Yet another bold initiative by the President to strengthen American energy security is thwarted by a liberal judge legislating from the bench.
This happened last Friday when U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Gleason (an Obama appointee) slapped down President Trump’s move to open up the Chukchi Sea in the Artic, as well as other places in the Atlantic, for oil and gas drilling.
The Greens, naturally, were ecstatic:
“President Trump’s lawlessness is catching up with him,” Earthjustice attorney Erik Grafe said. “The judge’s ruling today re-affirms that we are a nation of laws and shows that the president cannot just trample on the constitution at the expense of our oceans, wildlife, and climate.”
Lawlessness? Really? This from Green groups which have never had a qualm blocking roads to stop logging trucks, trespassing on private grounds to drop banners from corporate office buildings, or sometimes engaging in acts of “eco-terrorism” to prove a point? Give me a break.
It was Obama who issued a ban on Arctic and Atlantic drilling under the authority of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA). He did this via “executive order.”
What the green gaggle led by Earth Justice argued before the court was that the OCSLA only allows Presidents to withdraw areas from offshore oil leasing and development, it does not grant Presidents (especially a President like Trump) the authority to reinstate that development – now or at any point in the future. Only Congress, they say, can do that.
The judge dutifully swallowed their reasoning hook, line and sinker.
Fortunately the Trump administration is appealing this decision. We wish them Godspeed. The judge’s ruling flies in the face of reason – especially when it is commonplace that executive orders issued by one President are easily rescinded whenever a new resident of the Oval office takes charge. That is the way it has been done in the past, and the way it should continue in the future.
What the Greens are obviously trying to do is to place executive actions concerning the Arctic, and even their grander ones, like the Paris Accord, beyond the reach of any future president. The Paris accord, for example, allows a country to petition to withdraw, which Trump did – but that takes several years to be approved by the UN. This way the Greens have an opportunity to gather their forces and try and elect another president, more to their liking – one that will get back onboard with the program. It’s a sham.
The Left is trying to lock in their extremist policies and forever prevent the electorate from rolling them back. In this, they must not prevail. America’s regulatory process must never be run like the “Hotel California,” a place where “you can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave.”