Many leading Democrats, including former Vice President Joe Biden, proudly tout their anti-energy policies as though they were safeguarding the interests of average Americans by threatening the workers and industry that power the economy, heat their homes, and fuel their vehicles. After months of increasingly extreme proposals, some figures on the left have finally challenged the direction of the party’s energy platform. In a recent op-ed published in RealClear Energy, industry expert Kyle Isakower explains how Reverend Jesse Jackson’s defense of natural gas reveals the hypocrisy of the left’s war against American energy.
Rev. Jackson recently deviated from party lines by calling for a new natural gas pipeline to be built near Chicago. As a civil rights leader and lifetime advocate of minority interests, he is well aware that natural gas has the potential to better the lives of disadvantaged communities that rely on costly, inefficient alternatives. Other prominent minority leaders have since joined him in challenging the left’s tone-deaf energy policies. Isakower writes:
“In fact, Rev. Jackson has been joined by other civil rights leaders in their support for the use of natural gas, despite arguments that the world should eliminate the use of fossil fuels as quickly as possible….The clear argument is that energy costs make up a larger percentage of poorer households’ budgets than wealthier households. Therefore, hikes in energy costs disproportionately impact the poor. Economists would say, increases in energy costs act much like a regressive tax.”
Democrats’ willingness to cut access to affordable energy contradicts their claim to represent the interests of minority and low-income Americans. Higher energy costs are only one way in which communities of color would be adversely affected by policies against natural gas. Isakower explains:
“Another concern that should factor in minority leaders’ support for natural gas is job creation. A 2016 study by IHS for the American Petroleum Institute (API) estimated that through 2035, the oil and natural gas industry could hire as many as 1.9 million people. Importantly, of the 1.9 million hires, over 700,000, nearly 40%, were projected to come from the African-American and Latino communities.”
Regardless of party affiliation, all Americans should reflect on what is at stake in November if Democrats are willing to jeopardize our nation’s energy security and millions of jobs in the sector for political points. Joe Biden and other prominent party figures would do well to reverse course and support the energy sources that power our country and strengthen our communities. Isakower concludes:
“Our nation should take heed of the comments of Revs. Jackson and Sharpton and Mr. Morial. Gas will be key to providing our underserved communities the affordable, reliable energy that they need to heat/cool their homes and power their lives. For many, it can offer a better livelihood as well.”