Give Me Paris? -- Or Detroit and Bismarck, Odessa and Midland


It looks like the early days of the Biden administration are setting up an economic faceoff between the sensibilities of the coasts and the realities of Flyover Country. Or, as an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal put it, "Will Biden Choose Paris Over Bismarck and Pierre?"

Indeed, from Michigan to Texas, from Colorado to Ohio, and from the capital of North Dakota to the capital of South Dakota, the early decisions of the federal government under Joe Biden, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi may advance their ambitious environmental goals, eventually.

But much more immediately, they create the danger of crushing or at least wounding the huge part of the American economy that relies on the production, transportation and consumption of fossil fuels.

Or, put another way – and we hate to say this, because The Flyover Coalition isn’t a partisan deal – will the Democrats choose the largely aspirational and non-binding goals of the Paris Accord on climate change over the very real hopes, dreams and welfare of millions of Americans?

President Biden wasted little time to achieve certain things as he began his stint in the White House this month, and unilateral moves to reconstruct the automotive business and destroy the oil-and-gas industry were among his most significant first actions. Tabling completion of the on-again, off-again Keystone XL pipeline via executive order was one of those steps, as was imposing a moratorium on issuing new oil and gas leases on federal land and waters.

Imminent other actions could include crushing the Dakota Access pipeline that is currently transporting an average of 570,000 barrels a day of crude oil from the Bakken Formation beneath North Dakota and Montana to refineries in Midwest and Gulf Coast states. And it seems likely the Biden administration will take further inspiration from places like Portland, Oregon, where the city would like to impose some $11 million in new annual fees on businesses such as "major stationary sources of air pollution."

Meanwhile, newly empowered Senate Majority Leader Schumer was threatening the auto industry with the specter of environmental restrictions right out of the Green New Deal. Schumer even told MSNBC host Rachel Maddow that the Senate could use its powers of budget reconciliation to put the kibosh on problems like gasoline engines.

Not surprisingly, counter-reactions were immediate. Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed an executive order directing all state agencies to sue the Biden administration for any federal actions that threaten the Lone Star State’s energy sector.

Read the rest of this piece at The Flyover Coalition.

Dale Buss is founder and executive director of The Flyover Coalition, a not-for-profit organization aimed at helping revitalize and promote the economy, companies and people of the region between the Appalachians and Rockies, the Gulf Coast and the Great Lakes. He is a long-time author, journalist, and magazine and newspaper editor, and contributor to Chief Executive, Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and many other publications. Buss is a Wisconsin native who lives in Michigan and has also lived in Texas, Pennsylvania and Florida.

Image: Flyover Coalition.