The Democratic Party once prided itself on being the party of the working people. Its base was Americans who worked with their hands – blue-collar working men and women and small family farmers and ranchers.

The goal of the party’s policies was always the same: raising the standard of living for working families.

It championed public works projects that brought water to farmers and cities in the West, pipelines and power lines that brought cheap, abundant energy – a cornerstone for a modern, middle-class society – to millions.

No more.

The Democratic Party has abandoned its roots and abandoned working Americans.

Instead of bettering the lives of working Americans, the party has prioritized nicer vistas for hedge fund managers who own vacation homes in elite enclaves.

And it does it in the name of “the environment.”

So the party that built water projects across the West and made the desert bloom now wants to knock down dams and “let the rivers run free.” Forget that hydropower is the cleanest electricity on earth and that the water stored behind dams feeds millions – human interference with “the environment” is bad, bad, bad.

The elevation of “the environment” over everything else explains the Democrats’ fevered embrace of the Green New Deal. Under the guise of saving human society from (allegedly) catastrophic climate change, the Green New Deal would destroy the middle class by eliminating the jobs and industries working Americans depend on.

Paraphrasing the apocryphal commander in the Vietnam War, the Green New Dealers believe they must destroy America to save it.

The best way to do that is to eliminate the oil and gas industry since the concentrated energy of fossil fuels is essential to modern industrial society.

And the drive to eliminate fossil fuel use begins with small, independent oil refineries.

Recently, 12 Senate Democrats, five of whom cosponsored the radical Green New Deal, sent a letter to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler demanding he stop issuing waivers for a counterproductive EPA regulation that has been a hardship on independent oil refiners.

Some 170,000 Americans work in these refineries, earning good pay and a solid place in the middle class.

These were once the very people the Democratic Party cared about and served. Not any more. The party is more than willing to sacrifice them to the new, green gods it now bows down to.

The pretext for the senators’ letter was ethanol, a so-called biofuel that the climate crusading Democrats describe as “a key pathway toward decarbonizing the transportation sector.”

The senators’ purported defense of ethanol is, of course, nonsense. “Decarbonizing the transportation sector” means eliminating gasoline entirely – and ethanol along with it.

The Trump administration is defending the small independent refiners the Democrats see as low-hanging fruit. After the green new zealots shut the independents down, they will move on to other targets in the energy sector. Drillers, pipelines, even large refiners – everyone who has a job in oil, gas and liquid transportation fuel will be out of work.

Remember, it wasn’t that long ago natural gas was touted as a clean fuel, an alternative to coal and oil. Now, the greenies have declared natural gas anathema. And past is prologue to the future.

Ethanol will be on the hit list. Already, as Democrats march further and further to the left in their green new jihad, we are seeing attacks on ethanol. Environmental activists now claim ethanol increases, not reduces, CO2 emissions.

Don’t be surprised when the 12 angry Democratic senators fire off a letter demanding ethanol be phased out.

In contrast to the fever dreams of the Green New Deal, President Trump is pursuing a realistic “all of the above” energy policy that has achieved real results.

The Trump-inspired boom in the energy sector is producing jobs for hundreds of thousands of Americans across the country who work in that industry and raising the standard of living for millions more.

President Trump is balancing the needs of all Americans. He has approved year-round use of ethanol-blended gasoline while preserving the jobs of refinery workers by wisely continuing to exempt independent refineries from onerous regulations.

President Trump and the EPA do not need a lecture on environmental stewardship, especially not from Democrats bent on deindustrializing America.

The president’s energy, trade, tax and regulatory reforms are good environmental policy as well as good economic policy.

By delivering lower energy costs as well as lower tax and regulation costs, President Trump has brought manufacturing back to America, where clean air and clean water standards are strong and enforced, and away from some of the worst polluters on earth.

The Environmental Protection Agency needs to stand behind President Trump’s energy accomplishments. They are good for all Americans, good for the economy – and good for the environment.

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