Editor’s Note: This article has been updated with jobs numbers about the Keystone cancellation.
President Joe Biden is set to sign another executive order that will address climate change and issues related to the environment, such as jobs, “equitable” clean energy, and “restoring” scientific integrity throughout the federal government.
These actions by the president will dovetail Biden’s previous executive orders on climate, which recommitted the United States to the Paris Climate Accords.
The order will also review of “harmful rollbacks and standards” that protect air, water, and will direct federal agencies to “eliminate fossil fuel subsidies as consistent with applicable law and identify new opportunities to spur innovation, commercialization, and deployment of clean energy technologies and infrastructure.”
— Paul Kent (@kentpg) January 27, 2021
Perhaps most drastic, the White House will establish that climate change will be an essential element of national security.
Biden Promised Cimate Change Action
During the 2020 campaign season, then-candidate Joe Biden called for the U.S. to phase out its dependence on fossil fuels.
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Biden’s order on Wednesday is said to, “empower American workers and businesses to lead a clean energy revolution.” The goal would be to achieve a carbon pollution-free sector by 2035, and “an irreversible path to a net-zero economy by 2050.”
President Biden to sign orders today elevating climate change to top U.S. foreign policy and national security concern https://t.co/a4cecayt1J
— NYT Climate (@nytclimate) January 27, 2021
On the national security front, Biden had tapped former Secretary of State John Kerry to serve as “special envoy for climate” and even added him to the National Security Council.
Which ‘Build Back Better’ Jobs Are More Important?
The Biden administration insists that the new EO is “consistent with the goals of the President’s Build Back Better jobs and recovery plan” and that clean energy jobs are a “central pillar” of the plan.
But not everyone seems to be included in “Build Back Better.”
Guy Williams, who has worked in the energy industry for 53 years, found out that he would be unemployed by the cancellation of the Keystone XL Pipeline.
He told Fox News Channel’s Steve Doocy that, “It’s like a kick in the stomach that knocks the wind out of you.” Williams went on to say that, “We’ve waited on this pipeline for 10 years.”
The cancellation wiped out approximately 13,000 high paying union jobs in the United States and Canada.
The official jobs numbers are disputed, but TC Energy claims 1,000 jobs are full-time, and thousands of others are temporary.
The move brought sharp criticism from labor unions who heavily supported Biden in the presidential election.
A statement from the Laborers’ International Union of North America, or LIUNA, stated they were “disappointed” in Biden’s decision, and said that the move, “will kill thousands of good-paying #UNION jobs.” LIUNA had endorsed Biden in October.
The United Association of Union Plumbers and Pipefitters stated that, “Sadly, the Biden administration has now put thousands of union workers out of work.”
#Pipeline construction has been a lifeline for many #LIUNA members across the country. The anticipated decision to cancel the #KeystonePipeline will kill thousands of good-paying #UNION jobs! #pipelinesarelifelines #energy pic.twitter.com/p0BxD1vPHV
— LIUNA (@LIUNA) January 20, 2021
Some Democrats Could Regret Climate Change Vote
Congress has also made moves to take action on climate change.
In the House last year, Democrats passed H.R.9, which would have required the U.S. to stick with the Paris Accords provisions.
In states where many jobs are dependent on oil and natural gas, several House seats may vulnerable and up for grabs in 2022 due to Biden’s executive order.
Fox reports that Republicans are already using it as a campaign strategy.
Among some of those who voted for H.R.9 are Rep. Abigail Spanberger of Virginia and Rep. Vincente Gonzalez of Texas. Both are Democrats and won re-election by less than 3%.
Other House members who voted for H.R.9 include Democrat Reps. Susan Wild, Conor Lamb, and Matt Cartwright, all from Pennsylvania.
In Texas, Democrat Reps. Henry Cuellar, Colin Allred, and Filemon Vela all voted in favor.
Any Democrats who might still appear moderate, such as West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, are being put in between what they know to be bad for their states, and having to draw ire from the left wing of their party.
AOC And The ‘Squad’ Pushing Biden Left On Climate
But Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and the rest of her ‘squad’ don’t seem to care about displaced union workers who helped Joe Biden to victory in November.
Prior to the election, she demanded that Biden approve the New Green Deal if elected.
“Climate is now a top-three issue for voters across the country and it is about time that our Congress and our administration starts acting like it”, she stated while addressing supporters outside of the DNC Headquarters. She went on to say, “It’s way past time.”
She has also gone on to give a pretty dire warning to the Biden administration to “keep their promise” on climate change issues.
Newest squad member Cori Bush (D-MO) also weighed in prior to her swearing in on the need for “bold leadership.”
“When we don’t act, people who look like me die. And so there is just no alternative right now than to make sure we have bold leadership,” Bush claimed.
I’m fighting to ensure communities like St. Louis are at the heart of the clean energy revolution.
I’m proud to co-sponsor this legislation ⬇️ https://t.co/pgil6cHghT
— Congresswoman Cori Bush (@RepCori) January 27, 2021
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