Remarks by President Biden Before Meeting on the Federal-State Offshore Wind Implementation Partnership
3:24 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: I want to say to the press: We have an impressive group of governors, labor leaders, and business leaders in the room here, but I’m not going to take the time to introduce everybody right now.
Let me just say that — at the outset here — that — you know, Cabinet members, as well — that I think we’re at a place where we’re reaching an exciting point where it seems like there’s been a coalescence of notion that, you know, alternative energy makes sense, and wind is a gigantic piece of it.
I was in Colorado, and I actually — I never thought I’d see a blade for a windmill that was 102 yards long. And you could literally pick up the end of it, it was — I mean, the technology is changing so incredibly.
But look, you know, we’re going to deepen our partnership on offshore wind as well as climate overall, and create jobs — good jobs, union jobs.
And I apologize, I’m always talking about unions, but the reason I talk about it, not a joke, is because they have the single-most qualified workers in the world. I mean, they’re the best trained. They — it’s like going to college. You got a four-year apprenticeship. You know, you’re getting paid a little bit when you’re doing it, but it’s a lot of work.
And I just think it’s really, you know — you know, building trade jobs, steel jobs, manufacturing jobs. And, you know, it’s not just about the future, it’s about right now.
Listen, we’re — I think we’re — we’ve gone beyond — we’ve been talking about this a long time. We talked about this a long time.
And in — the last administration tried to block offshore wind because they thought it might cause cancer. Not a joke. But they actually — that’s what the last guy said. But it had nothing to do with that. What it had to do with is they just didn’t want to invest in alternative energy.
And — and I might add — and I mean this sincerely — about labor: Before I — when I was running, I made sure to go to all the major labor unions and tell them what my environmental plan was and why. And when I think “climate,” when I think “environment,” I think “jobs.” Jobs. And this — these are good-paying jobs, and they’re making a big, big difference.
And my administration set bold targets to start with: 30 gigawatts by 2030. That’s 10 million homes. Ten million homes with offshore wind. Ports turned back into economic engines, being in a position where foundries and factories are up and running — again, creating jobs. And a more resilient grid, harnessing technologies like battery storage.
And, by the way, I know you all know it, but I — I’m not sure everybody in the country knows it: The technology is changing so rapidly on battery technology. It’s just astounding what I predict you’re going to see in the next 2 to 10 years — I mean, in terms of technological changes.
And this is a real boost for energy security. It really changes the creation of — and jobs, and it cuts consumer costs.
And we’ve approved more project, we’ve had record-setting lease sales, and we pushed the community investment project labor agreements and domestic in — and the domestic supply chains in ways that hasn’t occurred before.
We’ve shown that we’re both open for business and as — millions of private — have spent billions in private capital, like companies that are here around this table as well. And that’s been states who are doubling down, like the governors in this room and on the screen. And — and, together, you know, we’re stepping up, like union workers are in this room as well.
And, you know, I don’t think we could have had this meeting four years ago, fi- — not because of previous — I mean, it’s just so much has changed. There’s business, labor, governors, all coming together in ways that we weren’t before.
And — and so I just think that it’s meant workers and communities stepping up. And together, we’re about to build a better America. I really mean that — an even better America.
And I just wanted to stop by and thank everybody. And I might note what one of my staff members said earlier, before I — when I was, earlier in the afternoon, talking about this. And that is that we’re in a position where, you know, if you take a — do you have that — where is the staff that has that — that printout of the size of these — would you mind bringing it up to me?
(A document is handed to the President.)
This I show everybody I can, and you’ve all seen it. You — this table knows. When we’re talking about — this is the rendering of the Empire State Building. This is the Eiffel Tower. This is the average onshore turbine — 460 feet. This is the tallest onshore turbine — 540 feet. This is the new GE Haliade-X 835-foot offshore wind project on Block Island. Look how tall it is. Almost up — 853 feet.
And there’s a reason why this is important, as you all know, but I want the press to know — is that the wind that far out in the ocean is always blowing. It’s not like it’s just every once in a while, like you’d wait on shore, where we have to deal with battery storage, storing technology, et cetera. It’s always blowing. And it can produce as much energy as a coalmine, as much energy as an oil, you know, well — wells. I mean, it’s just — and it’s — and it’s clean, and it’s real, and it’s continuous.
And so I just want to thank you all for all you’re willing to do, and particularly the private companies who are stepping up here. And it’s big time. We’re stepping up, and we’re talking billions of dollars. We’re not just talking a little bit of money; we’re talking billions of dollars. And I think we’re going to get a lot done.
And I can’t tell you the last time I’ve been this excited about something we’re about to do, because I think we can change — literally begin to change the nature of how we generate industry — excuse me — generate energy. And the industry is stepping up.
And, by the way, I’m not — I’m going to get going too much. (Laughter.) Because I’m a little — I’m a little excited about it.
Q Mr. President, are you disappointed in the gun decision?
THE PRESIDENT: Am I disappointed in the — well, I’ll answer this one question. And I was just talking to the Governor of New York about this.
I am disappointed in the Supreme Court gun decision. There is one little bit of solace. And the — the minority making up the majority opinion has laid out that it affects not every state; it affects only 40 states. A lot of states it affects.
And the phrase that I found noticeable was: There’s a difference between states that say “may” and say “shall.” If you have to say you “shall” give, you “shall” do ABC, they’re the ones that are going to have problems. But most say “may.” I mean, “may” — I got it reversed — “may” and “shall.”
And so there are — the gun laws in 40 of these states are still in place based on the decision. Not good enough, but it’s — I think it’s a bad decision. I think it’s — and I think it’s not reasoned accurately. But I’m disappointed.
3:33 P.M. EDT