Congressional Democrats have called on President Joe Biden to declare a “climate emergency,” citing wildfires in Canada that caused smoke to drift into the eastern United States, Bloomberg News reported Thursday.
A declaration of a climate emergency would give Biden sweeping powers to act, with a ban on oil exports and the redirection of funds to boost “clean” energy construction projects among possible courses of action, according to Bloomberg News. Biden considered declaring a climate emergency in 2022, but did not do so after the Inflation Reduction Act passed with the help of Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia.
“As much of the Northeast and our nation’s capital experience the suffocating conditions that have become a regular occurrence in the West, we are faced with yet another stark reminder that the climate crisis is here,” Democratic Rep. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon said, according to Bloomberg News. “We ought to treat it like the emergency it is.”
“Millions of Americans are being exposed to toxic air due to climate change,” Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna of California tweeted. “@POTUS should declare a climate emergency.”
Some of the most liberal Democrats called on Biden to declare a climate emergency in March 2022 in order to cancel oil drilling and to enable use of the Defense Production Act to boost “clean energy” projects.
Former Trump administration officials took issue with the calls by Democrats for a declaration of a climate emergency, instead arguing the severity of the fires was due to poor forest management instead of climate change.
“The reality is, right now the forest fires taking place in Canada are a result of a very, very heavy fuel load and the best way to prevent catastrophic wildfires is to make sure that that fuel load is minimized and the way you do that provide active forest management that treats these forests to prevent build-up of massive fuel loads that lead to catastrophic wildfire,” former Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt told Fox Business host Larry Kudlow, a former White House official in the Trump administration.
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