The President’s War on Production

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Within a matter of days, the Biden administration issued a series of rapid fire decisions undercutting American industry. In the final year of his first term, facing dismal polling numbers, the elderly president, or at least those advising him, appear intent on a legacy play for radical climate change policy rammed down on the citizenry via bureaucratic diktat.

To begin, the President is increasing fees for energy companies. For the first time in more than 100 years, the cost for extracting oil, gas, and coal on federal land is going up. The last time the government raised these fees was in 1920. In a political landscape where multiple overseas conflicts and inflation have sent gas prices soaring across the U.S. and Europe, Biden and his out-of-touch advisors choose to throw a wet blanket on American energy production. In addition, the barrier for entry for energy companies will be raised; the amount of bonds required before a company can begin drilling spiked over tenfold.

Days later, the Biden administration announced new restrictions to oil and gas leases on 13 million acres of a federal petroleum reserve in Alaska, while at the same time recommending the rejection of a proposed 210-mile road that would increase access for critical mineral mining in the state’s northwest region. Alaska Senator John Sullivan called the announcement an “illegal” attack on his state’s sovereignty and economic viability; Senator Lisa Murkowsi warned of “energy insecurity.”

Next up, abandonment in the name of environmentalism is now, for the first time, considered an official and legitimate “land use” by the federal government. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced their unilateral decision to add “conservation” as an additional land use to the original list issued by Congress, now putting environmentalism on par with industry and in fact pitting conservation against responsible human management as though these were at odds. This decision was done without congressional approval. It will force working Americans in productive industries to compete with bankrolled ideological environmental groups for access to public land and natural resources.

The federal agencies tasked with stewarding national lands and resources were originally designed to facilitate production for the benefit of the American people. Now, the government under Joe Biden sees its role as protecting the land from humans, getting between citizens and the land and assets we share. Environmentalists are given a seat at the bargaining table, shoulder to shoulder with working Americans, who must now explain before tenured bureaucrats why the rugged and difficult labor of ranching, energy production, timber, and mining is still invaluable in 2024 against the purity of an ideological argument for land abandonment. The theory that land is better off abstinent from human contact is in fact controversial, but to look at the barrage of decisions flowing down from above you would not know there is a debate on the matter.

These dramatic steps appear laser-focused on curbing productive American jobs, and can be read as more milestones in the federal agency’s slow march to anti-humanism; a radical shift in which American citizens are viewed as hurtful and our stewardship disordered, and the government’s purpose not to facilitate responsible land uses, but to protect the land from our presence.

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