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Come and listen to my story 'bout a man named Joe

08 Sep 2021 | OP ED Watch

Yes, Joe Biden, 46th president of the United States, all-in climate alarmist foe of fossil fuels who, while out shootin’ for some votes jes’ happened to hit oil. In Wyoming and eight other states, and in the Gulf of Mexico. The same Biden who has urged OPEC to produce more oil. But if you want to build a pipeline to get Canadian oil to U.S. refineries, well, the next thing you know you’re not a millionaire. It’s not even consistent. And it’s certainly not serious. If he meant what he says on climate, he’d be weaning his nation off oil with democratic suppliers the last to go, and building nuclear for all he’s worth. Instead, deed salad.

The background here, and what else would it be, is a lawsuit. Well, several actually. First after the Biden administration decided to pause drilling auctions while it studied their costs and, of all things, benefits, someone sued to make them restart them. A judge agreed in June. And it just got out that the Biden Administration decided in response to auction off millions of acres for oil and gas exploration in the Gulf and across the southern and western U.S. And then someone else sued to make them stop. So the lawyers may all move to Beverley Hills.

Now you might think it’s all about the judges. But the thing is, the Biden Administration could have decided that the auctions were on balance a bad idea. Instead they issued a Record of Decision that contains a certain amount of predictable bafflegab about how the danger of climate change getting way out of hand “does not present sufficient cause” to change the environmental assessment of the Gulf leases they inherited from (ahem) Donald Trump and his cronies. It did add that “additional analysis of climate change may be a significant consideration in the Department’s decisions regarding oil and gas leasing programs in the future.” Unless it doesn’t. Because if we run out of oil we’re in a heap of trouble both in terms of our lifestyle and our geopolitical position.

As you may imagine, they were promptly sued by Friends of the Earth, Healthy Gulf, Sierra Club and Center for Biological Diversity. And predictably an attorney with Earthjustice, which seems actually to have filed the suit, blared that “The Biden administration has folded to the oil industry ..., ignoring the worsening climate emergency we face.” Such is the subtlety and nuance surrounding the debate. But here we remind you that in California, Gov. Newsom, facing recall, also authorized the use of diesel to offset the failings of wind and solar.

As we’ve said before, it often seems that alarmists, especially in politics, want all the PR points they can get for being woke on climate. But they don’t really mean it, because they won’t do anything that would actually change the picture on GHGs significantly including, as we also said about Newsom, not closing a major nuclear plant.

So come on, man. Approve a Canadian pipeline.

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