Joe Biden Vs. the Energy Industry; The Impeachment Fizzle
Author: Greg Valliere
January 27, 2021
WITH ALL THE PUBLICITY over a shortage of vaccines, a futile impeachment trial, and a Covid relief bill, the one issue that is generating real momentum is climate change. The Biden Administration is determined to aggressively curb use of fossil fuels.
BIDEN INSIDERS ARE CONSIDERING A DECLARATION of a “national emergency” over climate change that would fast-track several options, including restrictions on energy output and exports, and bans on new extraction of oil, natural gas and coal on federal land or water.
THIS AGGRESSIVE STANCE was telegraphed last week when the administration killed the Keystone pipeline, rejoined the Paris Climate accord and banned oil and gas extraction in the Alaska National Wildlife Reserve. Much can be accomplished through executive action, which won’t require Congressional approval — including the issuance of new regs later today.
THIS HAS GENERATED A FIRESTORM of protest from the fossil fuel industry, which contends it hasn’t been consulted. The new Biden regulations will cost thousands of jobs, the industry asserts, while reversing U.S. energy independence.
NO TURNING BACK: Today’s announcement of production curbs will be followed by proposals to boost funding for alternative forms of energy, as well as new restrictions on emissions. Aggressive climate change initiatives are part of the mandate in virtually every Biden Cabinet agency. The industry faces a rocky four years.
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THE IMPEACHMENT FIZZLE: Most Republicans want nothing to do with an impeachment trial; GOP lawmakers are worried about Donald Trump’s massive support within the party, and they fell into line yesterday. There’s virtually no chance of convicting Trump.
THE DEMOCRATS WILL PUT ON A GOOD SHOW, with witnesses and video that will remind Americans of the Jan. 6 ransacking of the Capitol. The only suspense is whether there’s enough support for a resolution to censure Trump; that has a chance of winning the necessary 60 votes to break a filibuster.
TWO BIGGER ISSUES: Impeachment isn’t the biggest story in Washington. First, it strikes us that President Biden will have a very brief honeymoon if he can’t quickly deal with the vaccine shortage; the White House hasn’t been clear on explaining why there have been delays.
SECOND, Congress needs to move on a covid relief bill, and a budget reconciliation process — starting with a 2021 budget resolution — may begin next week. But a covid bill may not come into come into focus until March — delayed, perhaps, by the futile impeachment trial.
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