Listen up all you hard-hat workers in flyover country. Former Vice President Joe Biden does not mince words. For the sake of a green revolution, he will kill your job without a second thought. Maybe leave that oil-drilling burg to make battery cars in Detroit.

We have suspected it for years. The radical environmental agenda of the left will kill hundreds of thousands of jobs in Colorado — millions throughout the country — by closing coal mines and oil and gas operations to favor so-called sustainable contraptions that harvest sun and wind.

Our skeptics need only listen to Biden. At Thursday night’s Democratic debate, a moderator asked him about the party’s agenda for a revolution of sustainable energy. Would he continue supporting this movement “knowing potentially that it could displace thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of blue-collar workers, in the interest of transition to that greener economy?”

“The answer is yes,” Biden said without hesitation. “The answer is yes because the opportunity for those workers to transition to high-paying jobs, as Tom (Steyer) said, is real.”

If Biden enters the White House, West Virginia coal miners might have to close up shop and take jobs squeegeeing solar panels far from their hometowns. Riggers in Weld County can roam the Eastern Plains to service wind turbines. That’s what Biden has in mind.

More likely, a green revolution will trade high-wage mining and oil jobs for increasing child labor in foreign lands abundant with the metal reserves we don’t have but need for the green movement’s battery fixation. After dismissing the value of blue-collar jobs, Biden told us of the growing need for batteries larger than the surface of the debate stage to store electrons when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind goes still.

A large body of emerging evidence warns of metal shortages for America’s escalating battery needs. The studies tell of increasing pressure for unregulated child labor to extract metals with mining practices that deplete vulnerable populations of water and burden them with environmental degradation.

Conversely, those American workers Biden would readily dismiss are adults protected by regulations enforced by OSHA, the EPA, and state agencies. In saying “yes” to killing those jobs, he said yes to more reliance on foreign child labor, aka slavery. That is not an opinion; it is a fact.

A new report by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Global Energy Institute documents what Biden would do to our economy by allowing a “greener economy” to kill energy jobs:

— More than 19 million jobs would be lost by 2025.

— $3.7 trillion in American household income would be lost from 2021-2025.

— $7.1 trillion to the U.S. economy would be lost and $1.9 trillion less in tax revenue would be collected by the federal, state, and local governments over the same period.

The boomer generation sat in gas lines of the 1970s. People desperate for fuel siphoned it from other people’s cars, ushering in the locking gas cap.

America’s economic fate relied heavily on the actions of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. For the United States, oil independence was a pie-in-the-sky vision on par with colonizing Mars.

New discoveries of abundant shale and natural gas reserves, and advancements in extracting both, changed everything over the ensuing 50 years. The U.S. became the world’s largest producer of oil in 2018. The Department of Energy expects the U.S. to become a net energy exporter next year. All that forms the foundation of the economic welfare taken for granted by those who would mindlessly trash blue-collar jobs.

In our march toward energy independence, innovation and regulation have reliably improved fossil fuel emissions. While solar and wind are welcome additions to our country’s energy portfolio, killing fossil fuels will destroy our economy, weaken American autonomy and national security, and harm the environment. Wealth funds environmental stewardship; poverty forces environmental exploitation and neglect.

When a politician says he does not care about killing working-class jobs, trust him to do just that. Don’t give him the chance, as everyone will suffer.

The Gazette Editorial Board

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