The Biden administration appears to be sending a mixed message regarding the shutting down of the Keystone XL Pipeline.
Gina McCarthy, national climate adviser to President Joe Biden, said Wednesday the administration was "not asking for sacrifice" with an executive order halting construction of the pipeline, per Fox News.
However, the administration's action will cost jobs. The Keystone XL website said the pipeline project would have sustained about 11,000 U.S. jobs, including 8,000 union jobs, and generated $1.6 billion in gross wages in 2021.
Biden apparently sees future jobs as remedies for the loss of work now. His goal of reaching net-zero emissions by at least 2050 highlights a $2 trillion clean energy infrastructure plan which includes the directive "that agencies should work to ensure that any jobs created with funds to address the climate crisis are good jobs with a choice to join a union," per the White House website.
Biden's Secretary of Commerce-nominee Gina Raimondo said Tuesday the administration will ensure union workers who lost Keystone XL Pipeline jobs will get new jobs.
"I would say that climate change is a threat to all of us and that we will make sure that you have jobs, that you have the skills you need to have a job," Raimondo during her Senate confirmation hearing, "and by the way, as we meet the needs of climate change, there will be many jobs created, good-paying jobs, union jobs."
Still, promises of future employment might not satisfy people losing jobs now.
"Just like the rest of the country, COVID hurt us bad; we had a lot of projects canceled," Neal Crabtree, a welding foreman, told Fox News. "We've got guys that haven't worked in months, and in some cases years, and to have a project of this magnitude canceled, it's going to hurt a lot of people, a lot of families, a lot of communities."
McCarthy chose to stress the future rather than the present.
"The most exciting thing about this is we're not asking for sacrifice here," McCarthy said during a Wednesday interview on NBC's "Today" show. "The president fully understands that people are suffering now. So this is all about recovering from the COVID crisis. This is all about building good, clean jobs, jobs where you can get access to jobs to good pay and unions.
"This is all about investing in the infrastructure we need to build that future that is going to get us to clean electricity and net-zero in 2050. This is about promises he made that he's gonna keep."
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