January 29, 2023

President Biden is heading to Massachusetts on Wednesday to announce new executive actions to address climate change, but will stop short of declaring a national emergency on climate, as some Democrats have pushed for as prospects for new legislation in Congress appear increasingly dim.

The president will announce additional funding for FEMA’s program to protect communities facing extreme heat, unveil new actions to boost domestic offshore wind production and offer more support for the Department of Health and Human Services’ Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, a White House official said. 

But the president’s announcement will fall short of some progressives’ hope that he will declare a national emergency, especially following Sen. Joe Manchin’s decision to oppose climate, energy and tax provisions in a Democratic legislative package, effectively dooming the president’s climate agenda in Congress.

“He’s not going to just stop with the actions of tomorrow,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Tuesday. “But I would not plan a announcement this week on national climate emergency. Again, everything is on the table. It’s just not going to be this week on that decision.”

Mr. Biden is speaking from the Brayton Point Power Station in Somerset, Massachusetts. The plant is a former coal-fired power plan that has become a manufacturing hub for cables supporting Massachusetts’ offshore wind industry.

A White House official said the president “will make clear tomorrow that climate change is an existential threat to our nation and to the world.”

“And he will also make clear that since Congress is not going to act on this emergency, then he will,” the official added. “In the coming days, he will continue to announce executive actions that we have developed to combat this emergency.”

The White House insists the president is exploring everything within his power to address climate change.

“The president ran on fighting the unprecedented economic and national security threat of climate change,” Jean-Pierre said Tuesday. “He has been taking decisive action to do so since taking office. Tomorrow’s action will be a continuation of that work.”

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