Biden disappoints activists with rhetoric on the climate emergency, not actions

President Joe Biden promised to fight climate change on the campaign trail, but Democrats complain he is not meeting when he is in office.

After Biden’s pledges were downgraded due to the pandemic economy and then Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) scuttled the latest version of the social spending bill and climate of the president amid record heat waves. bring the issue to the forefront of the political scene.


Biden traveled to Massachusetts on Wednesday to unveil the first in a series of climate executive orders since the Supreme Court’s ruling in West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency. The move limited how his administration can regulate broadcasts.

At a former coal-fired power plant in Brayton Point, Biden has pledged to help communities proactively cope with extreme heat and other climate-related events, investing in offshore wind power opportunities renewable energy and jobs rather than fossil fuels.

While Biden described the climate as “a clear and present danger,” he refused to declare it a national emergency, much to the frustration of activists from Evergreen Action to the Sunrise Movement.

“In the days, weeks, and months ahead, President Biden must take bold regulatory and executive climate action that matches the urgency of the crisis we face,” said the executive director of Evergreen Action. , Jamal Raad. “Climate change is happening now, and we have no choice but to treat it as the emergency it is. The time for talk is over, time for action.

The Sunrise Movement was more succinct: “Declare a climate emergency now @POTUS.”

The Republican National Committee did not specifically criticize Biden’s executive order on Wednesday. Instead, the organization has focused on its broader climate policies as more than 100 million Americans face heat warnings.

“Biden’s solution to his gas hike? He wants you to buy an expensive electric vehicle while his climate czar John Kerry flies his private jet around the world,” RNC chair Ronna McDaniel said of the president’s international climate adviser. .

Citing comments from Biden, in addition to his national climate adviser, Gina McCarthy, and his deputy, Ali Zaidi, RNC spokeswoman Nicole Morales told the Washington Examiner, “Americans are feeling the pain at the pumps.”

“But for Biden and the Democrats, the pain is the point,” she said. “Pushing a radical climate agenda will drive up gas prices while families struggle. Biden’s ‘incredible transition’ will only lead to a November power transition.”

Former South Carolina GOP Rep. Bob Inglis, a climate activist, is relieved the issue has returned to center stage on Capitol Hill despite the institution being plagued by gridlock. He referred to Senator Kevin Cramer’s (R-ND) carbon tariff negotiations with the White House, as well as Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Chris Coons (D-DE) and Mitt Romney (R-UT) , as a mechanism to reduce emissions from China.

“To succeed in this 30-year decarbonization process, we need bipartisan support and congressional approval,” Inglis said. “We’re sitting in a petri dish, doing an experiment on our common home, and there’s a Bunsen burner below us.”

Inglis, founder of the republicEn project at George Mason University’s Center for Climate Change Communication, is more lenient toward lawmakers who get distracted by domestic and foreign concerns. He likened the climate to “a slow growing cancer” when people need “a tourniquet for hemorrhaging elsewhere”, whether for “a pandemic, a war in Ukraine, [or] Supreme Court decisions that have upset some people. »

Biden’s scrutiny for not declaring a national climate emergency is similar to the one he faces for not issuing a public health emergency over abortion and access to contraceptives after the cancellation of the Supreme Court Roe vs. Wade.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters on Tuesday that a national climate emergency declaration remains “on the table” but an announcement should not be expected this week. . She added that the administration had also not “ruled out” a public health emergency.

“Each unlocks a different set of authorities and a different funding pot,” she said. “So comparing one to the other as a reflection of priority would not be accurate.”

Jean-Pierre also distanced Biden’s climate emergency declaration considerations from talks with Manchin about the Democrat-only reconciliation spending bill. An emergency broadcast could be used to prevent oil and gas drilling, with the pipeline allowing a significant problem for Manchin.

Manchin angered his colleagues last week when he told them he would prefer to see the July consumer price index report, released in August, before continuing discussions on spending. The inflation rate for the year ending June 30 was 9.1%. Biden cannot pass either of two possible reconciliation bills without coal-enriched Manchin in the current 50-50 Senate.


“He always said that if they, the Senate, didn’t do it, he would act,” Jean-Pierre said of the president. “He’s just taking another step. It’s not the last step.”

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