Democrats, including Bob Casey, Who Supported Biden’s Energy Policies, Face Voter Backlash in November

Democrats, including Bob Casey, Who Supported Biden's Energy Policies, Face Voter Backlash in November

The November election has a lot to do with energy, and it’s time for Democratic lawmakers who supported President Biden’s attacks on the fossil fuel business to pay for it.

Prices for utilities, consumer goods, and food have gone up 30% under Biden, in part because gas prices have been going up. This is making Democratic senators like Jon Tester (Montana) and Sherrod Brown (Ohio), who both serve states with Republican majorities, very nervous.

There is one Democrat from Pennsylvania who has done this more than anyone else: Bob Casey.

After 18 years in the Senate, Casey’s work as a lawmaker has been surprisingly average.

When asked, not many people could name a law or speech he gave that made him stand out.

And now his fellow Democrat, junior Sen. John Fetterman, stands out more than him.

The freshman in a hoodie has won over conservatives who wouldn’t normally support him by standing up to his party’s antisemites. He’s also gained a popular draw that Casey never could.

Take their home state of Pennsylvania, which is one of the top places to get natural gas through fracking.

People didn’t like how Fetterman’s views on fracking changed during his 2022 race. In the end, he agreed with it. Give praise where it’s due.

Fetterman voted for Bernie Sanders in 2016, but his home state of Pennsylvania is home to Titusville, which was the site of John D. Rockefeller’s first commercial oil well in 1895 and was a key part of the United States’ rise as a world power.

Nearly 500,000 people from Fetterman’s district work in the state’s oil and gas business, which added $75 billion to the economy in 2021.

Fetterman broke with the White House in February because it wouldn’t let exports of liquefied natural gas go through.

Casey even felt forced to agree with him on that.

Casey’s resistance, on the other hand, wasn’t the norm. And it brings out the problem.

Every governmental tool in Biden’s cabinet has been used since he took office to keep his 2020 campaign promise to “end fossil fuel.”

On Day 1, he stopped the Keystone XL project.

He said that public lands and seas could no longer be leased for oil and natural gas.

Biden told oil and gas companies last week that they would have to pay more to drill on government land.

But all along, Senate Democrats have been very quiet. This includes Casey, Brown, and Tester, who all represent states that are rich in fossil fuels and jobs in the energy sector.

The 2022 Inflation Reduction Act was called the “largest climate investment in history” by the White House, and they all backed it. They also did nothing as Biden’s regulatory attack tried to bring down the industry.

In fact, Casey once said that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal was “worthy of review.”

David McCormick, a staffer for George W. Bush, is running against Casey hard and has a 39% approval rate. Casey wants to use some of Fetterman’s hooded magic to help him win.

But his voting record is still a burden: 98% of the time, he voted with Joe Biden, who is also from Pennsylvania.

Biden is expected to spend a lot of time in the state where he grew up.

He started a three-day tour this week with stops in Scranton, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia.

Casey is in a tough spot because Biden is in the state. The senator can’t campaign with Biden outside of Democratic strongholds, where the president may not be popular because of his record on fossil fuels and where the crowd might be thinking, “Who’s that with the president?”

Still, Casey needs to run for office in places where McCormick is getting more support from voters who are fed up with the current system.

Ironically, the senator beat then-Sen. Rick Santorum in 2006 (full disclosure: I worked on the Santorum campaign) by saying that Santorum was too close to President George W. Bush, who was also disliked at the time.

“When two politicians agree 98% of the time, one of them isn’t necessary,” Casey liked to say.

Since he almost completely backs Biden, that plan may come back to bite him.

Yes, energy is on the ticket, and people who work in the energy industry in Pennsylvania, Montana, and Ohio could become the new “soccer moms” of the job market.

Not only would politicians win elections if they focused on these voters’ problems, but the whole country and, frankly, the world would be better off.

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