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Media Contact:

Justin Wasser (202) 753-1670, jwasser@earthworks.org

Background: Today, President Biden promised to take action to keep climate warming below 1.5C degrees but fell short of declaring a climate emergency as had been rumored and reported this week. While there are many actions the President can take to curtail the United States contributions to the climate crisis, including stopping the permitting of oil and gas drilling on public lands and waters, issuing strong rules to cut methane pollution, and denying permits for new oil and gas infrastructure, an emergency declaration is necessary to expand the president’s executive powers. The declaration would have granted the president the power to reinstate the crude oil export ban, for example, a move essential to ensuring the United States is meeting our international climate commitments and accelerating a transition to clean, renewable energy in order stave off a climate catastrophe.

Statement from Earthworks Policy Director Lauren Pagel:

“Anything short of President Biden declaring a climate emergency is abandoning his pledge for bold climate action and racial justice. Fossil fuels are the leading cause of the climate crisis and inflicting harm on frontline communities as we speak. With Congress at a stalemate, we are out of time and options to stave off a climate catastrophe.

“The President’s actions must address these realities and protect the communities most impacted by the climate emergency. He can do that by immediately reinstating the crude export ban and denying new permits for fossil fuel drilling and infrastructure.”

Lauren Pagel, Earthworks Policy Director. 

For More Information

  • Oil and gas production in  the Permian Basin is on track to become one of the world’s largest sources of climate pollution
  • A climate emergency declaration would give President Biden the authority to immediately take 10 essential steps on climate