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Biden Climate Change Policy a ‘House of Cards’

By Peter Murphy

“It’s getting late early,” said that great 20th-century philosopher, Yogi Berra.

For President Joseph Biden, this nugget from the New York Yankees Hall of Fame catcher sticks like butterscotch as his policy blunders pile up and Americans increasingly feel their baleful effects. They include the bungled withdrawal from Afghanistan, menacing inflation, the tidal wave over the open southern border, the new coronavirus outbreak, and his war on American energy. 

These are a few of many examples that suggest his presidency may soon implode, before his first year concludes. By contrast, it took Jimmy Carter and Richard Nixon until their third and fifth years, respectively, for their presidencies to collapse beyond recovery.

President Biden’s war on American-produced energy is galling and—dare I say—un-American.  This is because of two recent administration actions that contradict his purported climate policy and confirm the blizzard of lies about the implications of climate change.

First, last May the president lifted U.S. sanctions on companies that were constructing the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany, which expands the market for Russian fossil fuel energy. That same Russia is governed by Vladimir Putin who we’ve been told incessantly for years is the worst dictator alive – until Mr. Biden gave him this energy gift for no discernible return benefit.

Then there was the president’s national security advisor, a man named Jake Sullivan, who last week called on the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to increase production and exports in order to lower gasoline prices. OPEC, he said, “should move faster to restore the global supply of gasoline … higher gasoline prices, if left unchecked, risk harming the ongoing global [economic] recovery.” The same day, the president’s top economic advisor urged the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the gasoline market for any illegal conduct. 

Clearly, President Biden and his administration are starting to panic about rapidly increasing gas prices and broader inflation. They are so worried, their entreaty for more oil exposes their climate policy as a gigantic fraud.

Google up “Biden existential threat” and the results go on forever.  The president incessantly claims that climate change is the “existential threat of our time.”  This is dogma in his administration and for many in Congress. But does Mr. Biden really believe it? His gift to Russia and mendicancy toward OPEC suggest otherwise.

From day one of his presidency, Mr. Biden set forth to act on this stated belief of climate catastrophe by curbing domestic energy production in oil, gas and coal, starting with executive orders to cancel construction of the Keystone XL pipeline and stop new energy leases on federal lands.  Another order last January committed the U.S. to a “whole-of-government approach to the climate crisis” and established “climate considerations as an essential element in U.S. foreign policy and national security.”

Except when it’s not.

The Biden actions on Nord Stream 2 and OPEC reveal these climate directives to be at best, rhetorical; at worst, a lie.

Seven months later, energy prices are skyrocketing and Americans are feeling the pinch. This is no accident or happenstance.

In the 12-month period through July, overall price inflation increased 5.4 percent, the highest in 13 years, while energy prices surged nearly 24 percent, more than four times the general rate. The ripple effect of skyrocketing energy prices will reverberate throughout the economy with each passing month, with higher manufacturing costs, higher shipping costs and more.

With inflation rearing its ugly head, maybe the “existential threat” of climate change is not so existential and not even a threat, after all. The claptrap about a “zero-carbon economy” by the Biden team becomes just that with their public plea for more carbon-spewing crude oil from overseas.

As former President Jimmy Carter learned more than 40 years ago, the inflation genie is very hard to put back into the bottle quickly and Americans do not react well.

It is one thing for President Biden and his team of adherents to tweet about climate change and issue executive orders. When these and other policies take hold and the inflationary effects occur (as I predicted), their demand for more foreign oil is further evidence of a house of cards that is climate policy.

Sometimes presidential difficulties result from events beyond their control.  Jimmy Carter did not abet inflation and Donald Trump did not unleash the coronavirus, but the issues engulfed them and cost them both re-election.

By contrast, Richard Nixon’s problems from the Watergate scandal were self-inflicted.  So it is with President Biden’s climate policies and much else afflicting the nation.

Joe Biden became a U.S. Senator when Mr. Nixon was still president and he surely recalls the hapless Carter presidency shortly thereafter.  Before it is too late, President Biden should jettison this fruitless climate crusade – something he never truly embraced while a 36-year senator.  Rather than beg OPEC for more oil, the president should immediately re-open American oil and gas production and restore our nation’s energy independence.

Peter Murphy is a Senior Fellow at the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT), a Washington, D.C. public policy organization that works on issues of environment, energy and international development.