Attorney General Knudsen Leads 19 States Calling on Biden to Support Energy Infrastructure
HELENA – Attorney General Austin Knudsen led an effort of 19 state attorneys general today calling on President Joe Biden to support additional energy infrastructure – including the Keystone XL pipeline – following the Colonial pipeline shutdown that caused price spikes, fuel shortages, and Carter-style lines at gas stations across the south and east coast. In a letter to Biden, they detailed the harm caused by his purported cancelation of the Keystone XL pipeline and urged Biden to put Americans’ national security and the environment first.
The Colonial pipeline situation showed the widespread panic and disruption that can result when just one pipeline system goes off-line. In the aftermath of the cyberattack, the Biden administration quickly relaxed environmental and safety rules to “secur[e] critical energy supply chains … alleviate shortages … [and] avoid potential energy supply disruptions to impacted communities.”
“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,” Knudsen stated to Biden in the letter.
In addition to supplying our own energy needs, energy infrastructure is needed to maintain our nation’s leadership as a net-energy exporter – a position that enhances our national security, increases global stability, and creates good-paying jobs for American workers.
“Americans depend upon safe and secure energy supplies, which is why we must build and maintain robust energy infrastructure that is resilient in the face of accidents and sabotage. A temporary shutdown of one pipeline’s full-capacity operations shouldn’t bring half the country to the brink. We need more safe and clean energy sources,” Knudsen wrote to Biden. “But your Administration’s current approach exchanges those fact-based conclusions for the faddish preoccupations of your coastal elite constituencies.”
Biden purported to unilaterally cancel the Keystone XL pipeline on his first day in office, even though Obama’s State Department concluded multiple times that Keystone XL was a net positive for the economy, the environment, and energy security. And just days ago, Biden’s own Energy Secretary acknowledged that pipelines are “the best way to go” when it comes to moving fossil fuels.
“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. But beyond the basic lawlessness of your decision, the current predicament shows what a poor policy decision it was,” the letter stated. “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. It undercuts our energy independence by eliminating a large and secure source of oil in a time of growing global unrest. It damages our reputation with geopolitical allies, like Canada, by reneging on our commitments. It destroys sophisticated, high-paying jobs. And it stunts sustainable economic growth in pipeline communities and throughout the country.”
Attorneys general from Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming also signed onto Knudsen’s letter.
Knudsen is also leading a 21-state coalition that is suing the Biden Administration over its unconstitutional revocation of the Keystone cross-border permit.