August 10, 2023

Biden talks ‘Bidenomics,’ clean energy and manufacturing in NM visit

Hannah Grover

President Joe Biden speaks during an event in Belen.

A year ago amid the post-COVID lockdown economic slump, the wind tower manufacturing company Arcosa was struggling to stay open.

“We were really struggling,” CEO Antonio Carillo said. “And then, in August, the Inflation Reduction Act passes and, just a few months later, we received the largest wind tower order we have received in the history of the company.”

This led Arcosa to open a new wind tower manufacturing center in Valencia County near Belen, where President Joe Biden visited on Wednesday to celebrate the one year anniversary of the Inflation Reduction Act.

Biden last visited New Mexico in 2022, when he saw firsthand the impact of the Hermits Peak/Calf Canyon wildfire, the largest such fire in New Mexico history.

“This is a great example of how policy has a direct impact,” Carillo said.

The new facility in Belen is creating hundreds of jobs and bringing millions of dollars into the local and state economies, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said.

“I’m not afraid to say the inflation Reduction Act is industrial policy. And it’s delivering in New Mexico and across our great nation. This facility is proof that the Inflation Reduction Act is delivering here in Valencia County,” U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, a New Mexico Democrat, said.

Biden said Arcosa is an example of the Inflation Reduction Act at work. A year ago, he said, the company was laying off workers across the country. Now, thanks to the investments made possible through the Inflation Reduction Act, he said business is booming for the wind tower manufacturer.

Biden spoke about climate change and how the funding made available through the Inflation Reduction Act is creating jobs while also helping the environment.

During his speech, he bragged about recovering jobs lost during the COVID-19 pandemic and lowering unemployment while also getting inflation under control. He said inflation recently hit the lowest point in two years.

He also highlighted investments that directly impact New Mexicans, including $25 million to rebuild the Uptown Transit Center in Albuquerque and $160 million for the Eastern New Mexico Rural Water Supply Project that will take water from Ute Lake and pipe it to communities like Portales and Clovis.

Biden said these investments come without increasing taxes on people who make less than $400,000 a year.

The president said that when he thinks about climate change, he thinks about the jobs that will be needed to address the problem.

He used the term “Bidenomics” to describe his economic policies. Republicans have used the term to deride BIden’s economic policies.

“Bidenomics is just another way of saying restore the American dream,” the president said.

He contrasted it to trickle-down economics, which he said kept the wealth limited to the people at the top. Biden said Bidenomics focuses on investing in the people.

“I believe every American willing to work hard to be able to get a job no matter where they live,” he said.

Biden said his father used to tell him that “a job’s about a lot more than a paycheck.” He said jobs are about dignity.

Lujan Grisham said that the courage in Congress that led to passage of legislation like the Inflation Reduction Act “brought to us the kind of investments that create intelligent manufacturing that has been on New Mexico’s list—frankly, it’s been on my list—for economic development since 2019.”

She spoke about New Mexico becoming a leader in clean energy.

“You give us an opportunity, and by golly, New Mexicans will do it bigger and better and cleaner than anyone else,” Lujan Grisham said.