60 House lawmakers urge Biden to declare national climate emergency

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Almost 60 House Democrats are calling on President Biden to declare a national climate emergency, a move they say would grant him additional powers to address climate change.

Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.) and Earl Blumenauer (Ore.) led the signers in a letter addressed to Biden, arguing that the president should use the “full power” of the executive branch given the “scope and urgency of the crisis.”

“A national emergency declaration will allow the United States to mobilize domestic industry, ramp up domestic manufacturing of clean energy technologies, and deploy resilient energy infrastructure,” the statement reads.

The letter comes as Biden said climate change was an “emergency” in a speech on Wednesday in Massachusetts, but stopped short of a declaration.

In the speech, Biden pledged to act on climate change after Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) announced his opposition to a major climate spending proposal that had been stalled in Congress. With the Senate divided 50-50, all Democrats would need to back the proposal for it to proceed if no Republicans support it.

The House lawmakers said in their statement that Biden should also declare his support for the National Climate Emergency Act, which requires a national climate emergency declaration and outlines a federal response to climate change.

“We have the tools to build up a stronger renewable energy industry in America, generating millions of high-quality American jobs and rejuvenating our post-pandemic economy,” they said.

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