Biden to announce executive actions on climate change that remain insufficient


President Joe Biden is expected to announce some executive actions on Wednesday to tackle climate change, with a focus on helping Americans facing extreme heat – but the measures fall far short of the more sweeping measures called for by climate activists.

In fact, the guidelines largely appear to provide more funding or strengthen existing programs.

According to the White House, the President’s latest set of executive actions will include “protecting communities facing extreme heat with additional funding in fiscal year 22 for the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) program of FEMA and additional guidance to support the Department of Health and Human Services Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).” The BRIC program provides funding to communities for risk mitigation, while LIHEAP helps low-income Americans cover their energy costs.

The White House said Biden would also announce “additional actions to boost the nation’s offshore wind industry.” Further information on these actions was not immediately available and it was unclear whether they would be new or have an impact.

A lifeguard watches people swimming at the Emancipation Pool in Houston, Texas July 19, 2022. The National Weather Service issued an excessive heat warning across Texas this week with forecast highs ranging from 102 degrees Fahrenheit in Houston to 112 degrees Fahrenheit in Dallas-Fort Worth, while high temperatures in the southern plains are expected to fall somewhere in between.

Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Biden will make the announcements while visiting a now-defunct coal-fired power plant called Brayton Point in Somerset, Massachusetts. The site is expected to be turned into a manufacturing plant that will produce transmission cables for Massachusetts’ offshore wind industry, according to the White House.

“The President came forward combating the urgent threat to the economy and national security posed by climate change, and tomorrow’s actions will build on the President’s decisive climate action since first day,” a White House official said. “In the coming days, he will continue to announce the executive actions that we have developed to combat this emergency.”

Although Biden is not considering declaring a national climate emergency this week, that option is “still on the table,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters on Tuesday.

The Biden administration’s efforts to continue to pivot the U.S. electricity sector toward zero-emissions energy options, such as offshore wind, are moving the country in the right direction, but not solving the problem anymore. wide of current energy-based reduction and reduction of emissions. of the existing fossil fuel industry. Without continuing to cut and reduce current emissions from a range of polluting areas, it will take much more than empowering renewable energy and improving building efficiency to meet Biden’s climate goals.

Wednesday’s announcements come as people across the United States — and around the world — grapple with sweltering temperatures this week. A scorching air mass remains over the majority of the continental United States on Wednesday, with a heat dome sitting over the Southwest and the Great Plains and triple-digit temperatures extending throughout the Midwest and along the East Coast.

ABC News’ Julia Jacobo and Tracy Whof contributed to this report.

ABC News

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