The Biden administration recently released its $2 trillion infrastructure plan focused on updating the electric grid, expanding internet access, taking climate change action, and creating jobs.
Echoing a Fox News rhetorical strategy to distract from the popularity of the bill, on Tuesday network “straight news” anchor Bret Baier ran a segment falsely characterizing the plan’s simultaneous push for a green economy and promotion of unions and job growth as contradictory objectives.
Fox chief Washington correspondent Mike Emanuel accused the Biden administration of wanting to “have it both ways” and suggested that investments in the green economy would be antithetical to labor’s goals, but he failed to cite any concrete evidence.
In fact, building a 100% clean energy economy can create up to 25 million well-paid American jobs, and clean energy jobs are more unionized than the rest of the private sector. Biden’s plan also includes substantial funding to cap more than 2 million abandoned oil and gas wells, many located in the rural areas Emanuel highlights — which would create thousands of union jobs, specifically in the fossil fuel industry. That is why Biden’s plan is overwhelmingly supported by labor, including major energy sector labor groups like the AFL-CIO, United Association of Union Plumbers and Pipefitters, and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.
But Emanuel failed to provide this context, instead claiming “some in the labor movement” oppose the plan, following Fox News’ trend of misleading viewers on what qualifies as infrastructure, and claiming that the bill is an unfettered Democratic spending spree.
Emanuel’s segment failed to note the $621 billion earmarked for highways, bridges, ports, airports, waterways, and public transit. Furthermore, the deceptive -- and damaging -- narrative pitting addressing climate change against labor and economic opportunity is a false dichotomy that has often been deployed to reject calls for climate action. In reality, Biden’s plan has been heralded by multiple labor organizations and climate activists.