Believe it or not, some Western Democrats are starting to push back against the Biden Administration’s climate assault on their constituents.
“We write to follow up on President Biden’s Executive Order 14008 addressing the climate crisis,” New Mexico Democratic Sens. Martin Heinrich and Ben Ray Luján wrote last week to White House climate czar Gina McCarthy. That’s Mr. Biden’s order in January suspending new oil and gas leases on federal lands.
Although a short-term leasing “pause is fully appropriate in the new Biden administration, an extended and indefinite suspension would have significant impacts on our workforce and state funding for education,” the Senators explain, noting that oil and gas generate over $3 billon annually in revenue for their state and 40% of its budget.
The Democratic Senators urged the Biden Administration to resume leasing and, in a separate letter to Interior Acting Secretary Scott de la Vega, for career officials to be allowed to continue approving routine permits. They also asked that “states like New Mexico receive robust federal assistance in the ongoing transition to a zero-carbon economy.”
Enter Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, who inserted a provision into the new $1.9 trillion spending bill that creates a $2 billion fund for communities in which there has been “a negative revenue impact due to implementation” of federal policies. First do active economic and social harm, then dole out taxpayer cash to soothe the pain.
“The purpose of my new program is to help stabilize the budgets and economies of counties that have historically hosted extractive industry on private or public lands and where downturns in those extractive industries, caused by government action, affected the county economically and budgetarily,” he explained in a statement.
Mr. Wyden’s fund won’t go very far if the Biden Administration tries to banish fossil fuels with regulation. That’s why Democrats plan to pass another $2 trillion climate public works bill. Some severance package.