The Fossil Fuel Comeback; New GOP Candidates?
Author: Greg Valliere
May 19, 2023
BIDEN VERSUS THE LEFT: On issue after issue, the Democrats’ left wing is furious with the party’s establishment; the big fight now is over spending cuts that Biden eventually may have to accept in the debt ceiling debate. Energy policy also is in the limelight, as environmentalists howl over several policies:
1. Biden has opened up a large chunk of Alaska for oil drilling. 2. The administration probably will accept reforms of fossil fuel “permitting” for new projects; and 3. Uber-Green Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm now supports the Mountain Valley Pipeline, an Appalachian natural gas project opposed by environmental activists.
THE PIPELINE IS NEEDED TO ENSURE U.S. ENERGY SECURITY, Granholm says, but a cynic might argue that the Biden Administration wants low prices heading into the 2024 election — and wants to appease West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin, who has hinted that he may run for president in 2024, probably as an independent.
THE BOTTOM LINE is that most politicians now view low energy prices as more important than strict environmental regulations. Even Granholm has diplomatically shifted on renewables. “Everybody recognizes we’re in this interim period that we do not want to be in for long,” she said this week.
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THE GOP PRESIDENTIAL FIELD IS ABOUT TO SURGE: Not just Ron DeSantis, who’s expected to announce next week that he’s running. The Florida governor has infuriated the Walt Disney Company and plans to run well to Donald Trump’s right, so nearly a dozen Republicans want voters to look at other candidates as the first GOP debate looms in August.
NAME RECOGNITION IS CRUCIAL, so two long-shots may announce soon: One is popular Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, who has blasted DeSantis over his Disney feud; Suarez said yesterday that he is “strongly considering” a run. And obscure North Dakota governor Doug Burgum, the very wealthy ex-Microsoft executive, said this week that he probably will run.
OTHER LIKELY ENTRANTS include the well-funded Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina and former Vice President Mike Pence. Former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley already has announced, as has former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and, of course, Trump. Other Republicans may take the plunge, including New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu.
A FIELD OF 8 TO 10 CANDIDATES, all seeking attention in the first debate this August, will further lower the bar for Donald Trump, who should prevail in a crowded field. But Trump could stumble (his CNN town hall two weeks ago was extremely polarizing — no, January 6 was not a “beautiful day.”).
THERE’S AN INTRIGUING OPTION waiting in the background: Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, who is telling party insiders that he’s prepared to enter late in the race if Trump’s legal problems increase. Youngkin, worth $500 million, would appeal to most factions of the party.
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