President Joe Biden said that he has declared a national climate emergency, “practically speaking,” in an interview with The Weather Channel that aired Wednesday.
Biden asserted that while he has not declared a climate emergency via executive order and invoked special authorities, his administration has done enough to counter climate change that a climate emergency may as well have been declared in response to a question from interviewer Stephanie Abrams about whether he intends to invoke a climate emergency in the future. “I’ve already done that,” Biden said, pointing to his decision to reenter the Paris Climate Accords and actions taken to shield federal lands from mining and drilling activities.
“We’ve conserved more land, we’ve rejoined the Paris Climate Accords, we’ve passed the $368 billion climate control facility. We’re moving. It is the existential threat to humanity,” Biden said during the interview. Abrams pressed him to clarify, as Biden has not formally declared a climate emergency. “Practically speaking, yes,” Biden said in response.
Biden has faced calls from some members of the Democratic party to declare a national climate emergency, which would enable him to invoke special authorities to do things like blocking crude oil exports and significantly ramping up production of green technologies under government direction, according to CNN.
Before reaching a deal with Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia to support the Inflation Reduction Act in July 2022, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer suggested that “[Biden] can do many, many things under the emergency powers of the president that he could do without legislation.”
Republican lawmakers Sen. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia and Rep. August Pfluger of Texas introduced a bill in June that would preemptively bar Biden from declaring a national emergency on the basis of climate.
The White House did not respond immediately to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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