Biden Pumps out Orders, Not Oil

January 26, 2021

Here's a sentence you'll never see on CNN: "President Joe Biden, hoping to stack his first 100 days with as many achievements as possible, has relied heavily on the use of executive orders." Or this: "While the orders have run the gamut from immigration to federal lands, they all offer Biden a key benefit: the ability to tout wins without going through the arduous legwork of working with Congress to pass legislation."

But, when you switch out the names, CNN did write it about President Trump. And they are true about Joe Biden. The crucial difference is that Trump signed 29 executive orders in his first 100 days, while Biden has signed 21 (and counting) in his first week alone. In fact, he's signed more executive orders in his first week than any president ever -- quadrupling the next closest competitor (Barack Obama with five).

It sure is a funny way to achieve the national unity and the return to America's democratic norms that President Biden promised in his inaugural address.

Unlike President Trump with his executive actions, President Biden is costing American jobs and angering our allies. He has hamstrung the oil and gas industry with an order to halt drilling and exploration on federal land, including Alaska's north shore, as well as revoking the permit for the Keystone oil pipeline. Wyoming Senator Cynthia Lummis joined me on Washington Watch to discuss the impact these policies will have. "It will raise energy prices," she said.

Biden's actions have a direct cost in jobs lost -- high-paying blue-collar jobs, at that -- and an indirect cost on the jobs that would follow them. That's not to mention the higher energy prices Americans will pay to heat their homes and drive their cars, or the higher food prices that result because farmers have to pay more to run their machines. These costs will have an outsized impact on those Americans who have been hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic and accompanying lockdowns. This is hurting the very people the Democratic Party says they want to help.

But the impact goes beyond the individual household; states with large oil and gas industries, from Pennsylvania to New Mexico, will suffer as well. Lummis pointed out that, since the federal government owns half the land in Wyoming, Biden's order will be a serious shock to the state's economy and tax revenues. "The hit to Wyoming schools and infrastructure is profound."

President Biden's defenders might try to argue that there are important environmental reasons to move away from oil and gas, and the economy will eventually recover. Lummis's commonsense, American response was, "what we need to do is innovate our way out of this climate issue, not regulate our way out of the climate issue."

But no reason that puts the interests of America first can outweigh the importance of national security. For the first time in fifty years, America achieved energy independence under President Trump's watch. That means that oil-producing nations like Russia, Iran, and Venezuela could no longer threaten America's energy supply, as they did in the 1970s, to bring us to our knees. But President Joe Biden has put an end to that; America will once again be beholden to foreign "bad actors" simply because they produce the energy we refuse to produce for ourselves.

From a policy perspective, President Biden's executive actions to kill jobs and block energy production don't make any sense. But they are "a political payback to his radical Left base," said Lummis. Indeed, President Biden has yet to make good on his inauguration promise to unify America. Rather his actions are unilaterally further dividing America.