Biden administration sets sights high with new climate change plan

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President Biden has put forth an ambitious climate change plan that includes doing away with the Keystone Pipeline. He is tying this plan into his economic plan, looking to create jobs in this industry. We discussed the proposed climate policies with Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory Vice President and Vice Provost Peter Schlosser.

Schlosser and Biden see climate change as a major threat. He gives examples like wildfires and heat-related deaths. Schlosser said we see this global problem happen every day right in our backyard. We also discussed the president’s plan to decarbonize the US power sector by 2035. We asked if it should and can be done. Schlosser thinks it should be done because if we don’t, then the planet will continue to warm into a very dangerous place like we’re already seeing.

Schlosser said that a big driver of climate change is how we supply energy to our growing population. Typically that’s been done by burning fossil fuels, which in turn creates carbon dioxide that is emitted into the atmosphere. He thinks we need to pivot because the energy system and decarbonization are a significant part of climate change.

We also talked about the 60-day pause that Biden wants on new oil drilling permits on federal land. We talked about Biden‘s plan for the keystone pipeline and the proposed construction delay. Schlosser said movements such as this are part of changing the energy system and moving away from fossil fuels. A major concern from critics is that this will cause a loss of jobs, however. Schlosser said that plans like Biden’s leave room for vast industries to help replace these jobs though, such as positions in carbon neutralization.

We also discussed the Paris climate agreement. Schlosser is optimistic about the science and technology available to help with climate change but is less enthusiastic about the willingness of the decision-makers and people.

Peter Schlosser, Vice president and Vice Provost Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory at Arizona State University

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