Biden Energy Policies Show Weakness on China's Human Rights Violations
Washington, February 22, 2021
America’s energy industries and workers have much to worry about under President Biden. And any American who believes our values are preferable to those of the Communist Chinese Party (CCP) should be deeply concerned. Let me explain.
Among President Biden’s barrage of executive orders already damaging the U.S. energy industry is his egregious decision to recommit America to the Paris Climate Accord — the international agreement President Trump withdrew America from famously saying that, “I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.”
Coincidentally, part of the district I represent is a short drive from Pittsburgh, an old river town known for its rich history of steel-making and heavy industry … like Youngstown, Ohio, or Wheeling, West Virginia. It’s what elites think of as the “Rust Belt,” to the extent they think about this part of America at all.
Most pundits on the right, correctly I think, interpreted Trump’s statement as standing up for American workers in places left behind by de-industrialization and globalization. Those on the left dismissed it as crass “climate-denier” politics in an important swing state, and said President Trump’s actions didn’t matter.
It does matter! This is about American workers and American moral leadership on the world stage.
Here are excerpts from a Feb. 10 Politico Europe article by four authors:
“Nearly every solar power panel sold in the European Union has its origins in China’s oppressed Xinjiang region.
“For the past decade Beijing has been carrying out a campaign to detain and ‘reeducate’ the Muslim-majority population of the region.
“Human rights groups have alerted that state-run reeducation centers double as forced labor camps.
“That’s of particular concern to the global solar industry given Xinjiang’s outsized role in the production of polysilicon, a material used to make photovoltaic (PV) cells.
“Nearly every silicon-based solar module — at least 95 percent of the market — is likely to have some Xinjiang silicon in it.”
That’s right, 95% of solar panels in the EU have components made by modern day slaves in concentration camps in China.
In their quest to meet Paris Agreement goals, European regulators, governments, and businesses have chosen to turn a blind eye to one of the most evil and pervasive ongoing human rights abuses in modern human history ... these enslaved religious minorities are sacrifices made at the altar of global radical environmentalism.
I believe America is better than that. And, we must show the world this. But it’s possible that some of these components could already be in solar panels being installed in the U.S. right now. And, if President Biden has his way, the American countryside will be covered in them.
Sadly, this isn’t the only tragic example of how many of our European allies have lost their way. Last fall, France threatened to cut off imports of American liquified natural gas (LNG). This was part of their attempt to force their climate agenda across the Atlantic onto American natural gas producers over methane rules … warning that fracked U.S. gas was “dirty” and not up to their standards.
But Europeans must get their gas from somewhere … so, they turn to Russia, and THAT begs the question: ‘What do they think Vladimir Putin’s environmental and human rights standards are? The Europeans — our supposed NATO allies and partners — have already answered that question by restarting the Nord Stream 2 pipeline (that President Trump shut down) that will transport Russian gas to Germany. Putin will make billions.
During a recent town hall on CNN, the host asked President Biden about Chinese human rights abuses. In a rambling answer, he responded, “Culturally there are different norms in each country.” When pressed on the human rights abuses, Biden said he’d condemn them, but that it’s “complicated.”
It’s actually not complicated. America either believes in Pittsburgh values and Pittsburgh workers, or we believe in Paris values and slave labor. I know where I stand.
Rep. Bill Johnson is a Republican congressman representing the 6th Congressional District in eastern Ohio.