Friday, April 26, 2024

"What Biden Can and Can’t Do After Declaring a Climate Emergency"

The rumors are once again circulating that the President is planning to issue some sort of Executive Order regarding climate and we happened to have this piece in the link-vault.

Blow a bit of dust off and its good as new. From Bloomberg, July 19, 2022:

Democrats and environmental activists are pushing President Joe Biden to declare a “climate emergency” and unlock sweeping powers to combat global warming after broad legislation stalled in Congress.

Biden has already vowed to “take strong executive action” if Congress doesn’t “tackle the climate crisis.” And White House officials are now weighing

the possibility of an emergency declaration that would empower the president to curtail oil drilling, curb fossil-fuel flows and fund clean-energy construction.

1. How would it work?
An emergency declaration by Biden would trigger powers laid out by a suite of federal laws — including energy statutes, the National Emergencies Act and the Stafford Disaster Relief and Emer­gency Assistance Act — that the president could wield to address the climate crisis.

Biden could curtail or block crude exports thanks to a national security exemption in a 2015 law that would allow him to re-impose licensing requirements and other restrictions on those flows. At the same time, the Aviation and Transportation Security Act — enacted after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks — could empower him to coordinate domestic transportation in ways that limit the movement of fossil fuels.

Under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act that governs energy development in US coastal waters, he could also suspend offshore drilling, even on existing leases. That provision was invoked to suspend some activity in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010.

2. What about clean energy?
A climate emergency would let Biden take advantage of a law typically used after major hurricanes and other natural disasters -- the Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act -- to direct the Federal Emergency Management Agency to construct renewable energy projects using federal money. FEMA has $19 billion budgeted for fiscal year 2022 to address ongoing disasters, according to the Center for Biological Diversity, an environmental group urging the move.

Biden could also use the Cold War-era Defense Production Act and the federal procurement budget of $650 billion per year to manufacture clean transportation technologies and generate renewable energy, according to a report by the center. Biden has already used the same law to boost production of baby formula amid a national shortage. But the law specifically contemplates power production; the statute uniquely singles out renewable energy and storage as critical materials for national defense.

3. What can’t he do?
Some of the most powerful tools for propelling renewable power projects and advanced energy manufacturing were tax credits — now stymied in Congress — that can’t be easily duplicated through executive order. Any federal funding directed at the sector is finite, and can be quickly ended once a new president is in office....


If one is interested, we saved the proposed Executive Orders prepared by the University of Colorado for President Obama in 2008. It runs to 213 pages and serves as the outro from August 2023's "Ahead Of A Possible Climate Emergency Declaration, Some Interesting Phenomena".