Biden Administration Plans to Kill America's Energy Sector | Opinion

The progressive environmental Left, led by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and other Green New Deal radicals, seems poised to suffer a significant defeat at the hands of its own party.

According to recent reports, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) wants the Clean Electricity Performance Program stripped from the Democrats' reconciliation package before he will consider voting for it. If adopted, Manchin's proposal would knock over one of the key pillars of the progressives' climate plan, which The New York Times called the "muscle behind Mr. Biden's ambitious climate agenda." "Ambitious," of course, means radical.

Even complete control of the White House, the Senate and the House has not been enough for Democrats to achieve meaningful legislative victories that can appease the environmental Left. That failure means that the Biden administration will likely shift its focus to executive and regulatory actions that circumvent the moderates in the Senate (Manchin and Arizona's Kyrsten Sinema.)

One of the most impactful of these upcoming unilateral regulations will be the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) methane rule. Earlier this year, the Biden administration reinstated regulations on methane that were implemented during the Obama administration and subsequently rolled back by the Trump administration. However, simply restoring it wasn't enough for activists and progressives. They demanded that the rules needed to go even further than what former president Barack Obama had put into place, and the new administration appears to be caving.

This attempt to limit methane emissions is going to have an outsized impact on smaller and independent energy producers, while major multinational companies will continue making money hand over fist. That could mean significant job losses for American energy workers in states like Texas and North Dakota. Killing American jobs is par for the course under the current administration, of course. We've already seen thousands of pipeline workers lose their livelihoods as a result of the Biden administration's cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline.

Keystone pipeline protest
Activists display banners referring to the shutting down of existing oil pipelines in the northern United States at Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington, DC on April 1, 2021 one block from the White House as US President Joe Biden was holding his first cabinet meeting. - Environmental and indigenous activists are calling on the Biden administration to shut down the DAPL (Dakota Access pipeline), Line 3 and Keystone XL (KXL), which they say threaten the climate and water supplies on lands sacred to Native American communities. Daniel SLIM / AFP/Getty Images

That should not come as much of a surprise for anyone who has been following what has happened with the EPA since Joe Biden took office.

Earlier this year, the Biden administration purged dozens of scientists who were serving in advisory roles to the EPA. These legitimate, qualified experts were fired because activists disliked the fact that they were appointed by President Donald Trump and believed that they weren't hostile enough toward the fossil fuel industry. Michael Regan, Biden's EPA administrator, claimed that the purge would "ensure the agency receives the best possible scientific insight." In reality, it allowed Regan to play politics with science and appoint individuals who share his bias and agenda.

In October, one of those fired scientists, Dr. S. Stanley Young, filed a lawsuit against the EPA over his dismissal. Dr. Young alleged, "EPA guaranteed that the committees will rubber stamp the new administration's regulations without the inconvenience of an objecting voice from the very industries targeted by those regulations and bearing the cost of those regulations."

The EPA and the media, which are setting the stage for the upcoming methane rule, seem to be relying on a questionable report from a little-known, but influential, environmental group called Ceres. This organization provides investment advice and counsel to some of the biggest Wall Street firms and corporations that want to appear green while doing the bare minimum.

It should come as no surprise that such an organization would back a policy that hurts small energy producers while letting big polluters off the hook. Ceres' website lists among its corporate donors PepsiCo and Nestle—the two companies that ranked second and third respectively on Break Free From Plastic's Top 10 Global Polluter list last year. Even more distasteful to the environmental Left, Ceres has received corporate contributions from Shell, one of the world's largest oil companies, and in return has praised the company in press releases. Democrats seem to have little problem overlooking these inconvenient truths when it furthers their political agenda.

The Green New Deal and the Democrats' radical climate agenda will punish America, while giving the upper hand to less environmentally friendly competitors like China. America spent decades fighting for energy independence. Under President Trump, we finally achieved it. Now, Joe Biden wants to cede that independence back to other countries, including our most dangerous adversary.

Boris Epshteyn is a Newsweek columnist and the founder and president of Georgetown Advisory consulting group. He previously served as a special assistant to President Donald Trump.

The views expressed in this article are the writer's own.