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Biden pledge to end drilling on public land receives backlash: ‘I don’t think President Biden knows the details of fracking’

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During President-elect Joe Biden’s election campaign, he pledged to ban new gas and oil permits — including fracking — on federal lands.

Biden has listed climate change as one of his top priorities, repeatedly saying climate change is the “existential crisis” of our time.

Biden’s proposed bans could have serious implications for the oil and gas industry in states like Wyoming, Pennsylvania and New Mexico — where federal oil and gas development is prominent.

Experts say it will be difficult to completely ban fossil leasing, permitting and fracking on federal land. Oil and gas economies are likely to fight any attempt by the Biden administration to end production on public land.

Gale Norton, George W. Bush’s Interior secretary from 2001 to 2006, said the political will to implement these priorities will have to be strong enough to fend off entrenched opposition from states and industries affected by a threat to revenue, E&E News reported last month.

The Biden administration will have to overcome legal and political hurdles to go through with banning new oil and gas permits on federal land, given existing laws and the large amounts of money that drilling royalties generate for the federal and state governments.

Environmental activists are adamant that they will hold the Biden administration accountable to follow through with their promises to tackle the “existential crisis” of climate change.

Tom Sansonetti, former Interior solicitor during the George H.W. Bush administration, said the likelihood of the proposals will depend on who Biden places in positions at Interior.

“I don’t think President Biden knows the details of fracking,” Sansonetti said. “I doubt that he’s ever been on an oil rig. The people in the White House that really have strong feelings about this, they will be the ones that end up shoving that particular policy down the pipeline.”

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CO leaders stating they won’t use any city money to support migrants or to alleviate the crisis in Denver

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In February 2018, Denver city leaders sent a valentine to foreigners interested in relocating to the progressive mountain city and a message to any elected officials looking to stop them:

Draped on Denver’s City and County building was a large, blue banner: “Denver ❤️ Immigrants.”

Then-mayor Michael Hancock event posted on social media that it was a statement of “love” to let immigrants know that Denver is “an open and welcoming city.” However, six years later, Denver residents are facing an uphill battle of repercussions from the liberal leaders’ actions. Amid a crisis that has seen more than 40,000 migrants arrive in the city since late 2022, Denver leaders have a new message: If you stay in Denver, you will suffer.

“The opportunities are over,” an official with new mayor Mike Johnston’s office told a gathering of migrants in Spanish inside a city shelter in late March, according to a video obtained by a local television station. “New York gives you more. Chicago gives you more.”

On Monday, Douglas County filed a lawsuit against the state of Colorado and its Democratic governor Jared Polis in Denver District Court over the issue.

The lawsuit is challenging the constitutionality of two state laws passed by Democrats in the Colorado legislature: a 2019 law that restricted the ability of local law enforcement to cooperate with federal immigration officials in civil cases, and a 2023 law that prohibits local governments from entering or renewing detention agreements with ICE and that prohibits them from funding immigration detention facilities owned or operated privately.

“The nation is facing an immigration crisis. The nation, the state, and local governments need to cooperate and share resources to address this crisis,” the lawsuit states, adding that the 2019 and 2023 laws in question “prohibit the necessary cooperation and create dangerous conditions for the State and migrants.”

Teal contends that “the state doesn’t have the inherent authority to limit the ability of a local jurisdiction to work with any agency, regardless be it local, state, or federal.” By doing so, he said, “the state is inhibiting the local communities, the local jurisdictions from providing for the safety” of their residents.

“We are seeing what is going on in Denver, and we do not want that coming here to Douglas County. It is not safe,” Douglas County commissioner Lora Thomas, a former state trooper, said during a Monday morning press conference announcing the lawsuit.

Douglas commissioner Abe Laydon said on Monday that the lawsuit “is about putting America first and about putting Coloradans first.” As a Latino, he said, he recognizes “the plight of those seeking refuge and asylum here in the United States,” but he added that “Douglas County is a place where quality of life comes first.”

National Review reports on the mile-high city’s crisis:

In January, the city was housing and feeding almost 5,000 migrants, mostly Venezuelans, in hotel shelters. Other migrants slept in tents on sidewalks and in parking lots, adding a new wrinkle to Denver’s ongoing struggles with panhandling and squalid homeless camps.

At intersections throughout Denver, migrants with water bottles and squeegees head into traffic to try to make a few bucks washing drivers’ windshields.

To address a migrant-driven financial crunch, the city is now cutting hours at local rec centers, slashing park programming, and freezing hiring in some departments. To save a little money, the city has decided against planting flowers in some of its parks and medians this spring.

The migrant crisis has cost the Denver region at least $170 million, according to a conservative estimate by Colorado’s Common Sense Institute, which looked at city spending as well as school and hospital costs, and is almost surely an undercount.

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