FACT CHECK: The U.S. Was Less Energy Independent When Mike Pence Was Vice President

Here’s a reality check for Mike Pence, his political advocacy group, and their new ad. Not only was the Keystone Pipeline years away from being completed, but Mike Pence stood silently by for four years while Donald Trump – the man with whom he served as vice president – appeased Putin.

FACT #1: The Keystone Pipeline was years away from being completed when President Biden took office, and experts agree that it would have little impact on energy prices even if it were operating today. 

Reuters: “While it is true that the project had secured funding, which was largely expected to be paid out in 2021 and 2022, the claim is partly false, as less than 10% of the pipeline had been built by the time Biden formally revoked the permit.”

Newsweek: “’Little Evidence’ Keystone Pipeline Would Level Prices Despite GOP Claims”

Politico: “But the 1,200-mile Alberta-to-Texas pipeline wouldn’t be transporting oil now even if Biden had allowed the project to proceed — construction of final leg had only just started in the United States when Trump left office. And it hasn’t stopped shipments from Canada, which have climbed by nearly 70 percent since the pipeline was first proposed in 2008.”

Fact #2: Russian oil imports dramatically increased under the Trump-Pence administration after declining under President Obama. 

FactCheck.org: “[Trump] also said the U.S. should ‘start producing’ as it did in 2020, rather than ‘buying Russian energy.’ If he was referring to oil, the U.S. was buying from Russia in 2020, and for many years before.”

Fact #3: The U.S. is more energy independent under President Biden’s leadership, as energy production is increasing and outpacing consumption, and net energy exports have increased. 

Politico: “In fact, U.S. exports of crude oil and petroleum products continued to outstrip imports during Biden’s first year, according to figures from Energy Department’s independent statistical arm, the Energy Information Administration.”

Bloomberg: “In 2020, for the first time in 69 years, the U.S. exported more energy than it imported. The numbers for 2021 aren’t all in yet, but everything is pointing to an even bigger energy surplus.”

Axios: “The U.S. is now energy independent”