Sen. Shelley Moore Capito and President Joe Biden. Photo illustration by The Lever.
Source images: John Locher, Mariam Zuhaib, Susan Walsh / AP 

As record heat and wildfire smoke engulf huge swaths of the country, President Joe Biden could free up disaster relief funds and slash carbon emissions by declaring a climate emergency — a move Democratic lawmakers have repeatedly called on him to make.

But last month, a group of Republicans introduced a bill to prevent Biden from making such a declaration, with one senator arguing it would wrongfully “grant him more executive authority and grow the size of government all in the name of climate change.”

If Biden were to declare a national emergency over climate change, he could take aggressive action to cut fossil fuel production and speed up clean energy manufacturing by reimposing the ban on crude oil exports, halting oil and gas leasing, investing in public transit infrastructure, and requiring private companies to manufacture renewables.

​​“It’s outrageous that Republicans are trying to obstruct the government from confronting the climate crisis even as 100 million Americans are under heat alert,” […]

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