On his first day in office, Joe Biden killed the Keystone XL pipeline. This controversial move was condemned by the United Association of Union Plumbers and Pipefitters (UA).
“In revoking this permit, the Biden Administration has chosen to listen to the voices of fringe activists instead of union members and the American consumer on Day 1,” Mark McManus, president of the UA, said on Monday. “Let me be very clear: When built with union labor by the men and women of the United Association, pipelines like Keystone XL remain the safest and most efficient modes of energy transportation in the world. Sadly, the Biden Administration has now put thousands of union workers out of work. For the average American family, it means energy costs will go up and communities will no longer see the local investments that come with pipeline construction.”
McManus’s prediction about the impact that killing the pipeline will have is spot on. So, this begs the question: Why did McManus and the UA endorse Joe Biden for president last summer? In fact, not only did they endorse him, Biden’s so-called record of standing with unions and creating jobs was given as the main reason for their endorsement.
“This endorsement is about putting UA members to work and fighting for fair wages and good benefits. Under a Biden Administration, that’s exactly what we’ll get,” said McManus in his endorsement of Biden. “Let’s be real: nobody in the Oval Office will be with us on every single issue. But with his long history of standing shoulder to shoulder with working families and his commitment to an all-of-the-above energy approach that will mean more UA jobs, protecting the hard-earned retirements of our members, and appointing union-friendly judges, Joe Biden will be a fierce ally to our UA Brothers and Sisters in the White House.”
So much for that, huh?
But the really troubling part of this story is that McManus should not have been surprised at all by Biden’s decision. Why not? Because his union’s endorsement of Biden came after Biden’s campaign had already declared his intention to kill the pipeline if elected. “Biden strongly opposed the Keystone pipeline in the last administration, stood alongside President Obama and Secretary Kerry to reject it in 2015,” Stef Feldman, Biden’s policy director, said in a statement in May of 2020. Feldman added that Joe Biden would “proudly stand in the Roosevelt Room again as President and stop it for good by rescinding the Keystone XL pipeline permit.”
Trump’s style may have been unconventional. His tweets may have been “mean” at times. But is that really a reason to vote against your own interests? The UA had all the evidence it needed that Joe Biden was going destroy their jobs, but they ignored the writing on the wall. Now, the union has to live with the fact that they endorsed a man whose actions on his very first day in office acted against their own interests.
I suspect we’ll see plenty more examples of Biden Buyer’s Remorse in the coming weeks and months.