President Joe Biden has positioned himself as an ally of the progressive environmentalist movement, as expressed in a campaign statement pledging to “hold corporate polluters responsible for rampant pollution” that disproportionately impacts minority communities.
Despite his rhetoric and policies, however, a group of climate change activists descended on his family home in Delaware to share their grievances with his agenda.
“We have two demands”
The so-called Occupy Biden rally began on Christmas Day and lasted for a week.
Among the protesters that joined forces to organize the rally were members of the Democratic Socialists of America, Code Pink, and Party for Socialism and Liberation.
The activists called on Biden to declare a “climate emergency” and commit to cutting out fossil fuel. They ended their protest on New Year’s Day with a march down a street adjacent to Biden’s home where they knelt and raised their fists when they met Secret Service agents.
Karen Igou, a spokesperson for the protest, indicated that the security personnel “refused” to deliver their concerns to the president.
“Again we have two demands: that he declare a national climate emergency and pledge to no new fossil fuel projects,” she said.
“As though we are not in an emergency”
The protest came as an increasing number of Americans struggle to absorb the impact of inflation on the cost of energy and other necessities.
Conservatives have largely blamed the rising energy costs on Biden’s policy of shutting down domestic oil production — particularly his decision to end the Keystone XL pipeline upon entering office.
Although the current situation has led to some serious questions about Biden’s plan to phase out fossil fuels by 2035, his critics on the left insist his ambitious goal is not extreme enough.
The White House has called for fossil fuel producers to pay more to drill on federal land and his stalled Build Back Better spending plan includes billions of dollars earmarked for clean energy projects. Among the president’s most notable climate critics is teen activist Greta Thunberg, who recently described it as “strange” to describe Biden as a leader in the environmental movement.
For Igou, it boils down to one question: “Why is our president acting as though we are not in an emergency?”