By Nick Pope
President Joe Biden’s latest energy policy decision may ultimately prove to be a major boon for former President Donald Trump and his bid to return to the White House.
The Biden administration is expected to announce formally on Friday that it is delaying its final determination on whether to approve Calcasieu Pass 2 (CP2), a massive liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal in Louisiana. The delay is a clear sign that the administration is thinking about effectively killing the project, and it appears that the Trump campaign will take advantage of the new opportunity to slam Biden’s energy agenda while contrasting it with Trump’s record on the issue.
Biden is under heavy pressure from the environmentalist left to kill CP2 and other proposed LNG export terminals, especially after his administration decided to allow ConocoPhillips to proceed with the Willow Project in Alaska over the vehement opposition of activist groups. The Willow Decision was a rare victory for fossil fuel interests during Biden’s first term, which has seen the federal government issue the most restrictive offshore oil and gas leasing schedule in American history and take millions of acres of federal land off the table for drilling. (RELATED: ‘Biden Is Going To Get Creamed’: Dem Biden Challenger Reveals One Big Revelation From Trump Rally)
TRUMP: “Drill baby, drill…We have more oil and gas – liquid gold – than any other country – And we don’t use it…
We have the best stuff there is right under our feet, and yet we go to Venezuela – These people are crazy!” pic.twitter.com/2H9ze1P6HR
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) August 17, 2023
Trump, meanwhile, is promising a simple energy strategy if he returns to the Oval Office: “Drill, baby, drill,” as he said after winning the Iowa caucus.
“Joe Biden has once again caved to the radical demands of the environmental extremists in his administration,” Karoline Leavitt, a spokeswoman for the Trump campaign, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “On day one, President Trump will unleash American Energy to lower the cost of living for all Americans, pay down debt, strengthen national security, and establish the United States as the manufacturing superpower of the world,” she continued, adding that the CP2 delay is a “disastrous self-inflicted wound that will further undermine America’s economic and national security.”
The Trump campaign will “absolutely” use the Biden administration’s choice to delay a determination on CP2 as fodder on the campaign trail going forward, Mike McKenna, a GOP strategist and former Trump administration energy adviser, told the DCNF.
From the Biden camp’s perspective, the CP2 delay, and especially a potential cancellation, are likely to buy goodwill with the environmentalist left, especially after the administration went ahead with the Willow Project last year.
“I get that they have to feed the progressives, but this looks like and is both a terrible idea and an illicit intrusion into the process of an independent regulatory agency,” McKenna told the DCNF.
Tom Pyle, the president of the American Energy Alliance, agrees with McKenna.
The decision “will harden support among those who support President Trump,” Pyle told the DCNF, adding that it is less clear “whether it helps President Biden, other than shoring up his left-wing base.”
“I guess the calculation is that it will help the greens find more of an excuse to spend even more on Biden’s reelection,” Pyle continued. “Average folks see this for what it is: a shortsighted political move that helps nobody besides the hardline special interests that support him.”
White House officials reportedly met with several activists, including a 25-year old TikTok influencer and members of the confrontational organization known as Climate Defiance, ahead of its decision to delay a final determination on CP2.
A recent poll found that most voters who are likely to participate in the 2024 election in eight swing states do not believe that climate change is the most serious issue facing the nation today, while a majority of respondents identified the economy as the most or second-most important issue. Vice President Kamala Harris recently estimated that the administration has spent about $1 trillion on its massive green energy and climate agenda.
The Biden campaign did not respond immediately to a request for comment