By Varun Hukeri
President Joe Biden has put climate policy at the forefront of his administration’s agenda, but climate policy experts Thursday warned his decision to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline and rejoin the Paris Climate Accord could eliminate thousands of jobs.
“Joe Biden, through his wrong-headed climate policy, has unleashed a job destruction pandemic on the American people, Heartland Institute president James Taylor told reporters in a press conference Thursday. “This job destruction pandemic is deliberate, intentional and devastating to the American people.”
In just the first week of his presidency, Biden has signaled his commitment to a progressive climate agenda. The president signed executive orders rejoining the Paris Climate Accord, revoking the cross-border permit for the Keystone XL pipeline and temporarily suspending fossil fuel leasing permits on federal lands.
Climate policy experts said the decision to shut down the Keystone XL pipeline would be especially devastating for workers. TC Energy — the Canadian company operating the pipeline — said Jan. 21 that 1,000 construction jobs alone would be eliminated in the coming weeks because of Biden’s executive order, according to Reuters.
Ending the cross-border permit would likely induce Canadian companies to transport oil through alternative means of transportation such as ships and railroad cars. These methods of transport would almost certainly emit more CO2 than transport by pipeline.
“Blocking Keystone XL accomplishes absolutely no environmental or climate goals,” Taylor told reporters. “It merely satiates the environmental left’s irrational vitriol directed at conventional energy producers.” (RELATED: Biden Energy Nominee Says Some Jobs ‘Might Be Sacrificed’ By Climate Action)
Another one of Biden’s significant climate actions was rejoining the Paris Climate Accord on his first day in office and nearly three years after former President Donald Trump withdrew from the agreement.
The principal target set by the agreement is to reduce emissions between 26% to 28% by 2025. But Steve Milloy, founder of energy policy website JunkScience.com, said the Biden administration would not meet that target.
“Over the next four years, Joe Biden is not going to reduce emissions in any way that’s going to matter to the climate,” he told reporters. “The math just isn’t there. The emissions aren’t going to be cut and emissions are going up in the rest of the world.”
Myron Ebell, director of the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Center for Energy and Environment, added that attempting to follow through on the Paris Climate Accord “will hamper our economy progressively over the next decade or two.”
International climate agreements have also been criticized for their more forgiving attitude towards China. With growing concerns that Biden’s climate plan is already killing jobs and creating uncertainty in the energy industry, his long-term goal of phasing out carbon could be considered a gift to Beijing.
“Joe Biden’s goal is to be carbon neutral by 2050. Our main adversary in the world is China — their goal is to be the sole global superpower by 2049,” Milloy told reporters. “Now possibly Joe Biden will help them achieve that if he zeroes out our economy by 2050.”