T Nation

Biden 2021 - A Mediocre Middle Ground

Day 1 and he immediately began rolling back trump era policies. I’m a big fan of nearly all the rollbacks, especially the environmental. What trump did to the EPA was a travesty. Oddly my biggest disagreement with today’s rollbacks is with revoking the special presidential permit for the keystone XL pipeline. Pipelines are by far the greenest way to transport fossil fuels, which aren’t going away in the near future. Hopefully it still gets permitted, just doesn’t get fast tracked like before.

I can probably get behind the moratorium on foreclosures until March 31 and the mask requirement on Federal land. The rest make me sad.


Which executive orders rub you the most raw?

I will say that while Obama gave the EPA faaaaaar too much leeway, Trump nerfed it entirely too much IMO. I haven’t looked into the details of the rollback but I think generally that’s a good thing.

Pipelines need to be greenlighted. I mean, until we all go 100% electric or solar transportation we are going to need fossil fuels. Pipelines are worlds safer, greener, and more cost effective than tankers. It’s been a long time since I looked at the Keystone debacle, and I’m not sure why they’re still getting stuck anymore. Probably something to do with endangered species, but again what’s the better alternative for transportation?

Your thread title had me :joy:

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So, just going by what’s in the article and not holding me to a deep dive on the EOs that I haven’t yet done:

  1. I REALLY like rejoining the WHO. I mean, this was a tantrum throwing of the first order when we pulled out. The WHO is political to a degree, yes. But then… If we’re not the biggest player helping direct the politics someone else will take that’s spot. And I would rather have us taking the lead even with political baggage in the WHO than ceding influence.

Besides, largely the WHO is humanitarian and resolutions are non binding, so it’s not like it’s got teeth.

  1. rejoining Paris Accords - I also like (which may surprise some of my fellow conservative leaning posters here). Here’s why: I view the Paris Accords as essentially a lip service agreement. They’ve come together in a long line of lip service arrangements where countries say they’re going to do things and then basically go their own damn way.

There are no binding enforcement mechanisms. None. Which is how China can do whatever the hell they want and still brag about being part of the agreement. So we don’t actually have to do anything. Now, whether we SHOULD do certain things is another discussion to have, but the point is that this move costs us nothing, and withdrawing from it basically didn’t do anything except make us look friggin awful.

Basically it gains us face (back) and really costs us nothing to do, so why not do it? I mean China is on it and they ignore its substance completely. So is Russia. And India, another huge polluter.

And yes, I still hate the Green New Deal, so I’m not taking leave of my sanity.

  1. Border wall - I don’t care either way. I want to secure our border but I always felt “The Wall” was a stunt. And kind of impractical - because if we REALLY wanted to build it a large portion would already be done by now. I mean, we’re a country that can do anything when we put our industry to it. It’s basically been a PR stunt and I generally don’t care about those. Border security needs to be improved though. My big concern with Biden policy here is that he won’t make it a priority.

  2. Legislation on green cards and path to citizenship - a fan. I don’t want illegal aliens to migrate en masse as they are now. One way to work on reducing that flow is to make the path to citizenship easier.

I also have a very good friend who came over for education, has his PhD, has a career, and almost got deported because the process for renewing his visa was FUCKED with a lot of the things going on, and he almost didn’t get approval. He’s been here 13 years. And he couldn’t get a green card (long story). Basically this is the type of guy we should all want here and he about got screwed by the bureaucracy maze. So I am a fan of anything that will make that process easier and more straightforward.

  1. foreclosure pause - good, fan. Student debt pause - also a fan. Both are economic landmines in the current situation. People still working will have a chance to get back on track and pay down some of the debt, people who are not working will have a chance to save their houses and find work. Economy wins.
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Let’s give it a month and see how outrageous they get before i choose just one.

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Knowing your politic I’d washer any and all haha

I am with you on the climate stuff. Change is needed, but the Green New Deal isn’t even in the realm of the possible.
I hope Biden brings back emphasis on nuclear power as a viable alternative to fossil fuels. And I would love to see federal investment dollars or bigger tax breaks for manufacturers innovating away from fossil fuels and combustion products.

I am a bit worried about my field (Defense aerospace) as traditionally budgets get cut for defense and space spending when the left controls the legislative and executive branches.

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No chance. The greenies hate nuke power. Interesting side however, perhaps something you and I agree on.

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All of the climate and immigration ones for sure.

I am fairly conservative when it comes to fiscal policy and defense policy, but I like conservation and think the planet needs to be take care of the best “we” (humans collectively) can.

I pray that the president succeeds in what is actually best for the country, it’s been my prayer for all presidents.


Speaking of mediocre, I had to watch the reading of the poem at the inauguration and thought it was terrible, as far as poetry goes. I mean, it sounded exactly how I would expect a college sophomore’s poem to sound: like not a poem. I get that politicians need to pander but I draw the line at poetry.


It feels like every US government is rolling back what the previous one did…

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This is right on. There are real issues with the organization but the answer is to sit at the proverbial head of the table and direct it as much as we can. Among other things, this probably won’t be the last pandemic we experience in our lifetimes and if we can shore up an effective global identification and response to these types of viruses hopefully they’ll become epidemics at most.

Although the previous administration’s approach to holding China accountable could have been better, I do think they need to be held accountable if it’s proven that they hid the severity of the problem in the early days of this event.

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Being “green” IME, is usually financially beneficial. Driving a green (economy) car is usually the most affordable, turning down the heat or using less AC is green and saves money. It seems in many cases being fiscally conservative would lead one to be green (that doesn’t seem to be the pattern I have noticed though).

I think we also have an opportunity to hire a lot of people to build green infrastructure, instead of unemployment in many cases.

I am not saying I support the green new deal (don’t know enough about it), but I do think investing in some of the green infrastructure makes a lot of sense if it has a positive ROI (I am sure some of it doesn’t).

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The keystone pipeline decision is dunderheaded policy from any perspective. Genuinely dreadful decision.

American energy independence was a seriously positive achievement of the previous admin, there’s no logic to not making it.

40k blue collar jobs imperilled, the Canadians fuming, and a boon to the oil heavy despotisms that the US used to get its crude from.

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I didn’t know you were in SPACEFORCE!

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That doesn’t even begin to describe what he did with that body. They claimed to have jurisdiction over pools and puddles ffs.

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If the “first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy” let you, you would claim it as well. But it would not just be a claim. You would actually have it.

As a civil engineer who deals quite a bit with stormwater regulations and “Waters of the US” designations, and as the husband to an environmental lawyer who specializes in Clean Water Act law i would disagree with your assessment (shockingly). The ridiculous redtape exceptions are what you hear about (ive worked on a couple), not the 100 other projects in the same area that you would likely agree should be subject to environmental regulation. No policy is a perfect fit for every project, and many government reviewers/inspectors understand that and give leeway (in the spirit of the law) where they deem it applicable. Being an asshole applicant goes a long way towards getting a lot of grief in the application and approval process.

That said, i work for developers. So i do find myself having to tell a client that she needs to spend $500k to restore a roadside ditch into an engineered fish passageway because eventually this could become a salmon passable stretch of spawning stream… in 100 years once all 30 miles downstream of this property get redeveloped and those owners are also forced to improve the ditch on their property haha. I get it.

You know what really sucked? Trying to get things permitted, going through the right channels, getting all the design work, applications, plans, etc ready and once the big package is ready to submit… learning that Trump gutted the department or couldnt be bothered to appoint an official so there is no one (or a single person) to submit to and no way to get anything approved (or the turnaround review time was in years). Yeah, that happened to me twice in the past 4 years. Killed two projects as the client just backed out, and moved onto different properties. Fuck Donald Trump for those ones.

Moral of my long post… yeah there was some ridiculous and unnecessary redtape with Obamas EPA, but that was typically pretty rare. As a person who values the environment REALLY highly, but also works in development i would have liked to see the Obama EPA regulations finetuned, and not just basically disbanded completely like trump did. What trump did to the EPA was a travesty.