During last night’s PBS/POLITICO Democrat Debate, moderator Tim Alberta asked former Vice President Joe Biden if he’d be willing to sacrifice oil and gas jobs in order to transition to a “clean energy” economy.
The response from the presumed frontrunner, not surprisingly, raised a lot of eyebrows.
Here’s their exchange below:
Tim Alberta: “Vice President Biden, I’d like to ask you….Three consecutive American presidents have enjoyed stints of explosive economic growth due to a boom in oil and natural gas production. As president, would you be willing to sacrifice some of that growth—even though it potentially could displace thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands, of blue-collar workers in the interest of transitioning to that greener economy?”
Joe Biden: “The answer’s yes…We should, in fact, be making sure right now that every new building built is energy contained, that it doesn’t leak energy, that in fact, we should be providing tax credits for people to be able to make their homes turn to solar power.”
Here’s more on Biden’s answer to Alberta’s question in National Review:
“The opportunity for those workers to transition to high-paying jobs … is real,” Biden responded. “There are so many things we can do, and we have to make sure we explain it to those people who are displaced that their skills are going to be needed for the new opportunities.”
Biden listed some of the steps he would take to move in the direction of a green economy, including making sure every new building is “energy contained” or doesn’t leak energy, and providing tax credits for people to transition their their homes to solar power.
“Right here in California, we’re now on the verge of having batteries that are about the size of the top of this podium that you can store energy when in fact the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining. We have enormous opportunities,” Biden said.
For example, we shouldn’t build another new highway in America that doesn’t have charging stations on it,” the former vice president continued. “We have an opportunity to put 550,000 charging stations so that we own the electrical vehicle market, creating millions of jobs for people installing them.”
Yikes. This isn’t going to sit well with voters in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Ohio, Texas, and West Virginia, among many states.
According to U.S. Energy Information Administration’s State Profile and Energy Estimates, Pennsylvania is the nation’s second largest producer of natural gas (which powers 49% of homes in the state), third largest producer of coal, and “ranked second in the nation in electricity generation from nuclear power” — supplying 39% of the state’s net electricity generation.
In Michigan, renewables only account for eight percent of the state’s net electricity generation.
Ohio is the third largest coal-consuming state in the Union, after Texas and Indiana—while its two nuclear plants supply 15% of electricity in the state.
You can play around with stats for all the 50 states here. Given the information supplied there, it can be presumed much of the country would be powerless and economically devastated by a complete transition to a green economy.
Biden’s response is eerily reminiscent of Hillary Clinton’s coal comments in March 2016, which apparently “haunted” her. For a refresher, her comments read like this:
“I’m the only candidate which has a policy about how to bring economic opportunity using clean renewable energy as the key into coal country,” she said. “Because we’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.”
In her memoir ” What Happened” Mrs. Clinton claimed this comment was her “biggest mistake” while running for president against now-President Trump.
With respect to Biden, this isn’t the first time he’s struggled to communicate his plan about jobs. Remember the infamous gaffe from the 2008 campaign? Now, he’s aligned with other Democrat presidential candidates in promoting job-killing policies that do little to aid and abet the environment or lead to cleaner energy solutions.
What’s the takeaway from last night’s debate? Keep calm and crazy on, Democrats. Biden’s comments were a Christmas present to Republicans and an in-kind contribution to President Trump’s 2020 re-election efforts.