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Steve Forbes says declaring a climate emergency would ‘wreck’ economy & result in higher energy prices

By Bethan Moorcraft

Declaring a national climate emergency would “wreck” the U.S. economy, according to Forbes Media chairman and editor-in-chief Steve Forbes.

The two-time Republican presidential candidate was responding to rumors that top advisers to President Joe Biden have resumed talks about invoking a climate emergency — a significant move that would unlock federal powers to curtail oil development.

Is he right to criticize a potential climate proclamation?

Energy bills

Rumors that an emergency climate proclamation could be used to halt crude exports and suspend offshore drilling started to resurface in mid-April.

When Bloomberg poked the White House for confirmation that the Biden administration is considering such a move, spokesperson Angelo Fernández Hernández declined to comment specifically on any internal discussions.

Instead, Hernández said: “President Biden has treated the climate crisis as an emergency since day one and will continue to build a clean energy future that lowers utility bills, creates good-paying union jobs, makes our economy the envy of the world and prioritizes communities that for too long have been left behind.”

In contrast, Forbes scoffed at the idea that forcing the nation off fossil fuels would reduce Americans’ energy bills.

“Just look at Europe,” he said. “Germany has two to three times the electricity costs than the U.S. because of the kinds of stuff the Biden administration is doing now. They’ve learned a hard lesson.”

According to Statista analysis, German households paid 40 cents (USD) per kilowatt-hour in September 2023, compared to U.S. households at 17 cents. The data shows that countries who rely heavily on fossil fuel imports for electricity generation are more vulnerable to market price fluctuations.