Despite posing as a unifying moderate throughout the 2020 campaign, President Joe Biden has moved sharply to the left since taking the Oval Office, and his latest policy push has workers in one key American industry sector sounding the alarm about the economic destruction the administration is set to unleash.
In response to President Biden’s pledge to reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions by up to 52% by 2030 by shifting way from fossil fuels, coal miners in West Virginia decried the move as potentially devastating to the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of Americans, as Fox News reported.
During a White House event on Thursday, Biden announced the controversial goal of halving the nation’s emissions to meet the “moral imperative” of mitigating the effects of what the president referred to as the “climate crisis.” In doing so, the administration set a target that is more than double the commitment made by the Obama administration under the 2015 Paris climate accords, as CNBC noted.
The move drew immediate criticism from those most heavily involved in the coal industry, with Chris Hamilton, president of the West Virginia Coal Association, telling Fox Business, “We’re bracing for the worst here. President Biden campaigned on eliminating coal-fired electricity, and he’s basically taken those initial steps since he’s taken over the White House.”
According to Hamilton, Biden’s plan will result in the loss of massive numbers of jobs across the country and blasted the push as “an absolute forced conversion of our basic electricity system, from the coal-fired generation of electricity to primarily renewable,” according to Fox News.
Though administration officials have continued to assure workers potentially displaced by its environmental initiatives that they will be able to take advantage of new opportunities in the renewable energy sector, coal mining advocates such as Hamilton are doubtful that such employment even exists or is a realistic option for most of those affected.
Similar concerns were raised earlier this year when Biden canceled the the Keystone XL pipeline project, causing the elimination of roughly 11,000 union jobs in the name of furthering his climate agenda. When questioned by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) about what those workers should do next, current Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg simply replied, “we are very eager to see those workers continue to be employed in good-paying union jobs, even if they might be different ones,” making no concrete suggestions about how those positions might actually materialize.
Biden’s apparent indifference to the potentially catastrophic economic fallout from his green energy push was foreshadowed last year when, during a campaign rally in New Hampshire, he paid lip service to the severe hardships resulting job losses might cause, but said – to the stunned silence of the assembled crowd – that perhaps those who currently hold mining jobs should simply learn to code, adding:
Anybody who can go down 3,000 feet in a mine can sure as hell learn to program as well…Anybody who can throw coal into a furnace can learn how to program, for God’s sake.
Not only will the president’s attack on the fossil fuel industry cost American jobs, it will, as Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) highlighted Thursday, raise energy prices and put the country at a significant disadvantage in comparison to global polluters such as China and Russia, facts which matter not to the contingent of radicals clearly pulling Biden’s strings.