🇺🇸 Oil’s Well That Ends Well

Plus, step aside Labs. It’s a bulldog’s world.

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Good morning, and happy Friday! The natural world made a small but meaningful step forward when a Michigan zoo welcomed the birth of a bongo calf, a critically endangered member of the antelope family. Check out its adorable ears!

Plus, the American Kennel Club said French bulldogs are now the most popular variety of purebred dogs in the country, ending the Labrador retriever's 31-year reign.

Also, feeling the weight of the world? Don't be afraid to ask for (Better) Help.


FLAG POLLS

🐘 Wednesday, March 15, Republican Presidential Nomination 2024: Trump 46, DeSantis 32, Haley 5, Pence 3, Cruz 2, Pompeo 1, T. Scott 1, Noem 1, Sununu 1 (Quinnipiac)

🐎 Wednesday, March 15, General Election: Trump vs. Biden: Biden 49, Trump 45 (Quinnipiac)

🐎 Wednesday, March 15, General Election; DeSantis vs. Biden: Biden 47, DeSantis 46 (Quinnipiac)

📉 Wednesday, March 15, Congressional Job Approval: Approve 24, Disapprove 51 (Economist/YouGov)


TRENDING

Left: DeSantis has already made the GOP primary all about him Stephen Collinson, CNN

Left: The Legal Argument for Banning the Abortion Pill Is Based on a Lie Mark Joseph Stern, Slate

Left: FL Republican's Bill Would Ban Young Girls From Discussing Their Periods In School Alanna Vagianos, HuffPost

Right: DOJ Warns Court To Expect Hundreds More Indictments Over January 6 Tim Pearce, Daily Wire

Right: Biden family received more than $1M from Hunter associate after 2017 China wire Brooke Singman, Fox News

Right: Kamala Harris grilled over Biden's approval of Alaska oil project Ryan King, Washington Examiner


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QUICK CLICKS

Pension Protests, Upset Alert, Poland's Pledge

World: France pension protests: Clashes after Macron orders rise in pension age without vote (BBC)

Economy: First Republic secures $30 billion rescue from large banks (CNN) + Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen tells Senate panel nation's "banking system is sound" (CBS News)

Sports: Princeton shocks Arizona, pulls off late run for biggest March Madness upset thus far (Fox News)

US: Candidate Marianne Williamson hit by claims of ‘foaming, spitting rage’ (The Guardian)

Business: The FBI And DOJ Are Investigating ByteDance's Use Of TikTok To Spy On Journalists (Forbes)

World: Poland becomes first NATO member to offer Ukraine fighter jets (Axios)

US: Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot slammed at meeting: ‘Get the hell out of my city’ (NY Post)


ENERGY

Oil’s Well That Ends Well

On Monday, the Biden administration announced it will approve a large oil-drilling project in Alaska, known as the Willow Project. This has sparked backlash from environmentalists, who say President Biden is breaking his promise to not approve new drilling while fighting climate change.

Reporting from the Right: Massive oil project sparked civil war within Biden administration, lawmakers say (Fox News)

Reporting from the Left: The Willow Project has been approved. Here's what to know about the controversial oil-drilling venture (CNN)

From the Flag: Many on the right have been calling for more domestic drilling, especially after the Keystone XL Pipeline was canceled, and with gasoline prices rising over the last year-plus. But others see new drilling as an unacceptable environmental risk. Here’s more from both sides.


LEFT-LEANING SENTIMENT

Weeping Willow: Geopolitics Plays Into Biden’s Troubling Reversal

  • The sheer amount of oil that will be produced by the Willow Project is beyond concerning, as our warming planet can’t tolerate it.
  • Much like what President Nixon faced during the 70s, Biden’s hands were tied by the energy crisis that unfolded amid Russia-Ukraine.
  • President Biden promised ‘no more drilling on federal lands, period’ – but the reality has been very different.

Biden just broke a big climate promise” Rebecca Leber, Vox: “The same president who passed the nation’s biggest law ever to slash climate pollution may have just undone part of that legacy. … The approval clears the way for one of the world’s largest oil companies, ConocoPhillips, to start construction on the Willow project in northern Alaska in a matter of days. … The approval marks the biggest about-face the president has made on his 2020 campaign pledge that he would be ‘banning new oil and gas permitting on public lands and waters.’ … And the climate impacts, activists worry, could be considerable because of how much new oil the Willow project will bring to market when the world can’t afford it in its carbon budget. … Biden could choose to push the legal fight but has clearly decided against it, handing oil companies a key win.”

Biden Faces His Nixon Moment on Alaskan Oil” Liam Denning, Bloomberg Opinion: “Located on the eastern edge of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska — a federal naval petroleum reserve set aside a century ago — Willow has been held up by opponents denouncing its impact on the local environment and inevitable carbon emissions. The latter is an especially potent issue for President Biden, who cemented his green bona fides on day one by killing the Keystone XL pipeline. As with his predecessor President Richard Nixon a half-century ago, though, events have intervened. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine reminded Americans that their gasoline pumps are still ultimately tethered to some unsavory regimes. It reminded Democrats that pump prices, which hit a record last summer, can be politically toxic. … If the pandemic-related collapse in energy’s share of the American wallet encouraged Biden to lean into green in 2021, the sudden appearance of an old-fashioned supply shock has forced him into a more nuanced stance.”

One more opinion piece from the Left: Biden’s approval of Willow project shows inconsistency of US’s first ‘climate president’ Oliver Milman, The Guardian


RIGHT-LEANING SENTIMENT

It’s Actually Green to Drill at Home, and Biden Knows Oil’s No Joke

  • Biden knows rising gasoline prices will be a political liability, and he’s not worried about a primary challenge from the left.
  • By encouraging domestic drilling, the federal government is doing right by the environment and the oil industry as a whole.
  • This project is a win for rational Americans, and only eco-activists in the lower 48 states are upset about this.

Biden Says Yes to the Willow Oil Project” Editorial Board, Wall Street Journal Opinion: “Wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles, President Biden on Monday approved the Willow oil drilling project on Alaska’s North Slope. The decision should have been easy after it passed every review known to the federal government. The project is projected to yield as much as 180,000 barrels of oil a day and will provide much-needed domestic oil production. … The plan has broad political support in Alaska, including the state’s indigenous leaders and Alaska’s bipartisan Congressional delegation. The Biden Administration remains hostile to nearly all domestic fossil-fuel production, and political realism says Willow is the exception that proves that rule. The White House knows a primary challenge from the left is unlikely, and its bigger concern is the opening for a GOP challenger if there is a surge in oil prices after Mr. Biden has sat on all drilling in the US.”

Biden's Alaska oil project approval is a gift to the environment” Tom Joyce, Washington Examiner Opinion: “Over two dozen environmental groups issued a joint statement Monday opposing the measure. … Whether or not environmentalists want to admit it, though, approving new drilling in Alaska is a green move. More domestic oil production will benefit the United States. It could reduce costs for consumers and help the country avoid energy shortages. However, it also has some environmental benefits. US oil has better environmental standards and a lower carbon footprint than oil from other countries. A barrel of crude US oil will emit 89 kilograms of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which is lower than the global average of 95 kilograms, according to the Brookings Institution. Therefore, the US can cut its carbon emissions by using domestic oil rather than importing it from people who hate us.”

One more opinion piece from the Right: Alaska, Oil, and Joe Biden: Do You Believe in Miracles? Rick Whitbeck, RealClearEnergy


FLAG THIS

How Americans Feel About Clean Energy and Drilling Projects

Polling conducted last year asked respondents for their thoughts on clean energy and drilling for oil.

Asked if “the United States should invest in speeding up the transition from fossil fuels to electric vehicles and clean sources of energy,” 43% agreed, 34% disagreed, and 23% said they were unsure.

The survey also listed “the United States should make it easier to drill for oil and gas offshore and on land owned by the federal government, and approve more oil and gas pipelines,” to which 52% agreed, 25% disagreed, and 23% weren't sure (Yahoo News/YouGov).


FLAG FINDS

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WATERCOOLER

St. Patrick’s Day, Peak Level Performance, Processing Yellow 

Stained glass of St. Patrick at the Saint Patrick Catholic Church in Junction City, Ohio

On March 17, 461 A.D.: Saint Patrick, Christian missionary, bishop and apostle of Ireland, died in Ireland. Today he is honored with the annual holiday of St. Patrick's Day. 

Inc.: Neuroscience Reveals the Best Way to Keep This Form of Intelligence Operating at Peak Levels

Scientific American: The Most Boring Number in the World Is …

Guardian: Tips that saved me from a life of terrible meals

Today I Learned human brains make up the color yellow from what we see as overlapping red and green. Humans can’t see the color yellow directly.