Did Joe Biden Revoke the Keystone Pipeline Permit to Help Warren Buffett?

After President Joe Biden revoked a permit on the Keystone XL oil pipeline on January 20, social media rumors began spreading about Biden’s motivation behind this decision. 

A viral Facebook post claims that construction on the Keystone Pipeline was halted because of Biden’s connection to billionaire investor Warren Buffett. The post claims: “The Keystone pipeline. Cancelled by Biden on his first day. Warren Buffet [sic] owns the railroad that is now transporting all that oil. Warren Buffet [sic] donated 58 million to the Biden campaign. Warren Buffet [sic] would lose billions in transport fees if the pipeline is completed. See how politics works? It is not an environmental issue, it is a money issue…”

Although it’s true that Biden signed an executive order to cancel the Keystone pipeline permit, there’s no evidence Warren Buffett was involved in the decision or in Biden’s campaign. 

According to information from the Federal Election Commission (FEC), Buffet did not give any money directly to Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign. Buffett’s last contribution, per the FEC, was in November 2019 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which supports Democratic House candidates. The last individual candidate he contributed to was Arizona Democratic Senate candidate Mark Kelly in February 2019.  Also, a $58 million dollar campaign contribution would violate the contribution limits outlined by the FEC. 

Debbie Bosanek, Buffett’s assistant, told the Associated Press that Buffett did not give money to Biden’s campaign, nor did he give any money through a political action committee in the 2020 election. 

Buffett’s company, Berkshire Hathaway, does own Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp, but according to Bosanek, as reported by the Associated Press, Buffett has not commented on how the project would affect his business. In the past, Buffett has publicly supported the Keystone Pipeline project. In a  2014 CNBC  appearance, Buffett said, “I think probably the Keystone Pipeline is a good idea for the country.”

As per Biden’s executive order, leaving the Keystone permit in place “would not be consistent with my Administration’s economic and climate imperatives.”

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