Former vice president Joe Biden has said that he is open to sacrificing economic growth and thousands of blue-collar jobs to transition to a green economy.
In the most recent Democratic presidential debate, the former VP warned that to combat climate change, the economy has to make some sacrifices. In the process, he announced that his administration would prioritize the green economy.
Debate moderator Tim Alberta of Politico posted the following question to Mr. Biden: “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 knowing potentially that it could displace thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of blue-collar workers in the interest of transitioning to that greener economy?”
“The answer is yes,” Biden said.
What’s the Road Forward?
The former VP noted that blue-collar workers could transition instead to higher-paying jobs, although he did not reveal details on how he plans to achieve it.
“The opportunity for those workers to transition to high-paying jobs … is real,” the former VP added.
“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.”
He added that it’s just a matter of “explaining [the transition] to those people who are displaced that their skills are going to be needed for the new opportunities.
“So far, the U.S. is the only country in the world that has “taken great, great crises and turned them into enormous opportunities,” he added.
Biden also said that once the economy transitions into a green energy, new jobs would be able to replace lost jobs. For example, the former vice president said in California, there are already efforts to build mega-batteries to store energy “even if the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining.” American highways, he noted, should put up charging stations for e-vehicles.
“We shouldn’t build another new highway in America that doesn’t have charging stations on it. 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, as well making sure that we own electric vehicle market,” Biden said.
Against Fossil Fuels
Biden has also said he is open to banning fossil fuels. In September, he said that the US “has got to shut down” coal-fueled power plants.
Critics noted that this policy sounded like the remark of failed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who said in 2016 that she’s “going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.”
Others in social media also hit back at the former VP’s openness to sacrificing blue-collar jobs for a greener economy.
“Democrats always make these promises of high-paying jobs when they talk about displacing blue-collar workers. But how do you “train” a 50-year-old man to make a higher paying job than what he already has?” one post commented.
The former VP’s stronghold so far has been blue-collared workers.