Head of Canadian Province Takes Biden to Task over ‘Perplexing’ Energy Policies

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Alberta premier Jason Kenney criticized the Biden administration’s energy policies during a hearing of the Senate Energy Committee on Tuesday.

The premier urged the U.S. to import more oil from Alberta instead of relying on nations such as Russia, Venezuela, or OPEC members for additional imports. The energy committee is chaired by Senator Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.), who has called on the Biden administration to increase domestic oil production and cease imports of Russian oil following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Vladimir Putin’s brutal invasion of Ukraine has proven the danger of allowing dictators to dominate global energy markets and weaponize oil wealth,” Kenney told senators.

“And that’s why we were, frankly, so taken aback when President Biden vetoed the Keystone XL pipeline,” Kenney added. “It would have safely delivered 830,000 barrels a day of responsibly-produced Canadian energy to the U.S., more than displacing the 670,000 barrels a day that you all bought from Putin’s Russia last year.”

The company that planned to build the pipeline, Calgary-based TC Energy, ended the project in June 2021 after Biden revoked a presidential permit for the pipeline in January 2021.

Kenney said his government was also “perplexed” that the Biden administration’s “response to sky-high gas prices was to plead with OPEC to produce and sell more oil, while working to lift sanctions on dictatorships like Iran and Venezuela.”

Senators, Calgary is a lot closer to Washington than Riyadh,” Kenney noted.

Kenney also called on the U.S. government to demand that Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, cease her efforts to decommission the Enbridge Line 5 pipeline. Whitmer has said the pipeline, which was built in 1953, poses an environmental risk to the Great Lakes.

Whitmer’s “plan to do this would only worsen the energy and cost-of-living crisis at the worst possible time,” Kenney said.

Kenney is the subject of a vote asking members of his United Conservative Party if they approve of his leadership, the results of which will be announced on Wednesday. Kenney’s popularity within the UCP has fallen during the Covid pandemic.

However, during the hearing on Tuesday, Kenney focused on making the case for greater U.S. oil imports from Alberta.

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