Biden campaign considers ‘climate czar’ position in White House: report
The position would be different from other environmental appointments in the administration in that it would help ensure climate issues are top priorities in agencies ranging from Energy and Interior to Commerce and Defense, sources familiar with the discussions told Politico.
Another option being discussed is whether to appoint a member of the White House National Security Council to solely focus on climate matters.
The Biden campaign could not be reached to confirm these possibilities to Fox News.
“A climate czar is under serious discussion, but it has not been formally decided,” David Goldwyn, a former Obama administration official who has been following the discussions occurring in the Biden team, told the website. “The thing that is not under debate is the need to have serious White House staff capacity on climate issues. What is under debate is the most effective way to do that.”
Putting climate issues at the forefront of a Biden administration would mean that top jobs in other areas such as national security, the economy and other advisory roles would be filled with the issue in mind, several people said.
After progressives came after Biden’s “middle ground” climate plan, he unveiled a newly revamped plan of action that would cost $2 trillion over four years to ignite the development of more clean energy in order to achieve a pollution-free power sector by 2035 and net-zero carbon emissions 15 years later.
Biden has also pledged to rejoin the Paris Climate Accord. He’s called for transforming the federal fleet of vehicles from gas to electric, building 500,000 charging stations along the nation’s highways for electric vehicles, upgrading 4 million buildings and weatherizing 2 million homes over the next four years to increase energy efficiency, and offering government grants to retool factories. His plan also calls for creating an Environmental and Climate Justice Division within the Department of Justice.
But after Vice President Mike Pence hit Harris for her past record on fracking, she assured that her running mate “has been very clear” about not ending fracking if elected president. Natural gas and oil would likely still be used as a diplomatic tool.
Still, as the Trump team has hit Democrats for the massive economic overhaul Green New Deal, Biden has tried to distance himself from the plan.
“The Green New Deal is not my plan,” Biden said during last week’s debate, responding after Trump called out the former vice president over the climate proposal.
“No, I don’t support the Green New Deal,” Biden insisted. “I support the Biden plan I put forward, which is different than what [Trump] calls the Green New Deal.”