NBC reporter insists Biden canceling Keystone Pipeline made no difference on US dependence on foreign oil

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NBC’s Chief White House correspondent Peter Alexander repeated White House talking points to his Republican guest during a MSNBC interview on Thursday. Alexander denied that the Keystone XL Pipeline would’ve had any impact on the United States’ dependence on foreign oil.

Alexander was speaking with former chief of staff for former Vice President Mike Pence, Marc Short, when he started arguing with him over solutions to our dependence on foreign energy, amid the Ukraine-Russia war. He asked Short if President Biden should put embargoes on Russian oil and gas exports, in which Short said yes and blamed the Biden administration for making the U.S. more reliant on foreign energy by shutting down the Keystone Pipeline.

 Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021. U.S. President Joe Biden revoked the permit for TC Energy Corp.'s Keystone XL energy pipeline via executive order hours after his inauguration, the clearest sign yet that constructing a major new pipeline in the U.S. has become an impossible task. 

 Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021. U.S. President Joe Biden revoked the permit for TC Energy Corp.’s Keystone XL energy pipeline via executive order hours after his inauguration, the clearest sign yet that constructing a major new pipeline in the U.S. has become an impossible task. 
(Jason Franson/Bloomberg)

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“Absolutely he should Peter. I think it’s an untenable position to say in essence America has doubled its importation of Russian oil. You now have $100 plus per barrel, and you have hundreds of thousands of barrels imported per day. In some cases you’re actually funding the war against Ukraine. The United States should have no business importing oil from Russia. What the Biden administration should do is allow America to become energy independent like it was during the Trump/Pence administration. But instead when they canceled the Keystone Pipeline, and they stopped renewing new permits, what that does was it makes us more dependent on foreign oil,” Short argued.

Alexander interrupted his guest and said the pipeline would’ve made no impact in our dependence on Russian oil.

“But Marc, you know about the Keystone Pipeline it was only 8% completed when Joe Biden canceled it. So it’s not like that would’ve changed anything. That would have taken years to do it. That oil that the tar sands of Canada still gets into the U.S. in different means of transportation. By trains— just to complete, it goes to refineries doesn’t mean it’s going to the U.S. necessarily,” Alexander said.

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Welders work on a joint between two sections of pipe during construction of the Gulf Coast Project pipeline in Prague, Oklahoma, U.S., on Monday, March 11, 2013. 

Welders work on a joint between two sections of pipe during construction of the Gulf Coast Project pipeline in Prague, Oklahoma, U.S., on Monday, March 11, 2013. 
(Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images/Biden image: Getty Images)

White House press secretary Jen Psaki told Fox News reporter Jacqui Heinrich during Thursday’s briefing the Keystone Pipeline “has never been operational” and “it would take years for that to have any impact.”

Similarly, Biden’s Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg dismissed the pipeline as a solution to MSNBC host Stephanie Ruhle, Wednesday.

However, Short argued that it “goes beyond the Keystone Pipeline” because the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has not approved “other pipelines in the system” either. 

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The former Republican official blasted the Biden administration for having done “everything they could to raise the price” of gas with more fines and regulations. 

“So yes, there are plenty of things the Biden administration can do to return Americans’ energy independence that it had under the Trump-Pence administration,” he responded.

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