Biden ‘does not care’ about small-town America, South Dakotans say: 'If he did care, Keystone would be going’

After canceling the Keystone XL Pipeline, President Biden's slogan should be ‘butchering booming business,' an energy CEO says

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President Biden has been "absolutely worthless" and "has done nothing for us," residents of a small South Dakota town say as their community continues to deal with the fallout from the Keystone XL Pipeline cancelation. 

"He does not care," Paulette, a resident of Philip, told Fox News. "If he did care, Keystone would be going."

Biden revoked the Keystone XL Pipeline's building permit his first day in office over concerns about its potential impact on the climate.

"Biden and his administration ran on Build Back Better, and, that is, from where I'm standing, a load of crap," West Central Electric Cooperative CEO Jeff Birkeland told Fox News. "I think his new slogan should be ‘butchering booming business.'"

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Missed opportunity

Birkeland said the Keystone XL Pipleine was a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity" for Philip, a town with a population of 779. The project would have brought unprecedented growth to their otherwise stagnant community, he told Fox News.

West Central, which is located in Philip, was one of three electric co-ops in South Dakota working on substations for the Keystone pipeline.

West Central Electric Cooperative office in Philip, South Dakota 

West Central Electric Cooperative office in Philip, South Dakota 

Birkeland's co-op had invested $9 million into the project when Biden halted it after one day in office, the energy CEO told Fox. 

"He's literally pulled the rug out from under us and killed our economy," Birkeland said. 

Paulette told Fox News the effect of Biden's decision to cancel the pipeline "was huge. He got no love from this area."

"There was going to be a lot of money coming in here to help our schools, help our community," she continued. "It was going to be a good deal, and he trashed it."

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‘No common sense’

Duane Adair, manager of the town’s only motel, the Motel West, said: "There's no common sense in making that decision to shut down pipelines – and then turn around and we have a problem with not having enough oil."

Motel West in Philip, South Dakota 

Motel West in Philip, South Dakota  (Fox News Media)

For three consecutive days this week, gas prices hit their all-time highest mark, with the national average reaching $4.35 per gallon Thursday, according to AAA. 

Biden announced a ban on Russian oil and gas imports Tuesday in response Moscow's war on Ukraine. The president warned that Americans would see higher prices at the pump.

The White House has not indicated if it will take action to increase domestic energy production despite supply shortages. 

"Do you really think that old sleepy Joe Biden gives one wit about an oil spill? No, he doesn't," Adair said, referring to Biden's citing environmental concerns as his reasoning behind canceling the Keystone Pipeline.

"Do you really think that old sleepy Joe Biden gives one wit about an oil spill? No, he doesn't." 

— Duane Adair, South Dakota motel manager

"The helicopter that he rides, Air Force One, the vehicles that he transports in, I bet none of them are electric," Adair continued. "I bet he's not on green energy."

‘We get skipped a lot’

White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked by Fox News' Peter Doocy on Thursday, "You guys are pushing electric vehicles today. This is a president who talks about the power of our example. Does he own an electric vehicle?"

"Presidents of the United States don’t do a lot of driving," Psaki responded.

Philip is a small town in western South Dakota, about 86 miles east of Rapid City. (Fox News)

Philip is a small town in western South Dakota, about 86 miles east of Rapid City. (Fox News)

One lifelong Philip resident, Rose, said rural America often feels unheard when it comes to the policies coming out of Washington.

"I think we get skipped a lot," she told Fox News.

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Mike Albrecht, who is left with an abandoned man-camp intended to house up to 1,200 pipeline workers, shared a similar sentiment. 

"It just seems like there's no listening to the voices of small towns," he told Fox News.

Paulette said of Biden: "He's done nothing for us. Absolutely worthless."

Teny Sahakian is an Associate Producer/Writer for Fox News. Follow Teny on Twitter at @tenysahakian.