Biden: “If Congress does not act against the climate crisis, I will”

The president of the United States, Joe Biden, announced this Wednesday a series of executive actions to confront the “imminent danger” of the climate crisis and promised to continue working to approve measures in the face of congressional inaction.

“Since Congress is not acting as it should, I will. I will do it,” he repeated insistently in a speech from the vicinity of a converted old coal plant, which will soon be used to manufacture underwater cables that carry electricity from offshore wind fields to cities in the state of Massachusetts.

The site, in the town of Somerset, was a perfect symbol of the US Administration’s strategy to promote the energy transition, which Biden he strives to frame it as an issue that is as economic as it is existential in the face of constant attacks by Republicans over high inflation.

“When I think about climate change, I think about jobs,” said the Democratic president when defending the opportunities that the energy transition could bring for the world’s leading economy.


Biden announced that his Administration will dedicate $2.3 billion to combat extreme heat and other harmful effects of the climate crisis, such as hurricanes and other more frequent and devastating natural disasters.

“As president, I have a responsibility to act urgently when our nation faces clear danger. And this one is,” he argued.

The measure is part of a series of executive actions against the climate crisis that Biden has been forced to take after the fractious Democratic Senator Joe Manchin refused last week to approve an ambitious legislative package that includes billions of dollars in green investments.

“Since Congress is not going to face this emergency, I will,” said the president in his speech, in which he focused on the economic opportunities that the energy transition will bring for the country.

The funds will go toward “helping communities increase their resilience to a broad set of negative climate impacts, including heat waves, which are particularly notable,” a senior administration official said during a call. with journalists to explain the measures.


The announcement comes as Europe faces a historic heat wave that leaves temperature records in the United Kingdom and worsens forest fires in France and Spain.

In addition to the funds, which will be processed through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the White House will expand the energy assistance program for low-income households, which previously only served to provide aid to the heating in winter.

The expansion of this program will mean that the most vulnerable communities will be able to take advantage of this aid to finance the installation of air conditioning, and states will be able to build air conditioning centers for citizens to cool off.

The authorities will also enable a new area to build offshore wind farms in the Gulf of Mexicowhich will join the already enabled coasts of the northeast of the country, and will promote the construction of wind farms on the southeast coasts.

The measures announced today by Biden are only part of his Government’s strategy against the climate crisis, which will announce new actions in the coming weeks.


It is not clear, however, whether his Administration will end up declaring a state of national emergency for the climate, as many activists and some members of his own party are asking him to do, allowing the Government to take more ambitious measures in the face of Congress’ inaction.

Since the beginning of his term, Biden has faced significant setbacks in his plans to accelerate the energy transition and promote green energy generation, with setbacks in both the legislative and judicial spheres.

Recently, a ruling by the conservative-majority Supreme Court limited the powers of the government’s environmental protection agency (EPA) to regulate polluting emissions from power generation plants, arguing that Congress should be the one to do so. grant these powers clearly.