‘Tens Of Thousands’ Of Jobs On The Way As Biden Expands Economy


Offshore wind farms in which the turbines are situated above ocean waves on platforms that could be either tethered or attached via piles to the seafloor could lead to “tens of thousands” of new jobs across the West Coast in coming years following a recent federal auction for rights to run this anticipated energy production, a union leader said.

Although the planned wind farms won’t be producing energy for years, work is already needed to prepare the infrastructure that will be used in carrying what these turbines produce to everyday consumers. “The work starts now,” Jeff Hunerlach, who serves as district representative at Operating Engineers Local No. 3, said. “For Humboldt [County] this means growing the middle class.” Humboldt County is in the northern parts of California, and the work Hunerlach referenced will include the creation of infrastructure across some 80 acres of coastal land in the county. Other work is set for much further south in the state in California’s Morro Bay, near which other offshore turbines will eventually enter into operation.

“At the Humboldt port, Hunerlach anticipates that hundreds of union workers will be employed during construction, with additional permanent jobs once the facility is running,” a report from KQED, which is affiliated with NPR, said. Hunerlach also estimated the number of jobs created across California in support of these industry developments would reach the “tens of thousands.” KQED said that Biden and his administration have “been working to open up additional offshore waters for potential leases and to eliminate development bottlenecks imposed by the pro-fossil-fuel Trump administration.”

An executive at a German energy company that won some of the northern California production rights was optimistic. “When we focused in on the floating offshore wind space, California’s option really put the U.S. right at the forefront,” RWE’s Sam Eaton said. “It’s one of the first to hit the kind of scale that we’re talking about and sets up the Western part of the country extremely well to be a hub for the industry globally.” Jennifer Granholm, who serves as U.S. Secretary of Energy, touted KQED’s reporting on these developments on Twitter. Offshore wind energy production is also under development on the East Coast, including off the coast of New Jersey.

In Biden’s time as president, key metrics have consistently shown the national economy bounding ahead, whether that’s through overall unemployment staying low, the average rate of month-to-month wage increases last month outpacing one-month inflation levels, or key industries reaching levels of employment seen before the COVID-19 pandemic upended so much. The Biden admin was also involved in industry work to deal with supply chain delays and disruptions that contributed to rising prices. Efforts at solving those problems included expanded work hours at port facilities in southern California at which the better part of half of shipping containers dispatched to the U.S. arrive. Elsewhere, the Biden admin is also working to help Americans and the government itself deal with potentially chaotic energy prices in conventional fuels, including with billions from the Inflation Reduction Act supporting the planned procurement of 66,000 new electric vehicles for the Postal Service.