The Biden administration thinks Americans have too many jobs available.
Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley pressed Interior Secretary Deb Haaland on a leaked memo from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Tuesday that shows the Biden administration prioritizing climate change over energy security.
In March, internal records from the Department of the Interior revealed the administration sacrificing proactive resource development with higher royalties on leases to promote a left-wing climate agenda.
After outlining China’s dominance in refining critical minerals, the Missouri senator charged the pre-eminent federal lands agency of choking off domestic development of American natural resources.
“Your decision to trade off our energy security in favor of a radical climate change agenda is making us more and more dependent on China,” Hawley said. “At the same time, you are denying mining, blocking mining, blocking permits for mines in this country that would allow us to develop nickel and copper and cobalt.”
Haaland clarified that Senator Hawley was making reference to the department’s recent move to block the Twin Metals Project in Minnesota from moving forward. In January, the Biden administration withdrew more than 225,000 acres of the Superior National Forest from leasing consideration for the Duluth Complex. The underground reserves maintain 95 percent of the nation’s nickel supply and 88 percent of American cobalt.
“Why block the development of these resources in our own nation in favor of making us dependent on China?” Hawley asked.
Haaland responded by claiming the agency moved to protect the delicate ecosystem in northern Minnesota for many “plants, animals, species.”
“Jobs for blue-collar workers in this nation are valuable resources,” Hawley interrupted. “The ability of America to have our own industry and not be dependent on China is a valuable resource.”
Haaland dismissed the senator’s concerns.
“I know that there is like 1.9 jobs for every American in the country right now,” said the Interior secretary. “So, I know there’s a lot of jobs.”
“You’re telling me we’ve got too many jobs in the country,” Hawley pressed.
“I’m saying we don’t have enough people,” Haaland said, adding the agency is struggling to hire enough bureaucrats to fill department openings.
“Have you seen the number of jobs we have lost in this country to China in the last 20 years?” Hawley asked. “Do you know where those jobs come from? Over 3 million jobs have gone to China. Do you know where those jobs have come from? They’ve come out of midwestern towns like the ones I represent. They are blue-collar workers.”
Haaland’s comment, Hawley said, “reflects the mentality of your administration, which is when it comes to blue-collar workers in this country, ‘you’re on your own. Good luck, good luck to [you]; we’ve got plenty. Just shut up and go get a job at Mcdonald’s. Whatever. Quit complaining about the loss of American industry.’”
“What an extraordinary response,” Hawley finished.
Haaland responded by promoting governmental programs to employ workers displaced by the administration’s aggressive climate agenda.
“There is, unfortunately, a dearth of legacy pollution in this country,” Haaland said. “Those are good-paying, well-paying jobs with benefits that Americans are having because of President Biden and his policies.”
While American mining operations face obstacles from the White House, the Biden administration is funding critical mineral projects in Canada and Argentina. The broken regulatory regime for projects on American soil has moved lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to promote bipartisan reform on Capitol Hill.