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After Manchin's refusal to act, advocates are calling on Biden to declare a national climate emergency

Climate Strike in San Rafael
Fabrice Florin
Hundreds of young climate activists rally outside of the White House Monday to demand that President Biden fulfill promises on addressing climate change.

On this edition of Your Call, we're discussing the future of the climate crisis now that West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin has refused to support a stripped down version of the Democrats' package to invest billions in clean energy. Manchin has accepted more money from the oil and gas industry than any other senator this election cycle. His decision dooms what could have been the largest climate bill in US history.

Yesterday, President Biden announced $2.3B in funding for FEMA to help communities prepare for disasters by expanding flood control and retrofitting buildings, as well as an expansion of the federal Low Income Energy Assistance Program. The president is also directing the Department of the Interior to propose new offshore wind areas in the Gulf of Mexico, which could power more than 3 million homes.

Climate activists say these are small steps. They want President Biden to declare a climate emergency and stop issuing permits for new fossil fuel infrastructure, including pipelines. Biden said he will announce executive actions in the coming weeks.


Maya Golden Krasner, deputy director and senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity’s Climate Law Institute, and co-author of The Climate President’s Emergency Powers, a Legal Guide to Bold Climate Action from President Biden

Julie McNamara, deputy policy director of the Climate and Energy Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists

Tonyisha Harris, associate director of communications and partnerships at Action for the Climate Emergency

Samir Chowdhury, founder and chair of the Youth Climate Action Team

Web Resources:

Common Dreams: Disappointed by Climate Speech, Activists Say People Are Dying 'While Biden Dithers'

The Guardian: Revealed: oil sector’s ‘staggering’ $3bn-a-day profits for last 50 years

The Guardian: Revealed: the 20 firms behind a third of all carbon emissions

The Washington Post: Biden eyes climate emergency declaration as Democrats demand swift action

CNN: Joe Manchin, who just torpedoed Democrats' climate agenda, has long ties to coal industry

The New York Times: How One Senator Doomed the Democrats’ Climate Plan

Politico: How Manchin used politics to protect his family coal company

The New York Times: Delay as the New Denial: The Latest Republican Tactic to Block Climate Action

Bee Soll is a producer with Your Call at KALW, and a producer, writer, and editor at KCBS Radio in San Francisco. She is a former reporter for Crosscurrents and contributor at KPFA Radio.
Rose Aguilar has been the host of Your Call since 2006. She became a regular media roundtable guest in 2001. In 2019, the San Francisco Press Club named Your Call the best public affairs program. In 2017, The Nation named it the most valuable local radio show.