More than a year after President Joe Biden canceled the Keystone XL Pipeline, he’s taking heat from Republican lawmakers and pundits on social media.
The critics, which include Congressman Dan Crenshaw and commentator Tomi Lahren, point to the Russian war in Ukraine as a reason that energy prices may rise and that the Keystone XL Pipeline would give America more energy independence.
Governor of South Dakota Kristi Noem penned an op-ed to Fox News saying “Keystone would have helped ease those fears while giving America the flexibility to counter Russian aggression by expanding energy exports to Europe.”
Chair of the Nebraska Democrats, Jane Kleeb, who fought against the pipeline for years as founder of Bold Nebraska, says pipeline construction in Nebraska — which went through the entire state — would have taken years.
“Keystone XL would not be in operation today even if President Biden had not rejected the pipeline,” said Kleeb.
Kleeb says the pipeline would have come from a foreign company, taken land from Nebraskans and used dirty tar sands oil, which is difficult to refine into gasoline anyway.
She also argued the oil wouldn’t be used in the US.
“It would not have stopped at any Midwest refineries. It would have gone all the way down to the Gulf Coast to a refinery owned by Saudi Arabia and then offshore to China,” said Kleeb.
According to the nonprofit website Politifact, experts disagreed with those who seemed to argue that oil from the Keystone XL pipeline would have been exclusively sent to other countries, but the U.S. State Department did say in 2017 that price impacts would be minimal for Americans.
Kleeb also cites an article by the Natural Resource Defense Council, which argues that the refineries that were expected to receive oil from the pipeline are designed to send oil to other countries.
Because of all the unknowns with the war in Europe, Anh Ta, assistant professor with supply chain management at UNO, says gas prices may increase for a bit.
Best case scenario: as the weather warms, energy demands lessen and a possible solution in the Ukrainian conflict occurs, we could see prices drop.
“Because the demand for supply is a little bit better, production from other countries, and COVID is hopefully over in the summer then everything can get back,” said Ta.
President Biden’s press secretary was asked about allowing for the Keystone XL pipeline in the future. Jen Psaki dismissed the question, but TC Energy — who was building the pipeline — officially called off the project last year.