Now that Joe Biden has emerged from his basement and finally taken some questions from reporters, it almost feels as if we’re getting back into more of a “normal” presidential election cycle, at least for a moment. (Or as close as anything gets to normal these days, anyway.) The questions Uncle Joe took this week were primarily softballs, of course, but it reminded me of the heated days during the primary when reporters were actually asking him and the rest of the candidates about serious policy issues.

Today, let’s take a look back at when such inquiries were taking place on a semi-regular basis. I was reminded this morning of one Q&A session back in February when a student at a CNN town hall for Biden and several other Democratic candidates had the temerity to ask Joe about his massive, liberal green energy plans that would essentially wipe out the entire fossil fuel industry in the United States. The student quoted Biden back to himself, reminding him that he had said workers in the oil and gas industry should learn to code. Here’s that video clip courtesy of the RNC Research YouTube feed.

Trevor McAden: Vice President Biden. You suggest that American fossil fuel workers learn how to code. What do you say to many of the baby boomer generation who are too young to retire but feel they are too old to embrace drastic career change at this stage in their life?

Joe Biden: What I say is that we’re going to provide significant opportunities. We’re gonna create six million new jobs…

Every new plan we have has to be green. For example, we’re going to be able to place 500,000 new charging stations along every new highway we build. We can afford to do that and it’s easy…

The transition will be made for people who are in the business now, who are in the fossil fuel business as well. To be able to move to other incomes that can make a significant amount of money but it takes some retraining. It’s gonna have to happen.

I cut out some of the word salad where Biden began stuttering, talking about unions who endorsed him and how America was going to own the electric car market. The point here is that the question was relatively straightforward. What do you tell all of the people working in the oil and gas industry who you plan to put out of work and are too old to learn an entirely new career in a different industry?

And in the end, what did Biden come up with for an answer? It’s a transition. It’s gonna take some retraining. It’s gonna have to happen.

In other words, suck it up, buttercup. Your jobs are going away so I can go and rejoin the Paris Climate Accord and you’re either going to learn to code or be left behind. And how many people are we talking about? In 2017 more than 1.1 million Americans worked in the traditional coal, oil and gas industry. That number has only gone up since then after we took over the top spot in oil and gas production on the planet over the past few years. That surge not only gave us more independence from foreign suppliers but fueled much of the economic rebound we have been enjoying.

And Joe Biden has promised to shut it all down after the economy has already taken a massive punch in the gut from the pandemic. So tell us, Joe. Are you seriously saying you can create more than a million jobs for people installing electric charging stations by the side of the road? And that people from the oil and gas industry will be able to qualify and take those jobs “with a little retraining?”

These are green-fueled pipe dreams. And all of those millions of workers and their families need to know what’s coming if Biden is elected and gets his way. This is especially true in states like Pennsylvania, Ohio and Texas where much of this energy extraction takes place and where our refineries operate. Biden’s promised plan would devastate a huge swath of the economy and rob us of the energy independence we only recently gained, leaving us once again under the thumbs of Saudi Arabia and the Russians.

And to top it all of, his plan would fail. Without the full support of both the private sector and the public who consume the energy, this can’t be done. It’s not a “top-down, shovel ready” project that can be mandated from on high. It would become another massive, expensive boondoggle and yet another example of a failed wishlist item of liberals. If the country falls for this hoax, we have only ourselves to blame when the bill comes due. But this may also be the worst campaign misstep since Hillary Clinton promised to eliminate all of the coal jobs in 2016.

And while we’re on the subject, I seem to recall that saying “learn to code” was offensive language on par with racial slurs. You could get kicked off Twitter for saying that, right? So why does Joe Biden get a pass? Oh, wait. We all know why already. Move along. Nothing to see here.