Former Keystone pipeline worker rips Biden after comments on oil production

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President Biden ‘speaks nonsense’ when talking about climate agenda, energy policy: Brian Brenberg

Fox News contributor Brian Brenberg and Marco Trends Advisors founding partner Mitch Roschelle reacts to President Biden’s announcement of an additional release from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

FIRST ON FOX: A former Keystone XL pipeline welder sharply criticized President Biden after the White House announced new measures intended to drive gasoline and energy prices down on Wednesday.

"I don't know how he gets away with keep saying that he doesn't have anything to do with [high gas prices] when they've got everything to do with it," Neal Crabtree told FOX Business in an interview.

Crabtree — a member of an Arkansas pipeliners' union who had worked on the Keystone XL project in Nebraska — and hundreds other workers were laid off hours after the president took office on Jan. 20, 2021. Shortly after his inauguration, Biden canceled the federal permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, a project that would have transported 830,000 barrels of oil per day from Canada to Texas.

Biden's executive order nixing the pipeline stated that the U.S. would prioritize the "development of a clean energy economy" instead of fossil fuel production.

BIDEN DEFENDS US OIL RESERVE RELEASE TO FIGHT RISING GAS PRICES BEFORE MIDTERMS: 'NOT POLITICALLY MOTIVATED'

Material for the Keystone XL pipeline is pictured in western Canada on Jan. 26, 2021. President Biden revoked the permit for the pipeline days earlier. (Jason Franson/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)

"As far as my side of the industry, we've seen our man-hours cut almost — well, more than half. We got people that lost health insurance, they're not getting retirement benefits, they've had to find different careers," Crabtree continued. "When you're 40, or 45 years old, starting over ain't the easiest thing to do. You spent all your time building your skill set and then all of a sudden you're making a minimum wage. It can change your life."

"It's not just Keystone. Ever since day one — I can name you dozens of other pipelines that we were expecting to build here in the last couple of years, and they can't get the permits," he added.

BIDEN SLAMMED FOR ANTICIPATED STRATEGIC PETROLEUM RESERVE RELEASE: NOT ‘A LONG-TERM SOLUTION’

Earlier Wednesday, in response to rising gasoline prices, the president announced his intention to initiate another sale from the nation's emergency oil stockpiles and blamed oil and refining companies for increased costs. Average gas prices nationwide fell to $3.85 per gallon, about 15% higher than their level a year ago, according to a AAA database.

During his speech, Biden said it was a "myth" that his administration has slowed oil production or made it harder for energy companies to boost production. 

"Let's debunk some myths here. My administration has not stopped or slowed U.S. oil production," Biden remarked at the White House. "Quite the opposite."

While oil production on leased federal lands and waters increased to 12 million barrels of oil per day last week, it remains more than a million barrels per day lower than its pre-pandemic level from March 2020, according to the Energy Information Administration. 

In addition to canceling the Keystone XL pipeline, the Biden administration has hampered the domestic fossil fuel industry by canceling lease sales, introducing impediments to new pipeline construction and backing financial disclosure rules requiring private sector companies to reveal "climate risk" data.

"It ain't just, you know, the canceling of pipelines. It's behind-the-scenes stuff — pressuring banks and lenders not to finance fossil fuel projects," Crabtree told FOX Business. "But the main problem that our industry is having is they've got such a stranglehold on the permit process."

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Biden defends U.S. oil reserve release to fight rising gas prices before midterms: ‘Not politically motivated’

President Biden announced the release of 15 million more barrels of oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve on Wednesday.

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Crabtree also noted that energy companies face a large amount of regulatory obstacles for refinery expansions or new refinery construction.

"We need a better system where we got refineries built in different strategic parts of the country, instead of relying on this old system," he said. 

"But you know, they're just Democrats and environmentalists — they just aren't going to let it happen. I don't know how bad they want the country to suffer before they realize that you can't force everybody to go on green energy."

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