U.S. Senators Tim Scott and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) sent a letter to President Biden this week calling on him to reclaim American energy independence by approving the Keystone XL Pipeline and opening up federal lands to energy producers to increase domestic energy production in the face of Russian aggression in Ukraine.

“The world is in peril and we would like to work in a bipartisan manner to meet the challenges of our time,” wrote the senators. “In the area of energy independence, we have lost ground. Opening up American oil and gas deposits, and in particular approving the Keystone XL Pipeline, would benefit our allies suffering under Russian tyranny and American consumers facing steadily increasing prices at the pump.”

The senators highlighted that, while domestic oil production doubled in the last decade, President Biden has taken actions that have backpedaled America’s energy independence. These actions include President Biden’s executive orders revoking a previously approved permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline and pausing new oil and natural gas leases on public lands and offshore water, resulting in the United States purchasing on average 670,000 barrels of Russian oil per day to meet our domestic needs. 

“Through smart energy production, we can fulfill our energy needs while simultaneously exporting oil and gas to our allies,” wrote the senators. “Low carbon technologies are worth investing in; however, the reality of the moment is that America is increasingly reliant on imports of foreign oil. The spike in oil price is a result of Russia’s incursion into Ukraine, which benefits the Putin regime and hurts American consumers.”

“We urge you to lead the world in sanctioning Russia’s oil and gas sector, which makes up almost 40% of their revenue,” concluded the senators. “We must reverse course and hit Russia’s energy sector for Putin’s outrage against Ukraine and other atrocities. Further, we encourage you to reconsider the Keystone Pipeline and work with energy producers to responsibly increase oil and gas production at home. These actions will lessen the impact of increasing energy costs on American consumers and strike a blow against Putin.”

The letter was also signed by Senators Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Todd Young (R-Ind.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), and Rob Portman (R-Ohio).

The full text of the letter can be found here.

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