December 19, 2022

How ‘Green’ Energy Poisons African Children

When it comes to their “green” agenda, Joe Biden and his fellow Democrats are quite content to let others despoil the planet on our behalf.

“Everything we do is about the children,” soon-to-be former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi famously said during a floor speech last year. Just not the children of Africa.

Pelosi’s speech, which was meant to promote three awful pieces of Democrat legislation — Joe Biden’s Build Back Better boondoggle, the “infrastructure” bill, and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act — turned into a shamelessly opportunistic bit of grandstanding, during which she uttered the word “children” a whopping 16 times.

“As you’ve heard me say when people ask me,” began one particularly nauseating passage, “‘What are the three most important issues facing the Congress?’ I always say the same thing: our children, our children, our children. Their health, their education, the economic security of their families, a safe environment in which they can thrive, and a world at peace in which they can reach their fulfillment.” (Sixty-four million children who never had a chance to “reach their fulfillment” during our nation’s dark half-century of unfettered abortion on demand could not be reached for comment.)

Joe Biden apparently shares Pelosi’s cloying sentiment, as he’s entered into an agreement to finance “green” energy mining projects in two African countries — the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Zambia — to strengthen the global battery supply chain and plow ahead with his climate-obsessed agenda. And he does so despite the Congo’s well-documented history of using child laborers in these hazardous mines.

“Many children we spoke to told us that they were frequently ill,” said a 2016 Amnesty International report. “Inhaling cobalt dust can cause hard metal lung disease — a potentially fatal condition. … Skin contact with cobalt can cause dermatitis — a chronic rash. Yet the children and other miners have neither masks nor gloves to protect them.”

According to the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, some 40,000 children are believed to work in mines in the southern DRC, and the Left’s green energy agenda demands it. EV batteries, solar panels, and wind turbines require a massive supply of cobalt, copper, lithium, nickel, graphite, zinc, and other minerals — and the vast majority of these are mined outside the U.S.

Perhaps Biden is currying favor with California Governor Gavin Newsom, who in August announced his state’s plans to phase out gasoline-powered car sales altogether by 2035, and who more recently announced that he wouldn’t challenge Joe Biden for the Democrat presidential nomination in 2024.

We should note here that Biden is equally ambitious on the EV front, having buried a crony-capitalistic goal of 2030 as the date for having 50% of all vehicle sales being EVs.

There are few examples of Democrat hypocrisy that are more rich than their willingness to let other nations with far worse environmental standards and far weaker child labor protection laws do our dirty work for us — work such as our mining and drilling, work that we tend to do more cleanly than anyone else on the planet.

Indeed, Joe Biden’s NIMBYism in this regard is consistent if nothing else: He appears equally unwilling to allow mining in this country as he is to allow drilling, choosing instead to farm the former out to the children of Third World African countries and to prop up the America-hating socialist government of Venezuela for the latter.

This African exploitation agreement puts us in good company as a planetary despoiler, however. Recall that China has been feeding our EV addiction by strip-mining the nation of Myanmar.

Pete Stauber, the top Republican on the House Natural Resources Energy and Mineral Subcommittee, wasn’t having any of it:

“It’s egregious,” he said, “that the Biden administration would enter into an MOU to mine critical minerals in the Congo, where we know they use child slave labor to mine these minerals and they have almost zero labor standards and almost zero environmental standards. And yet this administration will not allow mining in the United States.”

“Don’t just listen to Joe Biden and his activist administration’s words, look at their actions,” Stauber continued. “Joe Biden, as far as workers go and mining goes, is ‘anywhere but America and any worker but American.’ It’s unacceptable.”

It’s also unnecessary. “We have robust mineral reserves here in the U.S.,” said National Mining Association spokesperson Ashley Burke. “There is simply no better place for the administration to be supporting mining projects, supporting our economy with high-paying American jobs that are producing American materials under world-leading environmental, labor, and safety standards.”

Remember, though: This isn’t about “world-leading environmental, labor, and safety standards.” This about the children.

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