A group of young climate activists were arrested Monday for blocking the entrance to President Biden’s campaign headquarters in Delaware while demanding that his administration “end the era of fossil fuels.”
According to the left-wing climate group Sunrise Movement, 21 of its members were arrested and about 80 others were involved in the protest in Wilmington, Delaware, on Monday. Activists have warned that if Biden does not take definitive action to combat climate change, millions of young voters will stay home in November.
“Climate change is upon us. Our homes are flooding, we breathe toxic air, black people like me are dying while the president expands oil and gas production to record levels,” said campaign manager Sunrise, Kidus Girma, in a press release. the protestation. “Then President Biden walks around and claims he’s a climate president and wants our votes? This is bull…”
While Girma did not specify what steps Biden has taken to increase reliance on fossil fuels, the Sunrise movement has repeatedly called on him to officially declare global warming a national emergency, an action he has resisted throughout. throughout his presidency. A climate emergency declaration would allow Biden to bypass Congress and take a number of executive actions not normally granted in the White House.
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Additionally, the Sunrise Movement largely opposes all oil, gas, and coal development, instead calling for an aggressive nationwide transition to green energy sources like wind and solar. Currently, fossil fuels generate the majority of the nation’s electricity and support both the transportation and manufacturing sectors in the United States, according to federal data.
“There are dozens of things he could sign into law tomorrow if he wanted to protect low-income communities of color like mine who live next to fossil fuel sites that are killing us from cancer and asthma,” said Sunrise Movement volunteer Ariela Lara.
“It could make sure that every time a climate disaster happens, no one is evicted and everyone has access to free health care,” she continued. “He could end the fossil fuel era by refusing to approve a single oil or gas well in this country. Biden cannot build renewable energy on Monday, build fossil fuels on Tuesday, and then claim to be president of the climate. That’s not how science works, and young voters know it.”
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But even though Biden has yet to declare a climate emergency, he has repeatedly lashed out at the fossil fuel industry while seeking to boost green energy.
Shortly after taking office, the president signed executive orders suspending all oil and gas leasing on federal lands and waters, and canceled permits for the Keystone XL pipeline project. Although a federal court ultimately intervened to force the Biden administration to continue leasing, it dragged its feet in holding new rental sales and created regulatory hurdles for producers.
And Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act, which dedicates tens of billions of dollars to green energy programs. His administration also unleashed a wave of environmental regulations to curb electricity production from fossil fuel plants, promote electric vehicles and encourage electrification of the residential sector.
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“There is only one existential threat that we face in this world, and that is the environment,” Biden remarked at a campaign reception Thursday.
“I mean, it’s literally an existential threat. It’s even more consequential than nuclear power, nuclear war,” he added. “It would be horrible and awful, and it would just make the environment worse. But it’s an environmental issue.”
The Biden campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.