(UnitedVoice.com) – During the 2020 presidential campaign, then-Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden declared that he would join far-left activists on their environmental crusade against the energy industry. On numerous occasions in the summer and early fall of 2020, Biden declared he would end fossil fuels and ban fracking. However, during the presidential debates, he denied he ever said that was his intention.
After assuming office on January 20, the real Joe Biden appeared. No longer worried about pleasing people for votes, and he began his war on energy. The newly elected president revoked the Keystone XL pipeline permit and displaced thousands of workers with the stroke of a pen. Then, he ordered a 60-day moratorium on oil drilling and fracking on federal lands. That prompted 13 states to file a lawsuit. On Tuesday, June 15, a federal judge struck a major blow to Biden’s environmental agenda. US District Judge Terry Doughty ruled that the states would likely win that lawsuit and ordered the federal government to lift the moratorium immediately.
No “Rational” Basis for the Moratorium
On January 27, Biden signed executive orders to fight climate change. The administration canceled all oil and gas leases on federal lands through June. Louisiana sued and Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia joined in the legal action.
The thirteen states argued that the federal government ignored federal rules and administrative steps necessary to cancel the leases. They added that the moratorium also injured the states by costing them significant monetary resources and jobs.
In his ruling, Judge Doughty sided with the states. He said that there was no “rational explanation” for the government’s pause or canceling of the contracts. He added that “millions and possibly billions of dollars are at stake” and that the 13 states had a “substantial likelihood of success” to win the lawsuit. The judge also said money not earned from the leases would hurt local governments, workers, and funds to restore Louisiana’s coastline and coastal wetlands.
It’s Just the Beginning
As Biden’s agenda stalls in Congress, it’s likely the president will continue to take unilateral action. Unfortunately, he learned from the best, but he might not have learned much. As vice president, Biden had a front-row seat to former President Barack Obama’s attempts to bypass Congress. In February 2016, the US Supreme Court struck a major blow to Obama’s centerpiece agenda to fight climate change. The high court ruled Obama exceeded his executive authority when he unilaterally created rules to cut climate pollution from power plants.
It seems that Democrats don’t understand how the government is designed to operate under the US Constitution. Whether good or not, intentions are not reasons to violate the separation of powers and erode checks and balances. If Congress can’t agree amongst each other and pass laws, the president cannot use his “pen and phone,” as Obama once suggested, to bypass the legislative branch.
Make no mistake, as long as Biden is in office, or any Democrat for that matter, the US energy sector will be threatened.
Will the left ever learn?
People who care about agendas over liberty and the rule of law aren’t interested in learning, law, the Constitution, or liberty.
Let’s rejoice that conservative courts do care about those things.
Don Purdum, Independent Political Analyst
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