Democrats NEED Democratic West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin and other ‘s support right now…
THAT means they need to address Manchin’s voters in coal country and other energy places….
President Biden’s infrastructure Bill is gonna have to address the issue for Biden and Democrats…And Climate change stuff is gonna have to be nuanced, not just closing down coal….
…even as Biden’s infrastructure bill touches on many policies that energy states say they will need to withstand job losses — including retooling defunct factories — they have yet to show much progress in winning the hearts and minds of people in places it would directly affect. Even some key allies acknowledge that Democrats haven’t yet landed on a coherent, persuasive message.
“They’ve got a long way to go to convince people that what could happen will actually be positive for them,” said Phil Smith, spokesperson for the United Mine Workers of America, a labor group for coal miners. “Because right now, they don’t believe that.”
Democrats say they’ve learned and adjusted. But the party’s message still rings hollow to fossil fuel-reliant towns. The Biden administration unwittingly proved skeptics’ point when announcing aggressive climate change executive actions in January, with special climate envoy John Kerry using the timeworn line that “the same people can do those jobs, but the choice of doing the solar power one now is a better choice.”
Kerry’s comments were criticized as tone deaf, reflective of Democrats’ reputation in towns that feel they’ll be on the losing end of this shift.
But the backlash seemed only to awaken Democrats to the need to soften the blow to towns suffering from the energy transition. On Feb. 4, Wyoming’s Republican Sen. John Barrasso proposed an amendment to a $1.9 trillion economic relief bill attacking Biden’s ban on oil and gas leasing on federal land for failing to offset lost revenue to schools in nearby communities. Barrasso’s proposal, which would replace lost revenues to help schools, was designed as a poison pill for Democrats who have played down or sidestepped negative repercussions of their envisioned transition off fossil fuels…..
“Yes, we’re going to have to spend some money,” said Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), who has authored a massive investment bill dubbed a Marshall Plan for Coal Country. “But I actually think coal country is a great potential for corporations to invest in the area because of the talent that is there.”
But many of the jobs Democrats champion appear nebulous to voters on the ground. The median solar worker is paid $24.48 per hour compared with $30.33 per hour for natural gas employees, a study by the Energy Futures Initiative run by former Obama Administration Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz found…..
Democratic Rep. Matt Cartwright represents a place close to Biden’s heart — Northeast Pennsylvania, including Biden’s hometown of Scranton. The region saw the decline of jobs in the coal sector by the 1970s replaced by electronics manufacturing. Now it must now grapple with new challenges brought on by firms outsourcing jobs to Mexico. He said people in his district would grade the Democrats favorably only when they saw the good-paying jobs materialize on the ground.
“It’s pretty simple: what people want are jobs,” Cartwright said. “Ultimately, do people care what they’re producing to work in lucrative, family-sustaining jobs? Of course not.”