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Biden Administration’s Final Solution for Pennsylvania and Michigan Industry

Biden Administration’s Final Solution for Pennsylvania and Michigan Industry
Interior view of projectile shop #1, machining 3 inch shells. Bethlehem Steel Company, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Bethlehem Steel Company., ca. 1918

This is the first of several posts by Charles Park, which will take an in-depth look at the contrast between Joe Biden’s disastrous policies for Michigan and Pennsylvania, perhaps the two most pivotal states in the up-coming election.

In 1970, Pennsylvania had 25 Members of Congress. Today it has 17. During the same period, Michigan went from 19 to 13. This collapse in population relative to other states in two of the nation’s most important industrial centers, is a marker for the disaster of fifty years of the  globalist agenda of free trade, deindustrialization, and Green insanity.

During that period, the nuclear industry, the steel industry, the auto industry, other manufacturers, and most elected officials from the “rust belt” decided to compromise with the global elites who had these industrial centers under relentless attack.  Instead of launching a massive counter campaign to expose the lies and the ultimate consequences for society of these economy killing policies, their step-by-step concessions ultimately gutted our industries and caused massive layoffs.

Today, if they allow one more minute of Biden regime policy hegemony, one more round of feckless compromise, the unions representing these workers, and the politicians who were supposed to protect these citizens will be submitting to the ultimate destruction of America’s role as the premiere industrial power with the most skilled workforce in the world. 

The Biden Administration and its masters are driving for the final solution against the Midwestern industrial base, now that they have put the green agenda on steroids. 

Case study – Pennsylvania and Michigan Coal and Steel

The combination of cheap imports from Canada, Mexico, Japan, Brazil, Korea, and China, among other countries, with the Globalists/Biden policy of reducing CO2 emissions to scientifically arbitrary levels to “Save the Planet,” has devastated the coal and steel industries. 

The Biden Administration has now announced plans to build seven “Hydrogen Hubs” across the country to separate hydrogen out from water using electrolysis. The hydrogen in turn would be used to phase out coke in the production of steel. The process of electrolysis requires a large amount of water. Processing one ton of hydrogen requires 9 to 18 tons of water. It is also very energy intensive requiring levels of electrification which presently don’t exist. 

The Mid-Atlantic Hydrogen Hub, encompassing Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware, intends to produce hydrogen using so-called Green energy, namely, renewables supplemented with limited nuclear energy. The Midwest Hydrogen Hub, encompassing Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan, would produce Blue Hydrogen using primarily fossil fuels. The Midwest Hub has a contract with the largest steel and iron producer in the country, the Ohio-based Cleveland Cliffs company, to operate two hydrogen-fueled plants among their seven plants in Middleton and Indiana Heights. The company has made it clear that the cost of converting and shipping the hydrogen to these plants will be passed on to their customers. 

Cleveland Cliffs also owns the Dearborn, Michigan steel plant that was originally created by the Ford Motor Company to supply steel to its River Rouge auto plant. Three years ago the Dearborn works employed close to 2,500 workers. Now, in 2024, this UAW-unionized plant has been reduced to a workforce of 1,290 employees.

The Dearborn plant, due to regulations imposed in 2015 and again in 2023 by the  Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Justice (DOJ), is being forced to convert to hydrogen clean energy technology. The ruling mandates more than $100 million in company investments to install an air purification system, to provide Dearborn residents with air purifiers, and for fines for previous non-compliance.

Yet, the whole mission outlined here is a boondoggle.  Our electric grid is already stretched to the limit. Solar and wind, even with massive subsidies, only provide 10% and 4% of our total energy needs, respectively. (Natural gas, also under attack, accounts for 43%.) As Karen Feridun of the Better Path Coalition stated in December 2023, “We’re not really producing anywhere near the renewable electricity we would need to power green hydrogen in the first place.” 

Coal Under Attack in Pennsylvania 

The largest coke plant in America is located in Allegheny County in Pennsylvania.The new 2024 EPA rules are requiring the company to devise methods to reduce carbon emissions, but without setting any clear target level for the emissions the government will allow. The new 2024 EPA ruling requires a 90% reduction in coal emissions by 2032 for coal and gas plants that intend to continue operating beyond 2039. The mandated retrofitting costs will devastate those plants that could otherwise provide energy many years beyond that cutoff date. An additional 40 to 60 coal-fired plants will be eliminated by this legislation.

Coal now accounts for 16% of national energy production, a 30% decline since 2010. United Mine Workers of America president Cecil Roberts summed up this 2024 EPA ruling saying that it “looks to set the funeral date for thermal coal mining in America for 2032.” 

The Trump Alternative

Donald Trump recognizes the insanity of Biden’s Green New Deal.  He rejects the entire climate hysteria agenda and calls for maximum use of fossil fuels as we rebuild our industrial base. As he noted in a 2024 campaign speech, “More than 100 Democrats in Congress now support the so-called Green New Deal . . . It’ll kill millions of jobs, it’ll crush the dreams of the poorest Americans, and disproportionately harm minority communities. I will not stand for it. We will defend the environment, but we will also defend American sovereignty, American prosperity, and we will defend American jobs.”  The manufacturing renaissance Trump supports will require massively repowering and expanding America’s electrical grid. New modes of nuclear power which the Trump Administration pushed and invested in are now coming on line throughout the world.

Donald Trump stands out as the only political leader and Presidential candidate with the guts to reject our lost decades of deindustrialization and service economies while pursuing solutions grounded in the unique American System of Economy.  That means a full set, self-sufficient manufacturing and industrial economy, large scale infrastructure, and inventions on the scientific and technological frontiers, rather than Biden’s proposals which might be called “feudalism 2.0.”