The Politics of Groundhog Day


In honor of the classic Bill Murray film “Groundhog Day,” Reason TV has released a “horrifyingly relevant” parody video about the seemingly endless national news cycle that we all seem to be trapped in. 

And it’s not just a joke—many of the issues we see in the headlines today are nothing new. It can be a challenge for the people writing about them, whether they be journalists or policy analysts like the experts at CEI, to bring something original and fresh to a debate that’s been going on for years or decades. 

Last year when the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was passed, it included a provision opening up a portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) for oil and gas exploration. We know that responsible resource extraction is entirely compatible with preserving wildlife habitat, and that clearly definable and tradable property rights are actually one of the best tools for protecting threatened species. But for many years enviornmental activists fought to kill any resource production opportunities in ANWR, no matter how circumscribed.

CEI kept working on the issue, though, from when we joined the Energy Stewardship Alliance in March 2001, issued this press release in April 2002, urged the Senate to vote for affordable energy in March 2005, reacted to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in September 2005, and wrote to congressional leaders in March 2006—all the way to when my colleague Myron Ebell made this approving statement in December 2017. Sometimes it seems like Groundhog Day when the same topic comes up year after year, but perseverence can pay off eventually.