Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) broke with Democrats and joined calls rejecting President Biden’s executive action on the Keystone XL pipeline. Manchin is Chairman of the Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee, raised concerns about potential for job loss with a pause on construction of the pipeline.
“Pipelines continue to be the safest mode to transport our oil and natural gas resources and they support thousands of high-paying, American union jobs,” Manchin wrote to the president. “To that end, I encourage you to reconsider your decision to revoke the cross-border permit for the Keystone XL pipeline and take into account the potential impacts of any further action to safety, jobs and energy security.”
NEW: @Sen_JoeManchin sends letter to @POTUS asking him to reconsider decision on Keystone XL.— Cara Korte (@CaraKorte) February 9, 2021
"I encourage you to let these processes proceed as intended and to not let politics drive the decisions on the development and operation of our nation’s vital energy infrastructure." pic.twitter.com/XgbyfojWod
Manchin, whose state is home to an abundance of fossil fuel jobs, is an original proponent of the approval for the Keystone XL pipeline, dating back to 2012. The Obama administration declined to greenlight construction, but former President Trump approved the permit by executive order early in 2020. Manchin called on Biden to support oil and gas pipelines on a wider scale, citing the need for well-paying domestic jobs.
“Ongoing development of responsible energy infrastructure supports your ‘Build Back Better’ priorities by keeping Americans working while strengthening North American economic and energy security,” the Democratic lawmaker continued.
Most Democrats have not expressed disagreement with the president’s executive action related to the crucial pipeline, but Montana Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) also voiced concern during the Senate’s debate over the budget resolution.