House Democrats block bill to approve Keystone XL pipeline and promote “American energy independence from Russia”

On February 28, House Republicans approves the Keystone XL pipeline to promote domestic oil and gas production and prevent President Biden’s government from suspending energy leasing in federal land and water. Introduced the “American Independence Law from Russian Energy”, which is a bill aimed at. , Among other provisions. Still, on March 1, the bill was shot down almost entirely in line with party policy, with a 221 to 202 vote.

“Expanding the pipeline is huge,” said Bruce Westerman, a Republican, a ranking member of the House Natural Resources Commission and co-sponsor of the bill, in an interview with the Epoch Times. rice field. “There is no pipeline to carry natural gas in Pennsylvania, so Russian energy needs to be imported into the state of New England.”

US crude oil imports from Russia more than doubled last year, rising from an average of about 76,000 barrels a day in 2020 to an average of 209,000 barrels a day in 2021. According to the data From the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

The Epoch Times asked Raul Grihalva (Democratic Party), chairman of the House of Representatives Natural Resources Commission, to comment on his choice to vote against the bill.

Republicans on the floor expressed almost unanimous support for the bill, and Rep. Tom Cole (Republican) described Russia’s reliance on oil and petroleum products as “not conscientious.”

In contrast, Congressman Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), Republicans are “talking about energy self-sufficiency, but here they consistently oppose and oppose green energy and renewable energy. , The fastest way to achieve real energy. ” Independence. “

Matt said to 220 Democrats who voted against the bill that the bill could open the northwestern coast of Florida to drilling and interfere with military testing and related missions east of the military. Rep. Gaetz (Republican Party) has joined. It is located 41 minutes on the mission line, 86 degrees, East Bay.

Congressman Westerman told the Epoch Times that Gates’ objection was a “totally illegal concern.”

“I don’t know where he got the wrong information, but it talks about West Bay. [of Mexico].. Drilling around Florida is not permitted. “

A Gates spokesperson explained the concerns of parliamentarians to the Epoch Times.

The bill does not explicitly allow drilling near the Gates area, but it does prevent the president and his cabinet from freezing the sale of new drilling leases in federal land or water. Withdrawal from excavation of those federal holdings would have to be approved by Congress.

A spokeswoman said the language could be used to undermine September 2020. Note President Donald Trump has extended the drilling moratorium off the northwest coast of Florida to 2032.

“The parliamentary-approved moratorium is expected to expire in June 2022,” a spokesman said, referring to the original Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA), which banned the area from drilling. ..

“It would be foolish to respond to Russia’s aggression by weakening the ability of the United States to defeat Russia and anyone else. It is in America’s greatest interest to protect the Gulf test range.”

A spokeswoman told The Epoch Times that Gates has been recorded to support increasing US energy production to defeat Russia, noting a passage in Gates’ 2020 book Firebrand. did.

“China, Asia’s largest energy consumer, is right next to Asia’s largest producer, Russia. They are bridging each other, which could jeopardize the free world.”

“By keeping oil prices permanently low, we can defeat Russia and other fossil fuel enemies.”

Westerman, who said he supported “all of the above” energy strategies, including oil, gas, nuclear, solar and wind, noted that greenhouse gas emissions were reduced during the Trump administration.

“I don’t think Putin will give an argument about environmental goals, or the economy of anyone other than himself,” he added.

The bill directs the Secretary of the Interior to immediately resume the oil and gas leasing sales required by the Mineral Leasing Act (MLA), which was first frozen by President Biden through Presidential Order 14008 in January 2021. increase.

In addition, at least four oil and gas leases in Wyoming, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Nevada, and “other states with oil-available land.” We specifically instruct the Secretary to sell. Leasing natural gas under the law. [MLA].. “

The Epoch Times has contacted three major Home Office agencies and agencies involved in mining and drilling approval, the Land Management Department, the Marine Energy Management Department, and the Surface Regeneration and Enforcement Department.

In an email interview with the Epoch Times, Kathleen Sgamma, chairman of the Western Energy Alliance, a non-profit energy industry association, said, “Democrats who blocked yesterday’s bill consideration are serious about tackling the crisis in Ukraine seriously. It shows that it is not. “

“If the president now takes action within his power, we have the energy resources to starve Putin’s income and lower the prices of Americans. For example, the government is the most in the United States. We hold hundreds of federal permits in the Perm basin, a prolific oil region. Most are ready, but are pending further analysis of climate change. “

The Epoch Times has contacted the American branch of the School for Future, an international climate change movement initiated by Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg, seeking comment on the bill.

Nathan Worcester


Nathan Worcester is an environmental reporter for The Epoch Times.