Just last week, the White House announced new funding and goals to support new offshore wind energy projects in the U.S.
According to the fact sheet released by the White House, these new actions “will catalyze offshore wind energy, strengthen the domestic supply chain, and create good-paying, union jobs.”
This is a follow-up to Biden’s executive order in his first week in office in which he promised to expand the clean energy economy and create jobs for American workers. In this instance, the Interior Department is announcing a new Wind Energy Area in the waters between Long Island and New Jersey with the goal to “deploy 30 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind in the United States by 2030.”
The Department claims that this project will create:
“tens of thousands of good-paying, union jobs, with more than 44,0000 workers employed in offshore wind by 2030 and nearly 33,000 additional jobs in communities supported by offshore wind activity.”
But people should be cautious about accepting these optimistic projections about the new initiatives.
While many clean energy efforts are increasingly effective and practical, many still face considerable technological hurdles. Wind is an intermittent energy source and we sadly still lack battery technology to bridge the natural gaps in wind energy. While wind turbine technology has advanced dramatically in recent years, it won’t be able to provide reliable energy until we have sufficient battery storage capacity.
And while Biden keeps promising new jobs, many of these jobs are unlikely to materialize until 10 years or more from now. And note, he’s always careful to include the phrase “good-paying union jobs.” What if someone doesn’t want to work for a union? What if they don’t want the limitations in terms of schedule and working relationships that come with unions? And what about rebuilding our economy now as it continues to reel from the effects of the pandemic?
Many Americans can’t wait for job opportunities that may come in a decade. They’ve suffered incredible personal and financial losses, and the best way to help our country recover is to reopen and allow economic activity to resume.
Without allowing the economy and country to reopen, Biden won’t be able to deliver on his jobs promises and people will be in an even worse position in terms of being able to afford the increased energy costs that come with renewable energy mandates.