President Biden and his senior aides are exploring pairing executive actions—like tighter pollution standards, targeted investments and changes in federal procurement—with congressional action to speed a shift toward low-carbon energy. The effort could rock fossil-fuel companies and boost renewable energy businesses, while for the first time putting extensive government requirements on the financial sector regarding climate policy.
Administration officials are casting their strategy as a central component of their plan to revive the economy amid the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.
“The things that we can do today to address climate are really plentiful, and will allow us to actually bounce back from Covid,” Gina McCarthy, the White House national climate adviser, said in an interview. “If the entire government works together, we can do things that won’t ask for sacrifice.”
Business groups, even those that have warmed to government action on climate change, are concerned about a potentially heavy-handed reach into the economy. Many—like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Petroleum Institute—support legislation to penalize carbon emissions across the economy, for instance, but balk at sector-targeted administrative actions.