OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
West Virginia Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin has been a thorn in the side of President Joe Biden and his administration and now he is fighting against one of the first things the president did.
When Biden got into the White House, he ended the Keystone Pipeline and Sen. Manchin wants him to change his mind, The New York Post reported.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) shrugged at the Biden administration’s release of 50 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve on Tuesday, describing it as a “Band-Aid” on a “self-inflicted wound” and calling on the president to revive the canceled Keystone XL pipeline.
Manchin, the chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, decried what he called the “shortsighted energy policy” of the White House.
“With an energy transition underway across the country, it is critical that Washington does not jeopardize America’s energy security in the near term and leave consumers vulnerable to rising prices,” the senator said. “Historic inflation taxes and the lack of a comprehensive all-of-the-above energy policy pose a clear and present threat to America’s economic and energy security that can no longer be ignored.
“I continue to call on President Biden to responsibly increase energy production here at home and to reverse course to allow the Keystone XL pipeline to be built which would have provided our country with up to 900,000 barrels of oil per day from Canada, one of our closest allies,” he said. “To be clear, this is about American energy independence and the fact that hard working Americans should not depend on foreign actors, like OPEC+, for our energy security and instead focus on the real challenges facing our country’s future.”
On Tuesday the president insisted that actions he has taken, like cancelling the Keystone pipeline and ending new oil leases did not contribute to the rise in gas prices.
“I also want to briefly address one myth about inflated gas prices: They are not due to environmental measures. My effort to combat climate change is not raising the price of gas or increasing its availability. It — what it is doing: It’s increasing the availability of jobs. Jobs building electric cars, like the one I drove at the GM Detroit — at the GM factory in Detroit last week,” he said.
“For the hundreds of thousands of folks who bought one of those electric cars, they’re going to save $800 to $1,000 in fuel costs this year.
“And we’re going to put those savings within reach of more Americans and create jobs installing solar panels, batteries, electric heat pumps — jobs making those clean power-generating devices,” the president said.
“And by the way, deploying these technologies for each home where they’re installed is going to save folks an additional hundreds of dollars in energy costs every year.
“Let’s do that. Let’s beat climate change with more extensive innovation and opportunities,” he said.
He also announced that he
has taken oil from the United States strategic reserve, which was filled by President Donald Trump, and shipped it to Asia, Bloomberg News reported.
Around 1.6 million barrels of crude oil was sent from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve via a supertanker in the U.S. Gulf Coast and sent to Asia.
“Given the ongoing pace of the current SPR release — 12 million barrels in the last two months and the biggest weekly release so far last week at 3.1 million barrels — it’s fair to assume more SPR barrels are going to leave U.S. shores in the weeks ahead,” Kpler oil analyst Matt Smith said.
In a press release on Tuesday, the White House said that he was tapping into the reserve to help ease gas prices.
“The President has been working with countries across the world to address the lack of supply as the world exits the pandemic. And, as a result of President Biden’s leadership and our diplomatic efforts, this release will be taken in parallel with other major energy consuming nations including China, India, Japan, Republic of Korea and the United Kingdom. This culminates weeks of consultations with countries around the world, and we are already seeing the effect of this work on oil prices. Over the last several weeks as reports of this work became public, oil prices are down nearly 10 percent,” it said.
“The U.S. Department of Energy will make available releases of 50 million barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in two ways,” the White House said.
“32 million barrels will be an exchange over the next several months, releasing oil that will eventually return to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in the years ahead. The exchange is a tool matched to today’s specific economic environment, where markets expect future oil prices to be lower than they are today, and helps provide relief to Americans immediately and bridge to that period of expected lower oil prices. The exchange also automatically provides for re-stocking of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve over time to meet future needs,” it said.
“18 million barrels will be an acceleration into the next several months of a sale of oil that Congress had previously authorized,” it said.