Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm (D) said Wednesday on ABC’s “The View” that coal miners whose jobs are phased out can “mine the critical materials that go into batteries” in a clean energy economy.
Co-host Meghan McCain said, “I thought President Biden was a little tone-deaf when he told coal miners to simply learn to code. John Kerry made a similar comment saying miners could pivot to building solar panels. These just aren’t options for most workers, and these employment retraining programs have a really poor record of leading to actual jobs. What do you say to people worried that the president’s policies will make it hard for them to put food on the table, and what do you say to people that will lose their jobs who think that being told to code is insulting?”
Granholm said, “Well, I mean, first of all, if they want to code, of course, that opportunity should be made available to them. However, there are so many jobs in this clean energy space, Meghan, that have skills that are with the skills that they used in previous jobs. So for example, you know, we want to be able to make sure that we mine the critical materials that go into batteries, and so we should have miners have that opportunity, or to make sure that the pipe fitters and the plumbers and the electricians are going to be installing clean energy. Many countries are powered by the heat that’s that underneath your feet in the Earth called geothermal. In the U.S., we don’t do much of that. It’s clean and renewable electricity. We should be able to put people to work doing things that are similar to the skills that they had before and deploying this clean energy, and there are millions of more jobs that will be created in this clean energy space than there have been in the fossil fuel sector.”
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