Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is asking President Joe Biden to restart 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 slew of changes to America’s energy policies, breaking with the policies of President Donald Trump over concerns about “environmental justice.”
According to the Labor Department’s Consumer Price Index (CPI), October saw a 30 percent increase in the price of all sources of energy while the price of gasoline itself increased by a staggering 49.6 percent.
After these statistics became public, a coalition of Democratic senators called on Biden to draw from the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), used to guarantee America’s energy needs in the face of energy shortages or disasters.
On Tuesday, Biden acceded to these demands, announcing that 50 million barrels of oil would be taken from the SPR to ease prices.
But Manchin pointed out that the move is only a temporary stopgap, rather a solution to the problem.
He called the decision to pull from the SPR “an important policy Band-Aid for rising gas prices,” but warned that Biden’s “short-sighted energy policy” is “a self-inflicted wound” that is hurting Americans.
Here, Manchin echoes criticisms levied at the president by Republicans, who have called Biden’s energy policies “anti-American.”
Specifically, Republicans have criticized Biden’s decisions to place a moratorium on the leasing of federal lands to oil and natural gas companies and his decision to halt construction on the Keystone XL pipeline.
Republicans have blamed the rising price of gasoline on these decisions, and have called for the president to backtrack and return to Trump-era energy policies, which resulted in the United States becoming energy-independent for the first time in decades.
In his statement on Biden’s decision to withdraw from the SPR, Manchin wrote, “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.”
By Joseph Lord