After failing to convince Saudi Arabia to increase oil production, President Joe Biden announced Wednesday his plans for executive action on climate change, contending he needed to act on his own because he couldn’t advance his agenda in Congress.
Speaking at the site of a Massachusetts coal-burning power plant that was shut down five years ago, Biden said the world is facing an “emergency.”
“As president, I have a responsibility to act with urgency and resolve when our nation faces clear and present danger. And that’s what climate change is about,” he said. “It is literally and not figuratively a clear and present danger.”
Biden touted a plan underway to build 100 wind turbines off the Atlantic coast, each mounted on 2,500 ton concrete platforms.
In Congress, Biden’s green agenda stalled when Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia declared to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer he won’t vote for any climate-change legislation or tax increases.
In a statement Friday, Biden vowed that if the Senate “will not move to tackle the climate crisis and strengthen our domestic clean energy industry, I will take strong executive action to meet this moment.
Biden stopped short on Wednesday of officially declaring an emergency that would enable him to use the Defense Production Act to increase production on solar panels and other renewable energy products.
On Monday, two Senate Democrats, Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and Jeff Merkley of Oregon, urged Biden to declare a climate emergency.
The senators also called on Biden to use the White House “bully pulpit” to advance the climate agenda.
In an interview with CNN before the speech, the White House national climate adviser, Gina McCarthy, said the president will “move forward with every power available to him” to eliminate fossil fuels.
Biden climate adviser Gina McCarthy says Biden will “move forward with every power available to him” to get rid of fossil fuels pic.twitter.com/YBQAXS9j9r
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Marc Morano, a former Capitol Hill staffer who now runs the climate-change skeptic site Climate Depot, criticized Biden’s use of executive action.
“The Biden administration believes that when democracy fails to achieve its climate goals, it’s time to bypass democracy and Congress and follow the COVID model,” he said.
Morano noted that some climate activists have suggested adopting the COVID lockdowns as a model and implementing climate lockdowns to reduce emissions.
He warned that throughout history, “emergency declarations have been used and abused to crush freedom.”
“For those who loved how unelected officials ruled our lives under COVID lockdowns, prepare for the attempts to make climate lockdowns permanent,” Morano said.
One unelected leader who is influencing environmental policy is former Democratic senator John Kerry, who serves as Biden’s special envoy for climate. Fox News reported Kerry’s private jet has emitted 715,886 pounds, or 325 metric tons, of carbon dioxide since he assumed the post. Meanwhile, the typical passenger vehicle emits about 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide a year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Kerry has predicted that the U.S. will stop burning coal by 2030. Nearly 25% of the nation’s electricity comes from the fuel, and many of the largest power companies don’t plan to phase out the use of carbon-based fuels until 2050.
“The problem with folks like John Kerry and the climate hypocrites who run the green movement is that they want to use the coercive power of government,” Daniel Turner, the executive director of Power The Future, told Fox News.
The activists, he continued, “refuse to voluntarily live how they want the rest of us to be forced to live.”
“It doesn’t just make them hypocrites, it makes them, quite frankly, a threat to the rights and freedoms of people around the world,” Turner said. “When John Kerry voluntarily lives the way he wants the rest of us to be compelled to live, then we can talk about his climate goals.”
See Biden’s remarks:
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