White House Weighs Declaring Climate Emergency To Crack Down on Oil Industry

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April 18, 2024

The White House is weighing an unprecedented declaration of a national climate emergency to crack down on the oil industry and advance President Joe Biden’s climate policies, Bloomberg reported Wednesday.  

Declaring a national climate emergency would allow the Biden administration to more easily reduce oil exports, offshore drilling, and greenhouse gas emissions, individuals familiar with the administration’s internal deliberations told Bloomberg on the condition of anonymity. 

The administration, however, will likely not make a final decision anytime soon, with the president’s advisers still divided over whether such an unprecedented move to advance the green energy agenda is appropriate, especially as Biden looks to win over voters ahead of his rematch this fall with Republican nominee Donald Trump. 

Some of Biden’s advisers believe the emergency declaration could boost the president’s support among climate-minded Americans, while others argue the move would not significantly boost Biden’s ability to advance climate initiatives, according to the anonymous sources.  

White House spokesman Angelo Fernandez Hernandez in a statement to Bloomberg did not comment on the reported internal deliberations but said Biden has "delivered on the most ambitious climate agenda in history" and "will continue to build a clean energy future that lowers utility bills, creates good-paying union jobs, makes our economy the envy of the world and prioritizes communities that for too long have been left behind."

A Gallup poll earlier this month showed Americans are less interested in buying electric vehicles than they were last year, even amid the Biden administration’s efforts to crack down on gas-powered vehicles by effectively requiring 56 percent of new vehicles to be electric by 2032.