Even as the investigation into a deadly wildfire on the Hawaiian island of Maui remains underway, environmental activists are not wasting any time pointing to climate change as the root cause.
A growing number of lawmakers and climate alarmist groups are using the tragedy to put additional pressure on the Biden administration to declare a national emergency based on the supposed threats posed by climate change. Despite President Joe Biden’s effort to advance a climate bill deceptively called the Inflation Reduction Act last year, his fellow leftist ideologues insist that much more needs to be done — particularly in light of the destruction on Maui.
Time to declare a #ClimateEmergency!
“If the latest environmental catastrophe won’t spur the president into action, what will? #Climate activists and members of Congress are urging @POTUS to declare a national emergency over climate change.”@MyahWard https://t.co/ou24SHcVrG
— Safe Climate Campaign (@safe_climate) August 21, 2023
Some of those voices come from the island itself, where locals are understandably distraught over the loss of life and property.
Green New Deal Network National Director Kniela Ing, for example, said: “Even when I talk about this issue, I tend to say things like, ‘I want to make sure my children have clean air and water — that they have running water. That they have a livable planet when they’re my age.’ But that’s not right. Tomorrow, you could wake up and your whole community could be ashes.”
Others, like U.S. Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA), seemed determined to use this tragedy to cement new bureaucratic powers within the federal government.
“The devastation in Maui is a clear sign that the president must declare a climate emergency — now,” he said. “While [the Federal Emergency Management Agency] is providing resources to the local heroes on the ground fighting for the lives and livelihoods of Hawaiians, the underlying climate-driven conditions of drought, extreme heat, environmental injustice, and non-resilient infrastructure will remain.”
U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) has urged for a climate-related national emergency declaration for years, clearly sees a new opportunity to rehash his activism in the wake of the Hawaiian fires.
“This is a crisis and we need to treat it that way,” he insisted. “That starts with President Biden declaring a national climate emergency to unlock vast federal resources and emergency powers to help our communities prepare for and recover from these deadly climate disasters.”
As Biden appears to move closer to making such an emergency declaration, critics including U.S. Oil and Gas Association President Tim Steward are sounding the alarm.
“If you grant the president’s emergency powers to declare a climate emergency, it’s just like COVID,” he said, adding that Biden would be able to wield “vast and unchecked authority to shut down everything from communications to infrastructure.”