Time to rethink Biden’s anti-American energy policies

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There’s little room for nuance when it comes to President Biden’s energy policy. The Biden administration appears to be working from one of two realities. The more charitable interpretation suggests administration officials are so overtaken with green ideology that they’ve lost the ability to recognize the economic, social and environmental damage their “Green New Deal”-like plans are causing. A less charitable take would suggest they are comfortable relying on foreign competitors — and a few well-connected Washington insiders — for energy that should be produced domestically.

From its first days, the Biden administration has attacked and stifled America’s energy production. When he was campaigning, Biden and his running mate both promised to stop fracking. Immediately after he was elected, Biden paused all oil and gas leasing on federal lands. He then killed the Keystone XL pipeline and the many thousands of jobs it supported, claiming the pipeline did not serve the U.S. national interest. Only a few months later, he supported removing sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, handing a major energy and international policy win to Russian President Vladimir Putin and oil giant Gazprom.

While the president’s anti-energy policies stifled domestic production and raised prices on consumers, Biden again snubbed American energy producers by going on bended knee to OPEC and pleading for the oil cartel to boost production. It’s possible that he is reliving the past, doesn’t remember the fracking revolution has already happened and honestly believes America is still beholden to Middle Eastern oil. Regardless of what year the president thinks it might be, OPEC rebuffed his request.

Of course, it’s not entirely surprising that the president’s energy policies have grown increasingly hostile to domestic producers and friendly to our competitors. The president is living proof of the old saying, “When you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas.” His closest energy advisers and appointees are drawn from two quarters: a cloistered group of elite Washington insiders and the extreme wing of the progressive green movement. Under their guidance, federal policies can’t help but become infested with fanatical and dangerous ideas.

Gina McCarthy, his national climate adviser, is a longtime Washington insider who bounces between senior positions in government and executive roles in extreme environmental groups. As head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) during the Obama presidency, one of McCarthy’s main tasks was to carry out the administration’s plan to bankrupt the coal industry under the growing weight of federal regulation. Green groups still routinely cheer her successes in that effort.

John Kerry, the president’s special envoy for climate, occupies a uniquely conflicted position. Most would struggle to live with the obvious contradiction of serving as a special climate envoy and demanding the world cease emissions of greenhouse gasses while using a fleet of private jets and yachts, mansions and personal vehicles. But not John Kerry; he has defended his CO2 emissions, which appear to rival those of a small developing nation, as “the only choice for somebody like me.”

During her time as Michigan’s governor, Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm gained experience redirecting sizable government handouts to politically savvy green industries. She matched that experience with an apparent ability to parlay close relationships with those green companies into a sizable retirement fund.

Deb Haaland, the Secretary of the Interior, made headlines as a freshman House member representing New Mexico when she publicly supported a ban on fracking and wholeheartedly supported the Green New Deal.

Tracy Stone-Manning, the president’s nominee to lead the Bureau of Land Management, was involved in a 1989 plot to spike trees. She retyped and then forwarded a letter for a fellow member of the eco-terrorist group EarthFirst! to the U.S. Forest Service. Stone-Manning has defended her actions, claiming the letter warned that trees intended for logging had been spiked, thus keeping people from being hurt. Her claims have been disputed by other testimony in federal hearings and by the alleged ringleader of the tree-spiking plan.

While he campaigned as a moderate centrist and unifier, the president has chosen to surround himself with a coterie of extreme anti-energy greens and pampered Washington insiders. Under their influence, Biden’s energy policies have refused to promote America’s abundant, low-cost domestic energy resources and the jobs they provide. Instead, this administration has chosen to promote energy and jobs for our competitors in world markets and rising energy costs at home. Whether you choose to view his reasons under a charitable light or not, the president’s energy policies must be rethought for the good of the nation.

Jason Hayes is director of environmental policy at the Mackinac Center in Midland, Mich. Follow him on Twitter @jasonthayes.

Tags biden environmental policy Deb Haaland Energy policy Gina McCarthy Green New Deal Jennifer Granholm Joe Biden John Kerry Keystone Pipeline Vladimir Putin

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