By Rick Whitbeck
As America celebrated its 246th birthday as a nation on July 4, millions of citizens across the country are feeling angst. A full 85 percent believe we are heading in the wrong direction, and it’s not hard to see why: a wide-open border, gas prices at all-time highs and inflation soaring to levels not seen since the malaise of Jimmy Carter.
The left would have you believe the culprits are the nine justices on the Supreme Court whose recent spate of rulings have sent many of them into unchecked hysertia. In their version of events, progress has been rolled back and rights have been trampled.
At no point in their meltdown mode does the left ever stop and take pity on the real victim of the Biden era: the workers who drive the domestic energy sector that has been crippled by this White House. Rather than take to the streets as left-of-center activists do, these patriots have continued to work across the nation, in weather conditions that would make mailmen question their commitment to their creed.
During the last presidential campaign, Biden claimed he would commit to ending fossil fuels under his watch – a promise he has done his very best to fulfill. On the day he took office, Biden immediately put 10,000 employees working on the Keystone Pipeline on the unemployment rolls. He cancelled further work to open the 10-02 area of ANWR in my home state of Alaska. He kowtowed to eco-activists and installed radical environmentalists into key Secretary positions in Interior and Energy, along with the Director of the EPA.
In the last 18 months, his Administration has implemented policies that removed American energy independence. Focusing again on Alaska, we’ve had nearly two dozen administrative and executive orders affecting oil and gas, mining and timber opportunities. The impacts of these have been felt across our massive state, as most of our state’s wealth comes from responsible development.
Biden and his team have targeted projects in Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve, conveniently overlooking President Harding’s 1923 action to specifically set aside that area for development, just like Congress did with ANWR’s 10-02 area in 1980. They have challenged development of the Ambler Mining District, an area rich in critical and strategic minerals, and an area that should be a boon for the eco-left’s desired domestic supply chain goals. They recently cancelled a lease sale for over a million subsurface acres in Alaska’s Cook Inlet, an area that provides nearly 70% of southcentral Alaska’s heat and electricity from natural gas development.
The Biden EPA is even threatening to preemptively quash North America’s largest copper prospect, the Pebble Mine in southwest Alaska. The copper Pebble could bring to the marketplace is estimated at nearly trillion dollars of domestic supply, in addition to having world-class deposits of gold, molybdenum and rhenium in the subsurface areas in the deposit mine plan.
It isn’t just Alaska that has felt the Biden attack on traditional energy. The Gulf of Mexico has seen its lease sales cancelled, and administrative overreach from faceless departments and other executive agencies has thwarted development opportunities across the country. Activist judges have cancelled contracts, development programs and more. Yes, America’s energy community has been under constant siege.
America has suffered because of the assaults, with little relief in sight.
Internationally, we’ve become increasingly dependent on Communist China for our energy supplies and components that power our grids, and have usurped resource development power to the Taliban, warlords and sworn enemies of America and its very fabrics of freedom and individual expression.
And yet, although America’s traditional energy workers have been vilified by this administration and activists seeking a ‘just transition’ to renewables at the expense of grid reliability and reliable rate structures, you didn’t see massive strikes, energy workers in the streets, upside-down flags at jobsites, hypocrisy regarding freedom or any other protests during their Independence celebration weekends. Instead, they went to work, put in their solid day’s efforts for a solid day’s pay, and partook in family time, celebrating the greatest industry of the greatest country in the world, and all its benefit to American society.
And for that, I simply say “thank you.”
Rick Whitbeck (email@example.com) is the Alaska State Director for Power The Future, a national nonprofit organization that advocates for American energy jobs.
Originally published by RealClearEnergy. Republished with permission.
For more on President Biden’s energy policies, click here.
As a long time oil & gas industry employee engaged (primarily) in regulatory affairs now retired, I’d like to express my appreciation for your recognition of the folks in the sector who RESPONSIBLY provide 65% of our domestic primary energy. That is ONE HUNDRED percent more than the Sierra Club, NRDC, WildEarth Guardians, et al will EVER produce. You’re welcome!