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The Biden administration’s greenie infrastructure plan is trickling out, and the picture is getting ugly.
Start with Joe Biden’s greenie czar, John Kerry, taking from a Forbes piece by columnist Ken Rapoza:
President Biden’s new “climate czar” John Kerry says laid off workers in the fossil fuels industry should be able to easily transfer their skill set into solar. He specifically said they can “make solar panels” instead of making the Keystone pipeline that Biden canceled on day two of his tenure in the White House.
“What President Biden wants to do is make sure those folks have better choices, that they have alternatives, that they can be the people to go to work to make the solar panels,” Kerry said.
Which is fine and dandy, except that these workers in these American companies have got some competition:
Of the top 10 solar panel manufacturers in the world, 8 are Chinese. The only big U.S. player is Ohio-based First Solar FSLR +4.3%. They make the solar cells and modules that are turned into the solar panels you see in the southwest desert, on California hilltops and, increasingly, on American rooftops.
South Korea’s Hanwha Q-Cells manufactures here. As does Chinese firm Jinko Solar, now manufacturing in Jacksonville, Florida. They set up shop primarily due to anti-dumping and countervailing duties imposed on solar panels during the bygone Trump era. That helped Q-Cells and First Solar gain market here. Otherwise, it’s all China imports. And if it is all China imports, then the only jobs on offer will be installer gigs, and the usual white collar professional services jobs of project planners, sales and engineering consultants.
Now let’s learn a little about the competition. According to today’s Epoch Times:
British researchers say the world’s production of solar panels is being fueled by forced labor from Uyghur Muslims in the Chinese province of Xinjiang.
An investigation by Sheffield Hallam University says some 45 percent of the world’s supply of a key component in the panels — polysilicon — comes from Xinjiang and is obtained through a vast system of coercion involving the Uyghur ethnic minority.
In Broad Daylight, the report from the university’s Helena Kennedy Center for International Justice, says the world’s four biggest panel manufacturers use polysilicon tainted by forced labor, and urges producers to source the substance from elsewhere.
It cited an official Chinese government report published in November which documented the “placement” of 2.6 million “minoritized” citizens in jobs in farms and factories in Xinjiang and elsewhere in the country through state-sponsored “surplus labor” and “labor transfer” initiatives.
“The (Chinese) government claims that these programs are in accordance with PRC (People’s Republic of China) law and that workers are engaged voluntarily, in a concerted government-supported effort to alleviate poverty,” the report says.
“However, significant evidence — largely drawn from government and corporate sources — reveals that labor transfers are deployed in the Uyghur Region within an environment of unprecedented coercion, undergirded by the constant threat of re-education and internment.
Had enough? That’s slave labor, as the story outlines.
In Biden’s world, “good paying union jobs” as outlined in his infrastructure plan for turning laid off energy workers into solar panel makers, or lower-down-the-chain installers, is a perfectly even match against China’s slave labor.
Yet here’s a creepy story that Reuters ran in March, blissfully unaware of just why those costs went down, emphasis mine:
The cost of generating power from the sun has dropped more than 80% in the last decade, making it competitive with plants powered by fossil fuels like coal and natural gas. Solar energy now accounts for the largest share of annual new generating capacity in the United States, according to government data.
DOE has set ambitious targets for solar in the past. In 2017, the agency said the cost had hit its goal three years ahead of schedule due to a drop in the cost of solar panels tied to expanded production in China.
But of course. China you see, isn’t paying the help.
And make no mistake: that leaves American workers holding the bag, competing against those zero-wage workers who don’t want to be there in the province of Xinjiang.
For American workers, it’s the same economic dynamic seen in the antebellum South, where “poor white trash” got so very rich (/sarc) competing against enslaved African-Americans held in bondage on the plantations. There’s a reason they were called “poor white” with “trash” thrown on, or, if they were slightly richer, then “crackers.”
That’s Biden’s plan for laid off U.S. energy workers.
And man, it stinks. It’s amazing that this isn’t being remarked upon.
Joe himself has apparently decided, as of this writing, to keep President Trump’s China tariffs on solar panels on, supposedly to even the field, but he’s now being lobbied heavily, by China-linked business interests, the kind who “employ” energy gurus like Hunter Biden, to drop them.
Supposedly, such import tariffs even the field, but it’s likely it won’t — not when you pay your labor force zero, and have already conquered eight out of the top ten U.S. solar panel companies in the market.
Even the New York Times has noticed, claiming that China’s Solar Panel Industry “presents Biden with an ugly dilemma.” Ya think?
Anyone think Biden will hold off forever against the lobbyists, given his record? Why the hell does he let anything made with slave labor into this country? This stuff shouldn’t be tariffed; it should be banned.
This one needs to be an election issue from Republicans pronto. And it can’t happen soon enough.