WASHINGTON (The Hill) — Centrist Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is calling on President Joe Biden to restore the Keystone XL pipeline as gas prices across the country rise.
“I continue to call on President Biden to responsibly increase energy production here at home and to reverse course to allow the Keystone XL pipeline to be built, which would have provided our country with up to 900,000 barrels of oil per day from Canada, one of our closest allies,” Manchin said in a Tuesday statement.
Critics of the Keystone pipeline pointed out that it was intended to ship oil from Canada to overseas markets — not the U.S., and that it would have virtually no impact on U.S. gas prices. But Manchin insisted that allowing the pipeline to be finished would help assure “American energy independence.”
“This is about … the fact that hard-working Americans should not depend on foreign actors, like OPEC+, for our energy security and instead focus on the real challenges facing our country’s future,” he added, referring to the group of major oil-producing countries.
Manchin’s call for action came shortly after the Biden administration announced a plan Tuesday to release 50 million barrels of oil from the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve in order to curb rising gas prices, the news outlet noted.
In February, Manchin reportedly sided with Republicans who urged Biden to rethink canceling a permit for the pipeline, arguing that pipelines across the country “continue to be the safest mode to transport our oil and natural gas resources, and they support thousands of high-paying, American union jobs.″
Manchin also addressed the issue of inflation in the country last week, mentioning his belief that the Democrats’ Build Back Better Act, which was recently passed by the House and will be taken up in the Senate, would not help lower prices.
“Every day they go to fill up is a dollar and a quarter more a gallon, $3.29, $3.39” he said of rising gas prices at the time.
“A gallon of milk is now $4 in many places. It’s taking a toll. And I hear it when I go to the grocery store or if I go to the gas station. They say, ‘Are you as mad as I am?’ and I say, ‘Absolutely,’” Manchin continued.
Biden has expressed his views on ending American dependence on fossil fuel.
“This is the decade that will determine the answer. This decade,” he said during an international climate summit earlier this month, The Gazette noted. “The science is clear: We only have a brief window left before us” to stop climate change disasters and the window is “rapidly narrowing.”