Story at a glance

  • Speaking on MSNBC, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer endorsed using emergency federal powers to mitigate climate change.
  • President Trump invoked the measure to begin construction on the border wall.

Speaking on MSNBC Monday night, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) emphasized the need for President Biden to declare an emergency when it comes to the climate crisis, which would grant Biden’s administration new authority to allocate more resources to fight climate change and address infrastructure that could further jeopardize the environment.

Bloomberg chronicles that some of the powers granted to Biden by declaring climate change a formal emergency include shutting down crude oil exports, suspending offshore drilling, and increasing funding for clean energy projects. 

“Now, Trump used this emergency for a stupid wall, which wasn’t an emergency,” Schumer told Rachel Maddow. “But if there ever was an emergency climate is one. So I would suggest that they explore looking at climate as an emergency, which would give them more flexibility.”

In 2019, former President Trump invoked the same emergency measure while in office to secure funding for a wall on the border of the U.S. and Mexico.

In one of Biden’s first acts as president, he terminated Trump’s emergency measure and halted funding of a southern border wall. 

A hallmark of Biden’s climate pledge is to decarbonize the electricity sector by 2035 as part of a longer play to reach net zero emissions by 2050. 

Published on Jan 26, 2021