Secretary of State Tony Blinken declined to explain Tuesday why the Biden administration gave the green light to Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline but canceled the Keystone XL pipeline to Canada, saying he could not comment on “domestic… politics.”
Blinken was testifying before the Senate Appropriations Committee on the State Department’s annual budget, and faced questions about the administration’s contradictory policies from Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL).
Shelby asked Blinken about the Biden administration’s decision to “back down” on sanctions against the Russian company building the Nord Stream 2 pipeline to Europe, which President Donald Trump had opposed because it gave Russia additional leverage over the European Union. Shelby noted that Biden had canceled Keystone XL, putting thousands of American workers out of jobs, ostensibly because of concerns about the impacts of global climate change.
Blinken declined to speak about Keystone XL, and argued that Nord Stream 2 was already largely physically completed. He also said that the Biden administration was concerned about antagonizing the German government, and that the administration would try to make sure that Russia would not use its gas supplies to Europe as a “coercive tool.”
Shelby then asked: “What’s your message to the American workers who have been displaced by Keystone? Because they see a contradiction there, in their own lives.”
Blinken replied: “I can’t speak to Keystone, or domestic policy or politics, just Nord Stream itself.”
In April, Blinken delivered a speech in Maryland on climate change, commenting extensively on domestic energy policy and also claiming the U.S. was beset by “systemic racism.”
The Keystone XL would bring Canadian oil to the U.S.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new e-book, We Told You So!: The First 100 Days of Joe Biden’s Radical Presidency. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.