Biden’s Climate Actions: Praise and Criticism

Sunrise Movement Applauds, Critics Challenge Fossil Fuel Moves

Climate Power, an advocacy group, has unveiled plans to allocate $80 million for an advertising initiative aimed at highlighting President Joe Biden’s environmental and climate agenda in the lead-up to the 2024 election. The campaign’s primary goal is to educate voters about the president’s comprehensive plans for addressing climate issues and advancing clean energy initiatives. Since assuming office, Biden has established ambitious targets for reducing the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions and played a key role in the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, which represents the largest legislative climate investment in U.S. history. Despite these efforts, recent summer polling indicates that Biden’s message on climate and clean energy may not be effectively reaching voters.

According to a July poll conducted by The Washington Post and the University of Maryland, less than one-third of surveyed Americans were well-informed about the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), while 71% had limited or no knowledge about it. Despite this, the same poll revealed widespread support for the bill’s provisions, including tax incentives for the purchase of electric vehicles, solar panels, and energy-efficient heating and cooling systems.

However, the survey also indicated that 57% of Americans disapproved of President Biden’s handling of climate change. Lori Lodes, the executive director of Climate Power, emphasized the importance of communication, stating, “People overwhelmingly support what President Biden has done to combat climate change — but only if they hear about it.” Climate Power intends to address the information gap through a comprehensive campaign, utilizing digital and television ads. The group plans to sustain its advertising efforts into 2024, targeting Latino voters, engaging in digital outreach for young voters on social media, and organizing in-person events in crucial battleground states such as Arizona, Georgia, and Michigan.

Climate Power has formed an ad campaign partnership with Future Forward, whose nonprofit branch contributed to funding some of its advertisements this year. Additionally, earlier in the year, Biden secured the endorsement of four prominent environmental groups: LCV Action Fund, NextGen PAC, the Sierra Club, and the NRDC Action Fund, marking the first collective endorsement from all four organizations.

The Biden administration has garnered commendation from the youth-led climate organization, the Sunrise Movement, for its initiative to establish the inaugural American Climate Corps. However, the president has faced criticism from environmental groups for approving significant fossil fuel projects, such as the Willow Project in Alaska and the Mountain Valley Pipeline in West Virginia.

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Image by Alessandrobiascioli from Getty Images

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