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Manchin urges Biden to reverse decision & allow further construction of Keystone XL pipeline
Should Biden reverse his decision and allow construction of the Keystone XL pipeline?
By Eric Revell, Countable News
What’s the story?
- Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Joe Manchin (D-WV) on Tuesday sent a letter urging President Joe Biden to reverse his decision to block construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.
- Manchin noted in his letter that, “In the absence of access to pipelines, crude oil will continue to find its way to market through increased reliance on other modes of transport, like truck and rail, which have a higher number of reported releases of crude oil per ton-mile than pipelines.” He added:
“Ongoing development of responsible energy infrastructure supports your “Build Back Better” priorities by keeping Americans working while strengthening North American economic and energy security.”
- Also on Tuesday, a group of 14 state attorneys general sent Biden a similar letter regarding Keystone XL to request that the president “reconsider your decision to impose crippling economic injuries on states, communities, families, and workers across the country.” The AGs warned that their states are considering legal options to protect their residents and state interests.
- Biden’s cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline on his first day in office also prompted frustration from AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, who said in an interview with “Axios on HBO” that wished Biden “had paired that more carefully with the thing that he did second by saying here’s where we’re creating jobs.”
- In January, U.S. Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry suggested that workers who work in the oil, gas, and pipeline industries should find jobs manufacturing solar panels. When asked this week about where such workers can go to get their green job, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Biden “has every plan to share more about his details of that plan in the weeks ahead.”
What is the Keystone pipeline?
- Keystone XL is the name of a partially constructed, $8 billion extension of an existing Keystone pipeline that transports oil from Alberta, Canada, to Illinois and Texas. The Keystone XL route would run from Alberta through Montana, South Dakota, and Nebraska.
- The Keystone XL pipeline sparked fierce protests from environmentalists who argue it would hurt the ecology of the Sandhills region of Nebraska and potentially endanger the Ogallala Aquifer through spills, deepen America’s reliance on fossil fuel, and undermine efforts to reduce climate change.
- Advocates of the Keystone XL pipeline argue that revoking the pipeline permit will hurt the U.S. economy through higher energy prices and the elimination of about 11,000 jobs, including 8,000 union jobs, and lead to a loss of roughly $1.6 billion in wages.
- The Obama administration stymied the Keystone XL project, while the Trump administration reversed the policy and made moves to support its construction. In the summer of 2020, the Supreme Court declined to reverse a ruling that put the construction of the first U.S. phase of the Keystone XL pipeline in Montana and South Dakota on hold pending an environmental review.
- On Biden’s first day in office, he issued an executive order to revoke the construction permits for the Keystone XL pipeline.
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