By Suzanne Downing via the Daily Caller Foundation on April 30, 2023
It wasn’t even a year ago that President Joe Biden declared a national electricity emergency. In doing so, the president used the flimsiest of national security rationales to affix his seal of approval to well-documented genocide, ethnic cleansing and slavery in communist China, where more than 80% of solar energy components are made, much of them through forced labor.
There was no electricity emergency in America, if not for the one Biden and Democrat governors like California’s Gavin Newsom created with their anti-energy policies designed to end America’s reliable supply of oil and gas.
There was no emergency until Biden drained of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, which resulted in America’s sudden return to dependence on anti-democracy nations, such as Venezuela, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. He never refilled the tanks, and today, the SPR is at the lowest level since the 1980s.
As he signed the edict, Biden specifically gave China the privilege of exporting billions of dollars worth of solar cells, panels and modules to the United States, without normal tariffs. His order says even if those components are laundered through any intermediary country in Southeast Asia, specifically Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and the one-party, communist Socialist Republic of Vietnam, no regular tariffs apply.
Instead of focusing his efforts on strengthening the grid through other means, Biden hobbled the ability of America’s free market to scale up and provide solar energy, because this tariff suspension is, in every conceivable way, a taxpayer subsidy to China.
This week, House of Representatives Republicans voted to end the “carve-out for communists,” who use oppressed minority slaves in faraway provinces to build solar components for Americans, who are then purchasing solar systems with taxpayer-funded subsidies.
Just 12 Democrats got behind the resolution to restore normal tariffs and take a stand against forced labor and ethnic cleansing.
Just 12 Democrats stood against genocide and cultural annihilation of the Uighur population in Xinjiang, the far-flung region of China where the government has detained, imprisoned, and oppressed the Muslim minority, including through forced labor and concentration camps.
It’s all out of sight, and out of mind for Democrats, yet the atrocities they choose to ignore are well documented by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the New York Times, and even Human Rights Watch, to name a few. These are all reliably left-of-center organizations that recognize the horrors committed, while America plays dumb.
Democrats, who want solar farms in every field without having to pay union wages for their manufacture at home, are whistling past the graveyard of millions of slaughtered Chinese ethnic minorities.
This comes as no real surprise; historically Democrats have supported slave labor for a large chunk of America’s history. It took a new party, called the Republican Party, to end it in America in the 1860s.
Let’s look at just a couple of the laws that Biden is overriding with his two-year “electricity emergency.”
Section 307 of the Trade Act of 1930 “prohibits importing any product that was mined, produced, or manufactured wholly or in part by forced labor, including forced or indentured child labor.” That seems like an American value.
But our enforcement agency, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, has its hands tied by the president’s Green New Deal emergency.
The president also ignores the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, which was passed by a bipartisan majority in Congress and signed by Biden in December of 2021, prohibiting the importation of products manufactured by forced labor.
Yet just six months after he signed that bill, Biden flipped hard and declared the electricity emergency, revealing that his commitment to human rights was nothing more than political theater.
The religion of climate change orthodoxy and the Green New Deal doxology has become the highest priority for the Left, for whom the ends justify the means.
China is expected to dominate over 90% of the solar component market in two years. Ironically, at the same time, China is building six times the number of coal plants than any other country – two coal plants a week in 2022.
Biden’s policies make no sense for American energy independence, security, environment or international human rights.
By threatening to veto the restoration of normal tariffs, he maintains his devotion to China and the Green New Deal, and continues his war on America’s sovereignty as he weakens what is left of our country’s moral high ground.
Suzanne Downing is publisher of Must Read Alaska.
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