Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks Supporting President Biden’s Executive Actions On The Climate Crisis

January 27, 2021

Washington, D.C.   Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding the Biden administration’s new executive actions on climate change and the overall climate crisis affecting our nation. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

Today, President Biden is set to announce a slew of executive actions on climate, including critical measures to increase the conservation of federal lands, reduce oil and gas development, and place environmental justice, green jobs—and yes, science—at the heart of our nation’s climate policy.

I think Americans are saying, welcome back, science! We’re glad you’re playing a role in the decisions we make, and not being ignored, trampled on like the previous administration did.

Understanding that the United States cannot defeat a global threat on its own, the Biden Administration has already wisely rejoined the Paris Accords and will also propose convening an international climate summit, this year, on Earth Day.

These executive actions are a very strong opening push by the Biden Administration to refocus our nation’s energies towards the threat of climate change. President Biden’s commitment to deal with climate change is unquestioned. He’s off to a fast start and it couldn’t come soon enough.

The federal government has a great deal of power to set the direction for our nation’s energy and environmental policy. But climate change represents an existential threat to our country and our planet. Every tool in the toolbox should be brought to bear. In my view, President Biden should consider the declaration of a national emergency on climate change.

Former President Trump, of course, issued an emergency declaration to divert funds towards an expensive and ineffective border wall when there was no emergency at all. Declaring one for climate change – an actual emergency – would be a giant step in the right direction. And it would allow President Biden to tap additional resources, and pursue additional policies, in the fight against climate change—even if Republicans in Congress remain intransigent and unable to recognize the severity of this crisis.

Japan, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and scores of regional and local governments have declared states of emergency over climate change. The United States would send a powerful signal to the world about our commitment to defeating climate change if we did so as well.

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