Two U.S. Democratic Senators have urged President Joe Biden to declare a climate emergency after climate legislation stalled in the Senate last week.
Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island called on the President to take bold executive action on the climate after West Virginia’s Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, who holds a swing vote in a 50-50 Senate, said last week that he would not support President Biden’s energy and climate investments bill. Manchin’s refusal to back climate provisions in the reconciliation bill essentially deadlocked the piece of legislation the Democrats have sought to pass to help the Administration’s clean energy goals.
Following the news of the stalled Senate legislation, Senator Merkley urged President Biden to declare climate chaos a national emergency under the National Emergency Act and to end all new fossil fuel leasing.
“President Biden must immediately end all new fossil fuel leasing. It was his campaign promise, and now is the time to show the American people he’s serious by saying no to expanding our addiction to fossil fuels,” Merkley said.
The Senator also urged President Biden to “use the Defense Production Act to address national security threats posed by climate chaos and strengthen emergency preparedness.”
“This is the time for the administration to think big. Cover federal properties in solar panels. Electrify the entire postal fleet, not a fraction. Require the government to quantify the climate costs of every decision it makes,” Merkley said in a statement.
Senator Whitehouse, for his part, said that “Our legislative collapse now compels forceful, firm and wide-ranging executive action across a broad array of fronts.”
“There is opportunity in this moment,” said Whitehouse. “The Biden administration has a wide lane to step up and start taking vigorous action to fight the climate crisis.”
“With legislative climate options now closed, it’s now time for executive Beast Mode,” Senator Whitehouse said on Twitter at the end of last week.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.