Biden to announce climate actions but not yet declare an ’emergency’

Jean-Pierre declined to provide details on what Biden planned to announce, though she said the issue remained a top priority for the president.

“This is among the multiple actions the president has already taken since the moment he took office. It is urgent for him,” she said.

Lawmakers told POLITICO that the White House has informed them that it is considering the emergency declaration, although it has not yet decided to take the plunge.

Biden’s speech comes amid a brutal heat wave in the United States where 20% of the population is suffocating in 100-degree temperatures and as Western states struggle with the worst drought in more than 1,000 years. But Washington has remained mostly locked in a partisan fight, with Democrats unable to propose major legislation due to opposition from Senator Joe Manchin (DW.Va.) and the conservative Supreme Court limiting executive power to regulate climate change.

The paralysis in Washington comes even after Biden promised during the 2020 campaign to make tackling climate change a top priority for his administration.

Another headwind Biden faces is the historic rise in gasoline prices this year, which has prompted the White House to push for more oil production. The resulting jump in inflation was also the factor Manchin cited last week as the reason he was withdrawing support for the climate accord, which would have offered around $300 billion in incentives. to clean energy.

The standoff prompted some lawmakers, including Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), to urge Biden to use his emergency authority to pass strong action on climate change.

« In the absence of action from Congress, it’s extremely important that they use all of their powers, » Markey told POLITICO.

Some lawmakers are still hopeful that a legislative deal could be reached on climate, but Biden has urged Democrats to move on and pass what remains of their party-line deal, which includes price-of-care policies. healthcare and prescription drugs that Manchin said he can support.

Manchin’s office has not commented on the possibility of Biden declaring a climate emergency, although he said he was prepared to revise the climate elements of the legislative package if inflation cools.

However, environmental advocates off Capitol Hill and some congressional Democrats have suggested Biden consider halting oil and gas development on federal lands, using the Defense Production Act to boost the development of clean energy and imposing strict limits on greenhouse gases and pollution.

“This legislation is dead. But it also frees the president to wait for Congress to act,” the senator said. Jeff Merkel (D-Ore.) told reporters Monday. “That then frees the president to use the full powers of the executive. And those full powers certainly include a climate emergency.

There are 136 potential powers available to the president upon declaring a national emergency, though some contain caveats or require congressional authorization, according to research compiled by the Brennan Center for Justice. Most are linked to military powers, but some could be used to fight climate change.

The most notable of these is a 2015 law that allows the president to restrict the export of crude oil in the event of a national emergency. Crude exports were illegal for decades and resumed in 2015 when Congress lifted the ban, and since then the United States has become one of the world’s top oil suppliers.

But halting crude exports would force the commerce and energy departments to point out that oil exports have directly caused domestic supply shortages or supported oil prices above world market levels. These effects would also have had to cause « lasting negative effects on employment » before Biden could restrict exports. Such requirements could make it difficult to justify an export ban.

What’s more, it would mean cutting millions of barrels a day shipped overseas, including to Europe, which faces shortages due to the Russian conflict in Ukraine.

Matt Hill, White House spokesman confirmed in a tweet On Tuesday, Biden will travel to Somerset, Massachusetts, « for remarks on tackling the climate crisis and seizing the opportunity for a clean energy future to create jobs and cut costs for families. »

Lauren Maunus, director of advocacy with the youth-led environmental group Sunrise Movement, said she thinks it’s « likely » the administration will take this step amid the raging US wildfires. United, record-breaking heat in Europe, a climate legislative agenda that was just “destroyed” and “tank” approval ratings among young people before the midterms.

« It’s kind of the perfect storm, no pun intended, to do something that’s a very visible form of leadership that meets people where they are in terms of feeling the crisis, » she said. declared.


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