John Kerry was the wealthiest senator while serving in the Senate. Married to an heir of the Heinz ketchup fortune, estimates of the couple’s net worth range from around $165 million to as high as $3.2 billion, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times.
Despite being super rich and 77 years old, Kerry, who served as secretary of state under former President Barack Obama, jumped back into the spotlight to serve as the U.S. special presidential envoy for climate in the Biden administration.
On Wednesday, Kerry appeared in the White House briefing room to talk about President Joe Biden’s expansive climate change policy. During his first days in office, Biden signed executive orders killing an extension of the Keystone XL pipeline, which carries Canadian crude oil into the U.S., and ordering a temporary ban on oil drilling on federal lands. Economists estimate the loss of Keystone will cost 11,000 jobs, and it’s unknowable how many people will be put out of work by the 60-day ban.
But Kerry has an idea for all those displaced workers: Make solar panels.
In the briefing, a reporter asked Kerry: “Mr. Secretary, if you would, there’s — there certainly are oil and gas industry workers who are watching you both right now who will hear the message that’s — that the takeaway to them is that they are seeing an end to their livelihoods. What do you say to them, particularly those people who President Trump struck a chord with on the campaign trail when he promised to save their jobs? What is your message to them right now?”
“With respect to those workers, no — no two people are more — in this room, are more concerned about it. And the President of the United States has expressed, in every comment he has made about climate, the need to grow the new jobs that pay better, that are cleaner, that —” Kerry said, breaking off on a tangent about black lung disease for coal miners.
“I mean, you know, you look at the consequences of black lung for a miner, for instance, and measure that against the fastest-growing job in the United States before COVID was solar power technician. The same people can do those jobs, but the choice of doing the solar power one now is a better choice. And similarly, you have the second-fastest-growing job pre-COVID was wind turbine technician,” he said.
“So what President Biden wants to do is make sure those folks have better choices, that they have alternatives, that they can be the people who go to work to make the solar panels — that we’re making them here at home. That is going to be a particular focus of the Build Back Better agenda.”
Kerry also said fossil fuel workers “have been fed the notion that somehow dealing with climate is coming at their expense. No, it’s not. What is happening to them is happening because of other market forces are already taking place.”
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) ripped Kerry for his “arrogant” comments.
“It is not a unifying message, and it is not doing the job we should be doing [in] fighting for working men and women in this country,” Cruz said.
“What an arrogant, out-of-touch statement for a centimillionaire to say,” Cruz shot back. “You know, ‘You little people, you know, I don’t like the choices you’re making, and so your jobs go away,’ as John Kerry said right there. Quelle surprise that the Democratic elites have decided that blue-collar workers, that union members, that men and women with calluses on their hands, they’ve made the wrong choices, in John Kerry’s words.”
We’ll admit, we had to look up two words there. A “centimillionaire” is defined by Merriam Dictionary as “one whose wealth is estimated at one hundred million (as of dollars or pounds) or more,” which means Kerry is a multi-centimillionaire at the least. And “quelle” apparently means “what” in French, which Kerry famously speaks.
“I’ve asked multiple Biden nominees what they would say to the union workers who just lost their jobs because Joe Biden decided they didn’t deserve a job,” Cruz told host Maria Bartiromo on Fox News. “And essentially nominee after nominee after nominee has said, ‘Well, tough luck.'”