Politics Miners union to back Biden on green energy if it retains jobs
For Mexico's president, the future isn't renewable energy — it's coal
Mexico once embraced renewable energies. Now President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is doubling down on dirty fossil fuels such as coal.He toiled underground for nearly two decades, only to be laid off a few years ago as Mexico began embracing renewable energy and weaning itself off fossil fuels.
The nation's top miners union on Monday said it will back the White House's plan to transition fossil fuel industries to renewable energy production if the Biden administration can guarantee the preservation of jobs.
"There needs to be a tremendous investment here," United Mine Workers of America President Cecil E. Robertson Monday. "We always end up dealing with climate change, closing down coal mines. We never get to the second piece of it."
Roberts made the announcement Monday at an event with Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), whose vote will almost certainly be required for any major climate legislation in a Senate where each party controls 50 seats.
Biden releases breakdown of what needs fixing for infrastructure plan
Republicans slammed President Joe Biden's $2.7 trillion infrastructure plan as a 'dog's breakfast of slush funds' for Democrats as White House releases state-by-state breakdown of what needs fixing.Biden will host four GOP lawmakers - along with four Democratic ones - on Monday to discuss his massive infrastructure plan, which Republicans have criticized for containing more than traditional infrastructure projects.
The union's plan calls for the government to subsidize a transition to renewable energy in heavily coal-dependent Appalachian economies. These include tax credits for manufacturing wind turbine and solar panel parts, as well as funding for reclaimed mines that damage the environment and public health in the surrounding areas.
The union also called for increased research into carbon capture technology, which has attracted the support of Republicans as well. In August, Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) called the technology "one of my top policy priorities" in the leadership position.
"We're trying to, first of all, insert ourselves to the extent that we can in this conversation because our people, a lot of coal miners in this country, their families have suffered already some traumatic losses," Robertsin a separate interview.
Joe Biden dilemma — if he cuts emissions, it will kill jobs
When President Joe Biden convenes a virtual climate summit on Thursday, he will bring together 40 world leaders and unveil a target for the United States to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that he hopes will serve as an example to the world. © Provided by Washington Examiner But just as he must calibrate the impact of emissions on global warming, in making his calculations, he must also find a way of balancing the demands within his own party between climate change activists and blue-collar voters who worry about their jobs while Republicans in Trump country see an opening for attack.
Biden has emphasized his union roots both on the campaign trail and as president, and he and other White House officials have presented job preservation versus environmental measures as a false choice.
The administration has insisted the clean energy jobs that take the fossil fuel industry's place will themselves be well-paid union jobs.
But Roberts told NBC that "currently, the jobs that are being discussed here are not good paying union jobs. They're a fraction of what a coal miner makes."
"Change is coming, whether we seek it or not," the union said in a statement Monday, according to the Times, noting that employment in the coal industry was more than halved between December 2011 and December 2020.
"We're on the side of job creation, of a future for our people," Roberts told the Times. "If that isn't part of the conversation at the end of the day, we'll be hard pressed to be supportive."
Transcript: Joe Biden delivers speech to joint session of Congress .
The president spoke to a limited crowd due to the pandemic. The setting was very different from a typical address, though. Due to the pandemic, tickets were limited and social distancing rules were in place.