Biden vs. Trump: The Battle Over US Energy Policy and Its Consequences

Reposted from Forbes by Tilak Doshi

With the US presidential elections less than 90 days away, US energy policy – which includes government regulations dealing with climate change – has emerged as one of the core issues. This is not only because the Democratic Party, in seeking to unseat incumbent President Trump, has itself elevated energy and climate change policies to its highest priority. Energy is the lifeblood of the modern economy – the “master resource” that affects the production and use of all other resources – and hence US energy policy will affect the livelihood of all Americans. And as the US has emerged as the world’s leading oil and gas producer over the past decade, the energy and climate policies adopted by the next US administration will also profoundly influence global economic and geopolitical affairs.

The Radical Democrats and The Vacillating Mr. Biden

In the run-up to the Democratic Party presidential primaries and caucuses, nearly everyone of the more than 20 major nominees supported first-term congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s “Green New Deal” which was her radical grand plan to save the planet from a presumed 12-year deadline to global extinction. On April 8, 2020, former Vice President Joe Biden became the presumptive Democratic nominee after Senator Bernie Sanders, the only other major candidate left, suspended his campaign and endorsed Mr. Biden a few days later. Rather than making the traditional move back to the centre after he secured the nomination, Mr. Biden has continued to move left especially on energy policy.

In May, it was announced that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will co-chair Joe Biden climate policy council as Biden took steps to “unify” the party with the Bernie Sander’s wing of radical progressives. In June, the Democratic National Committee signalled its shift towards extreme positions on energy and climate issues reflected by the views of Sanders and Cortez. The DNC Council on the Environment and Climate Crisis, stacked with progressive climate activists, pressed Mr. Biden to back “bold and urgent action to address the climate crisis.” The DNC 14-page plan calls for expenditures of up to $16 trillion over the next decade to speed the country away from fossil fuels. It includes getting to “near-zero” emissions by 2040, banning fracking, ending the sale of gasoline and diesel cars by 2030, denying federal permits for new fossil fuel infrastructure projects, ensuring 100% clean renewable energy by 2030 in electricity generation, buildings, and transportation, and re-imposing the ban on US crude oil exports and sharply curtailing exports of natural gas.

The DNC proposal more closely resembles Sanders’ climate plan in policies and scope than Mr. Biden’s, which called for a $1.7 trillion in climate spending over the next decade. Mr. Biden then announced a new plan in mid-July to spend $2 trillion over four years to significantly escalate the use of clean energy in the transportation, electricity and building sectors with a range of sweeping proposals to tackle climate change. Mr. Biden has vacillated, asserting “no new fracking” in his debate Bernie Sanders in March but backtracking in July in an interview in Pennsylvania where he said that he “wouldn’t put fracking on the chopping block” in response to a question about losing oil and gas jobs.

What A Biden Administration Would Wreak

Contradictory policy promises by politicians appealing to different constituencies in the election trail are nothing new. Once elections are won, pragmatism is expected to prevail as the real consequences of policy decisions become apparent. Furthermore, the US president’s powers to effect change are bound by constitutional limits. Even if the Democrats manage to flip the Senate while keeping the House, moderates from both parties in oil and gas-producing states such as Colorado, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma and Texas would be fearful of destroying jobs and tax-revenues while recovering from the devastating pandemic-induced lockdowns.

While oil, natural gas and coal accounted for over 83% of total energy used in the US in 2019, wind, solar and new biofuels accounted for a paltry 6%. Punting  for “green jobs” that have yet to materialize and which would depend on massive government subsidies may sound uplifting during election campaigns focused on young environmentalists but are a poor substitute for economic performance in the real world.

Yet, it is clear that Mr. Biden, if elected, would be bound to undo most if not all of President Trump’s initiatives in energy and environmental affairs. As promised, he would take executive and regulatory actions aimed at ending fracking and oil and gas drilling activity in federal lands. A politicized Environmental Protection Agency – following the Obama administration’s modus operandi – would discourage the fossil fuels sector in countless ways through administrative and regulatory choke-holds. The blocking of oil and gas pipelines and other fossil fuel infrastructure would be enabled by activist environmentalists launching legal suits as in the recent case of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

In his plan to “secure environmental justice and equitable economic opportunity in a clean energy future”, Biden committed to immediately re-join the Paris Agreement if elected president. This could potentially open up the US government to yet another avenue of judicial intervention by its own law courts. For example, the recent UK Court of Appeal decision to block London’s Heathrow airport expansion explicitly cited the Paris Agreement climate targets as the basis to reject government-approved infrastructure plans.

In the age of US-led oil abundance, conventional notions of geopolitical risk and perceptions of energy security have been upended. The surge in US oil and gas production which gathered pace in the past few years with President Trump’s “energy dominance” agenda has made the US less vulnerable to political and social upheavals in the Middle East and has increased its foreign policy leverage in achieving its strategic objectives. It has given the US greater latitude to support allies and sanction rivals. It has made it easier for the US to impose export sanctions on oil-producing adversaries such as Venezuela and Iran without the fear of a resulting spike in global oil prices or on US domestic gasoline prices.

By effectively making the US the “swing” producer in global oil markets, the fracking revolution has weakened the ability of OPEC and Russia to support crude oil prices by restraining output. A Biden presidency which would vacate the role of the US as the world’s leading oil and gas producer would no doubt be welcomed by Russia and the OPEC oil and gas exporters struggling with low energy prices.

Biden vs. Trump: The Odds

A recent Gallup poll, taken over July 1 – 23, asked just over a 1,000 US adults: “What do you think is the most important problem facing this country today?” A plurality, or 30%, chose “coronavirus/diseases” as the most important problem, followed by “the government/poor leadership” (23%), race relations/racism (16%), “unifying the country” (6%), and “crime/violence” (5%). Among economic problems, 9% of the respondents chose the “economy in general”, unemployment, and the wealth gap. Notably, “climate change/environment/pollution” — green issues central to the progressive agenda and embraced by Mr. Biden — came at the very bottom of the list, garnering just 1% support.

Whatever the state of Mr. Biden’s mental acuity, he must be aware of the risks of campaigning on the radical makeover of the US economy in the midst of a pandemic to meet an alleged “climate emergency”. In 2017, failed presidential-hopeful Hillary Clinton claimed her biggest regret was in doubling up on ex-President Obama’s ‘war on coal’ and stating in her campaign trail that “we’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business”. Mr. Biden must hope he will not have such regrets.

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August 8, 2020 2:15 pm

The USA has so much cheap energy in form of oil and naturals has. It gives them a huge economic advantage. Totally foolish not to take advantage of this cheap energy.

Reply to  Stevek
August 8, 2020 2:27 pm

“Totally foolish” describes Biden to a “t” !

Even more so the American people if they vote him in as President.

Are the American people “Totally foolish”…?

We will see, come election time.

Reply to  fred250
August 8, 2020 6:47 pm

We really should stop saying that “Biden will do this” and “Biden will do that.” Biden won’t do anything.

We have a good idea of what will happen if Biden wins – just not the details, since the President for the other 47 months of the Democrat Presidency has not yet been chosen.

Reply to  Writing Observer
August 10, 2020 4:36 pm

Exactly! Biden is not the candidate, his VP pick will be the real candidate.

Reply to  JIDude
August 10, 2020 4:44 pm

She will be just as much a puppet as Plugs is.

John Endicott
Reply to  JIDude
August 11, 2020 3:18 am

It’s funny. When Trump came into office leftist and Dems (I repeat myself) fantasized about the cabinet invoking article 25 to remove him from office. If Sleepy, Creepy, Dementia Joe is elected, that fantasy would likely become a reality shortly after the inauguration. Hmmm, I wonder, can you even have an inauguration from a Delaware basement? Hopefully the American people are smart enough so that we don’t have to find out.

Adrian Mann
Reply to  fred250
August 10, 2020 11:52 am

Well, you elected Trump (actually, a minority did, but there you go), so I guess that’s answered that.

162 days and counting…

John Endicott
Reply to  Adrian Mann
August 11, 2020 3:12 am

So you’re saying the answer is “the American people are not totally foolish”! How kind of you. Sadly I’m not as sure of that as you seem to be. Guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Reply to  John Endicott
August 11, 2020 7:38 am

What really pisses off the leftards like Adrian is Trump did win by a majority, and is going to take an even bigger one in November.

Reply to  Adrian Mann
August 11, 2020 7:03 pm


The ‘majority’ you think voted for the most corrupt person ever to run for President, represented a small minority of the populated regions of the country. Throw away the urban and suburban regions around some of the large cities run by Democrats and Trump would have won by a popular landslide.

Trump won because people who were paying attention, rather than blindly giving in to the constant barrage of hate coming from the MSM, made an informed choice and in addition, there were enough others who considered him the lesser of 2 evils, which is amazing considering that the MSM started positioning him as the devil incarnate way back when he entered the race and it hasn’t changed to this day.

Reply to  Stevek
August 9, 2020 3:24 pm

And if the New Green Disaster is implemented and the US is weened off fossil fuels, the price of oil will crash and those countries whose leadership is not stupid enough to fall for the green scam will have an even bigger economic advantage over the US. In fact, it would be far too big for us to allow and we will need to use our fossil fuel driven military to make sure the entire world is as energy handicapped as the Progressive Socialists seem so willing to make us.

Joel O'Bryan
August 8, 2020 2:25 pm

Gallup polls asking questions like what are the most pressing national problems are meaningless with regards to what people mark on their ballots. They will be voting their pocketbooks or interests very close them, or what they think is the best choice for their own interest.
They are almost always faced with Candidate A or Candidate B, not a fill in the blank.

– Any police or sheriff deputy or their family in the US who votes for a Democrat just isn’t acting rational in their own professional interest.
– Any gun owner who votes for a Democrat isn’t acting in a rational interest if they want to continue to own that gun.
– Any homeowner or land-owner who votes for a Democrat isn’t acting rational for where their property tax bill could be in few years under Democrats’ control.
– Any business-owner in a big city who has to pay insurance premiums every month for liability and property damage who then votes for a Democrat after what happened in Minneapolis just isn’t acting rational in their own professional interest.

As for what Dementia Joe might or might not regret, by January 2021 his declining cognitive state will likely put him in such a condition as to not know the difference one way or the other. It is past time for his wife Jill to end the charade that he is okay, to take away his car keys and the campaign keys from her declining husband and enjoy what time she has left with him while he still knows who she is. That is what spouses are supposed to do.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
August 8, 2020 3:18 pm

That seems correct.

CV-19 cases should continue to fall from now on. That’s favorable to Trump. The economy and jobs are recovering but whether it’s fast enough is questionable. That’s a toss up.

Democrats seems to have realized that supporting Antifa and Marxist BLM is hurting them, along with their notions to defund police. People have relatively short memories, so this could be a non-factor.

Yes, it will probably come down to pocketbooks.

Reply to  Scissor
August 8, 2020 4:42 pm

nope..they own Antifa and BLM now….and they own the anarchy and riots

No matter what the “cause”…people don’t want it in their house

Reply to  Scissor
August 8, 2020 7:02 pm

Yes, it will., and Trump just signed their death sentences today. They can do nothing (and face their enraged base and money providers), or find a compliant judge to issue an injunction (and face the enraged majority).

Their only hope is to immediately pass a clean relief bill, and have McConnell refuse to call the Senate back into an emergency session.

Pelosi isn’t that smart – and McConnell isn’t that stupid.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Writing Observer
August 8, 2020 11:09 pm

I agree with that analysis.
If what just happened were a poker game, it was a game where everyone knew what cards the other guy was holding. And Nancy and Chucky still tried bluff a pair of deuces against Trump’s full house.

Adrian Mann
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
August 10, 2020 12:13 pm

Is that the same Trump who owned a casino? A casino… a license to print money… that went bankrupt? Oh sorry, three casinos, all bankrupt.

One-Term_Trump is a very, very bad businessman. And the one thing he doesn’t have is a full house, or even a complete deck. (You offered that one up on a silver platter, BTW).

“People underestimated Donald Trump’s ability to pillage the company,” said Sebastian Pignatello, a private investor who at one time held stock in the Trump casinos worth more than $500,000. “He drove these companies into bankruptcy by his mismanagement, the debt and his pillaging.”

162 days…

Reply to  Writing Observer
August 9, 2020 3:23 pm

Even better, some Democrats are threatening to sue based on their belief that Trump doesn’t have the authority to make these moves.

Imagine the campaign commercials, “Democrats sue to stop unemployment checks”.

An Amercian
Reply to  Scissor
August 9, 2020 7:21 am

I believe that CV-19 cases will spike again countrywide once the kids are sent back to school this month. Some communities have already started classes and those areas are already seeing a spike. Has anyone ever been around a child while they’re sick? They’re likely to cough onto their hand and chase their friend around the room with it. The children are going to get sick at school, spread it to their parents who will then spread it to the adults around them at work. We’re all going to go right back to square one where we were back in March/April.

The Dark Lord
Reply to  An Amercian
August 9, 2020 8:35 am

the EU has had schools open for weeks/months with no spikes among children … Sweden never closed them and has seen almost no infections among children … you are just spreading un-scientific fear porn …

Tom Abbott
Reply to  The Dark Lord
August 9, 2020 6:38 pm

“the EU has had schools open for weeks/months with no spikes among children”

Let’s hope the same thing holds true for U.S. schools. We’ll know in a couple fo weeks.

Reply to  The Dark Lord
August 10, 2020 8:15 am

A couple of schools in GA have already re-closed because of spikes.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
August 8, 2020 3:29 pm

Gallup polls asking questions like what are the most pressing national problems are meaningless with regards to what people mark on their ballots.

It’s data. The vast majority of Americans do not think CAGW is the nation’s most important problem. Given that, it baffles me that the Democrats are doing a full court press on the issue.

How about some more data. On Dec. 1, 2015, well before the election, my favorite Democrat blog posted this. It’s a study of the health outcomes of various sectors of the population. The only group whose outcomes were getting worse were the middle aged white folks. They were drinking, smoking, drugging, and suiciding themselves to death. They are the forgotten people who voted for President Trump. They’re the people the Democrat party threw under the bus. They don’t particularly care if they pull the whole d*** thing down around their own heads.

President Trump has delivered on his promises. I hope the forgotten people notice and show him some more love in November. At this point I would say things look pretty good. In some respects it’s almost like the Democrat party is deliberately trying to lose.

Reply to  commieBob
August 8, 2020 3:52 pm

” it baffles me that the Democrats are doing a full court press on the issue.”

They have no other policy. They squandered that last 3 1/2 years “resisting” the outcome of the last election. When the insane RussiaGate/Impeachment fiasco finally fell on its face they realised that they had nothing.

They do not even have a credible candidate, and still have not chosen the surrogate who will become pres. when sleepy Joe gets put in a home.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Greg
August 8, 2020 5:49 pm

Should finally hear what the DNC tells Dementia Joe his decision is this week. Hope he can remember her name when the time comes.

Cut to The Basement…

(Looking directly into the wrong camera) “Hi! I’m Joe Biden’s VP candidate umm, Susan…Harris? (Looks off-stage to handlers). I mean, umm, SHE is, ya know, the Thing…listen, man! Are you on crack? You’re a lying dog-faced pony soldier…If you don’t know who you’re for, you ain’t black like St-st-st-Stacey here. I mean Camelia. Yeah, yeah Kamela. Let’s see who can do more push-ups! Don’t mess with me, kid! My time is up. Zzzzzzzz“

Joel O’Bryan
Reply to  commieBob
August 8, 2020 5:54 pm

Going with a dementia-ridden candidate does seem like a formula for losing. Going with an unhealthy Hillary in ‘16 certainly was one factor that lost her votes on the way to defeat.

But the Dems running this Dementia charade and manipulating Dementia Joe have a sinister plan. A plan to immediately replace him with his VP. Either Joe leaves voluntarily (resigns) or they force him out under Section 4 of the 25th Amendment, and an ensuing constitutional crisis if Dementia Joe resists removal..

Izaak Walton
Reply to  commieBob
August 8, 2020 9:52 pm

Which promises has Trump delivered on? Last time I checked there was only 3 miles of new border wall none of which Mexico had paid for. The affordable care act is still the law of the land has not been repealed nor has there been any attempt at publishing a sensible replacement act. Hillary Clinton has still not been locked up. China has not been declared a currency manipulator. More coal fired power plants have closed down than under Obama and coal mines are declaring bankruptcy at increasing rates.

Reply to  Izaak Walton
August 8, 2020 11:53 pm

It depends on who’s counting. The pro-Trump websites have him keeping a pile of promises. example example

The left leaning Poynter Institute gives Trump around 50% promises not broken. link Of course the Poynter institute has been accused of considerable bias. link

Someone once quipped, “You’re entitled to your own opinion. You’re not entitled to your own facts.” In these days of fake news (on both sides), I’d say that one has gone out the window.

Reply to  Izaak Walton
August 9, 2020 3:20 am

Trump’s accomplishments – despite all Dem resistance and Repub globalism and cowardice –

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Izaak Walton
August 9, 2020 7:07 pm


Trump says the border wall is up to 276 miles long as of the other day. Some of the old border wall is being replaced by the new border wall, but I don’t think Trump has replaced 273 miles of old border wall. Got a link to your “3 miles” claim? And Mexico is paying for the wall right now. The new trade agreement between the U.S. and Mexico leaves billions of dollars in the United States that were not there before the agreement. From those billions staying in the United States, the taxes paid to the U.S. Treasury from those extra billions of dollars more than pays for the Southern Border Wall. And those payments to the U.S. Treasurey keep coming year after year, even after the border wall is completed and paid for.

The Affordable Care act missed being repealed by *one* vote. Trump got the entire House of Representatives (Republicans, try herding all those Republicans some time)) to vote in favor and got every Republican Senator to vote in favor except for Senator John McCain . McCain had orginally promised to vote to repeal Obamacare, but in a selfish, classless last act, he turned thumbs down on the deal, just to spite President Trump. McCain knew Obamacare needed to be repealed but he cared more about getting back at Trump, than he did for helping the American people with their healthcare costs.

As long as Nancy Pelosi is in charge of the House of Representatives, there won’t be a replacement for Obamacare. As it is, Trump is streamlining the health care system as much as he can with Executive Orders, and Executive policy, and is causing the prices of drugs to be reduced drastically, such as insulin costs.

Yes, Hillary hasn’t been locked up yet. You can’t blame that on Trump, though. But Attorney General Bill Barr is still on the job so don’t lose hope that Hillary’s crimes are at least made public, even if she doesn’t get indicted. Her and Bill are pretty good at insulating themselves from the illegalities others do on their behalf.

I think Trump decided that it was not in the U.S. best interests to declare China a currency manipulator at this time. Other than that I dont know much about it.

Trump didn’t promise to keep coal-fired powerplants open, he just promised to give them a level playing field. The reason the coal plants are shutting down is because they are being replaced with cheaper gas-fired powerplants. Market forces are determining these choices, as they should. Trump is allowing the marketplace to work its magic, as he should.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
August 8, 2020 3:44 pm

It is becoming clear (to me, at least) that the attempt to install Biden as President is a political maneuver to instead install the Vice Presidential candidate as President, who will likely be even farther toward the marxist persuasion. As soon as the pair are sworn-in, the 25th amendment will be invoked, replacing Biden with the Red Veep and America will have its first communist administration without an election.

Whoever the eventual Democrat VP candidate is should be watched closely.

That Biden’s wife lets this go on probably indicates that she is in favor of this plan, or is being extorted.

Reply to  Carlo, Monte
August 8, 2020 4:37 pm

That appears to be the plan.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Carlo, Monte
August 8, 2020 5:09 pm

I certainly agree with you that the DNC has plans to replace Dementia Joe with the Vice President using the 25th Amendment.

Two huge problems with that though. If Joe voluntarily resigns, then the transition would probably be smooth. The rub comes if Joe resists DNC pressure to resign once he is the President.

(1) Section 4 of the 25th Amendment has never been invokded before. So no really knows how that would play out, even in a fully installed Administration. Lots of things could go wrong when you get down into the details of what Section 4 requires between his VP, his cabinet, and Congress. Joe’s cabinet (Section 4 requires a majority of his Principle officers like SecState, SecDef,Sec Treasury, etc to say he’s incapable of carrying out his duties) may not even be in place yet when it is obvious Joe needs to go, which then no one knows how Section 4 would work with no cabinet confirmed and Joe resisting removal.
(2) The November election results for some States themselves may still be being contested into January 2021 if Democrats push forward to get more States to do mail-in only ballots. Imagine Florida’s 2000 disputed results multiplied across a half dozen states well into December. It could be a real mess where some States are not yet able to confirm results and thus Electoral College votes by January 6th, 2021 when the new Congress is supposed to count the Electoral College votes with Vice President Mike Pence overseeing it for the Senate. This scenario is where the 12th Amendment would come into play.

And the real kicker but funny outcome under a 12th Amendment scenario is that the current Vice President Pence could end up being the tie breaker vote to make himself to be the next Vice President to serve with a dementia-ridden President-elect Joe Biden.

Effectively Vice President Mike Pence as the Constitutional tie-breaker for even vote splits in the Senate could cast the tie-breaking vote for himself as the next Vice President to be sworn in on January 20, 2021. It would be a wild scenario where the Electoral College results are “hung” without a either [Trump/Pence] or [Biden/(black-woman)] having a majority of the electoral college vote. In that scenario, the 12th Amendment has each Chamber in a “pick-one” vote. The House of Representatives would get to vote for the President from the two, Trump or Biden. And the Senate gets to vote for the Vice President from Pence or [black woman to be named].

Assuming the House of Representatives is still majority Democrat, then they would select Biden to be sworn in on January 20th without any doubt.

But the Senate could be a lot closer if Democrats take a few Senate Seats from Republicans in November. If the Senate splits 50:50 on the Pence or [Black woman] choice, the VP Pence breaks the tie to make himself Joe’s next VP.

That VP Pence becoming Joe’s VP and then taking the Presidency when Joe mental capacity is too painful to bear, would be the sweetest justice and the most Epic backfire on the Democrats of All-Time in an attempt to engineer a political outcome.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
August 8, 2020 6:21 pm

I agree; the Democrats are of course the party of emotion so the nuances of their plots are usually above their pay grades. They would be completely bankrupt if not for the Marxstreme Media propping them up.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
August 8, 2020 6:32 pm

Joel and others,
Just some thoughts from down under.
I don’t see how the average American would accept this.
I guess there would be protests across America.
Antifa members would go running home to mummy.
Any Marxist VP would have to show their true colours to stop the protests ( use the same cops they want to defund)

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Waza
August 8, 2020 8:18 pm

A Marxist VP turned President is the Commander in Chief of the Army, Air Force and Navy and Marine Corps. Most Generals, Admirals would resign though before obeying orders to move against the People angry at a Marxist President.
But Venezuela’s (now dead) Hugo Chavez managed it with purges of the military to get enough officers to support him.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
August 8, 2020 7:28 pm

Joel, you missed one crucial part of the Twelfth Amendment, to wit: “But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice.” (Emphasis added.)

In other words, a majority of the States – not the Representatives – elects the President if the Twelfth Amendment is invoked. South Dakota’s single Representative has the same power as California’s fifty-three.

If I’m not interrupted by family this evening, I’ll run up the probable numbers. Based on the current composition of the House, of course. Which will undoubtedly change by January 6. (Maybe – what if there are several House elections that are also still contested due to the insanity of fraud by mail? The Constitution is silent on this.)

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Writing Observer
August 8, 2020 8:07 pm

The winner still has to have a majority of votes. The “a majority of all states” part you quoted.

If the majority is denied to both candidates because several or more states results are tied in court battles, then they cannot send a delegate. In that possibility, then the House then gets to vote on the President, and the Senate gets to vote on the VP.

Reply to  Writing Observer
August 8, 2020 9:06 pm

ONE vote per State, . There are 45 Democrat Representatives from California – and they have exactly the same power under the Twelfth Amendment as the 1 Republican from South Dakota. No more, no less.

See my other comment (when/if it shows up, this is WUWT on WordPress…) for a quick and dirty analysis. TRUMP wins, 26 to 23.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Writing Observer
August 8, 2020 10:51 pm

The Democrats will try to avoid a quorum or engineer some way to avoid Trump getting a majority in those mechanisms. They’ll try to push it to majority votes in both chambers if they can take the Senate majority. Without the Senate majority though, Mike Pence could be Joe’s VP in that scenario.

Reply to  Writing Observer
August 9, 2020 3:25 pm

The constitution is quire clear regarding how the House is to vote. I don’t believe that even Ginsburg will be able to fund a penumbra big enough to get around that.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
August 8, 2020 7:52 pm

The electoral college votes on Dec. 16th this year. It’s set in the constitution and can’t be changed. It takes an absolute majority of votes to select the President and Vice President. I’m presuming that if the electoral college doesn’t vote at all on Dec. 16, then this would be the same thing as no candidate getting an absolute majority and the election would be thrown to the House and Senate.

When the House votes for President, each state gets one vote. In the current House Republicans actually lead with 26 delegations to the Democrats 23, with one delegation (Pennsylvania) evenly split. What next year’s House looks like is anyone’s guess at this time.

This split is because Dem’s lead big in a couple of big states, but trail in most.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  MarkW
August 8, 2020 8:12 pm

The votes are counted in the next Congress though on 6 January, 2021. There is a distinct possibility of a # of contested states, with voting so screwed up because they switched to mail-in ballots only, under the excuse of COVID-19 scaremongering.

The Democrats want to generate a justification to the American public to ultimately eliminate the 240 year old Electoral College selection process altogether. What better way than the fluck-up the entire 2020 voting process with States unable to call their results in order to be unable to choose EC electors?

Reply to  MarkW
August 9, 2020 9:32 am

If the electors don’t vote on Dec. 16th, then their votes don’t count. It doesn’t matter when they are counted.

Reply to  MarkW
August 10, 2020 8:19 am

I just remembered another scam the Democrats could pull.
Back in the 80’s, while Reagan was president, there was a contested election, I don’t remember which state. After a drawn out battle, the Republican state legislature certified that the Republican had won. The Democrat leadership of the House voted to install the Democrat instead. The Supreme Court ruled that ultimately, the House gets to decide who is seated.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
August 8, 2020 8:43 pm

In the case in which the House votes on the presidency, the Democrats do not have a majority. each state delegation gets one vote, so the numbers of representatives a state has does not matter.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
August 8, 2020 9:01 pm

Dag nab it, my previous reply has not shown up yet. (Charles? No bad words, at least I don’t think so…). So that comment is the “why” that you have to combine with this “what” comment.

A quick and dirty analysis of the result if the Electoral College cannot select a President, triggering the Twelfth Amendment provisions, shows a clear win for Donald Trump in the House of Representatives, 26 votes for Trump vs. 23 votes for Biden.

Notes, assumptions:

1) The vote in each State delegation is on strictly partisan lines. Republicans all vote for Trump, Democrats all vote for Biden.
2) The election doesn’t flip enough seats in any State to flip the composition of the delegation as a whole.
3) The vacant seats, even if filled by the “other” party, won’t flip the composition as a whole. (Looking at where the four vacancies are, this is a relatively safe assumption).
4) Pennsylvania stays deadlocked, still with even numbers of Republicans and Democrats in their delegation.
5) Michigan District 3 is filled by another anti-Trumper like Amash, leaving the State delegation voting for Biden. (Not a good assumption, actually – it is currently leaning for the Republican, which would leave it deadlocked like Pennsylvania.)
6) Again, strictly on party lines – nobody votes for the third highest vote getter in the Electoral College (remember, the House must consider the three top candidates, not the top two).

A request: if anyone comes across an analysis by someone politigeekier than I, please post a link. A truly good prediction would consider the candidates in each district, the current polling for same, their own leanings (anti-Trump Republican, so far Left that Biden is Literally Hitler, afraid to vote for either one in a deep Purple district, etc.). Absent a contrary analysis, though, it looks like the Democrats would lose their keisters in a Twelfth Amendment scenario just as badly or worse as in an honest election.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Writing Observer
August 8, 2020 10:46 pm

Regardless of all the twist and turns that might happen to select the winner to be sworn in on January 20th, 2021, I firmly believe Democrats are intent on putting the Electoral College (EC) selection process of the President in a very bad light for the American Public.

Democrats are desperate to turn public attention on this EC issue to their side if they ultimately ever want to get rid of the EC. They talked incessantly about getting rid of the EC process for years now, even to the point of trying to get the now-failed National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPVIC) passed by enough states to disenfranchise a state’s own voters decision in order to push the popular vote concept.

And getting rid of the Constitution-mandated EC process is the only path to a Popular Vote mechanism for President that they want.

Democrats are not very good at understanding “unintended consequences” when their lust for power blinds them to the political danger of what they are doing. The 2013 Harry Reid getting rid of the Senate filibuster for confirming Presidential judicial and executive branch nominations is a perfect example of a politcal caluculation gone horribly wrong for Democrats. Removing the filibuster as he did was a clear case where the Democrats convinced themselves (they believed their own lies) that there would never again be another Republican President. Ooopps.
Huge mistake as now Trump and Mitch McConnell have been filling the federal judiciary with conservatives and getting folks like Betsy Devos as Secretary of Education over vehement objections form Democrats but little they can do to stop it. They did it to themselves because of their lust for power blinded them to the downside.

Same will happen however this Fall’s elections. The Dem’s trhwoing awrench into the voting system with mail-in voting debacles (remember Dem’s couldn’t even run an Iowa caucus this past February, and New York’s primary voting now is a mess) and engineering an Electoral college debacle has to be a goal for them.

Mickey Reno
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
August 8, 2020 4:41 pm

A vote for Biden is a vote for higher energy and electricity prices, and more American jobs fleeing to China and China becoming bolder in their military and expansionist goals. You MUST vote for Trump to stop this outcome. Sorry, choke down the bile and vote for Trump.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
August 8, 2020 5:24 pm

Joel, your list supports my contention that the big sleeper that won’t show in polls is disaffected Democrats abandoning the party and voting for Trump.

Republicans who who likely didn’t vote for Trump have had a change of heart after seeing the dogged fulfillment of promises in the face of almost impossible obstructions and the miracle of the economy and employment that followed for all Americans regardless of race. Sane Democrats who held their noses to vote for Hilliary out of fear of a loose cannon in Trump will have changed their thinking even more. They will now have a justified fear of their own flawless anti-American party who would put up such a choice as Joe Biden pushing Bernie Sanders’s policies for the ruination of America.

Trump by a landslide.

Reply to  Gary Pearse
August 8, 2020 5:57 pm

“ disaffected Democrats abandoning the party and voting for Trump.“

They will not vote for Trump…most of them are delusional.

Reply to  Derg
August 8, 2020 9:20 pm

A fairly large proportion are still “traditional” or “inherited” or “formerly young and ignorant.”

I have one of each in my family, so I know. I also know them well enough that they will look at their paycheck – and run just as far and fast as they can from Sleepy Joe.

Many Democrats, also, will not ever vote for Trump – but they won’t vote for Biden, either. Their “base” of mutually hating victim groups guarantees that. I have encountered many Bernie bots who are still angry at him being “shut out” yet again. Also many radical feminists who would happily vote for him with Warren or some other Lefty female as the anointed successor – but not for any of the four black ones that are still in the running.

Reply to  Writing Observer
August 9, 2020 3:18 am

I hope you are right.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  Writing Observer
August 9, 2020 8:00 am

Here in deep-purple suburban Colorado, I have yet to see a single BIDEN yard sign — the most common signs are (all professionally manufactured):
Black Lives Matter
A rainbow BLM sign with 6 or 7 goofy lines
Any Functioning Adult 2020

A few brave people have Trump/Pence signs.

The Dems here are not excited by Dementia Joe.

Reply to  Writing Observer
August 9, 2020 9:37 am

All the more reason for Democrats to push for mail in ballots. It’s a lot easier than standing in line and voting.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Derg
August 8, 2020 11:20 pm

The Bernie Bros may just won’t go to the polls to vote for Biden or Trump in enough numbers that it scares the DNC. Hence they have to do really stupid stuff like put AOC on committees to write Biden’s campaign platforms.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
August 8, 2020 6:53 pm

Joel, I have the feeling that Jill has about as much affection for Joe as Hillary does for Bill. Her only regret, should he be elected (shudder) will be her very brief time as First Lady before they discard him to make way for their real Presidential candidate.

John Endicott
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
August 11, 2020 3:21 am

It is past time for his wife Jill to end the charade that he is okay, to take away his car keys and the campaign keys from her declining husband and enjoy what time she has left with him while he still knows who she is

Too late:

August 8, 2020 2:27 pm

A Biden presidency would under cut the ability of the US to produce oil and gas. This would result in the world prices of both commodities rising.
The only thing Russia exports is oil and gas. It’s the sole pillar of their economy.
A Biden presidency would result in a huge boost to the Russian economy and the wealth of it’s rulers.

Yet for some reason the media would have us believe that the Russians would do anything to re-elect Trump.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  MarkW
August 8, 2020 3:46 pm

Chairman Schiff just a day or so ago was again clanging his Russian hoax gong, and the Marxstream Media continues to give this liar a soapbox.

Gordon A. Dressler
August 8, 2020 2:41 pm

From the above article: “. . . pressed Mr. Biden to back ‘bold and urgent action to address the climate crisis.’ ”

Uhhh, what climate crisis? If it is the likely repeat of a “Little Ice Age”, as might be associated with the current period of “quiet Sun” observational data, then by all means let’s address the current “climate crises” by encouraging the addition of CO2 into Earth’s atmosphere, assuming of course that increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration has a positive causation on increasing Earth’s global land and sea temperatures.

August 8, 2020 2:42 pm

I’m almost sorry for dementia Joe. Nobody loves him, not even his family, otherwise he wouldn’t run.

Reply to  Chaswarnertoo
August 8, 2020 3:26 pm

Marxists love him because they think he gets their foot in the door.

Reply to  Scissor
August 8, 2020 4:54 pm

I’m not sure if Marxists actually love people, they just put up with those who are useful to them.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  MarkW
August 8, 2020 11:36 pm


yep. The only thing Marxists love is Power.

Adrian Mann
Reply to  Scissor
August 10, 2020 12:39 pm

Scissor – you don’t know what a Marxist is. No-one here who calls someone a Marxist has a clue what they’re talking about. Not supporting Trump ≠ Marxist. Not supporting a fascist kleptocracy ≠ Marxist. Perhaps you should find out what a Marxist is. I do not support Trump. I am not a Marxist. I have known true Marxists, from back in the UK. I did not then, and do not now, agree with them or support them. Nobody that you call Marxist has anything in common with them.
And as for loving power… we’ll see what happens when One-Term-Trump loses (which would make him a Loser) and he resists giving up power. You are in for some very interesting times over there.

J Mac
Reply to  Chaswarnertoo
August 9, 2020 11:27 am

Slo Joe’s nomination is like a real life parody of the movie Young Frankenstein:
Q: “So tell me, what was the name of the ‘brain’ we democrats nominated for president?”
A: “It was AB something…”

Beta Blocker
August 8, 2020 4:19 pm

If Joe Biden wants to achieve zero carbon emissions by 2040, then massive spending on Green New Deal projects cannot and will not get the job done, even if combined with a carbon pricing scheme of some kind.

Fossil fuels are just too convenient as an energy resource and too demand-inelastic.

If Biden is serious about it, he must impose a government-managed system of carbon fuel rationing which directly limits the quantities of fossil fuels that Americans can import, produce, refine, distribute, and consume. If 2040 is the goal for achieving zero emissions, he can’t get there any other way.

A carbon reduction scheme of this kind could be enabled under existing environmental and national security law through the issuance of a series of presidential executive orders which first declare a carbon pollution emergency and which then impose a strictly-enforced program of carbon fuel rationing on the American people.

It isn’t necessary to nationalize the oil industry in order to impose a comprehensive system of fuel rationing. The most effective way to go about it would be to enlist the private oil companies as the government’s contracted agents in managing a phased reduction in America’s consumption of all carbon fuels.

Under this scheme, the oil companies agree to reduce their output of carbon fuels in accordance with a tight twenty-year schedule, doing so in return for guaranteed profits which equal or even exceed what they might have earned from the sale of oil and gas products.

In addition, the state governments could also be enlisted as agents of the federal government through imposing a series of EPA-mandated, state administered carbon pollution fines which are the functional equivalent of a legislated tax on carbon. The revenues generated from these fines would be assigned to the individual states, thus incentivizing their participation.

Is this plan constitutional? Could a program of government-mandated carbon fuel rationing, combined with a system of state-administered carbon pollution fines, survive the many legal challenges that would be brought against it?

As long as the carbon fuel rationing program and the system of carbon pollution fines are being administered with equal effect against all segments of the American economy, and with equal force on all American citizens, then the answer to that question is a definite ‘yes’.

Reply to  Beta Blocker
August 8, 2020 4:57 pm

Even if we devoted the entire economy to building wind and solar plants, we couldn’t build enough of them to power the entire country on wind and solar in just 20 years.
At the same time we also have to replace every car on the road with an electric, as well as doubling to tripling the size of the electrical grid, including all the sub-stations.
Don’t forget the trillions of EV sized batteries that will be needed to power the country when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shinning on the solar panels.

Beta Blocker
Reply to  MarkW
August 8, 2020 5:35 pm

Joe Biden’s goal of zero emissions by 2040 is impossible without massively enforced energy conservation measures and without a willingness on the part of the American public to accept the consequences for the economy and for society which go with those massively-enforced conservation measures.

Reply to  Beta Blocker
August 8, 2020 6:01 pm

BB – In that case US voters need to hope like heck that Trump can make a watertight case that the Dem’s ‘zero emissions’ goal is a disaster, but I don’t see much sign of that from here in Oz. Am I missing something?

Beta Blocker
Reply to  BoyfromTottenham
August 8, 2020 7:59 pm

The winner of the 2020 presidential election will be determined mostly by how the public perceives Donald Trump’s handling of the pandemic crisis, along with emerging issues concerning law & order in America’s large cities. IMHO, energy policy and climate change will play a relatively minor role in the outcome of the election.

Reply to  Beta Blocker
August 8, 2020 5:00 pm

If the courts rule this plan to be unconstitutional, all the Dems need to do is actually implement FDR’s plan to pack the courts. Giving themselves a guaranteed majority regardless of the topic would just take 4 or 5 new justices.

Beta Blocker
Reply to  MarkW
August 8, 2020 5:52 pm

I’ve spent a good deal of time looking at the constitutionality of a plan which combines the declaration of a carbon pollution emergency with a program of mandated carbon fuel rationing combined with a system of state-enforced carbon pollution fines.

As long as the plan is implemented strictly in accordance with past practice in the areas of environmental and national security legislation, and in compliance with their associated past practice regulatory frameworks, the constitution’s provisions for maintaining equal protection of the laws would not be violated.

The real question here is this. Does Joe Biden honestly believe that the dangers of climate change are severe enough to justify doing what actually has to be done to greatly reduce America’s carbon emissions by the year 2040?

Reply to  Beta Blocker
August 8, 2020 9:23 pm

Might survive legal challenges, especially with SCOTUS being packed.

However, I don’t think CO2 emissions would go down all that much. We don’t have solar powered laser pistols yet…

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Beta Blocker
August 9, 2020 12:44 am

I don’t think that could be done without Congress on board though, even with a packed Supreme Court. The President powers would be limited in scope by continual lower court injunctions by the lower court judges that Trump-McConnell team has put in place.

What would happen is what happened to Barack Obama in November 2010. He and Dems got so much hubris, they lost the House of Representatives to the Tea Party. And it just went downhill from there for The Obysmal One. Lost the Senate in 2014, then turned it over to a Republican in 2016 after voters had had enough Liberal condescension and being called Deplorables.

Beta Blocker
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
August 9, 2020 4:18 pm

The Congress has already granted the Executive Branch broad powers in the area of environmental regulation, in the area of national security, and in the area of national crisis management.

Moreover, the courts have already ruled that the EPA can regulate carbon dioxide as an environmental pollutant under the Clean Air Act and have upheld the EPA’s 2009 Endangerment Finding for carbon.

Even under Obama’s Clean Power Plan, the EPA didn’t push its authority to regulate carbon emissions anywhere close to the legal limits established under current environmental law. Nor did the environmental lobby ever push hard on Obama and the EPA to do so. That situation might change with a Biden presidency.

What about using carbon pollution fines administered by the EPA as the functional equivalent of a tax on carbon?

Pollution fines are an established method of enforcing environmental compliance law; the EPA has identified carbon dioxide as a pollutant which can be regulated under the Clean Air Act; the Supreme Court has upheld the EPA’s Endangerment Finding, and the Supreme Court has ruled in the case of Obamacare that a “fine” can be administered as if it were a tax, for all practical purposes.

The area of national security law is likely to be the only avenue of attack where legal challenges against a carbon fuel rationing plan might be successful in a court.

Even in that area of the law, if the Executive Branch cites the EPA’s Endangerment Finding for scientific support in identifying the alleged dangers of anthropogenic driven climate change, the courts are likely to uphold the president’s authority to impose a carbon fuel rationing scheme.

What the Congress could do, if it was a mind to, would be to clarify the application of national security legislation by passing a public law which specifically identifies anthropogenic driven climate change as a danger to national security covered under previous Congressional legislation.

If Congress did enact such a public law, then responsibility and accountability for achieving zero carbon emissions by 2040 would be 100% confirmed as residing mostly in the hands of the Executive Branch.

If you are a Congressman afraid that an angry mob of yellow vests carrying pitch forks might descend on your office, then how very convenient it would be to direct the mob towards the White House, telling the crowd, “It was him. Joe Biden. He did it. It’s all his fault.”

August 8, 2020 5:49 pm

–This is not only because the Democratic Party, in seeking to unseat incumbent President Trump, has itself elevated energy and climate change policies to its highest priority.–

Huh, it never was Dem highest priority before.
I wonder why it’s Dem’s highest priority?
Maybe it’s defensive move, as Trump has made it one if his highest priorities- and he has been quite successful.

“..her radical grand plan to save the planet from a presumed 12-year deadline to global extinction.”

Ever wonder why the silly 12 year thing?
What do think going to happen by say 2030 AD.
Only thing that stands out, is China going to be past Peak Coal.
That should be clear to even idiotic Dems.
Year ago when Al Gore said world going to end in 5 years, I figured
Al Gore thought his career making lot’s money off the scare, would end, and that is about what happened.
So maybe the idea of getting money from Chinese for their silly propaganda will have all faded by 2030 AD. But that seems to have been a mistake- as we and everyone have already started to decouple from China.
So, now it just a zombie walk??
By their zombie, Joe Biden?
Then again, Trump going to win in landside, and most Dems know it, and if put climate has top priority, they can later say they “tried that” and they can blame doing so, has the reason why they lost so, badly.

August 8, 2020 8:08 pm

Question for political history buffs.
What countries successfully transformed into a socialist/Marxist state without some strife turmoil war or coup?

Dudley Horscroft
Reply to  Waza
August 9, 2020 6:09 am

“San Marino had the world’s first democratically elected communist government – a coalition between the Sammarinese Communist Party and the Sammarinese Socialist Party, which held office between 1945 and 1957.[25][26]”

Above quote from Wikipaedia entry re San Marino.

India had communist governments in West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura. All democratically elected, and subject to elections which either confirmed the Communists in power (as part often of a ‘Left Front’) or replaced them by some other party.

August 8, 2020 8:28 pm

During the presidential debates — (if they are actually held) — instead of Trump saying he is opposed to Joe Biden’s policy on this or that particular item, Trump should say he opposed to (insert VP’s name)’s policy of this or that item. (This may be one tactical reason why Biden’s handlers are slow in making Joe’s running mate known. The handlers know that the RNC knows that Joe is just a temporary place holder.)

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  noaaprogrammer
August 9, 2020 12:47 am

The Dem’s VEEP nominee will have to spout the approved Party Platform that comes out of the DNC convention later this month.

If they do have a debate, Dementia Joe’s inability to form coherent strings of sentences will be on vivid display. They won’t allow that to happen. The debates will be cancelled by the DNC.

Ronald Bruce
August 8, 2020 8:43 pm

Demokkkrats plan fo the presidency, 1. get Biden elected, 2. declare as we all know, biden incapable and the VP becomes president , 3. VP then resigns and Pelosi becomes president.

Gordon A. Dressler
August 8, 2020 9:03 pm

Question for the leaders in the Democratic party and especially for Joe Biden: what is the exact climate on Earth that you want, so that once achieving that state humanity can fight tooth-and-nail to prevent any further change in that?

Of course, no climate change alarmist or advocate for any version of a GND has stopped for one moment to address that most fundamental question related to the whole meme of “climate change”.

“If you can’t define something you have no formal rational way of knowing that it exists. Neither can you really tell anyone else what it is. There is, in fact, no formal difference between inability to define and stupidity.” — Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

August 8, 2020 11:57 pm

“we’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business”

Well coal plant is closing under Trump… he doesn’t seem to have halted or slowed this…

‘U.S. coal-fired power plants shut down at the second-fastest pace on record in 2019, despite President Donald Trump’s efforts to prop up the industry, according to data from the federal government and Thomson Reuters.’

and that continued in 2020:

Tom Abbott
Reply to  griff
August 9, 2020 7:22 pm

The Marketplace is shutting down coal-fired powerplants, not Trump. Gas-fired powerplants, which ae cheaper, are replacing coal-fired powerplants.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
August 10, 2020 12:03 am

but Trump still said he’d defend coal… presumably against the marketplace?

And it will then be the marketplace, not Biden which does for coal.

you can therefore beat Trump and Biden with the same stick: both will be falsely claiming to have influenced the amount of coal power/mining!

Tom Abbott
Reply to  griff
August 10, 2020 5:26 am

“but Trump still said he’d defend coal… presumably against the marketplace?”

You are presuming too much, Griff. You seem to do that a lot. You, and all the other alarmists, including those infected with TDS.

John Endicott
Reply to  Tom Abbott
August 11, 2020 9:54 am

You, and all the other alarmists, including those infected with TDS.

I think you repeat yourself there. Most alarmists, it seems, are infected with TDS.

Reply to  griff
August 10, 2020 8:23 am

It really does amaze me how trolls actually believe they are entitled to their own facts.
Trump is defending coal, against government over reach.

Your presumptions are as worthless as your other opinions.

If you don’t believe that Biden will do as Obama did and create all kinds of regulations making coal more expensive, then you actually are as stupid as you sound.

August 10, 2020 2:51 pm

There is no battle. Biden has repeatedly stated he is going to shut down America’s energy production/transport industry. His own words are all that people need to hear.

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