President Joe Biden last week said he would take “strong executive action” on climate, but did not provide details on what kind of action he would take. Officials have repeatedly refused to provide a timeline on when to expect announcements, but have suggested something urgently needs to be done.
“The president has made it clear that if the Senate does not act to address the climate crisis and strengthen our domestic clean energy industry, it will. We are considering all options and no decision has been made,” the official said.
A national emergency declaration would give the Biden administration more leeway to take action and use government resources to address climate-related issues, including financing mitigation efforts and stricter regulation.
Biden is likely to announce new executive measures to tackle climate change during a speech in Massachusetts on Wednesday, but is expected to stop issuing a climate emergency statement, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Tuesday.
“I wouldn’t schedule an announcement this week about a national climate emergency. Again, everything is on the table. It just won’t be on that decision this week,” she told reporters.
The precise scope of the actions remained unclear, although the White House has discussed a number of options with environmental leaders. Biden and his team accelerated their assessment of possible executive measures after Manchin halted negotiations on climate change legislation last week, citing inflation concerns.
Biden plans to “comment on tackling the climate crisis and seizing the opportunity for a clean energy future to create jobs and lower costs for families,” the White House said.
An official said Biden would make the comments at the Brayton Point Power Station, once the largest coal-fired power station in New England.
The factory, which closed in 2017, is now being converted into a production facility for power cables connecting offshore wind farms to the electricity grid.
White House officials have pointed to the upcoming executive action to demonstrate Biden’s commitment to the climate crisis.
Biden will take climate executive measures aimed at “speeding up” U.S. efforts to fight climate change while working to lower gas pump prices for Americans, special presidential coordinator for international energy affairs Amos Hochstein said Tuesday.
“We must take all possible steps to accelerate all the work we are doing to ensure that we can address the climate crisis facing the world,” Hochstein said during an interview with John Berman on CNN’s “New Day.”
Hochstein did not comment on specific measures Biden wants to take, but alluded to some of the government’s goals.
“We have to do two things at once, and that’s what the president wants to do. And that’s to accelerate the energy transition, to get us on the road much faster in deploying renewable energy in the production and deployment of electric vehicles, but at the same time, we recognize that we need to do that in a way that still allows for lower prices at the pump, lower prices of energy, total electricity, gasoline, diesel,” Hochstein said.
Hochstein declined to say whether Biden would declare a national climate emergency. But he said the government “wants US industry to increase oil production,” warning about the balance between cutting prices and climate impacts.
“We need to make that distinction to ensure that the American consumer has what they need to grow our economy and the global economy, but not take steps and jeopardize the climate work we are trying to do to ensure that we’re in a better base to accelerate the transition,” he said.
Economic Advisor Jared Bernstein told CNN’s Dana Bash Sunday: “If (the president) can’t find a legislative path to clean energy, the urgency of the problem is such that, as he said Friday, he will find an executive order and rule change path.” to get there.”
Bernstein gave an example of options Biden has already taken regarding climate change that could be strengthened with upcoming actions.
He has already found that path. He will continue to follow it. He has invoked the Defense Production Act to ramp up clean energy production in this country. He has helped kickstart the offshore wind industry. He has the strictest emission standards once enacted. He will continue to pursue that, with or without Congress,” he said.