Joe Biden Does His Kabuki Dance on Drilling – In the run-up to the 2012 Presidential Election, then-President Barack Obama (D) needed as much campaign funds as possible to overcome what was then assumed to be the Republican Party’s overwhelming advantages. One of the little tricks he used was to play environmentalist groups off the oil companies on the matter of the KeystoneXL Pipeline.
As a typical Democratic Party president, Obama was automatically friendlier to the environmentalist position on the Keystone Pipeline: he opposed it. Yet, as a savvy campaigner, Obama recognized that he might be able to coax much-needed campaign donations out of the Big Oil companies if he made it seem like he, as president, could be persuaded on the merits of keeping the pipeline open.
So, while environmentalist groups likely took the forty-fourth president for granted, after he started talking with Big Oil companies, and the oil companies began sending donations his way to solidify Obama’s possible support for the pipeline, the environmentalist groups began increasing their donations to the Obama Campaign in 2012. Ultimately, Obama was never in favor of keeping the Keystone Pipeline open.
Yet, he was able to stunt the oil company’s biggest opposition to his presidency by pretending to be more moderate on the issue than he was. In the course of that, Obama walked away with much-needed cash to fund his titanic campaign against the Republicans that seminal year in American politics.
Today, Joe Biden seems to be doing the same thing as his former boss did in 2012.
Translation: Joe Biden will do or say anything to win reelection in 2024.
Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss
While Joe Biden entered the presidency in January 2021 by signing a bevy of executive orders that effectively limited the ability of oil companies to drill and explore for new sources of fossil fuels in the United States, he is now authorizing ConocoPhilips’ Big Willow Drilling Project on up to 199 sites on federal land.
Climate activists are outraged at the decision by the Biden Administration to allow for drilling—even as President Biden forbade oil drilling and exploration in the Arctic and off certain parts of the Alaska coastline. Biden is trying to score points with environmentalists and the oil companies as well.
People should be asking “why?”
Biden has been consistent in his opposition to the oil companies since assuming office. But now, as he approaches what is likely to be the final campaign of his long life in 2024, he needs all the help he can get. Whether Donald Trump or Ron DeSantis is the Republican Party’s nominee, Biden’s team understands that 2024 will be the fight for their political lives.
They have a poor record to run on as well as the fact that, unlike 2020, Biden will not be able to reliably hide out in his basement during the taxing campaign cycle and claim he is simply following the national lockdown protocols.
Money is the lifeblood of American politics. Two of the biggest sources of funding come from environmentalist groups and the Big Oil companies. By figuring out how to do his Kabuki theater dance to entice both sides of this argument, as Obama had done in 2012, Biden is opening two sources of funding. We’ve seen Biden do this complex dance before.
Biden Always Manipulates the Voters
In the run-up to the 2022 Midterm Elections, which the Democratic Party was slated to lose, Biden flooded the market with oil from Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). The goal was to lower national gas prices enough to make American voters forget about the hardships they’d been made to endure since Biden was inaugurated in January 2021.
Shockingly, Biden’s little stunt worked. Once the Democrats secured their position in 2022, suddenly, the price of fossil fuels for ordinary Americans increased. Today, they are back to being at very high, unacceptable levels. Hence, the Biden Administration has deftly used fossil fuels as a weapon to get themselves massive campaign donations in their political campaigns.
This is the context in which Biden has initiated his various policies around oil drilling in the United States. He needs cash to win in 2024. What better way to get cash than to get two opposing groups to fund his campaign by demanding they work to win him over? Biden learned from the best in Barack Obama.
How it All Ends if Joe Biden Wins in ‘24
Sadly, I fear that Biden’s maneuvers will have their intended effect: it will stunt the oil companies from pursuing too strenuous of an opposition to his reelection in 2024 while forcing both the oil companies and environmentalists to seek out his approval for their preferred policies via campaign donations.
To be clear: if Biden wins reelection, he will stick it to the oil companies and ordinary Americans, as he is ideologically committed to the environmentalist cause—even as he cynically approves new oil leases on federal lands. After reelection, Joe Biden will need nothing from the American people or oil companies.
Brandon J. Weichert is a former Congressional staffer and geopolitical analyst who serves as a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive.com. Weichert is a contributor at The Washington Times, as well as a contributing editor at American Greatness and the Asia Times. He is the author of Winning Space: How America Remains a Superpower(Republic Book Publishers), The Shadow War: Iran’s Quest for Supremacy (March 28), and Biohacked: China’s Race to Control Life (May 16). Weichert can be followed via Twitter @WeTheBrandon.