Biden announces climate executive orders tackling extreme heat and support for offshore wind

Biden announces climate executive orders tackling extreme heat and support for offshore wind

July 20, 2022 0 By Ellen Novack

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 20: U.S. President Joe Biden waves as he walks to Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House July 20, 2022 in Washington, DC. Biden is traveling to Somerset, Massachusetts to discuss his next steps in addressing climate change. He is scheduled to deliver remarks at the site of the now-closed Brayton Point power plant, which is being turned into the state's first offshore wind manufacturing facility. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The future looks green for the Biden administration as the president announced executive orders meant to address climate change on Wednesday.

Speaking at what was once one of the most polluting coal-fired power plants in Massachusetts, President Joe Biden announced his plans to address climate change, which include executive orders addressing extreme heat and promoting additional offshore wind opportunities. Biden cited a recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report in which U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres described the worsening climate crisis as “code red for humanity.” Before lawmakers and press at the former Brayton Point power plant in Somerset, Biden said, “I said it last week and I’ll say it again loud and clear: As president I’ll use my executive power to combat the climate crisis in the absence of Congressional action.” That plant will soon provide 250 jobs, according to Biden—the same amount Brayton Point once offered workers at its peak of operation as a coal-fired plant. Instead of powering the region with fossil fuels, the facility will manufacture critical subsea cables meant to connect offshore wind farms to existing power grids.

Employment opportunities were frequently highlighted in Biden’s speech, with the president describing Brayden as being “on the frontier of clean energy for America.” This goes hand-in-hand with executive actions meant to support further offshore wind development. A White House fact sheet notes that the Interior Department could soon hold offshore leasing in the Gulf Of Mexico as part of its first designated Wind Energy Areas spanning 700,000 acres off the coast of Galveston, Texas, and Lake Charles, Louisiana. Those areas could potentially power as many as 3 million homes—or nearly two-thirds of the population of Louisiana—through wind power generation. It’s quite the contrast compared with Lake Charles’ other burgeoning energy industry, liquified natural gas (LNG). Biden’s likely been hearing a lot from Southwest Louisiana activists concerned about LNG terminals given protests held by climate action group the Louisiana Bucket Brigade near Biden’s beachfront home in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.