By Mel Barnard
President Biden has kept true on his promise to change course on climate. A series of executive actions he released recently pauses new federal oil leases, moves to electrify government vehicles, centers climate in foreign policy, and more. Biden strongly emphasized the ways climate action can bring jobs to the economy through clean technologies like wind and solar. However, he also seems to be wary of workers’ experiences. The average coal worker in West Virginia might not be able to become a solar energy engineer in Wyoming. For landlocked, less-than-sunny states, Biden offers opportunities for workers to build energy-efficient homes, seal leaking oil and gas wells, and notably, transition the transportation sector from gas to electric.
Some economists caution the nation’s ability to transition quickly without harming the economy, but others point to evidence showing a net wash in jobs as the economy grows more green. While environmental groups like Oceana are pushing for more than a pause on federal oil and gas leasing, the executive action is a sign of changing climate policy.