Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg said Wednesday that President Joe Biden’s administration does not want to implement “permanent solutions” to “short term problems” in regards to the Keystone XL Pipeline on MSNBC’s “The 11th Hour.”
“The president has said that all options are on the table,” Buttigieg said after host Stephanie Ruhle asked him whether the administration would consider authorizing the Keystone XL Pipeline to ease the rise in gas and energy prices since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “But we also need to make sure that we are not galloping after permanent solutions to immediate short term problems, where more strategic and tactical actions in the short term can make a difference, like what you have with the strategic reserve, which exists partly in order to respond to situations like this.”
“The president has laid out policies that are going to help cushion the impacts of any volatility in energy markets in the future by building up a more diversified and homegrown energy base for this country,” he continued.
Biden canceled a permit critical to the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline, which would have carried oil from Canada to refineries in the U.S., when he first entered office in January 2021.
Since Russia’s full-scale invasion, crude oil costs rose to over $100 per barrel, surging more than 4% on the first night of the attack. (RELATED: White House Announces Fresh Sanctions That Target Russian Energy Sector ‘Over Time’)
Biden previously tapped the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to release 50 million of oil in November in order to combat rising gas prices, which only briefly dipped costs before surging again in recent months. A group of ten congressional Democrats, led by Democratic Rhode Island Sen. Jack Reed, urged the president on Feb. 25 to tap the SPR again amid the Ukraine crisis.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki claimed Friday that the authorization of Keystone and reversal of the administration’s other energy policies would not reduce energy and gas prices.
MSNBC host Joe Scarborough called on Biden to reverse domestic energy policies temporarily to reduce U.S. reliance on Russian oil during a time of war.