Has Biden abandoned the environment? – Advice Eating

Back in 2020, candidate Joe Biden vowed to be that greenest president in the history of the United States. This was not a nod to his political coming of age — the soon-to-be octogenarian was around the block — but a reference to Biden’s super-ambitious climate agenda.

Fast forward 15 months and Biden, facing an unprecedented energy crisis, has been accused of making a U-turn on climate Drill, baby, drill Territory to promote more oil production to boost dwindling global supplies.

Promises made, (some) promises kept. Biden focused on uniting a divided Democratic Party when he took office and vowed to stand up for climate change. He immediately implemented a series of executive regulations, first rejoining the Paris climate accords abandoned by his predecessor and realigning the US with nearly 200 countries that agreed to work together to keep the world temperature below 2 degrees Celsius to keep.

Biden also abandoned the Keystone XL pipeline, which would have pumped oil from Alberta, Canada, to the Gulf of Texas. His friend next door, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, had seen the writing on the wall but was still affected by the move. Importantly, the decision successfully mollified the left flank of the Democratic Party.

Additionally, during his campaign for the presidency, Biden said there would be “no more drilling” on public lands to curb fossil fuel extraction and meet his goal of reducing CO2 emissions from 2005 levels by the end of the decade cut in half

Enter Putin. Even before Feb. 24, Biden faced a series of political crises — COVID and the culture wars, inflation, immigration issues — that hurt his poll numbers. But then Putin lashed out at Ukraine, sending the global energy industry into a tailspin and further threatening Biden’s already cracking credibility at home.

Since then, Biden has tried to pin his inflation worries on the Kremlin, using the pithy slogan “Putin’s price hike” to suggest that rising gas and food prices are an inevitable consequence of Russian aggression. But Americans remember that prices began to rise already last year, so many do not buy it.

desperate times. As oil and gas prices soared, an increasingly desperate Biden appeared to be flip-flopping on some of his climate pledges. Crucially, his administration is opening up lands in nine states to oil and gas drilling, the first such move since Biden took office.

The embattled president is trying to show working-class Americans – whose support he is vying for ahead of the crucial mid-term elections in November – that he feels their economic pain. But for another core constituency — environmentalists, many of whom grudgingly supported him — Biden’s latest move is nothing short of a betrayal.

To appease Greens’ grumblings, Biden has increased the royalties — from 12.5% ​​to 18.75% — that energy companies must pay when they drill in these areas.

But that strategy could prove self-defeating, scaring off already skeptical energy companies concerned about the costly investments and impact of increased production on market valuations.

So will Biden’s trick move the needle? Shari Friedman, an expert at the Eurasia Group, says this was more of a political than an effective response. It “aimed at calming fears and taking action in the face of rising gas prices,” she says.

“In fact, there’s not much the Biden administration can do to lower domestic energy prices in the short term,” Friedman said.

It’s one thing to sell leases, but it takes a long time to get an oil rig online. “Developers already have large reserves of productive and currently undeveloped fossil fuel leases, and any leases that occur today are unlikely to produce oil for many years,” said Max Sarinsky, senior attorney at New York University’s Institute for Policy Integrity .

“There is significant value in restricting fossil fuel leasing now and maintaining the option to lease or not to lease in the future,” he adds.

Complicating matters further is the fact that many of Biden’s climate policies are wrapped up in the Build Back Better Act, which is now dead in the water because of Democratic holdouts. Without getting that through — what looks like a pipe dream — Biden will struggle to make major investments in emissions-reduction programs in the near future.

Meanwhile, the president is being voiced by some Democrats and interest groups who say he has failed in promises that helped secure their support. But given the severity of the current energy crisis, was there another way?

“I don’t think it was necessarily inevitable from the start, but it’s the logical outcome of where we are,” says Clayton Allen, analyst at Eurasia Group, noting the benefit of hindsight.

Western reactions to Russia’s aggression also played a role. “The West’s willingness to respond vigorously has widened the oil supply dislocations caused by the war,” Allen says, adding that “markets will come under increasing pressure as the war drags on.”

Politicians often break their word when confronted with new realities. But for Biden, who runs an extremely sluggish Democratic Party, the main problem is that the people he needs by his side want very different things.

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