Politics

White House says no plans to restart Keystone XL pipeline amid soaring gas prices

The Biden administration will not resume construction on the Keystone XL pipeline, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday.

“There are no plans for that,” Ms. Psaki said of restarting construction. “It would not address any of the problems that we are currently having.”

The pipeline would have brought as much as 700,000 barrels of oil per day into the U.S. from Canada. Republicans and some Canadian officials have called to restart construction on the halted project as the U.S. seeks to boost its oil supply and gas prices push toward $5.

Those calls have grown since President Biden on Tuesday announced a ban on Russian oil imports.

Ms. Psaki said the pipeline is merely a delivery mechanism and would do nothing to boost the U.S.’s supply of oil.

“It is not an oil field, so it doesn’t provide more supply into the system,” she said.

The Obama administration in 2015 pulled support for the project, citing climate and health concerns. Former President Trump revived the pipeline in 2017 and construction started in 2020.

On his first day in office, Mr. Biden issued an executive order revoking the pipeline’s permit. Its builder, TC Energy, abandoned the $9 billion project in June 2021. At that time less than 10% of the pipeline had been built.

The premier of Alberta, Canada, is among those who demanded construction on the pipeline resume.

“If the United States is serious about this, they could come back and help us build Keystone XL,” Premier Jason Kenney said at a press conference this week. “If President Biden had not vetoed that project, it would be done later this year – 840,000 barrels of democratic energy that could have displaced the 600,000 plus barrels of Russian conflict oil that’s filled with the blood of Ukrainians.”

Instead of resuming construction on the pipeline, the U.S. has turned to Venezuela, Iran and Saudi Arabia for oil to make up for the lost Russian oil imports.

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