The typical course of societal response to most government impositions is for small, aware, vocal groups to speak out against them, fail to stop them, and become frustrated as the rest of the population adopts normalcy bias, assumes the changes are just “natural,” and new generations are born into the mad system, never knowing what was destroyed and never seeing the lost opportunities that freedom could have offered.
So, it is with a mixture of gratitude and vexatious forbidding that one encounters the laudable work of Thomas Pyle, President of the Institute for Energy Research (IRE), who has written a chronological list of the top 150 actions the Biden Administration has taken to harm domestic oil and natural gas exploration, refining, transport, and supply.
With respect to his voluminous and powerful research, I have opted to offer to you what I perceive as the 10 most destructive “periods” of just the FIRST Biden year -- combining a number of his moves into one because he did them at virtually the same moment -- and I provide them with a reminder that these details cannot hide the larger lesson: There should be no federal “energy policies” in the first place.
Let’s “Begin at the Beguine” – as Cole Porter might have said – with the start of the Biden nightmare…
1. On January 20, 2021, Biden cancelled the Keystone XL Pipeline. The project had been fraught with justified opposition from American Indians who argued not only that portions of the pipeline infringed on their property rights, but also that some of the land outside the current property lines actually should belong to their tribes. Then, as Pyle recounts, on the SAME DAY:
“President Biden restricted domestic production by issuing a moratorium on all oil and natural gas leasing activities in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
He also restored and expanded the use of the government-created social cost of carbon metric to artificially increase the regulatory costs of energy production of fossil fuels when performing analyses (see my April, 2023, MRCTV piece on this, here), as well as artificially increase the so-called “benefits” of decreasing production.
Biden continued to revoke Trump administration executive orders, including those related to the Waters of the United States rule and the Antiquities Act. The Trump-era actions decreased regulations on Federal land and expanded the ability to produce energy domestically.”
2. A week later, on January 27…
“Biden issued an executive order announcing a moratorium on new oil and gas leases on public lands or in offshore waters and reconsideration of Federal oil and gas permitting and leasing practices. He directed his Interior Department to conduct a review of permitting and leasing policies.” (This “Climate Crisis” E.O. also revoked Trump-era “regulatory guidelines” that actually had streamlined “regs” and provided clarity to energy producers striving to make plans for the future.)
3. February 19, 2021, Biden and his cohorts offered a post-Valentine’s Day hug to the Paris Climate Cult, officially rejoining the “agreement” which never has been passed as a Treaty, but which Biden and Obama both use as rhetorical cover to excuse increasingly burdensome restrictions on “emissions” for energy provision. The forces behind the Paris “accord” are, as author Marc Marano wrote for USA today in 2015, “…nothing more than a political lobbying organization masquerading as a ‘science’ body.”
4. In a fashion reminiscent of the Obama and Biden Administration using the Portman-Murphy Countering Foreign Propaganda Act of 2016 (renewed in 2020) to fund organizations such as Stanford’s Virality Project, and NewsGuard, which have been shown to have engaged in direct attempts to have social media censor conservatives and libertarians, like MRCTV, Biden on March 11, 2021 set about funding “green” propaganda, legal action, and the promotion of “green industries”
“The President signed ARPA, which included numerous provisions advancing Biden’s green priorities, such as a $50 million environmental slush fund directed towards ‘environmental justice’ groups, including efforts advanced by Biden’s EO.
ARPA also included $50 million in grant funding for Clean Air Act pollution-related activities aimed at advancing the green agenda at the expense of the fossil fuel industry.”
5. On April 16, 2021:
“At Biden’s Direction, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland revoked policies in Secretarial Order 3398 established by the Trump administration including rejecting ‘American Energy Independence’ as a goal; rejecting an ‘America-First Offshore Energy Strategy;’ rejecting ‘strengthening the Department of the Interior’s Energy Portfolio;’ and rejecting establishing the ‘Executive Committee for Expedited Permitting.’ These actions set the stage for the unprecedented slowdown in energy activity by the Interior Department, steward of 2.46 billion acres of federal mineral estate and all its energy and mineral resources.”
All of which, running on land and water that the feds have no constitutional power to control, sets within oil and gas companies a hesitancy to establish long-term plans for investment in new exploration and recovery. This “regime uncertainty” retards growth and sees investment move to other nations.
6. On May 20 and May 28, 2021, Biden hit energy companies with two more cost-additive punches:
“On May 20, Biden issued an executive order on Climate-Related Financial Risk that would artificially increase regulatory burdens on the oil and gas industry by increasing the ‘risk’ the federal government undertakes in doing business with them. (When the Mafia claims ownership of the land, it can raise your toll to exclude you.)
On May 28, 2021, Biden’s FY 2022 revenue proposals include nearly $150 billion in tax increases directly levied against the oil and gas energy producers.”
7. On July 28, 2021, under Jennifer Granholm, who traded a lot in “electric car making” stock before joining the Biden Admin, the Energy Department issued new “energy efficiency determinations” for new construction in the US -- yes, you read that right… And, as Pyle notes:
“This Department of Energy determination increases regulatory burdens on commercial building codes, requiring green energy codes to disincentivize natural gas and other energy sources. DOE readily admits they ignored efforts private industry is making on their own and utilized the questionable “social costs of carbon” to overstate the public benefit.
The Executive Order also kicked off the development of more stringent long-term fuel efficiency and emissions standards, a backdoor way to compel the electrification of vehicles.”
8. On September 3, 2021, they played with the fascist and unconstitutional “CAFE” standards…
“Biden’s Department of Transportation issued a proposed rule that would update the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards for Model Years 2024–2026 Passenger Cars and Light Trucks to increase fuel economy regulations on passenger cars and light vehicles. The modeling calculated ‘fuel savings’ by multiplying fuel price with ‘avoided fuel costs’ to disincentivize gasoline by making it more costly to afford ICE (internal combustion engine) cars and trucks.”
9. On October 7, 2021…
“The Council on Environmental Quality revoked Trump administration NEPA reforms that reduced regulatory burdens by reinstating tangential environmental impacts of proposed projects. Biden announced plans to designate the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, a move counter to Trump’s reversal of a similar Obama-era proclamation. Trump aimed to allow energy exploration in the area to increase energy independence. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) CAP includes efforts to switch fuel away from oil and natural gas and subsidize more costly, less efficient fuel sources. As part of its CAP, EPA intends to incorporate Biden’s Green New Deal agenda throughout its rulemaking process.”
10. On October 29 and 30 of 2021:
"The Bureau of Land Management announced the use of social costs of carbon in decision-making for approving permits for oil and gas drilling. This devalues the economic benefits of energy production on federal lands.
The Department of Labor issued a final ESG Rule that would require fiduciaries to consider the economic effects of climate change and other so-called environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors when evaluating funds for retirement plans. The rule would strongly encourage fiduciaries to draw capital from domestic energy development in oil and natural gas to renewables.”
And, as a bonus, on November 19, 2021…
"Biden endorsed several oil and gas provisions in the Build Back Better Bill, including a new tax on methane, of up to $1500 per ton; prohibiting energy production in the Arctic and offshore leasing on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) in the Atlantic, Pacific and Eastern Gulf of Mexico Planning Areas; increased fees and royalties for onshore and offshore oil and gas production; a new $8 billion tax on companies that produce, process, transmit or store oil and natural gas starting in 2023; limited ability of energy producers to claim tax credits for upfront and royalty payments in foreign countries – amounting to a tax increase on domestic energy producers; and a 16.4 cent tax on each barrel on crude oil – up from 9.7 cents – a $13 billion tax increase on oil production.”
And this is just Year One.
What would the Founders think?
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