Politics

Who Does Biden Benefit With XL Pipeline Rejection?

Biden’s doing a lot of revoking. And when he’s not revoking, he’s claiming victory for things already put in motion by the previous president. Unless it involves something he simply can’t make work with the environmentalist class of donors — and maybe others — he’s cultivated and then it must be done away with, consequences be damned; even if those consequences mean the loss of livelihoods for real Americans, and possibly bad blood between the U.S. and her neighbor to the North, Canada.

An example is Biden’s immediate rejection of the Trump-supported permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, a “1,700-mile pipeline…planned to carry roughly 800,000 barrels of oil a day from Alberta to the Texas Gulf Coast, passing through Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma.”

Democratic West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, in his role as new chairman of the Senate Energy Committee, has publicly called on Biden to reconsider his rejection of the permit. The decision has even drawn the ire of AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka because the project would have employed 11,000 Americans in 2021 during a time when COVID has many middle class Americans feeling the strain of economic uncertainty, to put it mildly.

A number of state attorneys general — 14 in all — have also weighed in, writing a letter to Biden explaining why his day one decision would be an economic disaster.

Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen led the coalition of attorneys general in sending Biden the letter. In Montana, the pipeline will cover 285 miles and six counties.

“In Montana for instance, killing Keystone XL will likely cost the state approximately $58 million in annual tax revenue. Montana will lose the benefits of future easements and leases, and several local counties will lose their single-biggest property taxpayer. The loss of Keystone XL’s economic activity and tax revenues are especially devastating as five of the six impacted counties are designated high-poverty areas,” Knudsen led the attorneys general in writing.

The coalition of attorneys general also warned Biden that the affected states are weighing their legal options to protect their residents in the wake of the administration’s decision.

“Please be aware that the states are reviewing available legal options to protect our residents and sovereign interests,” they wrote. “In the meantime, we urge you to reconsider your decision to impose crippling economic injuries on states, communities, families, and workers across the country.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told Biden in one of their first conversations that the pipeline approval was “a key issue.”

But Biden apparently doesn’t care, likely forcing “[r]efiners in the Midwest and the Gulf Coast…to buy more oil from adversarial states like Russia and Venezuela.”

While environmental groups, backed by some tribal Native Americans, are no doubt pleased with the decision, it’s worth wondering if Biden was more interested in pleasing them or the rogue nations who will continue to sell us oil now that the Keystone XL pipeline is dead again.


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