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Wednesday, October 5, 2022

The Achilles Heel of Biden’s Climate Plan? Miners.

All this has increased the rates for coal miners.

“Our guiding principle is the belief that we don’t have to choose between a good job and a clean environment,” said Jason Walsh, CEO of BlueGreen Alliance, which has brought together work and environmental groups to mobilize support for initiatives such as Mr. Biden. “But our ability to continue to express this conviction with a deadpan air depends on the political choices we make.”

“The miners,” he added, “are at the center of it all.”

It is impossible to explain the miners’ bias against Mr. Biden’s plans without realizing their heightened economic vulnerability: unlike carpenters and electricians who work in power plants but can apply their skills to renewable energy projects, many miners are unlikely to find work. on wind and solar farms that resemble their current work. (Some, such as equipment operators, have more transferable skills.)

It is also difficult to overestimate the political game that has shaped the miner discourse. In her 2016 presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton proposed spending $ 30 billion on economic aid to the coal nation. But a verbal mistake – “We’re going to disable a lot of miners and coal companies,” she said, discussing her proposal at the mayor’s office, “allowed opponents to portray her as waging a” war on coal. “

“This is a politicized situation in which one political party, increasingly taking over industry, is capitalizing on the status quo by perpetuating this rhetoric,” said Matto Mildenberger, a political scientist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, who studies climate policy politics. …

And then there is Mr. Manchin, a sophisticated politician who is one of the main recipients of Senate campaign money from the fossil fuel industry.

Mr. Manchin has at times opposed provisions approved by the miners’ union, such as wage compensation for squares who must accept low-paying jobs. “In the end, that was not what he was interested in,” said Mr Smith, a union lobbyist. A spokeswoman for Mr. Manchin declined to comment.

However, in other respects, Mr Manchin conveyed the sentiments of his constituents well, suggesting that he might be more enthusiastic about renewable energy legislation if there were any.

World Nation News Desk
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