A group of eight Democratic senators is pushing President Biden to declare a national climate emergency. According to them, this would be building off many of their recent legislative wins.
President Biden had been considering declaring a climate emergency, as this would unlock several powers for him that would allow him to deal with the problem more. This was particularly discussed earlier this year when the proposed climate bill had been falling through. However, he never actually took the step and it was Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-W.Va.) swing vote that helped the bill pass after certain changes were made to the bill so that it could become friendlier to the oil and gas industry.
A letter by Democratic Senators shows that they are still asking Biden to declare a climate emergency. As they write in their letter this would help them make a lot more progress and wouldn’t even allow them to make bigger changes than the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) did.
Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.). Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) who are the Senators in the letter said that while the bill will make them make significant climate progress it will not be enough if they still want to reach Biden’s goal of cutting emissions down to half of their 2005 levels.
In the letter, they write that these goals will only be achieved if they “build off” the momentum of the IRA with executive actions. This is why declaring a climate emergency would be a great next step as it would unlock a full arsenal of tools for the president.