White House Cancels Energy Projects; An Unusually Nasty Biden Feud
May 12, 2022
THE ALASKA OFFSHORE LEASE PLAN would have opened drilling opportunities over a span of more than 1 million acres for 40 or more years of production. The new activity would have led to new underwater pipelines and platforms in the environmentally-sensitive area, according to CBS News, which broke the story.
DECISIONS WERE DUE NEXT MONTH for the Alaskan leases and two other projects in the Gulf of Mexico, but the Interior Department cited conflicting court rulings and a lack of interest among drillers, which energy officials adamantly denied.
A TOP OFFICIAL at the American Petroleum Institute called the move “another example of the administration’s lack of commitment to oil and gas development in the US.” He added that Biden has failed to take steps to increase supply — a hot political issue.
SEPARATELY, A BIPARTISAN GROUP IN CONGRESS is working on compromise legislation that would increase exploration, drilling and more use of fossil fuels, but like many bills in Congress, progress has been glacial.
MEANWHILE, the national average price of regular gas hit an all-time high of $4.40 yesterday.
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OBVIOUSLY WASHINGTON IS BITTERLY DIVIDED: There are nasty feuds between — and within — the political parties. But one feud has stunned insiders with its ferocity: Joe Biden vs. Sen. Rick Scott, the Florida Republican who has managed to alienate many in his own party with his call for tax hikes.
SCOTT IS THE GOP’s top Senate fundraiser, and he’s been scathing toward Biden, proclaiming that the president is “incoherent” and “incapacitated” and demanding his resignation. Biden responded in unusually personal terms this week, proclaiming that Scott “has a problem.”
IN PRIVATE, GOP LEADERS — like Sen. Mitch McConnell — are miffed at Scott, who has proposed higher taxes, which is verboten within the Republican caucus. “All Americans should pay some income tax to have skin in the game, even if a small amount. Currently over half of Americans pay no income tax, ” Scott said earlier this year.
THE IDEA OF HIGHER TAXES does not appeal to Republican leaders, who also dislike Scott’s plan to “sunset” all laws every five years — theoretically putting Social Security and Medicare on the table. Biden is having a field day with Scott’s plans.
CYNICS BELIEVE SCOTT IS TRYING TO BE HEARD in a state where presidential candidates are everywhere. Scott may run in 2024, along with Marco Rubio, Ron DeSantis and Donald Trump. Four candidates from one state are scrambling for attention.
SO IT’S HARDLY A SURPRISE WHEN SCOTT says “Joe Biden is unwell. He’s unfit for office. He’s incoherent, incapacitated and confused,” Scott said in a news release Tuesday. Biden “doesn’t know where he is half the time,” Scott alleged.
BIDEN IS PREPARED TO HIT BACK, citing financial irregularities at a health firm Scott once headed; the company paid $1.7 billion in federal fines because of Medicare fraud and related wrongdoing.
EVERYTHING SEEMS TO BE ON THE TABLE, including Biden’s mental acuity, which worries the wily McConnell, whose message to Republicans is simple — we can smell victory in November, so why rock the boat by getting specific on issues like abortion or Biden’s health? Can McConnell run out the clock for another six months? That’s the plan.
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