On Wednesday, President Joe Biden will announce a series of executive measures aimed at tackling climate change during a visit to the site of a former coal-fired plant in Massachusetts that is assisting the state’s offshore wind business.

Democratic politicians and environmental organizations have urged the White House to adopt bold climate-change steps after Democratic Senator Joe Manchin said last week that he was not ready to back crucial climate legislation in Congress, a major defeat in the Senate’s equally split chamber.

Biden will emphasize that climate change is a “an existential threat to our nation and to the world” during a visit to Somerset, Massachusetts, and that “if Congress is not going to act on this emergency, then he will,” according to a White House official.

The former coal-fired power plant that Biden will visit is transforming into a manufacturing hub for undersea cables that will support Massachusetts’ offshore wind industry, exemplifying the transition from fossil fuels to renewable fuels that Biden has emphasized as critical to reducing climate emissions.

During his visit, Obama will announce a series of executive measures, including initiatives to safeguard areas experiencing excessive heat using funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Health and Human Services Department’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

According to the person, Biden will also announce new initiatives to help the local offshore wind sector.

Biden has been pressed to declare a climate emergency, which would allow the Defense Production Act to be used to increase production of a broad variety of renewable energy goods and systems. However, the president is not likely to take this action on Wednesday.

In his presidential campaign, Biden vowed severe climate action and committed in international climate discussions to reduce climate emissions by half by 2030 and attain 100 percent renewable power by 2035.

His climate agenda, however, has been derailed by a series of major setbacks, including failing to secure enough congressional support to include critical climate and clean energy measures in a federal budget bill, record-high gasoline prices, and global energy market disruption caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

A recent Supreme Court decision restricting the federal government’s ability to adopt broad restrictions to curb carbon emissions from power plants is also harming Biden’s climate objectives.

Source: Reuters

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