US ENERGY Remarks Insult Loyal Workforce | News, Sports, Jobs

As was the case with Hillary Clinton before him, it seems President Joe Biden didn’t think about how his words might be interpreted when he spoke about coal-fired power plants, saying this month during a an event in California “We’re going to shut down these (coal) plants all over America and have wind and solar…(and) also provide tax credits to help families buy energy-efficient appliances.”

While it’s possible Biden didn’t mean the way his remarks turned out. “twisted,” as his publicist claimed, he can’t ring the bell – even though he rang it in California.

Of course, our country’s energy economy must continue its transition to a balanced and comprehensive mix of fossil fuels and renewables – we all know that. But the reality is that the transition won’t fully happen anytime soon, and in the meantime, the President of the United States shouldn’t threaten the livelihoods of the workers who currently supply more than 20% of baseload electricity generation. of our country.

Senator Joe Manchin was right to quickly condemn the president for his irresponsible remarks.

“To be cavalier about the loss of coal jobs for the men and women in West Virginia and across the country who are literally putting their lives on the line to help build and power this country is offensive and disgusting” , Manchin said. “The president owes these incredible workers an immediate and public apology and it’s time he learned that his words matter and have consequences.”

A public apology is unlikely. But what Biden and others in Washington, DC owe those whose livelihoods depend on coal is to know that they will not be sacrificed. They deserve to know that there will be training available if their plant closes, new job opportunities to replace what has been lost, and that they will get the support they need to deal with change. They deserve to know that this transition will be compassionate and as gradual as reasonable, rather than all at once on an artificially set date.

Like any worker, they deserve respect for the work they do. The president must remember this to move forward.

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Michael A. Bynum