President Biden Considers Declaring National Climate Emergency: Game-Changer for Green Energy Transition

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  • Source: Wayne Dupree
  • 08/21/2023
President Joe Biden recently stated in an interview that his administration had declared a national emergency regarding climate change. However, he later clarified that this declaration was more of a practical rather than an official one.

CNN disputed the accuracy of the statement, although there is considerable speculation that he will make such a declaration in the near future. According to anonymous sources within the White House, The Washington Post reported in July that President Biden is contemplating the possibility of declaring a national climate emergency in the near future.


Climate activists are citing the recent Maui wildfires as a reason to authorize emergency powers in the United States and worldwide.

According to Dr. H. Sterling Burnett, a senior fellow at the Heartland Institute specializing in climate issues, he observed the individual stating that he had accomplished the task, or had come very close to doing so. Currently, the individual in question is not fulfilling the task virtually. However, this does not imply that they will not undertake it in the future, as they have expressed an intention to do so.

Burnett noted that environmentalists in the progressive faction of the party consistently advocate for this action. However, he expressed the view that this loud outcry originates from a minority of individuals. 

The individuals advocating for a climate emergency are primarily the minority faction within the political party. Public opinion consistently indicates that individuals are often perceived to be expected to take significant actions in response to climate change. However, numerous polls consistently reveal that people are generally unwilling to make sacrifices that align with the urgency and severity of the crisis.

According to a poll conducted by the Competitive Enterprise Institute in 2019, 35% of voters expressed unwillingness to allocate personal funds towards efforts to combat climate change. Additionally, only 15% of respondents indicated a willingness to spend a maximum of $10 per month for this purpose. 

In 2023, Pew Research reports that 54% of U.S. adults consider climate change a significant threat to the country's well-being, which is a slight decrease from the 2020 figures. According to the Pew Report, although a majority of adults consider climate change a significant threat, it is considered less important compared to other concerns such as improving the economy and reducing healthcare expenses. The report also highlights that 68% of the individuals surveyed expressed a desire to maintain fossil fuels as part of America's energy sources.

Burnett proposed that individuals' reluctance to disengage from addressing climate change may be influenced by the prevailing narrative propagated by mainstream media. Additionally, Burnett highlighted the apprehension stemming from the recognition of the significant authority that an emergency declaration would grant to the federal government.

Tim Steward, a representative of the U.S. Oil and Gas Association, expressed concerns regarding the potential consequences of granting the president emergency powers to declare a climate emergency, drawing a parallel to the COVID-19 pandemic. Steward expressed concern that the proposed declaration would grant the president extensive and unrestricted power to control various aspects, ranging from communication systems to infrastructure.

According to a legal outline supporting Biden's emergency powers, he would have the authority to cease crude oil exports, halt offshore oil and gas leasing, and significantly expedite the transition to green energy.

Some individuals express constitutional concerns regarding these types of declarations in general. The Brennan Center for Justice, which leans towards the left, highlights that broad emergency powers can be used to undermine democracy and consolidate political power. The Atlantic magazine expressed concern about the extent of power granted through declarations during the Trump administration.

Burnett argued that Biden's environmental policies would effectively establish him as a dictator. It grants him significant powers, encompassing a wide range of authority to dictate economic matters and individuals' behaviors.


Burnett is cautiously optimistic about the possibility of Biden retracting an emergency authorization due to anticipated resistance. Burnett also stated that Biden's reluctance to exercise his emergency powers is driven by his desire for the Democratic Party's reelection. If he were to implement these measures prior to the upcoming election, it would likely lead to complications during the voting process.

Nevertheless, the author suggests that the current heat wave and the recent Maui fires make this moment opportune for Biden to announce his declaration.

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