose 30 percent in October, while the price of gasoline rose a staggering 49.6 percent.
After these statistics became public, a coalition of Democratic senators urged Biden to use the National Strategic Oil Reserve (SPR), which was being used to meet America’s energy needs in the face of energy shortages or natural disasters.
On Tuesday, Biden agreed to these demands, announcing that 50 million barrels of oil would be taken from the SPR to lower prices.
But Manchin pointed out that this step is only a temporary measure, but rather a solution to the problem.
He called the decision to withdraw from the SPR “an important political adhesive tape for raising gas prices,” but warned that Biden’s “shortsighted energy policy” is a “self-inflicted wound” that hurts Americans.
Here Manchin echoes criticism leveled at the president by Republicans who called Biden’s energy policy “anti-American.”
In particular, Republicans criticized Biden’s decision to impose a moratorium on leases of federal lands to oil and gas companies, as well as his decision to stop construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.
Republicans blamed the decisions on rising gasoline prices and called on the president to back down and return to Trump-era energy policies, leading the United States to become non-volatile for the first time in decades.
In a statement on Biden’s decision to withdraw from the PSA, Manchin wrote: “I continue to urge President Biden to responsibly increase energy production here at home and change course to enable the Keystone XL pipeline to be built to power our country. producing up to 900,000 barrels of oil per day from Canada, one of our closest allies. “
The Keystone pipeline, which begins in Alberta, Canada, and runs through the United States Great Plains all the way to Texas, has been controversial for nearly a decade.
Supporters of the pipeline stressed its importance for meeting US energy needs, while opponents criticized it for environmental reasons.
In 2015, President Barack Obama made the controversial decision to end the pipeline, which has become a symbolic battle for climate change for environmentalists. In 2017, Trump resumed construction of the pipeline. Then, immediately after taking office, Biden made the decision to pursue the Obama-era policies by halting pipeline construction again.
Now Manchin is asking Biden to reverse the decision, citing concerns about national security and concerns about America’s energy independence.
America currently does not meet its energy needs alone. It now largely depends on the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries plus Russia (OPEC +). In recent months, the danger of this dependence has become apparent after OPEC + decided to limit oil production, which led to a rapid rise in prices.
Biden held extensive negotiations with the organization, which largely failed, with the result that Republicans criticized the president for exporting America’s energy needs.
Manchin said in a statement that he agreed with these sentiments.
“To make it clear [the Keystone XL pipeline] about America’s energy independence and the fact that hardworking Americans should not depend on foreign players like OPEC + for their energy security, but should instead focus on the real challenges facing our country’s future, ”he wrote.
Manchin has long shied away from his coal-dependent West Virginia party and stressed the importance of continuing to use fossil fuels until America’s energy needs are met by cleaner alternative sources.