CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WDVM) — President Joe Biden’s Thursday climate summit with world leaders has received strong reactions from across the political spectrum. West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey challenged the emissions goals set by Biden and called out what he perceived as flaws in the president’s logic.
Biden has set out to cut America’s greenhouse gas emissions to 50% below 2005 levels by 2030. This is a more ambitious goal than any set by former President Barack Obama, the last president to be a part of the Paris Agreement.
“These steps will set America on a path of net-zero emissions economy by no later than 2050 … Those that do take action and make bold investments in their people and clean energy future will win the good jobs of tomorrow,” said Biden.
States like West Virginia, which Morrisey represents, rely heavily on less-clean energy sources like coal to support their economies. While Biden has said his climate plan will create well-paying jobs, Morrisey feels it will have the opposite effect.
“Any state that either produces energy or relies on a lot of energy for its manufacturing is going to be harmed. And we think that this is gonna have a terrible effect across the country,” said Morrisey.
Morrisey stressed that he is not against the idea of reducing the country’s environmental impact, but that the idea needs to be more fleshed out and minimize its negative effect on energy-based economies.
“We all share the goal of having a clean environment, but it’s just grossly irresponsible for a president to be coming out with something this — this thin in terms of justification.”
The attorney general has previously challenged Obama-era climate plans that he felt branched into executive overreach.
“We will carefully monitor the Biden Administration as it takes steps to fulfill this new mandate and stand ready to defend West Virginia’s and America’s interests and the rule of law … As the chief legal officer of West Virginia, I am deeply concerned about the enormity of this mistake and its legal defects, which is why I will present a detailed response [Friday] at noon,” said Morrisey.