Guest essay by Eric Worrall
In the wake of Biden’s promise to abolish the oil industry, President Trump has signed an executive order to protect fracking. But some Biden supporters claim even Pennsylvanians don’t care about fossil fuel jobs.
Inside Clean Energy: Biden’s Oil Industry Comments Were Not a Political Misstep
Republicans thought they could use the Democratic candidate’s remarks to scare voters in states like Texas and Pennsylvania. Surveys suggest they were wrong.
OCT 29, 2020
During the final presidential debate last week, Joe Biden said that he would “transition from the oil industry,” a statement immediately seized on by President Donald Trump and oil industry groups, who treated it as a political gaffe that would harm Biden in Texas, Pennsylvania and other battleground states.
It wasn’t a gaffe. And the reaction showed that Trump and others are out of touch with how public opinion has changed.
Before I get into the numbers that show that, you should know that I have some experience navigating the disconnect between perception and reality in the energy economy. I covered energy for about 10 years for The Columbus Dispatch in Ohio and spent much of that time under the assumption that the coal industry was a vital source of jobs for much of the state.
So I was surprised to learn that the state had fewer than 2,500 coal miners in 2015, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s less than the number of florists, to name one of many examples of industries that have much less clout than coal, despite having more jobs.
This shift in the job market is happening alongside a broader shift in which a majority of the public acknowledges the threat of climate change and supports the transition to clean energy.
Yost found this to be true in his office’s March 2018 Pennsylvania poll, in which 67 percent of respondents said the state should “definitely” or “probably” do more to address the problems associated with climate change.
…Read more: https://insideclimatenews.org/news/28102020/inside-clean-energy-biden-oil-industry-comments
Presiden Trump’s executive order;
Donald Trump Signs Order to Protect Fracking Industry
31 Oct 2020
President Donald Trump on Saturday announced the signing of an executive order to protect both the fracking and oil and gas industries following former Vice President Joe Biden’s pledge to “transition from the oil industry.”
“Just signed an order to protect fracking and the oil and gas industry,” the president wrote on Twitter. “This means JOBS, low energy bills, and continued AMERICAN ENERGY INDEPENDENCE! Sleepy Joe would BAN fracking and destroy American energy jobs! He has NO clue!!”
…Read more: https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020/10/31/donald-trump-signs-order-to-protect-fracking-oil-and-gas-industries/
President Trump’s full statement is available here.
I think Inside Climate News author Dan Gearino, and Joe Biden, are making a big mistake.
For starters I don’t trust polling on climate action. The safe course if a stranger calls and asks your opinion on polarised political issues is to agree with the caller. Few pollsters have the communication skills to hide their personal opinion.
Promises of green jobs sound amazing. But until those green jobs appear, they’re just another empty government promise. From September this year;
… Payton Wilkins is national director of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists’ Education Center. The coalition has about 8,000 members and recently endorsed Biden — marking only the third time since being founded in 1972 that it picked a candidate. Even though the coalition is “pretty radical” in supporting climate justice, members get skittish when discussions about compensating displaced workers arise, Wilkins said.
“Some people call it socialism, some call it communism. A lot of people are turned off by the notion of a universal basic income, but want to know what their income will be during a transition [to a cleaner economy],” Wilkins added, noting that Black workers also wrestle with an additional burden: the American stereotype that they are lazy.
“Members understand the link between health and the workplace. But we don’t want to exchange the public health crisis of being exposed to pollution for an economic one where we can’t put food on the table,” he said. …Read more: https://www.politico.com/newsletters/the-long-game/2020/09/01/unions-fracture-over-climate-490237
Mining jobs might be down in Pennsylvania, but its a big leap to infer this means people don’t care; nobody wants to see their neighbours, friends and family lose their jobs. A lot of other jobs depend on well paid mining jobs. And nobody wants regular blackouts like California.
If Joe Biden presented a credible and well costed transition plan which didn’t involve massive new public debts, and which provided a clear roadmap demonstrating how people could maintain their standard of living during the great transition, union leaders like Payton Wilkins would probably be more supportive.
But no such plan is possible.
At least President Obama was honest about the horrendous cost of renewable energy.