By: Erika Stanish/KDKA-TV
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Three state senators announced plans to introduce a resolution to urge President Joe Biden to restart the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.
The push comes as tensions continue to escalate between Ukraine and Russia and as gas prices skyrocket across the country. Sen. Wayne Langerholc (R-35), Sen. Joe Pittman (R-41) and Sen. Gene Yaw (R-23) said they hope this action will push Biden to take action toward energy independence.
"The Keystone pipeline is critical to our national energy infrastructure, but it's also very symbolic. It's symbolic of whether or not we're willing to embrace the natural resources that we have in our country. To secure our energy independence for not only economic interests, but national security interests," Pittman said.
Currently, he said the U.S. imports 800,000 barrels of oil per day from Russia.
"I can tell you that the pipeline would have produced 830,000 barrels a day," Langerholc said.
Langerholc said the barrels imported from Russia could soon become more expensive or completely unavailable as the conflict between Ukraine and Russia escalates.
"This is just one step that we take that would make sense to enable people here in our country to not feel the pain at the pump and not have to pay exorbitant energy prices," Langerholc said.
Biden canceled the pipeline's permit last January. Langerholc said now more than ever, the U.S. can't continue to rely on foreign oil.
"We have the highest record of inflation in how many years, prices are rising, energy costs are rising. There's only so much that we can take here as a country," Langerholc said. "We have to take some steps, take some action that's going to yield actual results, and this is one that we feel will definitely go in that direction."
Meanwhile, Biden said Thursday that his administration is doing everything it can to protect American families and businesses from rising prices at the pump.
"We're taking active steps to bring down the cost, and American oil and gas companies should not exploit this moment to hike their prices to raise profits," Biden said.
Other senators will now have the opportunity to co-sign the resolution.
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