The Russian invasion of Ukraine highlights the strategic importance of American energy independence. Unfortunately, President Biden has taken various actions hostile to American Energy development. After campaigning to “get rid of fossil fuels” and promising “no new fracking” during his administration, President Biden came into office and immediately canceled vital energy projects, prevented new drilling leases and threatened new tax hikes on American energy.
Below are five ways Joe Biden is harming American energy independence.
- Killing the Keystone XL Pipeline
On President Biden’s first day in office he issued an Executive Order revoking the March 2019 permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline granted under the Trump Administration. The pipeline was already under construction and projected to transport nearly 900,000 barrels per day of Canadian Crude to refineries in the United States. For comparison, the Biden Administration’s emergency release from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) in November in response to rising gas prices released 50 million barrels of oil to be delivered between the end of December through April 2022. Canceling Keystone XL’s permit also killed an estimated 11,000 jobs the pipeline was projected to create.
2. Pushing tax hikes on American energy
Biden is proposing several tax increases on American energy production as a means of financing the President’s stalled “Build Back Better” tax and spend bill. The legislation includes an $8 billion energy tax on natural gas production paid by American households in the form of higher energy bills. Also included is a $13 billion crude oil tax that will further increase already soaring gas prices, while the tax itself is pegged to increase with inflation.
3. Illegal ban on natural gas and oil lease sales
Biden dealt a major blow to American energy independence with his Executive Order banning new oil and gas development on federally owned territory. In June of 2021, a federal judge reversed Biden’s Executive Order with a nationwide injunction ordering the Department of Interior to resume lease sales. But on Thursday, The Biden administration announced it is yet again delaying decisions on new oil and gas leases and permits after a Louisiana federal judge blocked officials from using higher cost estimates of climate change – cost estimates that Biden last directed federal agencies to apply.
4. Increasing Royalty Rates on Domestic Oil Production
On January 31, 2022, the Biden Administration posted a draft plan to increase the royalty rates that drilling companies are taxed for oil and gas leases on federal lands. The draft proposal would increase royalty rates to 18.75%, up from current levels of 12.5%. The increase would significantly increase drilling costs on federal lands, costs that would be passed on to consumers. A final decision from the Bureau of Land Management is likely forthcoming.
5. Anti-energy Nominees
President Biden has nominated several radical anti-American energy individuals to key positions in his administration. This includes Sarah Bloom Raskin, Biden’s nominee to serve on the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, who advocated for the Fed to deny financing to coal, oil and gas companies. Biden also selected Tracy Stone-Manning to lead the Bureau of Land Management despite her past connection an eco-terrorism investigation involving tree spiking. Additionally, Biden’s Special Climate Envoy John Kerry recently called Russia’s invasion of Ukraine a “distraction” from climate change.