It seems contempt for the rule of law may be an integral element of the Biden administration's approach to its duties.
Six weeks after a federal judge ordered the Biden administration to resume selling oil and gas leases on federal land, there’s no sign it has and Interior Secretary Deb Haaland struggled Tuesday to explain why.
“We are evaluating our options,” Haaland told the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee amid sharp criticism from Republicans. “There’s a lot of work that goes into moving that forward.”
A Louisiana-based federal district judge issued a preliminary injunction June 15 against President Joe Biden’s order to pause lease sales on federal land and waters so it could be considered in light of its climate impacts. The judge ordered Interior to immediately restart leasing but the agency hasn’t scheduled any auctions or rescheduled sales postponed earlier this year.
Haaland faced withering criticism from no fewer than seven of the 20 senators on the committee amid growing bipartisan frustration with the halt of new leasing in areas that provide roughly a quarter of U.S. oil production.
“The pause is effectively defying the federal judge’s order to continue,” Senator Bill Cassidy, a Republican from Louisiana, said.
Haaland conceded that “technically, I suppose, you could say the pause is still in place.” But she insisted the agency is complying with the court order and is moving forward on releasing an interim report to guide future leasing decisions ... conservationists argue that greater scrutiny is needed to ensure those auctions comply with federal laws, including of how oil and gas development from newly sold leases will affect climate change.
There's more at the link.
Uh-huh. Suuuuure, the court ordered us to resume sales; but we'll do it in our own sweet time, and we'll impose new environmental regulations that make it more difficult - perhaps impossible - for would-be lessors to comply with them and still make a profit. That'll have the same effect as stopping leasing, because they won't bid on leases they can't exploit. Sucks to be you, judge - doesn't it?
Some may think this isn't important. It's just off-shore oil exploration leases, after all - not a matter of life and death. However, it sets the tone for the entire administration. If one department can get away with this, why can't another? Why can't all of them? What happens when it is a critical matter, such as preventing us from working unless and until we comply with scientifically dubious medical requirements, or taking vehicles off the road if they don't conform to this or that spurious environmental regulation (which may or may not be scientifically valid)? What then will we say about the importance of the rule of law as an overriding consideration?
When the administration is illegitimate at its core (due to the electoral fraud that allowed it to steal office), we should not be surprised to see that illegitimacy manifesting itself in most, if not all, of its dealings.