US President Joe Biden’s environmental vigilantism has now started causing dissensions within the Democratic Party. Shortly after coming to power, Biden passed a blanket order that banned new oil and natural gas leases and drilling permits on federal land and in federal water for 60 days. Biden’s rash and imprudent decision is going to have serious consequences- a serious drag on American economic growth and hundreds of thousands of job losses.
As for the Democrats, those who represent swing states like Pennsylvania and Texas with a major oil and natural gas industry find themselves in a tight spot. Biden’s ban on new fracking projects on federal lands and in federal waters over the next 60 days is simply too draconian a decision to support for these Democrats.
As per Fox News, Republicans are already targeting vulnerable Democrats in swing states like Texas and Pennsylvania, where heavy job losses are expected in the oil and natural gas sector. So, what kind of job losses can we expect?
If a report prepared by a top oil and natural gas industry group last year is to be believed, Americans would face 1 million job losses by 2022, if Biden permanently pauses oil and natural gas development on public lands and water. 120,000 jobs may be lost in Texas alone and 62,000 jobs may be lost in New Mexico. The US will also be compelled to import significant amounts of foreign oil.
Yet, Biden’s Climate Plan keeps getting more and more radical. He is likely to impose wide-ranging decisions like completely blocking federal leasing for oil drilling projects and reviewing fossil fuel subsidies. And then Biden has recommitted to the Paris climate agreement, which could by itself lead to major job losses.
Biden is impulsively taking these measures but Americans would at some point of time wonder about the human cost of these draconian decisions? And the Democrats? They will face an awkward situation in which they will find it increasingly tough to avoid criticising Biden’s rash decision.
In fact, rejoining the Paris Climate agreement alone could cause problems for the American oil and gas industry. Before Trump had abandoned the agreement, Heritage Foundation economist Nick Loris had predicted, “Based on regulations and emissions reduction targets set by the Obama administration, Heritage economists estimate that by 2035 there will be: an annual average loss of nearly 400,000 jobs, a total income loss of more than $20,000 for a family of four, and an aggregate GDP loss of over $2.5 trillion – all for a few tenths of a degree Celsius in abated warming.”
We are not saying that Climate Change isn’t a challenge. But his methods of tackling Climate Change are simply destructive for the American economy. What the US needed was a smooth transition, but Biden’s accession to power is turning out to be a bumpy ride.
The US President has crippled the oil and natural gas industry, but there was simply no plan in place to create a parallel green industry that could absorb job losses which are bound to take place in the fossil fuels sector. Nor have the green companies been given the time to become big enough for sustaining the American economy.
In the midst of this chaos, it is the Democrats representing swing states who face a tough choice. They must not be liking Biden’s clean energy changes and may not like to go ahead with it.