Moderate Democratic West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin suggested that the Keystone XL Pipeline could be “rebranded” or “rerouted,” as Americans continue to suffer pain at the pump from high gas prices.
Speaking at a joint press conference with Jason Kenney, the Premier of the Canadian province of Alberta, Manchin spoke about the necessity of the relationship between the U.S. and Canada for energy production and consumption, especially in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“The horrific war that [Russian President Vladimir] Putin has put on Ukraine is an atrocity,” Manchin said. “It truly is. And I don’t think it’s something, I don’t believe, that any of us can tolerate. And there shouldn’t be a thing that we should be counting on, or buying, or supporting, from Russia, that gives them the resources to use in this genocide that they’re committing in Ukraine. But with that, we have to be stronger. We have to be committed and resilient enough to be able to say ‘we’re going to produce the energy that the world needs. We’re going to extract and process the minerals, the critical minerals, that helps us with a cleaner environment, transitioning into a new world, if you will.’ But that can be done right here.”
Later on, Manchin was asked by a reporter what he believed the chances were that the Keystone XL pipeline would be revived to address the need for more oil. “The brand of the XL pipeline is probably gone,” Manchin responded. “Can it be rebranded, can it be rerouted, can it be these different things? We need this product. You all have a product that we have to have in order for us to meet the demand in our country, but in your country, too, and the world.”
“Pipelines will carry [oil] a lot safer, cleaner, and much better and more efficient than [by] rail or by trucks … the cleanest way to transport it is by pipe,” Manchin added. He said he didn’t know if the Biden administration “is going to entertain that,” but “they’d be foolish not to.”
Manchin has been a frequent critic of the Biden administration’s energy policy, especially as it relates to domestic oil and gas production. He has repeatedly voiced his concerns with the administration’s policies, and called for resuming federal oil and gas drilling. He also held up two of Biden’s nominees to Executive Branch positions over his concerns. Manchin also excoriated the Biden administration over news that inflation hit another record high, and called on Biden to pursue an “all of the above” energy policy to help ease the pain of sky-high inflation. “Getting inflation under control will require more aggressive action by a Federal Reserve that waited too long to act. It demands the Administration and Congress, Democrats and Republicans alike, support an all-the-above energy policy because that is the only way to bring down the high price of gas and energy while attacking climate change,” Manchin said in a statement Tuesday.
“The United States of America is equipped to be energy independent from Russia and other terror-sponsoring countries while also working to fight global climate change and break our dependence on the critical mineral supply chain from China. The inflation number today is only the beginning unless we take immediate action to address the pain being felt across our nation.”