I can tell you for a fact that there is at least one question you can ask the Biden Administration that they won’t answer. Sadly, though, their actions have already told me the answer that I feared.
For weeks, leading up to President Biden’s inauguration, I sent multiple requests asking what I believe to be a simple question: when was the last time that a key Biden energy appointee visited one of our country’s energy producing states?
When was the last time EPA Appointee Michael Regan or Energy Secretary-Designate Jennifer Granholm visited my home state of New Mexico? Have they ever spoken with any one of our 100,000 energy workers?
When was the last time Interior Secretary-Designate Debra Haaland visited North Dakota or West Virginia to talk with oil or coal workers?
Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, I’m still waiting for a written answer.
In a way, President Biden has answered my question. On his first officially day in office, he sent a sad message to hard-working Americans that made predicted – he is prioritizing a controversial climate agreement made in Paris, France over the economy in Paris, Texas.
By rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement, President Biden wasted no time making the disastrous decision to jeopardize 10 million oil and natural gas jobs and $1 TRILLION in income for the United States. This is revenue and jobs America needs now more than ever as we continue to economically recover from Covid-19. We cannot afford to deprioritize Americans in the wake of a global pandemic, especially when it would benefit our greatest international adversaries. Why else do you think the Chinese Communist Party celebrated as President Trump left office?
President Biden and his energy appointees should have to explain why they believe massive investments in solar power is worth sacrificing millions of American jobs. They also need to acknowledge the fact that the vast majority of green technology is made in China, providing them leverage over our supply, and that over reliance on “renewable” energy left millions of California families in the dark in 2020.
Not to worry, President Biden has appointed the architect of the massive debacle to be his Chief of Staff in the White House. Clearly, he has not learned from his half-a-billion lesson. Unfortunately, the stakes of making a similar mistake are even higher this time.
That’s why it’s so critical for President Biden and his key energy appointees to spend time with American energy workers in rural states like mine. True, it could get awkward and end with them telling those workers to “learn how to code.” However, it’s clear that facing Pennsylvania energy workers is what led to Biden flip-flopping on his fracking stance just a few months ago.
I suspect I may never receive a response about when Biden’s appointees last visited with energy workers in states like Ohio, Oklahoma or Texas, because the honest answer may be that they’ve never had conversations with those who matter most: American workers.
But I’ll bet you most of them have been to Paris.
Larry Behrens is the Western States Director for Power The Future, an organization fighting for America’s Energy Workers. He previously served as Communications Director for New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez. You can find him on Twitter at @larrybehrens and @PTFNewMexico or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.