“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 stated.
“To be clear, this is about American energy independence and 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."
Manchin said that the pipeline and others “continue to be the safest mode to transport our oil and natural gas resources, and they support thousands of high-paying, American union jobs.″
Biden has steadily supported an anti-fossil fuel position, vowing to do away with pipelines and drilling projects.
“This is the decade that will determine the answer. This decade,” Biden pressed during an international climate summit earlier this month. “The science is clear: We only have a brief window left before us to raise our ambitions and ... to meet the task that’s rapidly narrowing.”
On Monday, the Biden administration put weeks of speculation to bed in announcing that it will initiate the largest-ever crude oil release from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to bring down gasoline prices.
The Department of Energy will make 50 million barrels available: 32 million on exchange, to be replenished over the next three years, and up to another 18 million for sale.
Democratic officials in Congress, many of whom began calling on Biden to make this move weeks ago, praised the move as desperately needed relief for families.
“This is what reserves are for — defending our economy against disruption,” said Democratic Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts.
Nonetheless, others were more negative. Republicans blamed the Biden administration for driving up prices first place through opposition to fossil fuels. Some members of Biden’s party also took the change to criticize his handling of energy policy.
That list includes Democratic Sen. Manchin, who called the SPR release “an important policy Band-Aid for rising gas prices” but one that “does not solve for the self-inflicted wound that shortsighted energy policy is having on our nation.”