The prices at the gasoline pump have continued to rise, approaching the $4 per gallon mark in Montana. Senator Jon Tester is joining with other Congressmen of both parties to urge the Biden Administration to work to increase domestic energy production.

Tester sent a letter to three different Cabinet heads - Secretary of Energy, Secretary of State and Secretary of Interior. The general topic of the letter was a request to release more oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, along with working with oil and gas producers to increase production to try to lower cost for consumers. Tester also wants more investment in clean energy generation and supported construction of pipeline projects such as the Keystone XL Pipeline.

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Tester has opposed President Biden's decision to cancel Keystone. He had earlier voted to approve the pipeline construction in 2015. When President Obama vetoed that bill, Tester voted to override the veto.

Portions of Senator Tester's letter

Tester wrote:

As our nation unites to confront President Vladimir Putin's reckless actions, strengthening our energy independence from enemies like Russia must be a priority. I believe it is critically important to immediately use the tools at our disposal to increase domestic energy production to protect American consumers from spiking gasoline prices and isolate President Putin and his oligarchs...I still support the Keystone XL Pipeline project and believe the State Department's rejection of a permit request was short-sighted. Development of projects built to high safety and environmental standards like the Keystone XL Pipeline would secure reliable petroleum sources from our allies. We should review projects like that one and seek to keep the oil here in America.

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