For Biden Administration, ‘Pro-Union’ is about Rhetoric, Not Reality

For Biden Administration, ‘Pro-Union’ is about Rhetoric, Not Reality

June 2, 2021

A Los Angeles Times article this week attempts to proudly link President Biden to unions. The article reports:

Biden has put unions at the center of policy — viewing them as vehicles not only to rebuild middle-class jobs but also to address climate change and racial and gender inequity.

“Our administration will probably prove to be one of the most pro-union administrations that we’ve had, and I say that with pride,” Vice President Kamala Harris said in an interview.

Unfortunately, claiming to be ‘pro-union’ is quite different than enacting ‘pro-union’ policies. And when it comes to the Biden Administration, their positions so far have been staunchly anti-worker, particularly when it comes to energy.

Was it ‘pro-union’ when the President made his first major act of office the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline? Was it ‘pro-union’ when that decision would take away 3,000 construction jobs and 40,000 indirect jobs? Was it ‘pro-union to destroy a project that was creating over 10,000 union jobs during its construction? Was it ‘pro-union’ when the Administration’s decision caused 2,000 pipeline workers to immediately be laid off?

The Biden Administration and its radical environmentalist supporters tout their largely imaginary ‘green jobs’ as being ‘pro-union’. However, these green jobs come with more fine print than a CVS receipt. As Power the Future has previously noted, these jobs will take years to come online, will pay significantly less than jobs in the oil and gas industry, and there will be fewer of them.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that solar power technicians make $43,000 and wind turbine technicians earn $53,000 annually. In other words, these new “high-paying jobs” pay $60,000 to $70,000 less than their oil and gas counterparts. This is a significant wage gap to close by any standard.

So even in 2030, nine years from now, when these clean energy jobs Biden has promised finally materialize, the American energy workers who were displaced by his administration will have the option to apply for 77,000 U.S.-based jobs, far less than the number of jobs the oil and gas industry provides, as long as they are willing and able to take a more than half less than their prior salary. Thanks, Biden!

In the months and years ahead, expect to hear more about the Biden Administration embracing unions and workers. But when you hear this rhetoric, just remember that rhetoric is all it is.