Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) slammed John Kerry, the U.S. special presidential envoy for climate, on Wednesday for suggesting that workers losing their jobs in the fossil fuel industry can transition to jobs in clean energy.
“John Kerry – worth hundreds of millions — telling blue-collar workers to just ‘go to work to make the solar panels.’ By the way, solar will pay on average $20K less than oil and gas jobs,” Crenshaw tweeted on Wednesday. “John Kerry thinks you should just shutup and accept it. No.”
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) joined in, hitting Kerry and the Biden administration for pushing policies against fossil fuel production and development as part of President Joe Biden’s plan to combat climate change.
“John Kerry’s message to the tens of thousands of Americans who lost their jobs thanks to the Biden administration: go make solar panels. Where is the empathy that Joe Biden promised in his inauguration?” Cotton tweeted on Wednesday.
“John Kerry — who flies in private jets, owned a 76-foot yacht and several mansions — has the carbon footprint of a small nation. Yet he tells energy workers to ‘make solar panels’ when the Biden administration kills their jobs,” he later added.
Kerry appeared at a press briefing on Wednesday to defend Biden’s plan to combat climate change and answer questions on the administration’s stance on coal and oil and gas development. Kerry blamed recent job losses in the oil and gas sector on “market forces” while asserting that laid-off workers could get better jobs in clean energy.
“With respect to those workers, 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,” Kerry said.
“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. Similarly, you have the second fastest growing job pre-COVID was wind turbine technician,” he continued. “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 that go to work to make the solar panels, that we’re making them here at home.”
“I think that, unfortunately, workers have been fed a false narrative. No surprise, right, from the last few years. They’ve been fed the notion that somehow dealing with climate is coming at their expense. No it’s not. What is happening to them is because other market forces are already taking place,” Kerry added.
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