Restarting Keystone XL construction ‘wouldn’t actually increase supply’ of oil: top Biden adviser

‘Any action on Keystone wouldn’t actually increase supply, and it would transmit oil years into the future.’


—National Economic Council Director Brian Deese

That’s the White House’s top economic adviser, in an interview with CNBC on Friday, dismissing the notion of rethinking the Biden administration’s decision to cancel the permit that would allow construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.

Instead, National Economic Council Director Brian Deese said the focus is on measures aimed at lowering fuel prices as quickly as possible, he said, including President Joe Biden’s announcement Thursday that the US would release 1 million barrels a day of crude from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve for the next six months.

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“What we’re focused on right now is what we can do right now,” Deese said. There are wells “that are shut in and that can be brought back online over the course of the next couple months. What we need right now is to address the immediate supply disruption.”

May West Texas Intermediate crude CL

CL00

CLK22,
the US benchmark, fell 12.8% this week to end at $99.27 a barrel on Friday, slipping back below the $100-a-barrel threshold. June Brent crude dropped 11.1% for the week to end Friday at $104.39 a barrel.

Oil prices had surged to their highest levels since 2014 before Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine, with WTI changing hands near $94 a barrel. Crude spiked following Russia’s attack on its neighbor as traders priced in the potential disruption to energy flows from Russia, one of the world’s largest producers, with WTI briefly trading above $130 a barrel in early March.

Biden revoked approval for construction of Keystone XL on his first day in office. The 1,700-mile pipeline was planned to carry roughly 800,000 barrels of oil a day from Alberta to the Texas Gulf Coast, passing through Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma.

–The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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