Van Hollen: Have to Be Less Reliant on Oil, Gas ‘Over Time,’ Because Russia Has ‘Important Share’ of Market, Don’t Regret Axing Keystone

On Thursday’s broadcast of the Fox News Channel’s “Your World,” Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) said that he doesn’t regret the shutdown of the Keystone XL pipeline, argued that “slower oil and gas production here had nothing to do with President Biden’s policies.” And said that while oil and gas production will continue as they should, “we also need to do what President Biden wants to do, which is, over time, reduce our reliance on oil and gas. Because, obviously, it’s a world market. … Russia has an important share of that.”

Van Hollen said, [relevant remarks begin around 2:25] “I’ve heard people say that the Keystone decision had some impact on current prices. I also saw PolitiFact looked at that claim and said it was false. The reality is that oil and gas production is continuing in the United States, as it should, but we also need to do what President Biden wants to do, which is, over time, reduce our reliance on oil and gas. Because, obviously, it’s a world market. And, as you point out, Russia has an important share of that.”

He added, “[W]hen you have a conflict like this, gas prices will go up, and we need to recognize that there will be some price to pay for standing up against Putin’s bullying.”

Host Neil Cavuto then asked, “But there would be less of a price to pay if we dramatically opened up production, right? You’re quite right to say, sir, that the Keystone pipeline is — it was — really just represented a fraction of our overall oil and our future oil needs. But, as you know, oil trades in the open world markets, and it was read at the time that U.S. production is not going to be as big as we thought it would be or as much of an important issue for this administration. And almost ever since, we’ve been behind the eight ball here. Do you regret that unilateral decision at the time?”

Van Hollen responded, “No, I don’t. And, Neil, I think you know that oil production and gas production in the United States is obviously moved by world prices. As prices are going up, what you’re going to see in the United States is increased oil and gas production. The slower oil and gas production here had nothing to do with President Biden’s policies.”

Later, Cavuto asked Van Hollen if he supports “dramatically beefing up domestic production to make up for the oil that will be off the market soon from Russia?”

Van Hollen answered that domestic production would increase as prices increase.

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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