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I asked our team to pause for family time this week before kids return to school. The homepage is updated daily. The Digest returns on Monday, August 2. —Mark Alexander

Arnold Ahlert / Jan. 21, 2021

Making America Energy Dependent Again

Joe Biden’s plan is to reverse all the economic and energy gains made in the last four years.

During his presidency, one of the best things Donald Trump did was make America energy independent. Joe Biden plans to undo that agenda, ASAP. Among the 17 executive orders or actions the newly inaugurated president signed Wednesday afternoon was one revoking the permit for the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

We knew it was coming. The phrase “Rescind Keystone XL pipeline permit” was part of the list of executive actions contained in a briefing note circulated by Biden’s transition team last weekend, after first being shared with U.S. stakeholders. The cancellation of the permit would undo one of Trump’s first executive actions and return America to the Obama administration’s stance against a pipeline that would transport oil from the Canadian province of Alberta into Nebraska.

Barack Obama had rejected the permit in 2015 saying it would conflict with his administration’s global warming agenda. When Trump issued an executive order in 2017 allowing it to proceed, U.S. District Court Judge Brian Morris, an Obama appointee, rejected it by claiming that the State Department’s environmental analysis of the pipeline “fell short of a hard look” at the cumulative effects of greenhouse gases and the impact of pipeline construction on Native American land resources. Morris agreed with environmental groups who asserted that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit would allow companies to skirt responsibility for damage done to rivers and streams.

Morris made his ruling in November of 2018. In July of 2020, it was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

On Sunday, TC Energy, the Canadian company working on the project, released a statement addressing climate concerns. Richard Prior, president of Keystone XL, insisted the pipeline is “not only the safest and most reliable method to transport oil to markets, but the initiatives announced today also ensure it will have the lowest environmental impact of an oil pipeline in terms of greenhouse gas emissions.” He added, “Canada and the United States are among the most environmentally responsible countries in the world with some of the strictest standards for fossil fuel production.”

The people who believe the transition from fossil fuels to a Green New Deal can simply be mandated, irrespective of technological and scientific realities, couldn’t care less.

The move apparently doesn’t sit well with Canada’s equally progressive leader, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. In what seemingly amounts to progressive environmental heresy, Trudeau has long supported the $9 billion project because he thinks that creating jobs and reducing reliance on foreign energy sources is a commendable ambition.

How inane is it to cancel the deal? “Construction is well under way, with the cross-border portion of the line already completed,” explains columnist John Ibbitson. “Cancelling the project will cost thousands of jobs in both countries. TC Energy is committed to reducing carbon emissions, while the oil that replaces what Keystone would provide American refineries comes from countries with little or no commitment to fighting global warming.”

American labor unions are also less than enthused. Last August, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the International Union of Operating Engineers, the Laborers International Union of North America (LiUNA), and the United Association of Union Plumbers and Pipefitters reached a deal with TC Energy. Yet an oil and gas lobbyist who requested anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak to the press spelled out reality in no uncertain terms. “The only question has always been whether labor can stave off the death sentence,” the lobbyist stated. “And they never had a chance.”

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is also distressed. He notes that canceling the pipeline deal “will kill jobs on both sides of the border, weaken the critically important Canada-U.S. relationship, and undermine U.S. national security by making the United States more dependent on OPEC oil imports in the future.”

For the environmental religionists, killing jobs and a return to relying on foreign energy providers who hate us is a small price to pay for “saving the planet.”

And for eliminating racism to boot. Two incoming White House environmental aides — Maggie Thomas, who will be chief of staff for the Office of Domestic Climate Policy, and climate advocate Cecilia Martinez, billed as “senior director for environmental justice” — insist climate change is driven by systemic racism. In 2019, Martinez asserted that the nation’s only path forward “is to design national climate policies that are centered on justice.” Thomas’s scheme demands “trillions” in public investment, aimed at a “crack down” on oil production and a shift away from the nation’s “fossil fuel economy” — as well as funding for welfare programs, including rent and utility relief.

In other words, the Biden administration will precipitate skyrocketing energy prices, and then print trillions of additional dollars to subsidize the millions of Americans who can’t afford them. Anyone who disagrees with this double dose of ideologically driven stupidity?

Shut up — racist.

Keystone is just the beginning, and Americans will soon discover all of the other equally pernicious agendas an unchecked Democrat Party will inflict upon them. As columnist Steve Milloy warned last October, fracking, one of America’s most successful job-producing industries, can’t be killed by an executive order. Instead, it will be killed by thousands of regulations aimed at producing the same outcome.

“[Biden] has also committed to reversing President Trump’s deregulatory efforts,” Milloy wrote, “including the rollback of an Obama administration Environmental Protection Agency rule requiring the oil-and-gas industry to pay to limit methane leaks from fracking wells.”

Why? “Big oil companies support the Obama rule because it puts the squeeze on smaller players,” he continues. “If the rule is reinstated, struggling independent frackers will either close up shop or sell themselves to larger companies, whose profits have been harmed by a production glut. With the ability to control and limit overall production, those larger frackers could reduce the glut and increase their profits. There would be less fracking — and higher energy prices for consumers.”

In other words, in tandem with the economic destruction wrought by coronavirus lockdowns, more small businesses will be regulated into elimination, in service to a corporate oligarchy intent on eliminating any and all challenges to its hegemony.

In the next two years (at least), Americans are going to learn a very sobering lesson about the difference between a Trump administration’s aspiration to create economic abundance and a Biden administration’s socialist/Marxist effort to manage decline — the very same decline promoted as the “New Normal” during the Obama administration.

“This is just the beginning of an energy agenda that will cripple us on so many levels: jobs, cost of living, and opportunity,” warns columnist Daniel Turner. “It will hurt our critical allies in Canada and Europe. It will benefit our enemies Russia and China. And it will do absolutely nothing for the environment.”

No one should be surprised. It’s what happens when the electorate puts people who hate this nation in charge of it.

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