In a speech that led with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, President Biden also touted his administration’s efforts to address climate change in his first State of the Union address Tuesday night by focusing primarily on its immediate financial benefits for U.S. families. Biden said the bipartisan infrastructure law passed last year will create good jobs modernizing infrastructure to “withstand the devastating effects of the climate crisis and promote environmental justice,” and offered his plan to build a national EV charging network as an example.
Biden also said his plan to cut inflation by passing pieces of the now-defunct Build Back Better Act would help save families $500 per year through a combination of tax credits for efficiency and weatherization, as well as clean energy production and reducing the cost of EVs that save families money at the pump. Biden did not mention the dire IPCC report issued the day before nor the impacts of climate change the report concluded are hitting the world harder and sooner than previously thought.
Climate groups and progressive lawmakers raised alarm over what they say is the administration’s insufficient action on climate change and other progressive priorities such as immigration reform and voting rights. “It’s time to go faster,” Sam Ricketts of Evergreen Action, told CNN. “You’re going to need to see federal agencies to do things more aggressive, more climate-oriented than they’ve ever done before.” (Address: AP, Washington Post $, New York Times $, Insider, Vox, NPR; Climate groups: CNN, Truthout; Lawmakers: Politico, Insider, USA Today)