Stephen Moore: The green movement is a jobs killer. Are unions finally figuring this out?

Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author.

Steve Moore

Could it be that union bosses are finally waking up to the cold reality that the greatest threat to steel workers, the United Auto Workers, miners, machinists and the Teamsters is the radical climate change agenda of the environmentalists?

The green movement has taken the Democratic Party hostage — and President Joe Biden’s all-in embrace of far-left green policies is wreaking havoc on rank-and-file union jobs.

The United Auto Workers recently announced it would withhold its endorsement of Biden as he runs for a second term. “The federal government is pouring billions into the electric vehicle transition, with no strings attached and no commitment to workers,” UAW President Shawn Fain recently declared. “The EV transition is at serious risk of becoming a race to the bottom” for America’s workers.

My only question: Why did it take five years to figure this out?

What a shock that a union that makes automobiles would have second thoughts about endorsing the reelection of a president who, just a few weeks ago, announced new regulations that are intended to end production of all gas cars within a decade. That’s a death sentence for UAW workers.

Meanwhile, California Democrats have proposed new rules to end the production of nearly 2 million diesel trucks. Has anyone alerted the Teamsters?

These rules would crush unions like Godzilla stomping on a twig. Perhaps the UAW is finally realizing that Biden’s goal is to get all traditional cars and trucks off the road. That’s not going to leave many card-carrying UAW members left to pay dues. Meanwhile, the electric cars and the parts will be made in China and developing countries controlled by Beijing.

To his credit, Biden is only doing what he promised back in 2020. He declared war on energy and the combustible engine — and yet the union bosses endorsed him. Most amazing was the United Mine Workers and some of the Pipefitters unions endorsing Biden. Apparently, they weren’t paying attention to his stated goal of shutting down every coal mine in America and most oil and gas pipelines.

Talk about selling the rope to your own hangman.

Rank-and-file hard-hat union members are on to this gambit — which is why most private-sector union voters went for former President Donald Trump in the last two election cycles, even as the union bosses endorsed and gave tens of millions of dollars to Hillary Clinton and then Biden.

Even now, as Biden cozies up to the Sierra Club and Greenpeace and places a metaphorical blade at the neck of the blue-collar union workers, the union bosses are reluctant to call for a divorce with “lunch bucket Joe.”

After acknowledging the threat that Biden posed to the livelihoods of tens of thousands of union members, the UAW’s Fain warned that “another Donald Trump presidency would be a disaster.”

How? Union workers saw huge job and wage gains when Trump was president. Fain even muttered some disingenuous mumbo-jumbo about getting behind a “pro-worker, pro-climate” agenda for the working class. That’s an oxymoron.

This isn’t complicated. The leftists’ religious pursuit of “zero emissions” leads to a green holy land with no smokestacks, no power plants, no cars, no trucks, no steel mills, copper mines, pipelines, gas stoves, air conditioners, airplanes, nuclear plants, washers and dryers, pesticides, plastics, or cows and other livestock.

Oh — and as we sprint to a new post-industrial-age America, with no need for blue-collar unionized workers. The green “degrowth” movement isn’t about creating prosperity for union workers but about putting them on unemployment lines.

It’s good news that the Big Labor bosses are finally expressing some doubts about what the climate change agenda means for hard-hat workers. But if they keep working to elect climate change crazies, the demise of our union workforce will be swift and brutal.

Stephen Moore is a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation and a co-founder of the Committee to Unleash Prosperity. His latest book is “Govzilla: How the Relentless Growth of Government Is Devouring Our Economy.”



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