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July 2nd, 2020:

The Green New Deal in Action

American Energy Coalition - July 2nd, 2020

“House Transportation Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio hailed the $1.5 trillion infrastructure spending bill that House Democrats passed on Wednesday as “the application of the principles of the Green New Deal.” Ok, then, let’s see what’s inside the party pack”, reports an editorial in today’s Wall Street Journal.

“The bill includes a feast of pork including renewable energy storage tax credits, grants for public school weatherization and solar panels in low-income housing and electric-car charging stations. It’s a subsidy-fest for any industry that calls itself green.”

“But perhaps more notable is what was kept out—a committee amendment to the bill by GOP Rep. Pete Stauber of Minnesota that Democrats quietly deleted before it came up for a floor vote. The amendment, which the Transportation Committee approved last week 43-19, would have required the Commerce Secretary to certify that federally funded electric buses and charging stations do not use minerals mined or processed with child labor. All 19 opponents were Democrats”, says the Editorial Board in the opinion piece.

“Electric vehicle batteries include significant amounts of cobalt, copper, lithium, nickel, manganese and rare earth elements. According to the amendment, the top producer of cobalt is the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which UNICEF and Amnesty International estimate employs 40,000 children in mines for up to 12 hours a day at wages of less than $2 a day. Some minerals are also mined in countries that exploit child labor like Zambia and Zimbabwe. This is one of the dirty little secrets of clean energy.”

“Democrats and unions have demanded that corporations, especially textile manufacturers, certify that their supply chains don’t source materials produced with child labor. Yet now they oppose requiring the federal government to do the same when funding renewable energy”, according to the Journal.

“Last week, Mr. DeFazio substituted a manager’s amendment to the bill that removed Mr. Stauber’s amendment. The manager’s amendment says that “it is the policy of the United States” that funds “should not be used to purchase products produced [in] whole or in part through the use of child labor,” but includes no enforcement mechanism.”

“The Oregon Democrat claimed Mr. Stauber’s amendment was unnecessary since U.S. trade agreements prohibit child labor. But we have no agreement with Congo or Zimbabwe. China, which processes most minerals, hasn’t removed child labor from its supply chains. Mr. DeFazio knows that certification would therefore be impossible, but some progressive principles have to give when you’re trying to save the Earth from the evils of fossil fuels”, reports the Editorial Board.

To read the original editorial, go to: https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-green-new-deal-in-action-11593645373

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