Biden Says ‘Climate Change Is an Emergency’ Without Formal Declaration

Democrats are starting from the end of negotiations on climate program.

QUICK FACTS:
  • President Joe Biden declared that “climate change is an emergency,” leaving open the prospect of future executive steps when he addressed how to resolve climate-related problems, after Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) halted discussions on climate and energy policies.
  • The president’s comments included his announcement of the opening of offshore areas in the Gulf of Mexico to wind power.
  • White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre confirmed that there would be no immediate emergency declaration during a July 19 press conference. “I would not plan an announcement this week on [a] national climate emergency. Everything’s on the table. It’s just not going to be this week on that decision,” she said.
BIDEN’S CLIMATE CHANGE PLANS:
  • “Climate change is an emergency and, in the coming weeks, I’m going to use the power I have as president to turn these words into formal official government actions through the appropriate proclamations, executive orders, and regulatory power that the president possesses,” Biden said during a brief speech that he delivered at Brayton Point Power Station, a former coal-fired power plant in Somerset, Massachusetts.
  • According to a White House fact sheet, “These areas cover 700,000 acres and have the potential to power over 3 million homes.”
BACKGROUND:
  • Biden also noted that he would allocate $2.3 billion to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities program.
  • The new construction was described as infrastructure meant to withstand “extreme heat, drought, flooding, hurricanes, [and] tornadoes.”
  • The president is also planning to spend $385 million for the Department of Health and Human Services to pursue projects, including community cooling centers and air conditioners.