The president has sought to tie his climate agenda to jobs, including in his $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan, which seeks to create jobs in areas such as electric vehicles and efficient building upgrades.
“When I think about climate change, I think jobs,” Biden said Wednesday. “The American Jobs Plan will put engineers and construction workers to work building more energy-efficient buildings and homes.”
“Electrical workers, [International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers union] members, installing 500,000 charging stations along our highways so we can own the electric car market. Farmers planting cover crops so they can reduce the carbon dioxide in the air and get paid for doing it,” he added. “There’s simply no reason the blades for wind turbines can’t be built in Pittsburgh instead of Beijing. … There’s no reason why American workers can’t lead the world in the production of electric vehicles and batteries.”
His political opponents have sought to cast doubt on the notion of simultaneously creating jobs and fighting climate change, arguing that fossil fuel industry workers could lose their jobs in a clean energy transition.
And a recent analysis found that workers in the natural gas and coal industries tend to have higher wages than wind and solar workers.
In his speech, Biden addressed workers who may feel left behind in a changing economy, saying, “Some of you at home are wondering whether these jobs are for you.”
“I want to speak directly to you,” he said. “Independent experts estimate the American Jobs Plan will add millions of jobs.”
In his speech, Biden also discussed opportunities in modernizing the electric grid, an issue that’s been in the spotlight after millions lost power in Texas in February amid a winter storm.
“The American Jobs plan will create jobs that lay thousands of miles of transmission lines needed to build a resilient and fully clean grid,” he said.
Read More: Biden touts climate investment as creating jobs