Newly-minted Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer says that President Biden should consider declaring the climate crisis an emergency, giving him more room to manoeuvre around Republican obstruction.
“Trump used this emergency for a stupid wall, which wasn't an emergency. But if there ever was an emergency, climate is one,” Mr Schumer added.
By declaring a national emergency on the climate crisis, President Biden would be granted special powers and also be able to access more funding to tackle it.
The National Emergencies Act was enacted in 1976, which allows the president to declare a national emergency if the US is "is threatened by crisis, exigency, or emergency circumstances (other than natural disasters, war, or near-war situations)".
President Biden issued a sweep of executive orders on his first day in office to tackle climate change, which he calls as “existential crisis”. These included rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement, the international pact to cut the greenhouse gas emissions heating the planet.
There was also an order to restore 100 public health and environmental rules that former president Trump had rolled back or weakened.
President Biden canceled the permit for the Keystone XL oil pipeline, which transports oil from Canada into the US, and banned new leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, a pristine landscape which Mr Trump opened to oil and gas drilling.
He is also expected to impose a moratorium on new federal oil and gas leasing on Wednesday, the Washington Post reported.
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