Climate Envoy John Kerry and National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy told reporters in the White House briefing room that oil and gas workers who are laid off as a result of President Joe Biden’s new climate policies will find “better” jobs.
Biden caused widespread layoffs — and potentially tens of thousands of lost future job opportunities — when he revoked the Keystone XL pipeline permit, and suspended oil and gas leasing on federal lands, on his first day in the Oval Office.
Asked by a reporter what their “message” was to workers in the fossil fuel industry, Kerry and McCarthy promised that workers could find new jobs in “green” industries — or that they could benefit from New Deal-style work programs.
Kerry said that President Biden had emphasized the “need to grow the new jobs that pay better, that are cleaner.” He added:
What President Biden wants to do is make sure those folks have better choices, that they have alternatives, that they could be the people who go to work to make the solar panels. …. That is going to be a particular focus of the Build Back Better agenda. And I think that unfortunately workers have been fed a false narrative … that somehow dealing with climate is coming at their expense. No, it’s not.What’s happening to them is because of other market forces already taking place.”
He said that a worker in a BMW plant in South Carolina could build electric engines, rather than combustion engines.
McCarthy mentioned the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), a revival of a New Deal-era job program, promising that workers who lived in areas where oil, gas, and coal facilities had closed would be able to find work in their own communities rather than having to move to take advantage of jobs in the solar industry or other new industries.
Solar panels were also
a focus of Biden’s first attempt at “green jobs” under President Barack Obama’s stimulus. That attempt ended spectacularly with the failure of Solyndra, a company that Biden and Obama had both touted.
Author: Joel B. Pollak