On Tuesday, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland defended her radical climate change agenda that would shut down a Minnesota critical mineral mine by saying that there are already “a lot of jobs” available for Americans.
During a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing, Haaland was scrutinized for prioritizing the Biden regime’s radical climate agenda over the employment of blue-collar American workers.
Senator Josh Hawley (R-Missouri) questioned Haaland’s reasoning for shutting down mining across 225,504 acres in Minnesota, pointing out that this would not only cost American workers their jobs, but it would also make the U.S. more dependent on China.
“Your decision to trade off our energy security in favor of a radical climate change agenda is making us more and more dependent on China,” said Hawley. “And, at the same time, you are denying mining, blocking permits for mines in this country that would allow us to develop nickel and copper and cobalt.”
“The jobs for blue-collar workers in this nation are valuable resources,” the senator continued. “The livelihood and well-being of American families are valuable resources. The ability of America to have our own industry and not be dependent on China is a valuable resource. Why should those things for millions of Americans be sacrificed in favor of your agenda for radical climate change?”
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In response, Haaland tried suggesting that there are plenty of available jobs in the U.S., and therefore the jobs lost by her decisions are unimportant.
“Senator, I know that there’s like 1.9 jobs for every American in the country right now,” said Haaland. “So, I know there’s a lot of jobs.”
“Wait a minute… You’re telling me we’ve got too many jobs in the country?” laughed Hawley. “Have you seen the number of jobs we have lost in this country to China in the last 20 years?”
“Over 3 million jobs have gone to China. Do you know where those jobs have come from? They’ve come out of midwestern towns… They are blue-collar workers and you’re sitting here telling me that we have too many jobs in this country. Are you serious?”
Haaland tried to weakly defend her decision, but Hawley jumped back in, not allowing her to make half-hearted excuses.
“You’re shutting down and denying permits for mines in this country… You’re shutting down oil and natural gas permits, you’re approving taxes and royalties that deliberately suppress American energy development in favor of a climate change agenda, and now you’re sitting here and telling me we’ve got too many jobs in this country, we’ve got gobs of jobs in this country, we don’t need any more jobs in this country,” Hawley said.
“I want to take the strongest possible exception to that comment and to that entire mentality… I think it reflects the mentality of your administration, which is when it comes to blue-collar workers in this country, you’re on your own.”
“That is extraordinary. What an extraordinary response,” Hawley said in disbelief.
The Missouri senator added that Haaland’s defense for pushing a destructive climate change agenda might be “the most unbelievable statement [he has] heard from a member of this administration.”