“Don’t Run Joe”: Biden’s Broken Oil Lease Promise

April 3rd, 2023 - by RootsAction.org

“Don’t Run Joe” Ad Slams Biden’s ‘Betrayal’ on Climate

(March 30, 2023) — The Don’t Run Joe campaign has released an ad featuring Joe Biden as he vehemently and unequivocally pledged during his 2020 presidential campaign not to approve oil drilling in the Arctic.

Made public on Thursday, the ad shows video of Biden speaking to an audience of mostly young people in Hudson, New Hampshire on Feb. 9, 2020. He responded to a woman who said, “Just a quick question about how you feel about drilling in the Arctic Refuge.”

Biden replied: “Totally opposed to it. Completely, totally opposed to it.” And Biden said: “No more drilling on federal lands. Period. Period. Period. Period. The Arctic Circle is a disaster to do that. A big disaster.”

But two weeks ago, Biden approved the huge Willow oil-drilling project in Alaska.

The new Don’t Run Joe ad, which will begin running nationwide online next week, can be viewed here.

Release of the ad comes in the wake of new polls showing Biden at near-record lows in public approval, while only a minority of Democrats want him to run for re-election.

“The ad speaks for itself,” said Chris Liquori, the Don’t Run Joe coordinator in New Hampshire. “Biden could not have been more clear when he promised not to approve drilling in the Arctic. Now he has done exactly that by approving the Willow drilling project inside the Arctic Circle.

“Each of the estimated 600 million barrels of oil he has approved for extraction is another dagger in the heart of climate stability. This is a betrayal of monumental proportions for future generations.” Liquori added: “Young voters and Democratic activists deserve better. Joe Biden may not have to live with the catastrophic consequences of his decision, but most of us will.”

New Hampshire State Representative Ellen Read, who co-chairs the Don’t Run Joe campaign in the state, said Wednesday: “Joe Biden reneged on his promise. Betraying progressive campaign promises is a song so old we can all sing it by heart now. Even at his peak performance he was a corporatist Democrat. Democrats need to finally learn to not settle for people who have never walked the walk but only tell them things they so desperately want to believe.”

Don’t Run Joe New Hampshire co-chair Keith Yergeau said: “Biden is dooming future inhabitants of Earth with his pay-to-play broken promise. His re-election would represent nothing short of the further entrenchment of the status quo that will upend human life on the planet.”

Here is the full quote of Biden’s Feb. 9, 2020 promise to voters about his opposition to future oil drilling in the Arctic:
“Totally opposed to it. Completely, totally opposed to it. And I think I’m the only one . . . running who’s been up in the Arctic Circle. Remember the great oil spill that occurred?
“And I watched when I went up there, and I went up in a helicopter on the North Slope and saw what’s going on, and saw what was happening as the glaciers began to melt, and how the caribou and everyone.
“There’s a lot going on up there and it’s a real gigantic problem. And by the way: no more drilling on federal lands, period, period, period, period. The Arctic Circle is a disaster to do that, a big disaster in my view.”

C-SPAN video here (remarks at 1:09:09): Joe Biden Campaign Event in Hudson New Hampshire | C-SPAN.org

Promises Joe Biden Did Not Keep
President Biden has surely faced shameful obstruction from the GOP, from Senators Manchin and Sinema, and from the courts — but on too many issues on which he made big promises, he’s lacked either the commitment or leadership skills to achieve success.

Here’s a partial list of promises from Biden’s 2020 campaign website and the 2020 Democratic Party platform that Biden campaigned on:

  • Reduce military spending (dramatically increased instead),
  • End drilling on federal lands (expanded instead),
  • Stop separating immigrant families and instead compensate them (not done),
  • Remove the cap on Social Security taxes exempting incomes over $160,000 (not done),
  • Make community college free for two years (not done),
  • Create the healthcare “public option” and lower the age for Medicare (instead Medicare keeps being privatized),
  • Provide paid sick and family leave (not done, even for railway workers whose threatened strike was outlawed),
  • Provide high-quality, universal pre-kindergarten for all three- and four-year-olds (not done),
  • Provide Section 8 housing vouchers to every eligible family so that no one has to pay more than 30% of their income for rental housing (not done),
  • Make a $2 trillion investment in clean energy (way beyond what’s included in the “Inflation Reduction Act”),
  • Provide every city with 100,000 or more residents with high-quality, zero-emissions public transportation (not even mentioned),
  • Introduce a constitutional amendment to entirely eliminate private dollars from our federal elections. . . . Enact legislation to provide voluntary matching public funds for federal candidates receiving small dollar donations. . . . Restrict SuperPACs. . . . End dark money groups. . . . Ban corporate PAC contributions to candidates, and prohibit lobbyist contributions to those who they lobby (unheard of since the campaign; these are words from the 2020 campaign website),
  • Create automatic voter registration, same-day voter registration, early voting, universal vote-from-home and vote-by-mail options, and an election day holiday (only feebly attempted),
  • Heavily tax billionaires and corporations (attempted in minor ways, but the pretense that it’s been done hurts efforts to do it going forward).
  • End US participation in the brutal Saudi war on Yemen (not done),
  • Treat Saudi Arabia as a pariah state (instead, the president famously fist-bumped the Crown Prince).

Remember some of these unkept promises? We’re not listing them to shame President Biden. And it’s not merely a wish list. It is what’s actually needed to save the planet, to preserve democracy, to prevent our society from unraveling further into a country where even more millions suffer economically, while a few billionaires call the shots. That kind of unravelling helps right-wing faux-populists like Trump and DeSantis come to power.

The “Don’t Run Joe” campaign is sponsored by RootsAction.org.