Biden’s Green Push: Solar reality unpacked
The future of energy in the United States, according to the Biden administration, is in solar, wind, and other renewable energy.
On the campaign trail, then-candidate Biden touted a climate plan that would help create as many as 10 million jobs. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data shows two of the fastest-growing jobs in the U.S. are in renewable energy: Wind turbine service technicians and solar panel installers.
“However, as the data show, the number of new jobs is projected to be relatively small in these and some other rapidly growing green occupations,” a BLS report on green energy job projections says.
Another challenge to the Biden administration’s ambitious goal is pay. Solar installers earn approximately $12,000 less annually than oil extraction workers, according to BLS data from 2019. Additionally, many renewable energy jobs are short-lived construction jobs, unlike the oil and gas industry, which requires drills and other machinery to be regularly operated.
In order to meet his climate goals, President Biden signed a slew of executive actions impacting the oil and gas industry. One of them puts a pause on new leases for oil drilling on federal lands. It’s seen by those in the industry as the first step toward outright banning oil production on federal lands.
Such a move would disproportionately impact New Mexico, where more than half of crude oil production takes place on federal lands, compared to roughly a quarter nationally. The New Mexico Chamber of Commerce says the state also gets roughly a third of its annual revenue from oil and gas production.
“Here in the state of New Mexico, that’s 65,000 jobs that we would lose in a state that doesn’t have very many jobs, to begin with,” Claire Chase of Mack Energy Corporation told FOX Business. “It’s going to be really hard on us.”
Despite the challenges Biden faces, he is speeding ahead with plans to reduce the country’s carbon footprint, even if it is to the detriment of the oil and gas industry and the tens of thousands of jobs it supports.