With or without Donald Trump, the Republican presidential candidates have much to talk about during their first debate Wednesday night. One key topic that should not be omitted but normally receives short shrift in these debates is energy, and what steps related to energy any new Republican president should take upon assuming office in January 2025.
Joe Biden felt energy policy so important that he had his Day 1 promise to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline despite the operator, TC Energy, not being found in violation of any U.S. law or regulation related to it, and he carried it out. A new GOP president should promise to reverse that order even though TC Energy has said it would not try to renew the project, simply on constitutional and symbolic grounds.
Further, a new GOP president should have a Day 1 agenda of his or her own, an extensive one that would move fast to end the worst excesses being imposed in the energy policy realm by the Biden regime, and to shore up U.S. energy security which is being greatly diminished by Biden’s failure to compete for resources and secure supply chains currently dominated by China. (RELATED: DANIEL TURNER: Here Are Some Serious Energy Policy Questions For 2024’s GOP Candidates)
Here are some humbly-offered suggestions for actions that should be included in this Day 1 agenda:
- A promise to force a return to the equal enforcement of the rule of law related to “green” energy projects as they have been applied to all other energy-related projects. Too many such projects favored by Biden officials are being green-lit right now without proper performance of environmental impact studies and consideration of other conditions of approval that have always been applied to all oil, gas, coal and nuclear projects. This must end.
- A promise to mount a real “whole-of-government” effort to secure and onshore production and supply chains for critical energy minerals that are vital to the expansion of renewable energy and electric vehicles. This is a promise Biden made and has failed to carry out in any real way.
- An executive order calling for an immediate suspension of all offshore wind projects until impacts on sea life have been properly assessed. With more than 60 whales, including endangered right whales, having now washed up dead on beaches adjacent to wind development, this should be made a matter of national priority. Wind farms’ known impacts on migratory birds and sea birds must also be properly assessed before any further development is allowed to continue.
- An executive order invoking the Defense Production Act to focus national resources on promoting the domestic production and international securing of high-capacity electric transformers that are integral to all transmission projects. The U.S. power industry has been begging administration officials for years now to act in the face of a dangerous shortage of these transformers amid supply chains that are currently backlogged for up to 4 years.
- An order revoking immediately the U.S. Fish & Wildlife’s politically-motivated decision to list the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard as an endangered species, a move being made despite the success of a conservation plan run jointly by the state of Texas and federal government. This listing threatens to hinder oil and gas production in the Permian Basin, the nation’s most prolific resource, one that is vital to U.S. national energy security.
- An order authorizing the Department of Energy to immediately refill the U.S. Strategic Petroleum reserve on an emergency basis, to rebuild this key element of U.S. energy security after Biden drew it down to dangerous levels during 2022 for purely political reasons.
- An order directing DOE and other relevant agencies to strictly interpret and enforce the domestic content language contained in the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act, especially as such language applies to electric vehicles and their batteries.
This list could and should be much longer, since the maintenance of energy security remains absolutely vital to the maintenance of true national security. This is a reality that the current President and his appointees have too often chosen to ignore in favor of crass political motivations. (RELATED: DAVID BLACKMON: These Two States Couldn’t Be Any More Different Than When It Comes To Energy Policy)
A new GOP president must end that practice as soon as possible. His or her first day in office would be a great time to begin.
David Blackmon is an energy writer and consultant based in Texas. He spent 40 years in the oil and gas business, where he specialized in public policy and communications.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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