Biden Order Will Halt New Oil Drilling, Protect New Lands

Written by SK Ashby

As soon as tomorrow, President Biden is expected to sign a series of executive orders that all revolve around climate change and environmental protection.

According to White House sources who spoke to the Associated Press, the orders will include a very wide range of policies center around a mortarium on drilling and an aggressive expansion of federally protected land.

The drilling moratorium is among several climate-related actions Biden will announce Wednesday. He also is likely to direct officials to conserve 30% of the country’s lands and ocean waters in the next 10 years, initiate a series of regulatory actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and issue a memorandum that elevates climate change to a national security priority. He also is expected to direct all U.S. agencies to use science and evidence-based decision-making in federal rule-making and announce a U.S.-hosted climate leaders summit on Earth Day, April 22.

The conservation plan would set aside millions of acres for recreation, wildlife and climate efforts by 2030, part of Biden’s campaign pledge for a $2 trillion program to slow global warming.

Ordering federal agencies to "use science and evidence-based decision-making" may sound nebulous and obvious, but the Trump regime literally imposed limits on scientific debate at federal agencies. It feels ridiculous to even print those words, but it really happened. Trump's White House also imposed limits on the sharing and publishing of federally-funded research so no one would see it.

Personally, I'm most encouraged by the plan to set aside more land to protect it from development and exploitation.

I know it's legally, economically, and logistically complicated -- and I know it's unlikely to happen in the immediate future -- but at some point we should say there will be no more drilling contracts on publicly-owned land. All federally owned land should be protected for future generations.

It's possible that simple market capitalism and the rise of electrified vehicles will make oil drilling unappealing before we come to the point of legally banning it. The coal industry is going to slowly disappear over the next decade without banning it. It's what Free Market Jesus intended.

After writing this, I took a moment to pause and recall that Trump's first EPA administrator, Scott Pruitt, was a ridiculous character who traveled around the country with a SWAT team who is he also ordered to pick up his dry cleaning and Ritz Carlton lotion for him. What the hell was that?