The White House is preparing a plan to take executive action on the climate after Democratic Senator Joe Manchin last week torpedoed his party’s efforts on sweeping legislation.
President Joe Biden said last week he would take “strong executive action” on climate, but did not provide details on what kind of action he would take. Officials repeatedly declined to set a timetable to expect announcements, but suggested there was an urgent need to do something soon.
Asked by CNN if the president is considering declaring a national climate emergency, as reported The Washington Posta White House official told CNN that as of Tuesday morning, all options remain on the table and no decision has been made on that.
“The President has made it clear that if the Senate does not act to address the climate crisis and strengthen our national clean energy industry, he will. We are considering all options and no decision has been made,” the manager said.
A national emergency declaration would give the Biden administration greater leeway to act and use government resources to tackle climate-related issues, including funding for mitigation efforts and strengthening regulations.
Executive action would respond to urgent calls from many progressives for Biden to act in the wake of last week’s legislative setback, though Biden is limited in his ability to effect meaningful change, especially after the Supreme Court last month. last. reduces the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency regulate carbon emissions from existing power plants.
And any executive action by Biden could be quickly reversed by a future Republican president.
Still, White House officials pointed to the executive branch’s next move to demonstrate Biden’s commitment to the climate crisis.
Biden will take executive climate action aimed at “accelerating” U.S. efforts to fight climate change while working to lower prices at the gas pump for Americans, the presidential special coordinator for climate change said Tuesday. international energy affairs, Amos Hochstein.
“We need to take all the steps we can to accelerate all the work we’re doing to make sure we can address the emergency climate crisis facing the world,” Hochstein said in an interview with John Berman on CNN’s “New Day.” .”
Hochstein did not elaborate on the specific steps Biden plans to take, but hinted at some of the administration’s goals.
“We have to do two things at the same time, and that’s what the president wants to do. And that’s to accelerate the energy transition, to move us much faster on the deployment of renewable energy on manufacturing and the deployment of electric vehicles. , but at the same time, we recognize that we have to do it in a way that still allows for lower prices at the pump, lower prices for energy, overall electricity, gasoline, diesel,” Hochstein said.
Hochstein declined to say whether Biden would declare a national climate emergency. But he said the administration “wants to see American industry increase oil production,” warning of the balance between falling prices and weather effects.
“We need to make that differentiation to make sure the American consumer has what they need to grow our economy and the global economy, but not take action and put at risk the climate work we’re trying to do for ourselves. ensure we are on a better footing to accelerate the transition,” he said.
Economic adviser Jared Bernstein told CNN’s Dana Bash on Sunday, “If (the president) can’t find a legislative path to clean energy, the urgency of the issue is so great that, as he said on Friday , he will find a decree and rule of change of path to achieve it.”
Bernstein previewed the options Biden has already taken on climate change that could be reinforced by future actions.
“He’s already found that path. He’s going to continue. He invoked the Defense Production Act to accelerate clean energy production in this country. He helped revive the offshore wind industry. He set the standards strictest emission standards ever. He will continue to pursue that with or without Congress,” he said.
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