President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the on-going conflict at the Ukraine/Russia border, Tuesday, February 15, 2022, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C. Credit: Official White House Photo by Cameron Smith

As a relentless heat wave sweeps the nation, President Biden is on his way to Somerset, Massachusetts on Wednesday to address climate change. When he arrives he will probably be greeted by a sweltering temperature of more than 90 degrees.

He plans to announce an executive action on climate change but it will not include a national emergency action that many Democrats want to see.

Among the things on the plan is additional funding for FEMA’s program to protect communities facing extreme heat, a boost to domestic offshore wind production, and support for the Department of Health and Human Services’ Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, according to White House officials.

On Tuesday, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the president is “not going to just stop with the actions of tomorrow. But I would not plan an announcement this week on a national climate emergency. Again, everything is on the table. It’s just not going to be this week on that decision.”

Biden will be speaking from the Brayton Point Power Station in Somerset which used to be a coal-fired power plant that has become a manufacturing hub for cables supporting the state’s offshore wind industry. The optic here will not be missed by those annoyed by Sen. Joe Manchin’s opposition to Biden’s legislative package on climate change.

A central point in the plan, according to those familiar with his address, will be that climate change “is an existential threat to our nation and to the world.”  

“The president ran on fighting the unprecedented economic and national security threat of climate change,” the press secretary added. “He has been taking decisive action to do so since taking office. Tomorrow’s action will be a continuation of that work.”

Biden’s climate adviser, Gina McCarthy, said the president is not “shying away” from treating climate as an emergency. She told CNN on Wednesday that he will be announcing a series of actions “over the next few weeks” to address the threat.

Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass) said on Tuesday he was “confident that the president is ultimately ready to do whatever it takes in order to deal with this crisis. I think that he made that clear in his statement last Friday, and I think coming to Massachusetts is a further articulation of that goal.”

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