Biden Considers Greenlighting New Oil Projects As His Climate Target Slips From Reach

by | Jul 14, 2022 | Politics

President Joe Biden was elected on an ambitious climate platform — a vow to rapidly wean the nation off of fossil fuels and slash greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030, thereby confronting a crisis that his predecessor refused to take seriously.But 18 months into his presidency, those goals are looking increasingly out of reach, according to a new analysis. Many factors are out of Biden’s direct control, though the consensus among climate experts and advocates is that the administration’s actions on climate have not matched its rhetoric. On the contrary, the administration recently signaled it might soon approve major new oil and gas development in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico, which could further endanger Biden’s climate promises. AdvertisementAn analysis Thursday from Rhodium Group, an independent economic research company, found that without additional policy actions, the U.S. is on pace to reduce planet-warming emissions 24 to 35% below 2005 levels by the end of the decade — far short of Biden’s 50 to 52% goal, which is enshrined in the U.S.’s commitment under the landmark Paris climate agreement.The new outlook is actually an improvement over Rhodium’s assessment last year, when the U.S. was on pace for a 17 to 30% emissions reduction by 2030. But the organization noted that the change from 2021 “is largely attributable to slower macroeconomic growth projections and higher fossil fuel prices — not large policy changes.”“Now, more than ever, it’s important for policymakers to focus on maximizing the impacts of policy: the clock is ticking on both achieving the U.S.’s 2030 climate goals and on reducing emissions to avert the worst impacts of climate change,” the report reads.A White House official expressed confidence that the administration can still meet its goals. “We exceeded the goals set in 2009 in Copenhagen thanks to good policy decisions during the Obama-Biden Administration and critical state and local partners, and likewise today we continue to have multiple viable pathways to achieve President Biden’s 2030 climate targets and beyond,” the official said via email. “President Biden has and will continue to take action — administrative and legislative — that will accelerate the momentum behind cheaper sources of clean energy.”AdvertisementPresident Joe Biden delivers remarks on efforts to lower high gas prices during a June speech inWashington, D.C. (Photo by Jim WATSON / AFP)JIM WATSON via Getty ImagesRussia’s invasion of Ukraine, now in its fifth month, threw a wrench into the gears of the global energy market, and Republicans have worked overtime to pin the blame on Biden. In responding to the energy crisis, skyrocketing inflation and high prices at the pump, Biden and his team have middle-roaded themselves into the dog house of both progressive climate advocates and the fossil fuel industry alike. Many …

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