Mike Rowe reacts to John Kerry solar panel comments: ‘Energy can’t be the enemy’
Television host Mike Rowe reacted on Monday to White House climate envoy John Kerry’s statement about oil workers needing to learn how to build solar panels, stating that his comments don’t make “a ton of sense” while acknowledging the need for some workers and industries to “pivot.”
During an appearance on “America’s Newsroom,” Rowe joked that Kerry’s public relations chief should start looking for another job, but he clarified that Kerry’s comments were “not entirely wrong.”
Rowe said despite job losses in the oil and gas industry, in part due to Biden’s recent executive orders, opportunities remain for people with special skills.
“If you have a skill that’s in demand, and you’re willing to go to where the work is, the opportunities are still out there,” he said.
Rowe explained that a need for skilled labor will reach levels “like we’ve never seen before” after the pandemic, clarifying that although the government’s is having issues with fossil fuels, “the country isn’t”. He also spoke to the plastic and petroleum products in high demand that are typically overlooked, including the parts used to create computers and other electronics.
“Energy can’t be the enemy,” he said. “It doesn’t make a ton of sense to tell them to go out and make solar panels.”
Rowe created his own foundation known as WORKS, whose mission statement sets out to close the “skill gap” in the United States and prepare people for an estimated seven million jobs that do not require a college degree. The foundation website states that “we keep lending money we don’t have to people who can’t pay it back for jobs that don’t exist” and that our culture reaffirms the “misguided belief” that skilled trade jobs aren’t desirable.
Kerry was criticized last week after insinuating that oil workers need to learn how to build solar panels to find work. He also claimed that coal workers have been fed a “false narrative” in thinking that climate policies are killing their jobs.