U.S. Senator Joe Manchin visiting Alberta to discuss energy security

Click to play video: 'Alberta premier pushing USA to resume Keystone XL expansion'
Alberta premier pushing USA to resume Keystone XL expansion
Premier Jason Kenney is continuing his push to convince the United States government to reconsider its decision to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline expansion. As Sarah Komadina explains, the premier believes the project could be completed in less than a year and reduce the pressure to import oil and gas from foreign nations like Russia. – Mar 7, 2022

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.) is visiting Alberta to meet with Premier Jason Kenney, Energy Minister Sonya Savage and key energy stakeholders to discuss energy security in North America.

Manchin, who chairs the United States Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, will be in Alberta on Monday and Tuesday to learn about the province’s energy sector, a government of Alberta press release said.

The visit comes as Republicans called on President Joe Biden to resurrect the long-dead Keystone XL pipeline as gas prices soar.

Manchin has also previously called on the White House to reverse its decision on Keystone XL.

Kenney has previously pushed the Biden administration to reconsider its decision to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline expansion, saying it can reduce the pressure to import oil and gas from foreign nations like Russia.

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“If the United States is serious about this, they could come back to the table and build Keystone XL,” Kenney said at a press conference in March.

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“If President Biden had not vetoed that project, it would be done later this year.”

Federal Tourism Minister Randy Boissonnault said during a Calgary Chamber of Commerce event on Monday he is not happy that Biden cancelled the Keystone XL pipeline expansion project.

According to Boissonnault, Canada needs to work with the U.S. and Mexico to develop a continental energy strategy. He said energy security and national security are linked issues.

“We have enough smart people. We have enough capacity. Let’s do the value, add and then share (our resources),” Boissonnault said.

“When Europe looks at us, they don’t think about Canada, U.S. and Mexico. They think about us as North America… Let’s use that as a geopolitical strategy for economic growth.”

Manchin’s visit also comes after Biden ordered the release of one million barrels of oil per day from the nation’s strategic petroleum reserve for six months. The move was made to combat the spike in energy prices due to steep sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.

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Tapping into the nation’s petroleum reserve could reduce oil prices in the U.S., but Biden has twice ordered releases from the reserves without causing a meaningful shift in oil markets. Biden said he expects gasoline prices to drop “fairly significantly.”

The administration also says this move will help provide time to ramp up and incentivize American oil production.

“The bottom line is if we want lower gas prices we need to have more oil supply right now,” Biden said on March 31. “This is a moment of consequence and peril for the world, and pain at the pump for American families.”

–With files from the Associated Press and Bruce Aalhus, Global News.

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