A coalition of Republican state attorneys general from over a dozen states across the U.S. has urged President Joe Biden to reinstate the Keystone XL pipeline after it was canceled by the administration last year.
The chief legal advisers were led by Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen in sending a letter to Biden asking him to “stop federal efforts to impose excessive regulations that will increase Americans’ energy costs.”
Biden canceled the $9 billion pipeline designed to transport oil from Canada to the United States last year, citing predicted impacts of climate change following a 13-year dispute which lasted three presidential administrations.
The project would have bought 900,000 barrels a day of crude oil from Alberta to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast.
Republicans and advocates of the pipeline have long argued that it would drastically reduce gas prices for Americans which have surged in recent months.
In a letter to Biden in February 2021, Knudsen previously warned that Americans faced costly energy bills while the nation would become more dependent on Russian and Middle Eastern oil if the president persisted with his so-called “anti-energy policies.”
Now, Knudsen says, those predictions have come true.
“We hate to say we told you so,” the letter sent to Biden this week stated. “Just over a year later, new record high gas prices are seemingly set every day, economy-wide inflation—the highest in 40 years—is straining the budgets of American families, and European countries are unable to impose oil and gas sanctions on Russia without risking an economic recession.”
“Instead, European countries are spending $1 billion per day on Russian oil and gas and literally funding Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine in the process,” the letter continued.
Knudsen noted that the 2019 decision to revoke the permit for the 1,200-mile pipeline cost “thousands of jobs, millions in tax revenue, and economic opportunity for the communities along its route.”
The Montana Attorney General also said it sets a “dangerous precedent” for future permits and projects that would enhance America’s energy security and independence.
He noted that the Biden administration is now reportedly seeking to import more oil from Canada, according to multiple reports.
Attorney General Knudsen Calls On Biden To End Anti-Energy Policies That Are Hurting Americans
Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen is leading a coalition with 15 other state attorneys general calling on President Joe Biden to reinstate the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline following reports his administration is seeking to import more oil from Canada. In a letter sent today, Knudsen also called on the President to stop federal efforts to impose excessive regulations that will increase Americans’ energy costs.
In a February 2021 letter, Attorney General Knudsen warned President Biden that Americans would suffer serious detrimental consequences, consumers would pay higher prices, and our allies would become further dependent on Russian and Middle Eastern oil if he continued his anti-energy policies. Those predictions have come true.
“We hate to say we told you so,” the letter stated. “Just over a year later, new record high gas prices are seemingly set every day, economy-wide inflation—the highest in 40 years—is straining the budgets of American families, and European countries are unable to impose oil and gas sanctions on Russia without risking an economic recession. Instead, European countries are spending $1 billion per day on Russian oil and gas and literally funding Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine in the process.”
President Biden’s unilateral decision on the first day of his administration to revoke the 2019 Presidential Permit for the Keystone XL pipeline cost thousands of jobs, millions in tax revenue, and economic opportunity for the communities along its route. It also set a dangerous precedent for future permits and projects that would enhance our nation’s energy security and independence. Meanwhile, Biden has requested OPEC+ (which includes Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela) to produce more oil, and his administration is now seeking to import more oil from Canada.
“The oil you now want to import from Canada is the same oil that would have flowed through the Keystone XL pipeline, which would have transported nearly a million barrels per day—not only from Canada but from the Bakken oilfields in Montana and North Dakota—to American refineries,” Attorney General Knudsen’s letter to President Biden said. “The hypocrisy would be stunning if it weren’t so insulting to American energy workers and those in rural communities who benefited from the pipeline’s many economic opportunities.”
Attorney General Knudsen also asked the Biden administration to stop his attempt to infuse decision-making across federal agencies with inflated “social costs of carbon,” the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s proposed regulation for new natural gas projects and the suspension of the authorization to transport liquified natural gas by rail tank cars. Additionally, he called on Biden make clear to congressional Democrats that he will veto their attempts to increase oil and gas taxes and impose costly new methane rules on energy production.
“Recent events have made it strikingly obvious that more domestic energy development is needed to prevent future economic hardship for Americans. Your decisions, however, have stripped Americans of the manifold benefits the Keystone XL pipeline would deliver—jobs, tax revenue, and new and sustained economic opportunities. There is no end in sight to the painfully high energy costs or inflation that Americans are now enduring because of your failed policies,” Knudsen wrote. “Stop the quiet conversations with foreign powers and oligarchs. The solutions are right here at home. On behalf of the citizens of our states, we demand you immediately take the actions outlined above to reverse the damage you have done and provide relief for struggling families and businesses. It’s never too late to admit your mistakes.”
Attorneys general from Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming also signed Knudsen’s letter.
Click here to read full letter or read letter below.