West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey slammed President Biden’s climate plan Friday as a Rust Belt-crushing initiative that would not only “destroy” American jobs, but “suffocate” them while raising the cost of living in the United States.
Morrisey — who represents a state where coal is a key component to its economy — argued that building a net-zero emissions economy by 2050 isn’t viable and could have the opposite effect on job creation in the manufacturing sector and the overall cost of living that the administration is aiming to accomplish.
“Going to nearly or 100-percent wind and solar is not a short-term option; it will require major technological developments and build outs that will take decades, not years,” he said at a press conference Friday.
“Even if we succeeded in building enough electric utility infrastructure at an unprecedented, break neck speed and we found an as-yet-undiscovered solution to the loss of dispatchable fossil fuel generation to avoid blackouts, it would come at a tremendous cost passed along to ratepayers.”
He said that “such a massive increase in the cost of electricity will be devastating for individuals and American manufacturing — dramatically increasing the cost of energy impacts” in everyday life.
“Even today the most basic activities of daily living depend on ready access to affordable electricity—and by pushing more Americans towards electric cars and electric heaters, Biden’s proposal only deepens this connection.”
Morrisey added that he believes the Biden proposal would be particularly detrimental in rust-belt states.
“Everyone in America will feel the weight of this proposal, but rapidly ditching fossil fuels in order to meet Biden’s radical goal would disproportionately hurt places like West Virginia, Wyoming, Kentucky, Montana, Ohio, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and Alaska. I could list many other states as well,” he continued.
“The human impact of increased prices and massive job losses would be a tragedy, so naturally Biden promises that his plan will create enough new jobs to more than make up for the jobs he proposes to eliminate. But the real impact of Biden’s plan can’t be measured just in the jobs it would destroy. You have to consider the jobs it would suffocate.”
The West Virginia Republican said that even if the U.S. moved to a completely green system, it would have a negligible impact and could provide China with an opportunity to hinder the country’s standing as a world power.
“America would cut emissions by 50 percent yet China has stated it plans to grow without limits at the same time — even though China already emits far more than we do. At the same time, Biden’s proposal would give China profound leverage over our country by making us dependent on imports of critical rare earth minerals just to keep our lights on,” he continued.
“Not long after America won energy independence from the Middle East, President Biden is asking us to make our ability to power our economy in the decades ahead dependent on the good graces of our greatest geopolitical rival.”
His comments come one day after Biden put forth a plan to cut the country’s greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030 during a virtual climate summit with world leaders.
The administration has denied that the plan would kill jobs for blue-collar workers, making the case that it would spark new opportunities in the manufacturing sector with the expansion of the use solar panels, electrical-vehicle charging stations and sustainable farming.
“This is a moment for all of us to build better economies for our children, our grandchildren,” Morrisey said. “We must ensure that workers who thrived in yesterday’s and today’s industries” also have a bright future.”