With the U.S. already reeling amid the coronavirus pandemic and associated government-imposed lockdowns, proposals to further hobble the economy with more climate change-related restrictions seem ill-timed, to say the least. However, with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden set to take over the Oval Office in January, that’s exactly what is about to happen.
The Washington Examiner reports that Biden plans to hit the ground running on climate change, “implementing on day one the most aggressive policies to curb emissions of any administration.”
“We need to meet this moment with the urgency it demands as we would during any national emergency,” Biden announced recently as he revealed key members of his climate policy team, including former Obama Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Gina McCarthy, who authored the flawed “Clean Power Plan.” Under President Donald Trump, the EPA ultimately replaced the CPP with the more moderate Affordable Clean Energy rule.
Also part of the team is former Obama Secretary of State John Kerry, who was instrumental in creating the Paris climate accord — an ineffective, economy-busting agreement from which Trump withdrew the U.S. in 2017, calling it “very unfair.”
Biden’s “Clean Energy Revolution”
The Biden team’s vision for climate-related policies, titled “The Biden Plan For A Clean Energy Revolution And Environmental Justice,” is outlined on his campaign website.
“Joe Biden knows there is no greater challenge facing our country and our world,” the plan reads. “That’s why he is outlining a bold plan – a Clean Energy Revolution – to address this grave threat and lead the world in addressing the climate emergency.”
According to the Examiner, Biden will likely try to set the tone early with executive orders that “go well beyond” what any previous administration has done.
The Examiner reports that Biden, through executive orders, could seek to “set the United States on a path to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 and a carbon-free power sector by 2035,” “set a goal for the U.S. to conserve 30% of U.S. lands and waters by 2030,” and “establish targets to increase reforestation and expand renewable energy on federal lands.”
Biden, according to the Examiner, can also be expected through early executive action “to task specific federal agencies with beginning work to rewrite Trump-era environmental rollbacks, set stricter emissions mandates, limit fossil fuel production, and ramp up clean energy generation.” This would likely include Biden directing the Interior Department to work towards his goal to stop the leasing of federal lands and waters for oil and gas.
That’s only on the domestic front and it’s only what Biden, according to the Examiner, will pursue early on through executive action. And, the truth of the matter is that it is only a fraction of Biden’s massive domestic plan.
Biden, however, also has big plans on the international front. The one that has garnered the most attention is his plan to reenter American into the Paris climate agreement, but as his website says, he intends to “go much further than that.”
According to the Examiner, Biden also plans to “convene a world summit with the leaders of major emitting countries to call on them to make more aggressive pledges to slash greenhouse gases,” “‘lock in’ emissions mandates consistent with global agreements to cut greenhouse gases from the shipping and aviation sectors,” and “’embrace’ a global deal to limit climate-warming coolants.”
Make no mistake about it: this is a radical plan on par with leftist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-NY) Green New Deal. And, if the Republicans don’t maintain control of the Senate, they will have no ability to slow Biden’s climate agenda down.