Representatives August Pfluger (TX-11), David B. McKinley (W.Va.-01), and Senator Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.), Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, introduced a bill to clarify the extent of the President's authority to declare a national emergency or a major natural disaster. The "Real Emergencies Act," would apply limits to the President's power, ensuring that a national emergency can not be declared on the basis of climate change. Senator Capito introduced the companion bill in the Senate.
"Energy security is national security, and our nation cannot take any more top-down decrees that pander to green special interest groups and put blue-collar energy workers last," said Rep. Pfluger. "That is why I am proud to join Rep. McKinley to introduce the Real Emergencies Act, which will prevent the White House from distracting from real emergencies - like skyrocketing inflation and record high energy costs - by declaring climate change a national emergency. Our legislation ensures that President Biden does not abuse the power of his office to pursue his anti-American energy agenda against the will of the American people."
"Under President Biden, American families are paying record high prices for gas, on top of a new 40-year high inflation rate and rising energy costs," said Rep. McKinley. "Instead of practical solutions and expanding energy production in the U.S., extreme far-left environmental advocacy groups continue their crusade against American fossil fuel production. Now, the Squad and their extreme left allies have called for President Biden to declare climate change a national emergency. The energy crisis facing America is the direct result of President Biden's commitment to his environmental activists and their anti-American energy policy. The real emergency is the pain at the pump Americans are feeling."
"Right now, Americans are paying astronomical rates at the pump--with our country having already surpassed the highest recorded average gas price ever. Instead of addressing this problem head on and promoting policies that encourage American energy independence, President Biden and his administration would rather ignore these problems. In the meantime, they are coordinating with extreme environmental groups behind the scenes to lay the groundwork to implement the administration's zealous climate agenda by declaring a "national climate emergency.' Our legislation would ensure the president cannot use made-up powers to circumvent Congress and govern by executive overreach," Ranking Member Capito said.
This legislation would prohibit the President from using the three primary statutory authorities available to him (the National Emergencies Act, the Stafford Act, and section 319 of the Public Health Service Act) to declare a national emergency solely on the basis of climate change.
Actual national emergencies or major disasters, such as hurricanes or flooding, may still be declared.
This bill is necessary as House Democrats are using rising energy prices and Russia's invasion of Ukraine as cover to renew their push for Biden to declare climate change a national emergency.