Speaking to reporters at the White House Wednesday, Kerry insisted that energy workers had been “fed a false narrative” about what environmental policy would do to their livelihoods.
The truth, he said, was that the people working in energy and coal impacted by climate change efforts “have better choices” and can “go to work to make the solar panels.”
“They’ve been fed the notion that somehow dealing with climate is coming at their expense,” Kerry said. “No, it’s not. What’s happening to them is happening because of other market forces already taking place.”
“Coal plants have been closing over the last 20 years. So what President Biden wants to do is make sure those folks have better choices, that they have alternatives, and they can be the people who go to work to make the solar panels.”
The Obama-era Secretary of State was responding to a question about Biden’s climate plan causing massive job losses in oil, gas and coal industries in states across the country, as it already has for those employed on the Keystone project.
Speaking to Fox News Wednesday evening, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tx.) denounced Kerry for his defense of the 46th president’s order halting construction on the US side to the Keystone XL pipeline, which led to the loss of hundreds of jobs.
“It is not a unifying message, and it is not doing the job we should be doing [in] fighting for working men and women in this country,” Cruz told the network.
“What an arrogant, out-of-touch statement for a centimillionaire to say,” he continued. “You know, ‘You little people, you know, I don’t like the choices you’re making, and so your jobs go away,’ as John Kerry said right there.”
“The Democratic elites have decided that blue-collar workers, that union members, that men and women with calluses on their hands, they’ve made the wrong choices, in John Kerry’s words.”
Cruz went on to note that he had asked numerous Biden nominees during recent confirmation hearings “what they would say to the union workers who just lost their jobs because Joe Biden decided they didn’t deserve a job.”
Their response, Cruz said, has essentially been, “Well, tough luck.”
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) excoriated the former secretary of state over his comments in a series of tweets Wednesday.
“John Kerry’s message to the tens of thousands of Americans who lost their jobs thanks to the Biden administration: go make solar panels. Where is the empathy that Joe Biden promised in his inauguration?” Cotton wrote in one of numerous posts slamming the climate czar.
In another post, the Arkansas senator went after Kerry for his own practices to reduce his impact on the environment.
“John Kerry — who flies in private jets, owned a 76-foot yacht and several mansions — has the carbon footprint of a small nation. Yet he tells energy workers to ‘make solar panels’ when the Biden administration kills their jobs,” Cotton wrote.
Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Tx.) also slammed the former Massachusetts senator for his remarks, writing on Twitter, “John Kerry — worth hundreds of millions — telling blue-collar workers to just ‘go to work to make the solar panels.’”
“By the way, solar will pay on average $20K less than oil and gas jobs. John Kerry thinks you should just shutup [sic] and accept it.”
Kerry is married to Teresa Heinz, the multi-millionaire widow of Sen. John Heinz III (R-Pa.). The couple is estimated to be worth $250 million.