President Biden’s Self-Defeating Environmental Dyad

(Source) Appeasing environmentalists and Democrats, President Joe Biden recently signed an executive order halting progress on the Keystone XL Pipeline, a perennial project to construct an underground pipeline that would distribute 830,000 barrels of crude oil every day from Calgary, Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. The executive order fulfilled one of President Biden’s campaign promises, creating a perception of political fealty on day one of his presidency. The decision was, however, simultaneously met with criticism by some Republicans, who have suggested that Biden’s inaugural commitment just hours earlier to unify the country, which is reeling from partisan division, was fleeting or disingenuous. President Biden should reverse course on his mandate to nix the pipeline and on his twin mandate to temporarily prohibit the issuance of new permits for fracking on federal lands. This environmental dyad has, thus far, stagnated environmental progress, destroyed thousands of current and future American jobs, and imperiled the bipartisanship Biden has sought to court with Republicans.   The most self-defeating, even shortsighted, aspect about President Biden’s environmental dyad is its lack of any salutary effect on the environment. His nixing of the pipeline merely swaps one method of oil distribution for a dirtier and lengthier [read more]

The Drilling Conclusion

By Natasha Bhushan Recent democratic protests in the Middle East have had the inconvenient effect of raising the price Americans pay at the pump. Gas prices across the country are near or at record levels. Predictably, this has prompted a flurry of speechmaking and proposals from both sides of the aisle. In a speech last Wednesday, President Obama reiterated the general policy goals he has been touting since he was Obama-the-candidate: cut oil imports, increase domestic fuel production, and increase the use of alternative energy sources. While Obama’s general policy goals have remained constant, the BP oil spill has altered his specific policies regarding domestic fuel production. Prior to the BP oil spill, the expansion of offshore drilling played a key part in Obama’s plan to increase domestic fuel production. The spill has set back expansion in two key ways. First, the administration has made it more difficult to obtain offshore drilling permits because oil companies must now comply with new safeguards and regulations. (There were of course safety rules in place before the disaster, but they were under-enforced.) Second, the administration issued a six-month moratorium on all new deep-water drilling projects. Facing pressure from the oil industry and federal [read more]

The Price is Wrong

The price is wrong! Bob Barker, you know it! The price—the dollars and cents we pay when we buy animal products—is really wrong.  Meat, eggs, milk, cheese, and all other sorts of animal foods that so many Americans buy so regularly are, in general, shockingly less expensive than market trends would predict. The sorcery of factory farming, fueled by agribusiness subsidies, churns out astonishingly cheap meat.  In Eating Animals, Jonathan Safran Foer writes: “In the past fifty years, as factory farming spread from poultry to beef, dairy and pork producers, the average cost of a new house increased nearly 1,500%; new cars climbed more than 1,400 %; but the price of milk is up only 350%, and eggs and chicken meat haven’t even doubled.  Taking inflation in account, animal protein costs less today than at any time in history.” So animal protein costs less today than at any time in history, but eating animal protein costs more today than at any time in history.  The price Americans pay for eating animal protein—in terms of personal health, public health, environmental and ecological health, the health and safety of factory farm workers, and our moral health—is more expensive than ever. As to [read more]