To hear the White House tell it, the Biden administration's green energy agenda is yet another example of Scranton Joe looking out for America's blue-collar laborers.
Biden promises that funneling hundreds of billions in taxpayer dollars to green energy projects will create an economy full of "well paying, union jobs" that will revitalize America's manufacturing sector and allow U.S. businesses to "compete and win globally."
It might be a compelling pitch—if only it were true. Instead, the president’s pursuit of an environmental agenda driven by left-wing fringe groups throws American workers under a Chinese electric bus.
Truth be told, China dominates the green energy supply chain. From slave labor-produced solar panels in Xinjiang to lithium battery plants in Sichuan, the road to renewables runs through the Red Dragon. Our colleague Collin Anderson reported this week on a $50 million Biden administration grant to a lithium battery company, ostensibly to 'ensure our clean energy future is American made." What do you know, it sources its materials in China.
It’s a tale as old as time. Want to buy a union-built, American electric vehicle, as Biden has encouraged? Good luck finding one that's made with domestic components. How about solar panels for your home? If the raw materials don't come from Uyghur concentration camps, they'll be tough to find. "China's grip on clean energy," the Washington Free Beacon reported in February 2021, "means that Biden's push for a green energy economy will likely benefit the communist nation."
Fast forward two years and that prediction is playing out in real time: The Biden Energy Department sent $200 million in October to an electric battery company that operates primarily in China. The same company sits on a federal watchlist of foreign entities that fail to comply with U.S. auditing requirements.
The only way Biden can rescue his green economy from China’s clutches is to supercharge the domestic production of raw materials needed for renewables and other industries, something that would infuriate the environmentalist left that is demanding a green future. That’s one of the few promises he made on the campaign trail he would do well to make good on.