WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden told an audience of conservation and environmental groups Wednesday that their work has never been more important at a time when they are battling the greatest threat facing future generations.
Speaking at the annual Capital Dinner of the League of Conservation Voters, Biden told the supportive audience there are “a lot of threats to our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren” but climate change “is the only truly existential threat.”
He said the audience members and his administration had done good work in combatting the threat but everyone needed to “finish the job.”
Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were endorsed by four environmental and conservation groups at the dinner: the League of Conservation Voters Action Fund, NextGen PAC, NRDC Action Fund and the Sierra Club. Speakers for the organizations praised the Biden-Harris team as the administration that has done the most to combat climate change.
In earlier comments, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who was honored by the League with its lifetime achievement award, told the audience they were fighting for democracy with their environmental efforts.
“What you have done is the highest of patriotism, democracy in action. The story of America is the story of everyday Americans coming together, making your collective voices heard.”
Biden touted a number of the administration’s accomplishments, including the Inflation Reduction Act and its $375 billion for clean energy, the biggest climate law in history. He elicited cheers from the crowd as he ran through areas that have been designated as protected during his administration, as well as when he talked about the executive order he signed in April targeting investments to disadvantaged communities dealing with pollution.
Despite the endorsement and list of achievements and no visible protests at the dinner, recent steps the administration has taken have given the president a more mixed legacy and brought him under criticism by environmentalists and Democrats, although that was not evident at the event. Those decisions include the administration’s approval of the Willow project, a large-scale oil drilling project in Alaska, and the inclusion of the Mountain Valley Pipeline in West Virginia in the must-pass debt limit package the president negotiated with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
The Associated Press