The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) President Richard Trumka squirmed during an interview with Axios' Jonathan Swan as he struggled to reconcile his union's endorsement of Joe Biden with the new president's job-killing energy policies.
Hours into the job, Biden killed the Keystone XL Pipeline permit.
"I wish he hadn't done that on the first day," said Trumka, "because the Laborers' International was right. It did and it will cost us jobs in the process."
Democrats like John Kerry expect displaced workers to go to work making solar panels, but Trumka said he wishes Biden would wait until new jobs actually existed before displacing workers.
"I wish he had paired that more carefully with the thing that he did second, by saying 'Here's where we're creating jobs. We can do mine reclamation. We can fix leaks and we can fix seeps and create hundreds of thousands of jobs in doing all of that stuff."
Trumka says he has not spoken to the president regarding the Keystone decision.
"And if I had I wouldn't tell you," Trumka said, adding that he believes Biden will pair future pipeline cancelations with new jobs.
Trumka took a while to answer the next question regarding another job-killing move by the Biden administration.
"How comfortable are you with Biden's plan to ban fracking on federal lands?" Swan asked.
I think it needs to be looked at and studied and carefully thought through. I think the future of the country should be considered in that process," said Trumka.
When Swan informed Trumka that Biden has already promised to ban fracking on federal lands, Trumka responded, "No, he didn't."
"He's promised to do it," Swan pointed out.
"I'm sure if he's promised to do it, he probably will because he shut down XL and he did XL. He's a man of his word," said Trumka. "But he's also promised to create jobs, good union jobs, and be the best union president that we ever had and I believe he'll do that as well."
AFL-CIO president @RichardTrumka to @jonathanvswan on Biden canceling the Keystone XL pipeline: "I wish he hadn't done that on the first day...It did and will cost us jobs...I wish he had paired that more carefully [with creating jobs].” #AxiosOnHBO pic.twitter.com/3Ba6F6g8GT— Axios (@axios) February 7, 2021
Union workers actually pay this guy to protect their jobs.