HomeScience & EnvironmentBiden Vows to ‘Save the Planet From the Climate Crisis’

Biden Vows to ‘Save the Planet From the Climate Crisis’

President Biden spoke about global warming in stark terms during the State of the Union address Thursday night, ditching the more sterile term “climate change” to instead refer twice to the climate “crisis.”

“I see a future where we save the planet from the climate crisis,” Mr. Biden said to applause as he closed out his address to a joint session of Congress.

Without mentioning his name, Mr. Biden sought to contrast his record on climate change with that of former President Donald J. Trump, the expected Republican presidential nominee, who ridiculed climate science, unraveled policies that would have curbed greenhouse gas emissions and promoted the unfettered development of fossil fuels.

“We are also making history by confronting the climate crisis, not denying it,” Mr. Biden said in a dig against Mr. Trump.

The president repeated a familiar theme: that tackling climate change brings economic benefits and job gains.

He boasted that the Inflation Reduction Act, which Democrats muscled through the Congress in 2022 without any Republican votes, had invested at least $370 billion in wind, solar and other renewable energy and had created “tens of thousands of clean energy jobs.” He said that his climate policies had attracted $650 billion in private-sector investments in clean energy and advanced manufacturing.

The only new proposal by the president was connected to his American Climate Corps, a national service program that trains 20,000 young adults for careers in clean energy and conservation. Mr. Biden said he wanted to triple the size of that program over the next decade.

The president underscored his goal of cutting the country’s greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030, calling it “the most significant action on climate ever in the history of the world.”

It remains unclear if his policies will realize that goal.

Republicans immediately attacked Mr. Biden’s climate remarks. Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington, the chair of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, accused the president of proposing “radical rush-to-green” policies.

Mr. Trump blasted Mr. Biden on his energy policies, saying in a news release that “consumers just aren’t interested” in electric vehicles and claiming that new Biden administration rules intended to make dishwashers more energy efficient would leave Americans with dirty dishes.

Collin Rees of Oil Change International, which wants to end new fossil fuel projects, said Mr. Biden’s remarks on climate change “could have been missed in a blink.” He said the president had focused too much on clean energy and not enough on stopping oil, gas and coal use.

But Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez, the president of NextGen America, which focuses on voters under 35, said Mr. Biden had “made clear in his speech that he is listening to America’s young people and that he is willing to work with us on the issues that matter most to us.” She said activists were committed to “holding the Biden administration to their promises made tonight, as well as pushing for more.”

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