Hours before President Joe Biden was scheduled to make his first joint address to both houses of the U.S. Congress, Wyoming’s lone U.S. House member, Liz Cheney, was already lamenting the “devastating” impacts the president and his administration has had on Wyoming in his first 100 days in office.
Thursday will be Biden’s 100th day as the 46th president of the United States and is expect to tout his American Jobs Plan and new tax initiative, said Cheney, the third-highest ranking Republican in Washington, D.C. That message will be delivered as upbeat and hopeful, but the reality will be anything but, she said.
“The message that we’ll be hearing from President Biden will be the same that we’ve been hearing for his first days in office,” she said during a Wednesday afternoon call with Wyoming reporters. “It’s a very unfortunate time for what his polices have meant in particular for Wyoming.”
She pointed to the president’s moratorium on oil and gas leases on federal lands, along with other green-at-all-costs energy policies that already are decimating energy producing states.
“The policies the president has put in place to stop oil and gas leases on federal lands has been devastating,” Cheney said, adding she expects to see more.
Those policies hide behind the threat of climate change while “destroying American jobs, destroying American economies.”
One of the president’s main campaign promises was that the loss of coal, oil and gas jobs would be more than made up for in new green energy jobs. So far, thousands of fossil fuel jobs have been lost in Wyoming without any sign of new jobs for those workers, Cheney said.
Where are those jobs and when are they coming “is really the key question,” she said.
Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are already making claims that people working in coal mines already can get new high-paying jobs in computer coding, which “shows a lack of understanding” of the real world, Cheney said.
“There’s a real callous disregard for how important these industries are to the American people and our country,” she said, adding that Biden seems to have no intent to ease people out of fossil fuel industries and into clean energy.
“The policies we’ve seen so far shows that (shutting down coal and oil) seems to be his intent,” she said. “For people working in these industries, it’s absolutely devastating.”
It isn't good news for the Cowboy State that it’s hit this point just 100 days into Biden’s administration, she said.
“I am concerned the war on the West is going to be worse than what we saw under President Obama,” Cheney said.
The Trump factor
Cheney has been under a political microscope since she was one of a handful of House Republicans to vote to impeach former President Donald Trump earlier this year. Since leaving office, Trump has been campaigning against Cheney, including claiming earlier this week that she’s looking for a way out of the 2022 primary and that there’s no way she can win another election in Wyoming.
For her part, Cheney said that’s just Trump being Trump and there’s no truth to the claims.
“That’s all wishful thinking by Donald Trump,” she said. “I am absolutely dedicated to winning my primary race and winning the votes of the people of Wyoming.”
She said that as the primary draws closer, she will “welcome spirited and robust debate.”
Education is key
Moving beyond Biden’s address, which Cheney said she will attend, it’s important for Wyoming and its congressional delegation to do a much more complete job of educating the rest of the country about the state and fossil fuels. Most importantly, that Wyoming is not about fossil fuels only.
“We have to be focused on an all-of-the-above energy policy,” she said. “When it comes to wind energy, it’s important it not have and (unfair) advantage. … Wind is important, but it’s only one (source).”