Michael Swartz / March 26, 2021

States Sue Biden Over Energy Diktats

There’s federalism at play, but also sound energy policy and national security.

Back in October, Joe Biden claimed, “If you can’t get the votes … you can’t [legislate] by executive order unless you’re a dictator. We’re a democracy. We need consensus.” As we’ve learned over the longest two months of our lives, those were just feel-good platitudes uttered by the titular head of a movement that’s completely turned the idea of good government on its head despite the thinnest of majorities in both houses of Congress. No mandate here, just a slew of executive orders that divide us.

Since Congress has been rendered impotent, the last resort for the opposition is the courts, which — fortunately — have been bolstered in the last four years with conservative, constitutionalist appointees. In the latest defensive salvo against President Biden’s overreach, a group of 13 energy-producing states, led by Louisiana, has filed a lawsuit in federal court to overturn his proposed halt of oil and gas leasing on federal lands.

“By executive fiat, Joe Biden and his administration have single-handedly driven the price of energy up, costing the American people where it hurts most — in their pocketbooks,” said Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, the lead plaintiff who filed the suit in his home state. “Biden’s executive orders abandon middle-class jobs at a time when America needs them most and put our energy security in the hands of foreign countries, many of whom despise America’s greatness.”

The suit alleges Biden’s order violates both the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act and the Mineral Leasing Act, and it follows previous suits regarding his cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline and his declaration that greenhouse gases have a “social cost.”

Biden regime mouthpiece Jen Psaki claimed the previous administration “flooded the oil markets with cheap federal leases,” but also that reversing it “will not affect oil and gas markets for years to come.” We may circle back to that economically illiterate point, but there’s another important lesson here.

As you may recall, America had finally become effectively energy independent for the first time in decades under the Trump administration thanks to energy companies being able to extract the resources with which we’ve been blessed. Under Biden, though, the only American extraction will come from our wallets with a proposed tax on mileage driven. More importantly, though, losing our energy independence means that our adversaries around the world, in particular Russia, stand to gain at our expense. Imagine Biden trying to convince Vladimir Putin in person why he can talk tough yet give away one big advantage we held over Russia with our allies in Europe as a more friendly supplier of natural gas. Putin is probably still pinching himself because things are falling into place better than he ever dreamed.

So there’s bad policy and there’s BAD policy. “Cheap leases” or not, states that received half of the revenue generated from drilling on the federal lands within their borders will need to make budget cuts or figure out ways to restore this lost revenue, while Americans in all 50 states have to deal with increased prices for gasoline and electricity. The thousands of jobs dependent on the energy industry have also been placed in jeopardy, with those who were furloughed after working on the canceled Keystone project being the tip of that spear at a time when the economy’s unsteady recovery could use a sure job creator in an essential industry. All because Washington wants dictatorial power over how we stay warm and get around.

Certainly the new broom sweeps clean, and in this case Biden and crew are trying to rid every nook and cranny of what they perceive as dirt from the previous occupant of the Oval Office. But did the people really want this radical change in policy? Those newly jobless in the energy industry who are pumping gas that costs several dollars more per tankful are certainly wishing the clock could be turned back to last year when Joe Biden was merely lying to us about consensus instead of destroying it.

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