tv Pres. Biden Delivers Remarks on Clean Energy CSPAN August 5, 2021 10:47pm-11:24pm EDT
>> good afternoon. my name is bernie ricky. i am president of uaw local 600 in dearborn michigan, home of , the historic rouge complex and the ford lightning. [applause] mr. president, it is my honor to be with you today. we know that the uaw and joe biden have worked together from your earliest days in delaware, when we supported you in your first run for office. we were there in the beginning, we are so proud to be here now with our brother in the white house today. uaw members are excited about the future. the uaw is ready to build these electric cars, trucks and the batteries that go in them. we know that president biden has our back. we know he understands at that we can grow our industry, to preserve more union jobs in the -- build back better plan.
we know that this president understands that as we move which are none of us will be , left behind that we are the , engine in making the technology work and we will , empower america's middle-class. that is why i am proud to introduce president biden today, as a proud american and uaw member. mr. president, we have your back, and you have ours. thank you, president biden. [applause] president biden: please, everybody sit down. please, please. good afternoon. before i begin, let me start with something -- i apologize -- more somber. i learned a couple hours ago , when my staff came in that a , close friend of mine and i
think many of you as well richard trumka died of a heart , attack. the reason i was late coming out , and i apologize for that. i was talking to his wife and his son who called. , he wasn't just a great labor leader. he was a friend. he was a friend of yours too, debbie. and he was someone i could confide in and he knew whatever , he said he would do he would do. it was simple. and tom you knew him well as , well. he was always there. he was an american worker, always fighting for working people, protecting their wages, their safety, their pensions and their ability to build a middle-class life. i've also believed that the middle class built america, but i know who built the middle class -- unions. unions built the middle class. there is no doubt that richard trumka helped build the unions
that built this country. my heart goes out to his wife and grandkids. i used to kid him, he was from soft coal country. and i was from hard coal country. he used to be president of the united mine workers, and that is how he got started. folks, let me now turn to the day's event. i want to thank bernie for being part of the best workers in the world. thank you, ray curry, president of the uaw. ray, good to see you, pal. [applause] i also want to thank the leaders of the big three companies for being here. mary barra from general motors. [applause] i want to tell you i think she , is one of the reasons we are here. we had a long discussion on a zoom call with a bunch of labor leaders and other major business leaders, and she made a commitment. and she is keeping it. thank you very much, madam
chair. jim farley of ford. [applause] and by the way, my dad was in the automobile business. he sold fords for a while but , mostly general motors projects. you see that sucker over there? 0-60 in 4.1 seconds, and it is all electric. i want to say publicly, i have a commitment from mary when they make the first electric corvette, i get to drive it. [laughter] right, mary? do you think i am getting? i am not kidding. and my entire secret service detail went, oh my god. [laughter] and mark stewart of solenses, we used to have one of your big plants in my state. and the man i am about to recognize, a special thanks to all the members of congress who
are here but i want to pay , particular recognition to my chairman, my buddy, we served together for years, tommy carper. and i know that, i kid my michigan friends, but i just want to say to senators heinrich and marty and white house and duckworth, and i am leaving some folks out, i am sure, representative kathy castor, and the michigan delegation that is here today -- debbie stabenow, senator gary peters, congressman debbie dingell who is , automobiles. and dan killed the -- dan kildee . i remind the michigan delegation of this, it used to be when i first got elected, i used to tell your husband this as well, we had a higher percentage of autoworkers in delaware then any state in the union including michigan.
now, the fact we had a small population -- [laughter] and we had almost 100,000 autoworkers in our state. but i just want to be very straightforward. you know, uaw brung me to the dance, as they say. and i know we are missing someone truly special, a dear friend of all of us, senator carl levin, who passed away last week. carl and i served together for 30 years in the u.s. senate. i think all my colleagues will attest to this, he was one of the most honorable people, most decent people that i have not only served with, but that i have ever known. he was a tireless champion of the american worker and the iconic automobile industry. so he embodied everything that , his beloved michigan and our country represents.
respect, dignity, pride. pride in the nation and pride in what we build. so today, labor and industry, state and local leaders are all working together to write the next chapter of the american story. as i have said before, we are in competition with china and other nations for the 21st century. to win, we are going to have to make sure the future will be made in america. you know, back in may, i toured the ford plant, as i mentioned a , state of the art facility in dearborn, where the uaw workers like bernie are building the first-ever electric ford 150. and the best part is, i got to drive it. and it's incredible, just like the other vehicles behind me. they are a vision of a future that is now beginning to happen. a future of the automobile industry that's electric. battery electric, plug in, hybrid, fuel cell electric. it's electric, there's no turning back.
the question is whether we will lead or fall behind in the race for the future. it's whether we will build these vehicles into the batteries that got them to where they are here in the u.s., or we have to rely on other countries for those batteries. whether or not the job to build these vehicles and batteries are good paying union jobs, jobs with benefits, jobs that will sustain continued growth of the middle class. they have to be, they have to be made here in america. right now, china is leading the race. and it has one of the largest and fastest growing electric -vehicle markets in the world. a key part of the electric vehicle, to state the obvious, is the battery. but right now 80% of the , manufacturing capacity for these batteries is done in china. but here is the deal -- it is not that china's battery technology is much more innovative than anyone else's. remember, our national labs in america, our universities, our automakers lead in the
development of this technology. -- led in the development of this technology. we led in the development of this technology. and there is no reason why we cannot reclaim that leadership and lead again. we have to move and we have to move fast. when barack and i were in office, when president obama and i were in office that is what we , were doing. in 2009, the automobile industry was on its back. we were told we would never be able to sell american-made cars at the same rate we had before, but we didn't listen to the naysayers. we even had some in both parties who did not think we should "bail out" the industry, if you remember. well, we bet on the american worker. and we extended a lifeline. and they stepped up, made sacrifices to do it, and we saved more than a million jobs in the process. working with the automobile industry we set fuel efficiency , standards and provided incentives for folks to buy fuel-efficient vehicles. through the recovery act, we made the largest investment in clean energy and battery technology ever made. and then, the previous
administration came along, and they rolled back the standards we set. despite bipartisan support for consumer incentives, they also let the federal tax credit expire penalizing autoworkers , who were at the time selling the most electric vehicles in the united states. they announced infrastructure week. they did it every week for four years, and not once got anything done. not once. folks, the rest of the world is moving ahead. at we have to step up. government, labor and industry working together, which you see here today. we have a playbook and it is going to work. today, i'm announcing steps we are taking to set a new pace for electric vehicles. first, i am following through on my campaign commitment to reverse the previous administration's shortsighted rollback of vehicle emissions and efficiency standards.
i'm doing so with the support of the auto industry, the automobile industry. today, the epa and to private of transportation are unveiling proposals to do just that. these agencies are beginning to work on the next round of standards for a broad class of vehicles. for cars, suvs, pickup trucks, medium and heavy-duty vehicles. importantly, we have announcements today from automakers representing nearly the entire market, who have who have positioned around the ambition of 40 to 50% of all vehicles sold by 2030 in america being electric. it's a big deal. but to unlock the full potential, we have to keep investing in our workers and our manufacturing capacity. and that's what our build back better plan is all about. it's about leveraging once in a generation investments and a whole of government effort to lift up american auto workers and strengthen the american leadership in the world.
in the clean car, technology, trucks, -- not just cars but trucks as well and buses. that's why today i'm signing an executive order, setting out a target of 50% of all passenger vehicles sold by 2030 will be electric and set into motion an all out effort. that's why along with the members of congress here today, we're working around the clock on the build back better plan, which does three critical things. one, it transforms our infrastructure. we're going to put americans to work modernizing our roads, our highways, our ports, our airports, rail, and train the systems. that includes putting ibw members and other union workers to work installing a national network of 500,000 charging stations on our roads in highways and at our homes and our apartments. two, we're going to boost our manufacturing capacity. the build back better plan invests in new and retooled
facilities, and employes workers with good paying wages, good jobs, and grants, the grants to kickstart new battery and parts production. loans and tax credits to boost manufacturing of these clean vehicles. and our build back better plan makes the largest investment of research and development in generations. this will help innovate, manufacture and build the supply chains for batteries, semiconductors and those small computer chips in electric trucks and cars are going to be even more relying upon as we move forward. never again should we be in a situation we face today, with a semiconductor shortage. and we know these kinds of federal investments, we know that they work. it was the defense department and nasa that got the modern semiconductor industry on its feet decades ago. our own department of energy pioneered and transformed the battery industry where barack and i, when we were in office. and with the help of the
recovery act grants and loans, battery prices dropped 85% because we were forward-looking. we need that same mindset today. thirdly, support of consumers and fleets. that means purchasing incentives for consumers to buy clean vehicles, union-made, right here in america. like the championed by debbie ones stabenow and ron wyden in the senate. which provide $7,500 basic credit, $2,005 credit for vehicles made in america and additional 2,500 credit for union made vehicles. that means spurring demand by converting the federal government's enormous fleet of vehicles -- we have over 600,000, a lot of vehicles, 60,000 of them, i should say -- into all-american-made clean
vehicles. so that's what we're going to do, as we roll out and get rid of the existing fleet, we're going to support the electric transit system as well, and the electric school buses. and there is one other thing we have in our playbook that will help us out-compete other nations, the american worker. american worker. [applause] i really believe this, and i know you guys do to this. the american worker is our ace in the deck. now i know many of you watching at home are like the folks i grew up in scranton and claymont , delaware. they feel left out in an economy and industry that is rapidly changing. i get it and i understand, that we will leave no one behind. nearly 90% of the jobs created in our infrastructure plan do not require a bachelor's degree. and when we invest in our infrastructure, we're going to buy american products, american materials and services from american businesses made in , america by american workers. and we're going to do everything in our power to encourage and
protect the right of workers to unionize and collectively bargain. the bottom line is, we are proposing a blue-caller blueprint to rebuild america. -- blue-collar blueprint to rebuild america. that is what it is going to be. we need automakers and other companies to keep investing in america. we need them not to take the benefits of our public investments and expand electric vehicles and battery manufacturing production abroad. we need you to deepen your partnership with uaw, continue to pay good wages, support local communities across the country. that is why i am so proud the uaw is standing here today as well. it's why i'm proud that the three largest employers are sitting here and their sights are set not only on electric vehicles, but on expansion. expanding union jobs and expanding the middle-class. it matters. you know, in the spring, i kept my commitment to convene leaders of all the major economies in the world, not in person but we did it on a zoom call with a whole bunch of folks, including the heads of state of china,
india, japan, european union for a meeting hosted in the white house on the most consequential issues facing the world. and the agreement was, it's the climate crisis. and i made clear, i made clear, what i've long believed and i think of when i think of the climate crisis. beyond the devastation of the lives and livelihoods and the health of our very planet, when i hear climate, i think jobs, good paying union jobs. i wanted the world to see there was a consensus that we're at an inflection point in world history. if we act to save the planet, we we ca also come out of it better, we can create millions of good paying jobs that generate significant economic growth and opportunity. raise the standard of living of people not only here, but around the world. i also want to put the world on
notice -- america is back. america is back. [applause] we are in the competition for the 21st century. the future that will be built right here in america. let me close with this. our economy is recovering. in six months we're seeing the fastest job growth on record at this point in any administration in history. the fastest economic growth nearly 40 years, and we have shown each other and the world that there is no quit in america. none, none, none. and it's never, ever, ever been a good bet to bet against america. we are the united states of america. there is not a single solitary , thing, nothing, beyond our capacity to get done when we do it together. we have to act, and that's what we're doing today. and again, i want to thank the ceos of the automobile companies and i also want to thank all the autoworkers. thank you all for being here
today. i am going to sign the executive order, that i would like to invite my congressional colleagues to come up if they're willing to stand behind me here, when we do this and others who know they're supposed to come on up. thank you all very much. >> certainly willing. >> mr. president. >> mr. president. pres. biden: good to see. i love that. hope i didn't get you in trouble. >> know, you didn't. pres. biden: how are you? [indistinct conversations] pres. biden: it's so bright. now, when i sign this executive order, usually i'm able to give a pen to all the folks who were part of it. i've got one pen, but i'm going to make sure --
[laughter] you each are going to get a pen, i promise you. this is an executive order to strengthen america's leadership in clean cars and trucks. and again, let me start off by thanking the ceos as well as the uaw. all of you elected are the reason why it is happening. thank you. all right. [cheers] [applause] [indistinct conversations]
invest billions of dollars in bringing chip manufacturing to the united states. they had to slow down production because of the lack of chips. it is a gigantic issue. [reporters asking questions] -- using your words about the end be in the way. he is saying, i am in the way. your response, mr. president? pres. biden: governor who? [laughter] [reporters asking questions] reporter: california's 2019 framework -- pres. biden: i think the framework was really helpful. initially, the industry was opposed to it. we battled. i had five of the largest corporation leaders representing general motors -- and others and
five major labor unions. [indiscernible] they were suing california to say "you can't have a higher standard." she said, i am not going to drop the suit, and i am going to go electric. what is happening is the realization on the part of both labor and business, that this is the future, and we cannot sit by. think about the battery technology, most of that research and development occurred with the united states taxpayer dollars. we did not take advantage of that. china moved. china now owns the market. we have to get back -- [reporters asking questions]
>> thank you. reporter: how is the eviction moratorium constitution of? pres. biden: it is. there are a number of -- spoke to a lot of constitutional scholars. let me explain for the last time why. my greatest concern is, we have $45 billion sitting in the treasury right now that was designed specifically to help landlords to not have to go bankrupt and keep those renters who couldn't afford rent because of unemployment being as bad as it was. we gave it to the states and localities to keep renters in their homes, as well as being able to continue --.
the court made it clear, the supreme court said we don't have the authority to do that. [indiscernible] i got on the phone and contacted a number of constitutional scholars, and there was a split. . the consensus on the folks said that we think you have the authority to do it. last point i will make, what i decided to do, i did not tell -- i made a commitment that i would not tell the cdc what they should do and i will not tell the justice department who they should prosecute. i asked the cdc to take another look at if there was anything possible and check with the scholars as well. wait a minute -- they went back and they concluded that we had a
completely different change. we did not try to continue the eviction moratorium. we had a different moratorium. there was another rationale. the rationale was that because of covid, the spread of the virus so rapidly, the delta covid, what happened was they said all those counties that in fact are in a situation where they are in the red zone, that we should withhold for another few months the ability to evict -- here is the deal, i can't guarantee that the court will not rule that we don't have the authority. [indiscernible] [reporters asking questions]
♪ >> c-span's washington journal. everyday we take your calls live on the air on the needs of the day, and we discussed policy issues that impact you. coming up friday morning, a climate reporter discusses this week's action by the biden administration to curb vehicle emissions. and a former democratic congressman talks about state battles to combat covid-19. and our guest on president biden's economic policies. watch washington journal live at 7:00 eastern friday morning, and be sure to join the discussion with your phone calls, facebook comments, and to tweets. >> sunday night on q&a, august that's about her book "men and
women who promised freedom and delivered a disaster." >> there is one line about boomers is that they are the generation that sold out but would never admit that they sold out. it's a combination of, on the one hand, a great deal of idealism, and accents of noble idealists liberating humanity, but, on the other hand, a great deal of selfishness and narcissism and kindness to the way that their liberationist agenda enough down a lot of functioning institutions and left a lot of people worse off. >> helen andrews and her book "boomers" on c-span q&a. you can also listen to q&a as a podcast wherever you get your podcasts. ♪
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