The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Brett Hartl,

Biden's Top Five Climate Executive Actions

Bold Action Urgently Needed After Manchin Tanks Legislation


With climate provisions stripped from Democrats' economic package by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), President Biden's executive powers are front and center in protecting U.S. international commitments and preserving a livable planet.

"This is the time for fast and furious executive action on climate," said Brett Hartl, government affairs director at the Center for Biological Diversity. "Again and again, we've seen Manchin's bluff and bluster come to nothing. Biden showed how to do bold executive action by using wartime powers for solar and renewables. We're at the moment to break glass in case of emergency, where Biden must urgently use the powerful tools at hand to protect people and our planet."

With five key executive actions, Biden can use the tools of his office, the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of the Interior, and other federal agencies to advance crucial climate protections:

  1. Declare a national climate emergency under the National Emergencies Act to unlock key climate powers, including reinstating the ban on crude oil exports.
  2. Expand use of the Defense Production Act for a manufacturing moonshot expanding electric transportation, including public e-buses, high-speed rail, and passenger vehicles.
  3. Direct the EPA to establish national limits for greenhouse gases at 350 ppm of carbon dioxide under the National Ambient Air Quality Standards program of the Clean Air Act.
  4. Require Interior to end all new oil and gas leasing and phase out the production of oil and gas on public lands and waters.
  5. Order the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to cease the use of nationwide permits and all approvals of new fossil fuel infrastructure projects.

The Center for Biological Diversity and more than 1,200 groups in the People vs Fossil Fuels coalition have called on Biden to declare a national climate emergency and take swift executive action to reject new fossil fuel leases, infrastructure and exports.

At the Center for Biological Diversity, we believe that the welfare of human beings is deeply linked to nature — to the existence in our world of a vast diversity of wild animals and plants. Because diversity has intrinsic value, and because its loss impoverishes society, we work to secure a future for all species, great and small, hovering on the brink of extinction. We do so through science, law and creative media, with a focus on protecting the lands, waters and climate that species need to survive.

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