Biden’s Unkept Promise: Jobs for the Middle Class

Biden’s Unkept Promise: Jobs for the Middle Class

July 16, 2021

Members of Congress framed the Green New Deal as a way to save the planet and to create more jobs for the American people. This could not be further from the truth. President Biden’s American Jobs Plan just like The Green New Deal, will ultimately hurt the hard-working middle-class Americans.

The New York Times discusses the challenges workers face with the transition from fossil fuels to renewables. Particularly, the differences in pay and manpower used to build and run the different facilities, and what that could mean for our workforce.

Building an electricity plant powered by fossil fuels usually requires hundreds of electricians, pipe fitters, millwrights and boilermakers who typically earn more than $100,000 a year in wages and benefits when they are unionized.

But on solar farms, workers are often nonunion construction laborers who earn an hourly wage in the upper teens with modest benefits — even as the projects are backed by some of the largest investment firms in the world.

The Biden/Harris administration has repeatedly said there would be an easy transition for workers from fossil fuel to renewable energy jobs. But unfortunately, many workers are finding out this is just another false promise from the Biden White House.

While some of the new green construction jobs, such as building new power lines, may pay well, many will pay less than traditional energy industry construction jobs. The construction of a new fossil fuel plant in Michigan employs hundreds of skilled tradespeople who typically make at least $60 an hour in wages and benefits, said Mike Barnwell, the head of the carpenters union in the state.

By contrast, about two-thirds of the roughly 250 workers employed on a typical utility-scale solar project are lower-skilled, according to Anthony Prisco, the head of the renewable energy practice for the staffing firm Aerotek. Mr. Prisco said his company pays “around $20” per hour for these positions, depending on the market, and that they are generally nonunion. … Union officials also say that much of the difference in compensation arises from benefits rather than pay.

The fossil fuel industry is not only a reliable energy source, but also a reliable job source providing 10 million American jobs. For the American energy workers who will be displaced under Biden’s American Jobs Plan, their alternative is competing for less renewable energy jobs that are lower paying. Those few workers who are lucky enough to grab one of the few jobs in renewable energy will end up making half their original salary. That does not sound like a great jobs plan to us.