Politics

White House dismisses Keystone criticism as distraction amid rising gas prices

The Biden administration on Wednesday brushed aside the idea that the White House’s decision to cancel the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline has fueled rising gasoline prices.

Daleep Singh, the deputy national security adviser for international economics, said attempts to blame the pinch at the pump prices on the stalled pipeline is a “distraction.”

“Keystone has absolutely nothing to do with the current supply and demand in energy markets,” Mr. Singh said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

He said Keystone “is not an oil field” and said it “doesn’t produce any additional oil.”

President Biden revoked a key permit for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline shortly after taking office, citing environmental concerns. The pipeline would have carried crude oil from Alberta, Canada, to Nebraska.

Most Democrats applauded the decision. Republicans criticized it, saying it is part of the administration’s “war on energy” that has made the nation more vulnerable to global markets.

They have intensified the criticism amid record gas-prices, arguing Mr. Biden and Democrats are pursuing policies that have made the situation worse.

“Even if Keystone XL was permitted last year it would have been years from completion and it wouldn’t have helped in today’s circumstance,” Mr. Singh said.

He also said the administration’s ban on Russia oil imports is further isolating Moscow in response to its invasion of Ukraine.

He said there is no sector of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “economy is safe.”

“So we are hitting him where it hurts most – energy,” Mr. Singh said, before addressing concerns about the potential for even higher gas prices. “First of all, I am glad to live in a country where 70% of the people out there believe in holding Putin to account, even if it means higher gas prices.”

A Quinnipiac University poll released this week showed that 7 in 10 Americans would “support a ban on Russian oil even if it meant higher gasoline prices in the United States.” The support cut across party lines.

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