In Wake of Keystone Delay, Biden Lectures Ukraine on Energy Independence

Craig Bannister
By Craig Bannister | April 22, 2014 | 4:50 PM EDT

In the wake of the Obama administration yet again delaying a decision on the Keystone pipeline, Vice President Joe Biden lectured Ukrainian legislators about the importance of obtaining energy independence.

In remarks at a Meeting with Ukrainian legislators this morning, Biden said:

"And as you attempt to pursue energy security, there's no reason why you cannot be energy secure.  I mean there isn't.  It will take time.  It takes some difficult decisions, but it's collectively within your power and the power of Europe and the United States.  And we stand ready to assist you in reaching that.

"Imagine where you'd be today if you were able to tell Russia:  Keep your gas.  It would be a very different world you'd be facing today.

"It's within our power to alter that.  It will take some time, but it's within our power.  Very difficult decisions, but within our power."

Yes, imagine if the U.S. could tap into enough domestic energy to deliver the same message to the Middle East.

Biden repeated the theme a few hours later in a press event with the Ukrainian prime minister, saying "an American team is currently in the region" working to increase Ukraine's energy supply - and more U.S. teams are on the way:

"The Prime Minister and I also spoke about energy.  An American team is currently in the region working with Ukraine and its neighbors to increase Ukraine's short-term energy supply.  And I've been on the telephone with many of your neighbors, as you know, talking about the way to increase that supply.

"And more teams are coming to support long-term improvements so that no nation -- let me be precise, so that Russia can no longer use energy as a political weapon against Ukraine and Europe.

"With the right investments and the right choices, Ukraine can reduce its energy dependence and increase its energy security.  We will stand with you to help in every way we can for you to accomplish that goal."