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State, national lawmakers respond to Keystone Pipeline executive order

Published: Jan. 21, 2021 at 6:03 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Some West Virginia leaders believe that President Biden’s first day in office ended up being a setback for the state’s economy.

“We know we are dealing with folks who really don’t respect America’s energy independence and that is terrible for West Virginia,” said Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, R-W.Va.

One of President Biden’s first 17 executive orders halted progress on the Keystone XL Pipeline

The executive order says in part, “The Keystone XL pipeline disserves the U.S. national interest” and adds “…leaving the keystone xl pipeline permit in place would not be consistent with my administration’s economic and climate imperatives.”

The order is not getting total Democratic support. U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., says the pipeline is the safest way to transport the oil.

“It hasn’t been that long ago we had a train derailment that was carrying that crude in through West Virginia and had a horrible explosion, so I know it’s much more dangerous to move it by rail or by road,” Manchin said. “That product is not stopping. That oil, heavy crude coming from Canada, will still come to our refineries and it will come either by truck or by rail, and it’s much safer by pipe.”

U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., also opposed the executive order and released this statement:

“President-elect Biden’s policies from Day One hurt American workers and our economy. Killing the Keystone XL pipeline and rejoining the Paris Agreement will eliminate good-paying jobs. This virtue signaling comes at the expense of low-income and rural families that rely upon industries opposed by liberal environmental groups. My constituents and I have not forgotten the harm brought by this approach under the Obama administration. In these next four years, it is imperative that Congress aggressively exercises oversight and pushes back on the worst impulses of Washington bureaucrats when it comes to West Virginians’ way of life.”

Morrisey says the order creates a ripple effect in the West Virginia economy. He says if jobs are at stake, he’s ready to take legal action if necessary.

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