Climate Czar John Kerry held a press conference on Wednesday ahead of President Joe Biden signing an executive order that will cause every department and every member of the Cabinet to be thinking a lot about the weather for the first six months of their jobs. It creates new task forces, requires in-depth strategic plans, and looks like a lot of busywork. It marks the beginning of $2 trillion in taxpayer dollars that Biden has pledged to spend.
The order also requires measures that will impact employees in the fossil fuel industry. It includes everything from cutting any current subsidies, to trying to eliminate industry financing globally, to eliminating new leases of natural gas and oil exploration on federal land, to putting renewable eyesores like wind and solar farms on those same lands. It goes on for dozens of paragraphs. Just canceling the Keystone XL pipeline cost 11,000 jobs.
Biden’s plan is more aggressive than the one implemented by his former boss, Barack Obama. According to National Economic Research Associates, that plan was estimated to eliminate 6.5 million American industrial jobs by 2040 and cost $15,000 per household. Biden has moved the target date for zero-emission forward 15 years, so the impact on jobs and cost will be more considerable.
For all of this pain, we should see tremendous benefits. America’s political elite has already hollowed out our industrial sector through disastrous trade deals that hurt American workers and benefitted their donors. Yet, in his remarks yesterday, Czar Kerry set no such expectation. He told reporters:
He [Biden] knows [the] Paris [Accord target] alone is not enough. Not when almost 90 percent of all of the planet’s emissions, global emissions come from outside of U.S. borders. We could go to zero tomorrow and the problem isn’t solved.
Kerry explained that the United States needed to pay through the nose and lose jobs to ensure other countries reduce their emissions. China and India are the two primary sources of carbon emissions, and the Paris Accords give them a pass for years after other signatories commit to achieving net-zero.
Kerry said employees currently in the fossil fuel industry would transfer to working as solar panel technicians and windmill technicians when asked about job losses. Perhaps they could work in the manufacture of the same. Sure. Solar panels, as well as the batteries required, involve the use of rare metals. China currently produces 73% of the world’s solar panels. China also has 61% of the rare earth metals required for solar panels. If you think the CCP will not subsidize this entire industry and keep the manufacturing of the panels and the batteries, you haven’t been paying attention. They already did it with pharmaceuticals and a host of other industries.
Kerry also used some sneaky weasel words. He said wind turbine service technicians and solar installers were the fastest-growing jobs before the pandemic. According to BLS, these jobs made up two of the three expected to have the highest percentage change in employment between 2019-29. There were 7,000 wind turbine technicians in 2019. If this number grows at 61% as forecasted, that would mean an additional 4,300 jobs by 2029. Solar installers numbered 12,000 and are expected to add 6,100. The position in the number two slot is Nurse Practitioners. In 2019, 263,400 Nurse Practitioners were in the workplace, and that job is expected to add 43% more or 117,700 over a decade. You can see the obvious problem with Kerry’s statement.
Beyond the obvious problems of using low-density energy sources like wind and solar to power high-density living in urban and suburban areas, the assertions the administration is making about workforce opportunities and even U.S. manufacturing are absurd. We are going to kill millions of jobs for absolutely nothing. Canceling the Keystone XL project was a gift to Vladimir Putin and his petrol economy, just as no new leases on federal land will be. Pushing a rapid transition to green will be a boon for the Chinese Communist Party while they continue to pollute at alarming rates and lie about it.
Welcome back to leading from behind, only worse. Climate Czar John Kerry, who has gotten almost nothing right in his entire career, will drag the economy down with him this time. After all, not everyone can marry a ketchup heiress.
WATCH John Kerry’s full comments: