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Keystone Pipeline cancellation was 'mistake,' economist under Obama, Clinton admits — and slowing oil permits, 'being hostile' toward natural gas were errors, too

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JASON SZENES/AFP via Getty Images

Larry Summers — who served as treasury secretary under former President Bill Clinton and was the director of the National Economic Council under former President Barack Obama — admitted during a Friday interview on Wall Street Week that canceling the Keystone Pipeline was a "mistake" and that slowing oil permits and "being hostile as a country" toward natural gas were errors as well.

What are the details?

During the interview, Summers was asked about the OPEC+ move to slash oil production by 2 million barrels a day in order to control prices — a move that was a blow to President Joe Biden, who made a trip to Saudi Arabia over the summer to implore oil kingpins there to increase production in order to lower gas prices.

Specifically, Summers was asked if the oil production downturn will have "larger macroeconomic effects" and possibly speed us into a global recession.

"There's nothing good in this," Summers replied.

Later he added that "we made a mistake by canceling the Keystone pipeline. We made a mistake by slowing down all kinds of permitting activity. We made a mistake by being hostile as a country to natural gas."

He also said that "we made a mistake in the Congress a few weeks ago when we didn’t pass" the program from Democrat U.S. Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia to expand permitting.

"We crucially need regulatory relief, or we’re not gonna get renewables online fast, and we’re not going to get the transmission lines that are necessary for renewables to become a large part of our energy fast," Summers added. "So, the real lesson [of] this is we need a different kind of energy strategy than the one that we’ve had. We need a strategy that is balanced rather than an unbalanced strategy of total hostility to fossil fuels, or God knows the kind of total strategy of favoring fossil fuels that we had ... even egregious favoritism toward Saudi Arabia that we saw during the Trump administration. We need to find a balance. And I think we’re making our way in that direction.”

Wall Street Week - Full Show 10/07/2022youtu.be

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