On his first day in office, President Joe Biden, the self-professed champion of unity in the United States, waged a war on the oil and gas industry, effectively destroying thousands of working-class Americans’ livelihoods.
Biden has long sought to destroy fossil fuels. On the campaign trail, the former vice president repeatedly stated his intentions to “transition” to greener solutions and move forward with a progressive approach to energy, completely cutting petroleum hubs out of the picture. At the top of Biden’s list was banning fracking, a promise he made at rallies all around the nation but later denied along with his Vice President Kamala Harris multiple times.
Despite his ever-shifting stance on abolishing oil and gas, Biden quickly moved forward with anti-fossil fuel policies just a few days into his presidential term, postponing new federal leasing of oil and gas resources for at least a year as well as halting the Keystone XL Pipeline project. According to the American Petroleum Institue, policies like these would “shift to foreign sources, cost nearly one million American jobs, increase CO2 emissions and reduce revenue that funds education and key conservation programs.”
Some of Biden’s anti-petroleum executive orders, such as ending the Keystone Pipeline, do nothing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and merely offer a leg-up to political rivals such as Russia, but Biden signed his name anyway, knowingly eliminating thousands of oilfield jobs staffed by American workers who were already struggling to recover from the government-mandated COVID-19 lockdowns and a pandemic oil bust.
Experts also warn that Biden’s directives will kill American revenue. “What we’re looking at is a huge hit to the economies of these states, massive hits to the tax revenue in Wyoming and New Mexico, because the federal royalty on oil and gas production on federal subsurface rights is shared evenly with the states,” said Myron Ebell, the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s director of the Center for Energy and Environment.
The Biden administration says it wants to prioritize working-class Americans, but all of a sudden, “moderate” Biden is taking steps such as carefully staffing the Department of the Interior and other federal agencies with radical, left-wing, anti-fossil fuel appointees, ensuring the oil and gas industry will be a target of his green energy agenda for years to come.
The Biden administration also doesn’t seem to care about the effect these policies are having on U.S. workers. In a recent press briefing, Biden’s climate ambassador John Kerry said oil and gas workers who lost their jobs due to the new administration’s sudden restrictions should simply make “better choices” and phase into greener industries that build solar panels.
“What President Biden wants to do is make sure that those folks have better choices, that they have alternatives, that they can be the people who go to work to make the solar panels,” Kerry said, ignoring the fact that jobs in wind and solar energy on average pay half of what jobs in the oil and gas industry do.
Ebell thinks Kerry’s suggestion is absurd. “The suggestion that these people will eventually be able to get jobs installing solar panels is outrageous,” Ebell said. “First of all, the jobs in the oil and gas industry and in the pipeline construction industry are high-paying jobs [and] they are high-skilled jobs. … Jobs in the solar industry are low-paying jobs, low-skilled jobs. The idea that somebody is going to take up a 70 percent pay cut so that he can be part of that — the move towards climate Nirvana is just outrageous.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki also recently brushed off concerns about the massive job loss looming over those involved in fossil fuel industries, saying the president knows what he is doing and has a secret magical plan to grant green jobs to workers.
“There are people living paycheck to paycheck. There are now people out of jobs,” said Fox News’ Peter Doocy. “It’s been 12 days since Gina McCarthy and John Kerry were here. It’s been 19 days since that EO, so what do those people who need money now — when do they get their green jobs?”
“Well, the president and many Democrats and Republicans in Congress believe that investment in infrastructure, building infrastructure that’s in our national interests, and the boost the U.S. economy creates, good-paying union jobs here in America and advances our climate and clean energy goals are something that we can certainly work on doing together, and he has every plan to share more about his details of that plan in the weeks ahead,” Psaki said, shortly after snapping at Doocy for the question.
Doocy: "But there are people living paycheck to paycheck. There are now people out of jobs…It's been 12 days since Gina McCarthy and John Kerry were here. It's been 19 days since that EO, so what do those people who need money now — when do they get their green jobs?" (2/2) pic.twitter.com/IlRp9iYKlY
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) February 8, 2021
The Biden administration knows the effect these policies are having on communities around the United States, but even after multiple members of Congress, activists, experts, and others in oil-centric areas such as New Mexico, Texas’s Permian Basin, North Dakota, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Louisiana have spoken out about the more than a million jobs threatened by the aggressive green campaign, the executive branch led by the Democratic president continues to push a radical agenda on the American people in exchange for points with progressive politicians and firms.