SOMERSET (WBZNewsRadio) - President Joe Biden visited Somerset Wednesday afternoon, where he stopped just short of declaring a national climate emergency. The president did however call climate change "literally, not figuratively a clear and present danger."
Standing in the 90 degree heat at Brayton point Power Station, the President blasted Republicans for not passing his clean energy agenda and vowed to take matters into his own hands.
"Not a single republican in congress stepped up towards climate plan, not one." President Biden said. "Let me be clear, climate change is an emergency and in the coming weeks I'm going to use the power I have as president turn these words into formal official government official government actions, with the appropriate proclamations, executive orders and regulatory powers."
According to a statement from the White House, in the coming days, Mr. Biden's administration will announce executive actions that include:
- Protect Communities from Extreme Heat and Dangerous Climate Impacts: The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is announcing $2.3 billion in funding for its Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) program for Fiscal Year 2022— the largest BRIC investment in history, boosted by the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. This funding will help communities increase resilience to heat waves, drought, wildfires, flood, hurricanes, and other hazards by preparing before disaster strikes. BRIC is among hundreds of federal programs that the Biden-Harris Administration is transforming to support the Justice40 Initiative and prioritize delivering benefits to disadvantaged communities.
- Lower Cooling Costs for Communities Suffering from Extreme Heat: Today, the Department of Health and Human Services is issuing guidance that for the first time expands how the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) can promote the delivery of efficient air conditioning equipment, community cooling centers, and more. In April, the Biden-Harris Administration released $385 million through LIHEAP to help families with their household energy costs, including summer cooling—part of a record $8 billion that the Administration has provided, boosted by the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
- Expand Offshore Wind Opportunities and Jobs: The Department of the Interior is proposing the first Wind Energy Areas in the Gulf of Mexico, a historic step toward expanding offshore wind opportunities to another region of the United States. These areas cover 700,000 acres and have the potential to power over three million homes. President Biden is also directing the Secretary of the Interior to advance wind energy development in the waters off the mid- and southern Atlantic Coast and Florida’s Gulf Coast —alleviating uncertainty cast by the prior Administration. These actions follow the President’s launch of a new Federal-State Offshore Wind Implementation Partnership that brought together Governors to deliver more clean, affordable energy and new jobs.
"For the first time states will be able to use federal funds to pay for air conditioners in homes, set up community cooling centers in schools." The President said.
Brayton Point Power Station was once a coal plant, but now it serves as the first off-shore wind manufacturing facility in the state. The plant will be used to make the transmission cables that help bring power to the New England grid.
His visit wasn't without controversy, as a group of protesters calling themselves 'Somerset Freedom Fighters' and supporting former President Donald Trump, held a noisy protest not far from where President Biden spoke.
Protester and Trump supporter Karen, of Fall River, called the issue a hoax.
"He's flying air force all around the world, trying to get fuel oil gas, we have plenty of that in here in Texas. He's absolutely ridiculous and it's all because of corruption. People are in his back pocket paying him to do all these crazy things."
WBZ's Kim Tunnicliffe (@KimWBZ) reports