With the United States suffering through one of the worst wildfire smoke events on record, the White House on Tuesday slammed Republicans for their repeated efforts to block action on climate change and to boost production of planet-warming fossil fuels.
In a memo authored by White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates and obtained exclusively by HuffPost, the Joe Biden administration condemns House Republicans for subscribing to “debunked conspiracy theories that deny the existence and nature of climate change” and enabling pollution that is “having catastrophic health impacts on Americans.”
“As the American people fight through unprecedented economic, national security, health, and safety threats due to climate change, it’s important to remember that less than one month ago nearly every House Republican voted to kill the President’s historic climate investments that are driving a manufacturing resurgence ― especially in conservative states ― and taking on climate change,” the memo says.
Bates was referring to House Republicans’ initial debt limit proposal, which sought to rescind clean energy tax credits in the Inflation Reduction Act, Biden’s signature climate law, which Democrats passed last year. Those provisions did not make it into the final debt ceiling bill that Congress passed in late May and Biden signed into law earlier this month.
“House Republicans’ very first priority was to protect deficit-busting taxpayer subsidies for Big Oil ― which is experiencing record profits ― and enable pollution that is having catastrophic health impacts on Americans,” Bates wrote. “What’s more, had the Default on America Act become law, it would have raised Americans’ energy bills even more *and* exacerbate pollution even more, while killing thousands of high-paying manufacturing jobs we’re bringing back from overseas.”
As HuffPost reported Thursday, congressional Republicans have largely responded to the historic event by peddling pro-logging talking points while ignoring and downplaying the climate change link. Democrats have used it to call for more aggressive action to rein in planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions.
Bates went on to highlight mounting climate effects across the country — wildfires, floods and disease outbreaks — and tout Biden’s efforts to combat the crisis.
“Study after study has proven that in many cases the waves of jobs the Inflation Reduction Act is creating are disproportionally flowing to red states as companies invest to make everything from electric vehicles to solar panels. To trade those benefits for more Big Oil subsidies is senseless.
The House GOP’s effort to repeal these jobs would have been a devastating and unconscionable attack on middle class families in their own districts, on American manufacturing, on our competitiveness with China, and on Americans across the country enduring the never-before-seen safety and health threats of climate change.
The American people want the stability, high-quality jobs, lower energy bills, and curbed dangers that President Biden’s leadership is providing when it comes to climate.
Selling hardworking families and manufacturing out to Chinese industry *while* worsening the pain of extreme weather just so rich special interests can gain new deficit-increasing tax giveaways remains unacceptable.”
A research team at Stanford University conducted a rapid analysis that confirmed Wednesday was the worst wildfire smoke day on record in the United States. The smoke plumes stem from hundreds of early-season fires in neighboring Canada following a prolonged heat wave in May that shattered multiple temperature records.