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Pingree urges Biden to declare a climate emergency

Chellie Pingree
Robert F. Bukaty
AP file
Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, speaks at Acadia National Park, Friday, June 18, 2021, in Winter Harbor, Maine.

As hope for major congressional action on climate change dims, Rep. Chellie Pingree and 60 of her House colleagues urged President Biden to declare a national climate emergency.

The representatives had written a similar letter in April, but Pingree says the urgency is growing as reports suggest that Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin will be blocking any major climate action in the closely divided Senate.

Pingree says there has been some recent congressional action on climate change, in infrastructure and interior bills that fund many climate-related initiatives.

"So it's not as if we're doing nothing," Pingree says. "But this is an emergency, and the magnitude of what we need to be doing now at all levels is so enormous, that I think we just can't wait, and we need to use every tool possibly out there."

Pingree says a national emergency declaration would help build a stronger renewable energy industry. She says that would not only reduce the impacts of climate change, it would also generate millions of good jobs and rejuvenate the American economy.

Murray Carpenter is Maine Public’s climate reporter, covering climate change and other environmental news.