With Republicans poised to take control of the House of Representatives, it seems unlikely that the next Congress will pass major legislation that would achieve this goal. But Biden can still fulfill his commitment to conservation if he acts with urgency and exercises his executive power, according to Report Shared with The Climate 202 ahead of its wider release on Tuesday.
report from Center for American Progressa liberal think tank with close ties to the administration, focused on eight actions the administration could take to preserve public and private lands while combating climate change, respecting tribal sovereignty, and expanding access to nature for disadvantaged communities.
Actions include designating new national monuments and national marine reserves; preserving old and mature forests; prevent future mining and digging on public lands; and harness new funding for conservation from the recently passed climate law and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act.
“The President and his administration have taken some really important steps, but more urgency is needed to deliver on this part of their climate commitment,” he said. Drew McConvillea senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and lead author of the report, told The Climate 202.
said McConville, who previously served as a senior advisor on conservation issues at White House Council on Environmental Quality under President Barack Obama.
Here is a closer look at two of the report’s most important recommendations:
One of the most important steps Biden could take, the analysis argues, is to create new national landmarks through a recall Antiquities LawAct of 1906 authorizing the President to protect public lands and waters for the benefit of all Americans.
- In October, Biden selects Colorado Camp Hill As a national monument, it protects a World War II-era military site that provides an important habitat for wildlife including elk, deer, and migratory songbirds.
- And last fall, Biden restored full protection to three national monuments President Donald Trump May shrink in size, including Utah Bear ears And the Grand Staircase Escalante.
- But Democrats, climate activists and indigenous leaders have urged the president to use his powers to protect many other sites of environmental and cultural significance.
In the case briefing accompanying the report, the Center for American Progress highlights 16 national monuments and marine reserves that Biden could create or expand, including:
- Kastner Mountain Rangea west texas landscape managed by U.S. military It houses ancient cultural sites, rare plants and endangered wildlife.
- A location in southern Nevada known as Avi koa momor Spirit Mountainthat many Native American tribes considered sacred.
- site of the 1908 race riot in Springfield, Illinois, an attack on the black community by thousands of white citizens that spurred the creation of NAACP.
“There are a number of national monument proposals that already have strong local support,” McConville said. “We encourage the president to listen to those communities and act when he has the opportunity.”
The report also called the Minister of the Interior Deb Haaland To withdraw sensitive and sacred lands from future drilling and mining.
- The Interior department‘s Land Management Office On Monday, it announced two proposed oil and gas leases on more than 95,000 acres of land in Nevada and Utah. Rental sales are mandated by the Democrats’ new climate law, dubbed Inflation Reduction Actas part of a deal with Senator Joe Manchin III (DW.Va.).
- But Haaland has ample power in the shadows Federal Land Administration and Policy Act To pull other public lands off the table. The move could have a significant impact on the climate: Fossil fuel extraction and production on federal lands accounted for nearly a quarter of US carbon dioxide emissions between 2005 and 2014, according to US Geological Survey.
Of course, the fossil fuel industry will likely back down from any effort to carve out these territories, especially given rising gasoline prices. In a recent 10-point plan to reduce energy costs, the American Petroleum Institute He called on the administration to expedite mandatory quarterly lease sales and reinstate canceled leases on federal lands and waters.
However, McConville dismissed the notion that any recalls would have an appreciable impact on prices at the pump, noting that nearly 90 percent of Land Management Office The lands are already open for oil and gas leasing and subsequent development.
The White House He did not respond to a request for comment.
The Department of Energy has awarded up to $1.1 billion to save California’s last nuclear plant
The power circle On Monday it announced that it would provide up to $1.1 billion for Pacific Gas and Electricity Company To help revive the electricity utility Diablo Canyon A nuclear power plant in California.
Two of the facility’s reactors, which represent the last remaining reactors in the state, were scheduled to shut down in 2024 and 2025. But conditional funding “creates a path” for them to remain open, the agency said in a news release.
Funding is the first to come out of the bipartisan $6 billion infrastructure bill Civil Nuclear Credit The program that targets nuclear plants that are at risk of shutting down, despite their ability to provide emissions-free electricity around the clock.
Minister of Energy Jennifer Granholm he said in a statement.
The UN summit is the latest hurdle in Kerry’s long campaign for climate
In the wake of United Nations Climate Change Conference In Egypt, known as COP27US Climate Envoy John F. Kerry Mixed record as the face of America’s response to climate change on the international stage, The Washington Post Timothy Bocco And the Stephen Mofson Report.
Kerry, 78, faced criticism at COP27 from poor countries who said the US was not matching its climate rhetoric with action. But by the summit’s end, Kerry, who had negotiated virtually in the final hours after contracting COVID-19, helped reverse earlier US resistance to creating a fund to help developing nations deal with the ravages of climate change.
However, Kerry failed to muster enough support to push him to include language in the final agreement that calls for phasing out all fossil fuels and implementing stronger plans to cut emissions. Kerry W President Biden It also has been unable to persuade Congress to approve climate financing for developing countries, despite the administration’s pledge to provide $11.4 billion annually by 2024.
Some EU leaders and others were surprised when Kerry stayed on during COP27. Kerry did not say if he would step down from the administration anytime soon, though two people who spoke on condition of anonymity said he might consider that option and could easily find work in the private sector.
OPEC is considering increasing production with the Russian oil price ceiling approaching
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries Russia, also known as OPEC Pluslooking to increase production before setting a potential price cap on sales of Russian crude, The delegates said Monday, Happy summer And the Benoit Faucon A report by the Wall Street Journal.
The potential move comes a month after the group decided to cut production by two million barrels per day, despite calls from the group President Biden To help replace Russian oil amid the war in Ukraine and to boost global supplies for the winter months.
Saudi officials on Monday denied reports that they were backing away from plans to cut production. Zack Podrick Hill Reports.
“The current cut of two million barrels per day by OPEC + continues until the end of 2023, and if further measures are needed through production cuts to balance supply and demand, we always remain ready to intervene,” Prince said. Abdulaziz bin Salman He said via the state news agency Spa.
The war in Ukraine is spurring a 27-year gas deal, with the bombing of a nuclear plant causing concern
Qatar Energy On Monday he signed a 27-year agreement to supply China sinopec LNG in the longest such deal yet, as Russia’s war in Ukraine sparks intense competition for gas supplies, Andrew Mills And the Hey paint Reuters report.
The deal could lock up gas infrastructure for decades to come, despite warnings from climate scientists about the need for a rapid phase-out of fossil fuels to stave off the catastrophic consequences of uncontrolled global warming.
Meanwhile, the International Atomic Energy Agency He warned Monday that the bombing near the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant over the weekend came “dangerously close” to hitting key equipment, including the six reactors, Francesca Ebel Reports to The Post.
For months, intermittent bombing near the station raised international fears of a radiological disaster. A team of IAEA experts toured the plant – the largest atomic power plant in Europe and located in territory occupied by Russian military forces – to assess any potential damage from “one of the most serious accidents at the facility in recent months”. General Director Raphael Grossihe said in a statement. It is not clear whether Russia or Ukraine launched the missiles.