By Jack Phillips
Some energy industry groups are expressing concern that the White House will declare a COVID-19-like emergency—but for the climate instead.
“They’re leaning to that direction,” U.S. Oil and Gas Association President Tim Stewart told Just the News in an article published on July 30. “If you grant the president’s emergency powers to declare a climate emergency, it’s just like COVID.”
An emergency declaration on the climate could give the president “vast and unchecked authority to shut down everything from communications to infrastructure,” said Mr. Stewart, who has been a critic of the Biden administration.
Infrastructure around water and electricity could be affected by such a decision, he said.
“They can literally do exactly what they did in COVID,” Mr. Stewart said. “If you disagree with the climate emergency, speech can be shut down. We really need to be paying attention to that because that power could be extended indefinitely until the ‘climate emergency’ is over. Who knows how long that would last.”
The White House press office didn’t respond by press time to a request by The Epoch Times for comment about whether the administration might be preparing such a declaration.
President Joe Biden and other administration officials have said that the United States and the world are in the midst of a “climate crisis” and have used language describing it as an emergency. So far, Mr. Biden has stopped short of declaring an emergency, although some Democrats and environmental groups have pushed the idea.
About 60 congressional Democrats recently backed legislation known as the “Climate Emergency Act of 2021,” sponsored by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), that would require the Biden administration to make a climate-related emergency declaration.
Last week, U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres released an alarmist message saying that “the era of global warming has ended” and “the era of global boiling has arrived.” Using adjectives that included “terrifying,” Mr. Guterres said U.N. member states “must turn a year of burning heat into a year of burning ambition.”
A number of legacy media outlets, including the Los Angeles Times, have floated proposals such as purposefully implementing an “occasional blackout” to “help solve climate change.” A Guardian article published last week calls on the Biden administration to “declare a climate emergency” and states that it “must do so now.”
Mr. Stewart recently said the LA Times article and similar reports are part of a “propaganda war” that’s designed to “condition the public to think people it is their duty to the State to be miserable, cold, and hungry.”
“It wasn’t too long ago that even posing a question like this would be considered preposterous even from Democrats,” he said. “After all—one of the defining problems of Third World countries is the lack of reliable energy infrastructure and supply.”
Amid relatively high temperatures across the East Coast last week, the White House sent out what it described as the “first-ever” heat wave hazard alert for people working outside.
“President Biden has asked the Department of Labor (DOL) to issue the first-ever Hazard Alert for heat, and DOL will also ramp up enforcement to protect workers from extreme heat,” a White House fact sheet released on July 27 states. “For years, heat has been the number one cause of weather-related deaths in America.”
At the time, Mr. Biden’s announcement came as about 40 percent of the U.S. population was under heat advisories, according to the National Weather Service. As of July 30, the hot weather was mostly relegated to the southeastern United States, the agency stated.
The largest power grid operator in the country also issued an emergency alert, which ended on July 28, because of high demand.
“PJM has issued these alerts to help prepare generators for the onset of intense heat,” the grid operator said. “A Hot Weather Alert helps to prepare transmission and generation personnel and facilities for extreme heat and/or humidity that may cause capacity problems on the grid.
“Temperatures are expected to be near or above 90 degrees in these regions, which drives up the demand for electricity.”
Notably, data from the Environmental Protection Agency show that some of the hottest heat waves in the United States occurred in the 1930s and particularly in 1936. At the same time during that same decade, the Dust Bowl occurred, greatly damaging farmland across the central United States while sparking a mass exodus of farmers to Southern California that inspired author John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath.”
Earlier this year, PJM released a report that suggested that state and federal policies to de-carbonize the grid are “presenting increasing reliability risks during the transition, due to a potential timing mismatch between resource retirements, load growth and the pace of new generation entry.”
De-carbonization of the grid refers to the reduction of fossil fuel usage and greater reliance on solar, wind, and hydroelectric power sources.