Biden’s energy and border policies will hurt him in 2024

Matthew Continetti
Conservative Opinion

Matthew Continetti

Senior Fellow, American Enterprise Institute
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Heading into the midterm elections, Republicans are ramping up criticism of President Biden’s energy and immigration policies. Biden is getting blamed for the likelihood energy prices will head even higher as we move into the winter months. New England’s power grid operator has already warned of rolling blackouts if demand far exceeds supply. But that’s not the only issue that will hurt Democrats at the polls in November and in 2024. As Straight Arrow News contributor Matthew Continetti explains, Biden’s failed immigration policies are responsible for a border crisis that’s only getting worse.

Biden’s regulations and restrictions accomplished what he wanted – more expensive oil and gas. His problem is that voters do not want the future that climate Cassandras have in store for them. Voters blame Biden for the inflation they encounter as commuters and consumers. 

He can’t go back in time to his early days at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue any more than he can betray the progressive base of his party. He must stew in a crisis of his own making. The southern border has left him in a similar situation. On day one, Biden stopped construction of the border wall, ended restrictions on migration from 13 countries associated with national security threats, reduced the scope of interior immigration enforcement and protected special classes of illegal immigrants, including Dreamers. 

Biden began the process of ending the remaining Mexico policy, whereby applicants for asylum in the United States had to wait elsewhere until their claims were decided. And he terminated safe third country agreements, which mandate that asylum seekers must apply for protection in the first place they reach before making their way to the U.S. border, with El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. 

The consequences have been massive. U.S. Customs and Border Protection apprehended more than 2 million migrants at the southern border in fiscal year 2022, the most in history. That number outpaced the previous record of 1.72 million set during the prior fiscal year. Remember, these are the migrants the government knows about. 

There have been an estimated 600,000 “gotaways” – individuals who evade apprehension – this fiscal year alone. Very soon, Biden will be confronted with the political fallout from choices he made in January 2021. 

A major problem for Democrats, Monmouth poll director Patrick Murray said in a recent statement, is their base messaging doesn’t hold as much appeal for independents as the GOP issue agenda does. How could it? 

You just can’t wave away the reaction to stagflation and unchecked immigration. You must deal with them realistically and pragmatically. 

For Biden, that means revisiting his first day in office and making up for past mistakes before voters make a correction of their own.

President Biden was outraged when the oil and gas cartel OPEC+ announced in October that it would cut energy production. And yet Biden really ought to look in the mirror. The OPEC+ embarrassment was the latest reminder that neither Saudi Arabia nor Vladimir Putin is the chief author of the Democratic Party’s current woes. Biden is. 

On issue after issue, the instructions that Biden gave at the outset of his presidency have made America less prosperous, less independent, and less secure. Energy and immigration tell the tale. Two of the 17 executive orders Biden signed on his first day in office dealt with US oil and gas production. One pledge that America would rejoin the Paris Climate Accord and commit to the deals targeting reductions in carbon dioxide emissions. The other blocked oil and gas exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and canceled the Keystone XL pipeline between the United States and Canada. One week later, Biden stopped issuing new oil and gas leases on public lands. 

Biden’s regulations and restrictions accomplished what he wanted – more expensive oil and gas. His problem is that voters do not want the future that climate Cassandras have in store for them. Voters blame Biden for the inflation they encounter as commuters and consumers. 

He can’t go back in time to his early days at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue any more than he can betray the progressive base of his party. He must stew in a crisis of his own making. The southern border has left him in a similar situation. On day one, Biden stopped construction of the border wall, ended restrictions on migration from 13 countries associated with national security threats, reduced the scope of interior immigration enforcement and protected special classes of illegal immigrants, including dreamers. 

Biden began the process of ending the remaining Mexico policy, whereby applicants for asylum in the United States had to wait elsewhere until their claims were decided. And he terminated safe third country agreements, which mandate that asylum seekers must apply for protection in the first place they reach before making their way to the US border, with El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. 

The consequences have been massive. US Customs and Border Protection apprehended more than 2 million migrants at the southern border in fiscal year 2022, the most in history. That number outpaced the previous record of 1.72 million set during the prior fiscal year. Remember, these are the migrants the government knows about. 

There have been an estimated 600,000 “gotaways” – individuals who evade apprehension – this fiscal year alone. Very soon, Biden will be confronted with the political fallout from choices he made in January 2021. 

A major problem for Democrats, Monmouth poll director Patrick Murray said in a recent statement, is their base messaging doesn’t hold as much appeal for independents as the GOP  issue agenda does. How could it? 

You just can’t wave away the reaction to stagflation and unchecked immigration. You must deal with them realistically and pragmatically. 

For Biden, that means revisiting his first day in office and making up for past mistakes before voters make a correction of their own.


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