The potential move comes days after Sen. Joe Manchin III (DW.Va.) told Democratic leaders he does not support his party’s efforts to advance a sprawling economic agenda this month that includes billions dollars to fight global warming. If an emergency is invoked, it could empower the Biden administration in its efforts to reduce carbon emissions and promote cleaner energy.
Two of those familiar with the talks also said they expected the president to announce a series of additional actions aimed at reducing global warming emissions. The exact scope and timing of any announcements are still evolving.
“The president has made it clear that if the Senate does not act to address the climate crisis and strengthen our national clean energy industry, he will,” a White House official said Monday, asking the court. anonymity to describe the deliberations. “We are looking at all options and no decision has been made.”
Jared Bernstein, a top White House economic adviser, told reporters at a press conference earlier in the day that Biden would work “aggressively to address climate change.”
“I think realistically he can do a lot and he will do a lot,” Bernstein said.
Top Biden aides debate the best course of action as another punishing heat wave hit the central United States this week, and a similar weather pattern breaks temperature records across the country. ‘Europe. Many Democrats have called on the White House in recent days to use its powers to fight global warming as hopes for congressional action have faded.
“This is an important moment. There is probably nothing more important to our nation and our world than for the United States to lead a bold and forceful transition in its energy economy from fossil fuels to renewable energy,” Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) told reporters Monday.
Citing the standoff, Merkley added, “It also frees the president to wait for Congress to act.”
It’s unclear exactly how Biden plans to proceed if he chooses to declare a climate emergency, which Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (DN.Y.) urged him to do just days after the President took office last year.
Biden’s plan to curb catastrophic warming is running out of time
Some climate activists have urged the White House in recent months to roll out an emergency declaration with maximum effect, arguing it would allow the president to halt crude oil exports, limit oil and gas drilling in federal waters and running agencies, including the Federal Emergency Management. Agency for the promotion of renewable energies.
But the president faces a difficult balancing act as he seeks to calibrate his response to global warming with the recent economic reality of high gas prices. The policies could help Biden halve U.S. emissions by the end of the decade from 2005 levels, though they still fall short of what Biden aimed to implement under his plan earlier economy, known as Build Back Better.
Any new executive action on climate could also face a formidable legal challenge, which could affect the future of environmental regulations. Last month, the Supreme Court reduced the powers of the federal government to regulate carbon emissions from power plants.
The president himself raised the prospect of executive action on climate change last week as talks collapsed between Democratic leaders and Manchin over what could have been the biggest spending infusion related to the climate of the history of the United States.
Initially, Democrats had hoped to invest more than $500 billion in new programs to reduce emissions and support new technologies, including electric vehicles, before Manchin raised objections to the Build Back Better Act. West Virginia’s opposition has proven politically fatal, as party lawmakers need its vote to advance any bill using the process known as reconciliation – a tactic that allows Democrats to avoid GOP obstruction in the tightly divided chamber.
Democrats quickly rethought their plans, considering what could have been $300 billion in climate-focused investments in an effort to satisfy Manchin. But the moderate senator, who represents a coal-rich state, said last week he could not support his party’s attempts to advance such spending this month amid record inflation.
Manchin then expressed an openness to tackling climate change, but said he would only do so after seeing another round of indicators next month. But many Democrats have said they don’t want to take the risk, leaving them no choice but to put their plans on hold entirely — and focus their attention on the health care proposals that Manchin supports.
Others have called for another round of engagements with the senator, citing that executive action alone may not be enough.
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), the head of the tax-focused Senate Finance Committee, said in a statement Monday that lawmakers should at least consider renewing tax credits that spur more tech. clean.
“While I strongly support further executive action by President Biden, we know a flood of Republican lawsuits will follow,” Wyden said. “Legislation continues to be the best option here. The climate crisis is the issue of our time and we must keep our options open.
Dino Grandoni contributed to this report.