President Joe Biden says he has “practically” declared a national climate emergency, though he has yet to make an official declaration to that effect.
“I’ve already done that,” he responded. “We’ve conserved more land. We’ve … rejoined the Paris Climate Accord. We’ve passed a $368 billion climate control facility. We’re moving. It is the existential threat to humanity.”
Environmental RecordDespite mounting pressure from climate activists, President Biden has yet to announce a climate emergency under the National Emergencies Act. The law, when invoked, empowers the president to take actions that would otherwise not be permitted.
In July 2022, the White House said the president was not ruling out making such a declaration, but little has been said about the possibility since.
The monument has been a decades-long ask of local tribal leaders and environmental groups who say uranium mining endangers water sources nearby.
“Folks, our nation’s history is etched in our people and our lands. Today’s action is going to protect and preserve that history,” President Biden said during a speech at the long-closed Red Butte Airfield in Grand Canyon Village.
During his remarks, the president touched on the record-breaking heat experienced by much of the country that made last month the world’s hottest on record.
Voters DisapproveWhile the president may find his climate record praiseworthy, a recent Washington Post-University of Maryland poll found that the majority of Americans—57 percent—disapprove of his handling of the matter.
Further, only 39 percent said they approved of the Inflation Reduction Act, while 20 percent said they opposed the measure and another 39 percent said they weren’t sure.
Additionally, the president’s overall performance rating may be another source of concern as he looks to secure reelection.
And while that disapproval last peaked in July 2022 at 57.1 percent, his latest rating of 54.2 isn’t much of an improvement.
Arizona was just the first stop on the president’s tour of the southwest.
Following his Aug. 8 speech, he traveled to Albuquerque, New Mexico, for a reelection fundraiser.
On the evening of Aug. 9, he was due to fly to Salt Lake City, Utah, where he will mark the first anniversary of the PACT Act on Thursday before attending another fundraiser.