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On May 1, 2020, President Trump signed Executive Order 13920, “Securing the United States Bulk-Power System,” to prevent foreign adversaries from creating and exploiting vulnerabilities in the United States bulk-power system.
“The bulk-power system is a target of those seeking to commit malicious acts against the United States and its people, including malicious cyber activities,” the executive order read. “Although maintaining an open investment climate in bulk-power system electric equipment, and in the United States economy more generally, is important for the overall growth and prosperity of the United States, such openness must be balanced with the need to protect our Nation against a critical national security threat.”
In December, former U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette issued a prohibition order “designed to reduce the risks that entities associated with the People’s Republic of China pose to the Nation’s bulk-power system” under Executive Order 13920, which took effect January 16, 2021—mere days before Biden’s inauguration.
On his first day in office, Joe Biden suspended Executive Order 13920 for 90 days as part of his “Executive Order on Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis.” According to the order, “The Secretary of Energy and the Director of OMB shall jointly consider whether to recommend that a replacement order be issued.”
While it remains to be seen whether a replacement order will be issued, and whether a replacement would similarly protect Americas’s bulk-power system from being exploited by foreign adversaries, it’s still hard to understand why Trump’s executive order was suspended in the first place.
Was it simply an anti-Trump action or was it because of his son Hunter Biden?
As CNN reported last month, “After [Joe Biden] left office in 2017, Hunter Biden worked on securing a deal with CEFC China Energy to invest in US energy projects.” The deal fell through, but Hunter Biden’s business dealings with China may very well be a motive behind his father’s suspending Trump’s executive order. Recall that Joe Biden is on the record saying that “China is not our problem.” And he has repeatedly insisted that his son’s business dealings with Ukraine, while he was vice president and the Obama administration’s point man on Ukraine, was not a conflict of interest.
While President Trump believed in “America First,” Joe Biden seems to believe in “China First.”
Or perhaps “Family Business First.”