Thomas Catenacci on June 3, 2022
Democrats and far-left climate activists have privately complained in recent weeks that the White House climate office is increasingly blocking key priorities, Politico reported.
The White House Office of Domestic Climate Policy has prioritized politics ahead of actual progress on its own climate agenda, nine anonymous Democrats both inside and outside the White House told Politico. Some activists have even suggested that the office, headed by President Joe Biden’s climate czar Gina McCarthy, should be abolished altogether.
“With that czarship in place the climate agenda under Biden has been stifled,” Jean Su, a senior attorney at the major environmental group Center for Biological Diversity, told Politico.
Biden established the office via executive action shortly after taking office, ordering it to coordinate his administration’s “all-of-government approach to tackle the climate crisis.”
The anonymous Democratic officials, which include congressional staff and current and former administration officials, accused the office of micromanaging federal agencies, being more focused on avoiding legal battles and avoiding disrupting climate talks with Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, according to Politico.
“Instead of letting them do the business of writing rules, proposing them and publishing them, [the climate office] at their discretion will pull everything back and ask questions and delay,” one Democrat in the Biden administration told the outlet.
The climate policy office has specifically gotten in the way of the Department of the Interior’s (DOI) attempt to “rein in oil and gas leases on federal lands,” the Democrats told Politico. It has also slowed implementation of policies related to biofuels and pollution in minority communities.
In addition to the DOI, the Environmental Protection Agency has also been hamstrung, according to the Democrats interviewed by Politico.
However, McCarthy responded to the criticism saying the office will continue “pushing hard” on its climate agenda.
“President Biden directed us to ensure the entire government does more than ever before to tackle the climate crisis,” she told Politico in a statement. “If we are pushing hard, that means we’re doing exactly what the President directed — leaving no stone unturned.”
In May, McCarthy appeared to inadvertently copy a CBS News reporter on an email thread informing White House officials that remaining offshore oil and gas lease sales were canceled. The decision reportedly caught DOI officials, who are in charge of federal leasing program policy, off guard.
The White House and DOI didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from The Daily Caller News Foundation.
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