Biden made the declaration Thursday as part of the country’s renewed commitment to the Paris Agreement as he met with world leaders during an Earth Day climate summit, and state leaders are speaking out.
“I wake up every morning wondering how I will have to sue Pres. Biden over his radical job-killing climate plan,” Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said. “It’s time Pres. Biden starts working [with] existing businesses to create more jobs instead of unconstitutionally shutting them down. Arkansans [and] Americans deserve better.”
Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen said he would “continue to fight” the president’s “federal overreach” in a Thursday Facebook post.
“From his attempt to cancel the [Keystone XL] pipeline on Day 1 until now, Biden’s so-called ‘Climate Action’ has been nothing more than empty virtue signaling and an attack on American jobs, energy independence and working families,” he said. “As Montana’s attorney general, I will continue to fight his federal overreach in court.”
West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey did not threaten legal action but similarly said the president’s emissions commitment would hurt U.S. jobs.
“President Biden’s promise that America will undertake radical, transformational and too-rapid reductions in carbon emissions by the end of this decade is a domestic and foreign policy blunder of almost unfathomable proportions,” West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said in a Thursday statement.
He added that Biden’s carbon-emissions commitment could drive up energy costs and the prices of U.S.-made goods, “requiring drastic changes for homes, businesses and factories — while crippling our country’s ability to compete on the world stage.”
The plan “would also force Americans to bear the greatest burden of reducing carbon emissions, and thus eviscerate good-paying union and working-class jobs in the long run, not create new ones as Biden claims,” Morrisey said, adding that the plan would give China an advantage over the U.S.
Chinese President Xi Jinping notably said during Thursday’s summit that China aims to reach “peak carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060.”
Democratic state attorneys general praised Biden’s plan and compared his new proposals to former President Trump’s stance on climate change.
“What a difference a year makes. Last Earth Day, we were fighting the Trump Administration’s dangerous environmental rollbacks in courts across the nation,” Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey tweeted Thursday. “Today, President Biden announced a bold commitment to cut emissions and lead the world in clean energy.”
Healey also announced that her office “has provided $50,000 to place 80 air quality sensors throughout Springfield” that “will collect information on the concentrations of harmful pollutants, like ozone and particulate matter, and track information on air toxins like pesticides and flame retardants.”
Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring noted that he sued the Environmental Protection Agency under Trump in 2020 “over its failure to protect the Chesapeake Bay” in a Thursday tweet.
“This year, we have a president who is serious about protecting our environment. @POTUS is committed to addressing climate change and that’s exactly the leadership we need,” Herring said.
A number of climate groups also praised the president’s commitment to reduce carbon emissions by 2030.
In addition to his 2030 emissions plan and comitment to rejoining the Paris Agreement, Biden’s $2 trillion clean energy infrastructure plan, with its goal of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 at the latest, aims to “create millions of good-paying jobs that provide workers with the choice to join a union and bargain collectively with their employers,” according to his website.