A coalition of state attorneys general urged President Joe Biden to reinstate the Keystone XL Pipeline and reverse his energy policies following recent gas shortages.
Gas shortages along the East Coast caused by a cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline prove the need for reliable fuel pipelines, the 19-state coalition led by Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen wrote in a letter to Biden on Monday.
“A temporary shutdown of one pipeline’s full-capacity operations shouldn’t bring half the country to the brink,” the states wrote. “We need more safe and clean energy sources. And that includes the Keystone XL Pipeline.”
Biden revoked the Keystone Pipeline’s federal permit hours after he was sworn into office on Jan. 20.
The letter noted that the Biden administration took multiple emergency steps last week to alleviate gas shortages after the Colonial Pipeline cyberattack.
For example, the administration allowed tankers to transport overweight loads of gasoline on interstate highways and waived environmental regulations preventing gas from being taken to certain areas, according to a White House statement.
If Biden was willing to take such steps to save the Colonial Pipeline, he should restore the Keystone Pipeline, the attorneys general argued.
“Most Americans — particularly those not located along the coasts — now wish you had been so diligent and responsive before you determined that Keystone XL could be sacrificed on the altar of left-wing virtue signaling,” they wrote.
“Maybe one day, down the road, we will obtain the Utopian energy profile you desire,” the letter read. “But in the meantime, Americans want practical, effective leadership — not visionary deprivations.”
The Obama administration had determined on multiple occasions that the Keystone Pipeline was a net positive for the economy, the environment and energy security, the attorneys general noted.
The Colonial Pipeline resumed operations on Wednesday after the cyberattack brought it to a halt for multiple days.
The average price of gas nationwide was $3.04 per gallon as of Tuesday, according to AAA. The average price at this time in 2020 was $1.88 per gallon.
In March, Knudsen and 20 other state attorneys general sued the Biden administration over the revocation of the Keystone Pipeline, alleging that it was unconstitutional. States have filed several other lawsuits against Biden over his energy policies.
“To be clear, we believe your Keystone XL decision was unconstitutional and unlawful, and many of the undersigned states are currently pressing those claims in federal court,” the letter stated.
“But beyond the basic lawlessness of your decision, the current predicament shows what a poor policy decision it was.
“Your impulse to bow to an extreme climate agenda untethered to scientific fact or reality — exhibited by the Keystone XL cancellation and other similar actions — affirmatively deprives Americans of the safe and clean energy supply they need now.”
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