Writing about political activity is a never-ending exercise, akin to “demonology” – the chronicling of evil.
But, thankfully, some courageous souls go to the trouble of doing the heavy lifting to report on areas of particular interest to them. And in this second of two parts looking at the first two years of Biden Administration attacks on oil and gas energy provision, one can thank Institute for Energy Research (IER) head Thomas Pyle for doing the “heavy lifting” of compiling the top 150, and putting them in chronological order. It can’t be pleasant to scan the vast landscape of aggression shown by these Biden Administration characters, but it is important work. Here, for MRCTV, I’ve taken time to follow-up an earlier report, and condense Biden Year Two into the Second Top Ten List of Attacks, with the hope that you, the reader, can spread the word, and remember the key lesson: political control over the peaceful sale and use of energy is immoral and unconstitutional. The very idea of a “Department of Energy” or “Department of Labor” is poison to liberty and human betterment.
Let’s pick up where we left off, at the close of 2021…
1. On November 17, 2021:
“HUD’s CAP leverages the Community Development Block Grant to advance ‘environmental justice’ efforts.
Biden calls on FTC to probe “anti-consumer behavior” by energy companies.”
2. On November 19, the White House and Congress let loose the “Build Back Better” bill.
“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.”
3. On December 14, 2021:
“The EPA launched a revamp of its Office of Civil Rights to add so-called environmental justice enforcement as a key pillar in enforcing Title VI civil rights complaints. The agency’s announcements mean social justice claims against, among others, the oil and gas industry will increase costs and penalties that have specious connections to its environmental mission.”
4. On December 21, we see Biden’s crew set about the first part of a two-phase shift of the proverbial “regulatory” gears. They anticipating leftist California moves to clamp down on engines, which would have a secondary, market-based, effect on auto makers, because the California auto market is so large… This merely “revokes” previous Trump Admin rules… The next change will come via the EPA, in March of 2022…
“Biden’s Department of Transportation issued its Final Rule revoking Trump-era actions which prevented California from arbitrarily becoming the national standard for fuel emissions. The rule set the stage for the administration to reinstate California’s waiver, and, since automakers do not make different cars for different states, the rule would allow California’s radical environmental policies to reach nationwide, forcing people nationwide to pay for vehicles meeting California’s standards.”
5. On December 30, at a time when few Americans are paying attention to the news, the Biden Admin announced new, more stringent ‘standards’ for auto emissions, again making manufacturers incur more expenses, increasing costs for consumers.
“Biden’s EPA issued its Final Rule for increased ‘fuel efficiency standards.’ According to the Final Rule, ‘These standards are the strongest vehicle emissions standards ever established for the light-duty vehicle sector. The rule, in responding to comments, claims ‘energy security benefits to the U.S. from decreased exposure to volatile world oil prices’ suggesting that decreasing oil and gas production in the U.S. will result in less exposure to the international oil and gas market because they will be disincentivizing vehicles that use oil and gas. The rule also claims that it will result in ‘fuel savings’ entirely due to less use of fuel.”
Those calculations should be made by consumers, based on their myriad interests.
6. On February 21, 2022:
“The Biden administration paused working all new oil and gas leases on Federal land in response to a judge blocking their arbitrary use of social costs of carbon, unnecessarily hurting domestic oil and gas production.”
7. On March 9, 2022, the second part of the California stratagem is implemented, finishing the move started with Number Four:
“EPA Reinstates California Emissions Waiver: The EPA reinstated California’s emissions waivers, allowing the state to set its own greenhouse gas emissions standards, standards which will likely be adopted nationwide and are sure to make vehicles more expensive. The practical effect is that California is setting policy for people in all the other states despite their terrible record of energy (expense) inflation.”
8. On April 15, 2022:
“Biden announced 144,000 acres of the federal mineral estate opened for oil and gas leasing — just 0.00589 percent of the 2.46 billion acres the American people own. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said, ‘Today’s action…was the result of a court injunction that we continue to appeal, and it’s not in line with the president’s policy, which is to ban additional leasing.’
The administration announced it would resume leasing, but with a royalty rate almost 50 percent higher.
(And… Biden Admin) reinstatement of M37039: ‘The Bureau of Land Management’s Authority to Address Impacts of its Land Use Authorizations Through Mitigation’ The Interior Department reversed a Trump administration decision which limited the scope of ‘compensatory mitigation’ the Department could force upon projects on federal land as a condition of receiving a permit, which will hit energy and mining projects especially hard. Under the new guidance, opponents in the federal government could require mitigation located far from the project with little relevance, effectively giving bureaucrats a blank check to request whatever they wish of a permit seeker with little controls…”
9. April 25, 2022:
“Biden reverses Trump’s Alaska oil plan: The Biden administration released a management plan for the National Petroleum Reserve Alaska, an Indiana-sized area reserved for oil and gas leasing. The final decision reverses a Trump-era plan that had opened most of the reserve to oil and gas leasing and withdraws some of the most prospective oil and gas areas from consideration.”
10. May 18, 2022:
“The Biden administration announced they were canceling a lease sale of over one million acres in the Cook Inlet in Alaska.
At the same time, the Biden administration announced they were canceling a lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico.”
And, how about a “bonus” Biden blackmark?
11. On August 16 and 16, 2022:
“President Biden signs the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which includes new taxes on natural gas extraction and methane leaks, and Superfund taxes on crude oil and its related products, and an extension of biofuel tax credits and a new tax credit for sustainable aviation fuel. These biofuel tax credits will encourage existing petroleum refining capacity to convert to biofuels, making it harder for Americans to get the petroleum fuel products they need for transportation and home heating. These incentives will make the United States import more petroleum products from countries with additional capacity such as China and the Middle East, while committing more agricultural products to fuel, rather than food.
(Re) IRA: The law also encourages states to adopt California’s plan to phase out gas-powered vehicles by 2035.
On August 17, 2022, A federal judge reinstated a moratorium on coal leasing from federal lands that had been implemented during the Obama administration and was lifted under President Donald Trump. The ruling from U.S. District Judge Brian Morris requires government officials to conduct a new environmental review prior to resuming coal sales from federal lands. According to the judge, the government’s previous review of the program had not adequately considered the impacts of climate change from coal’s greenhouse gas emissions, among other effects.”
So, as all of the added costs and taxes and “regulations” and impositions and the steering of our tax cash sees “green” cronies of various political forces receive our hard-earned money, we can remember these moves, tell our friends, and beware of additional attacks.
Because they are coming, contrary to the U.S. Constitution and contrary to our rights.