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“Do You Have Amnesia?” Professor Steven Cohen on the Importance of President Biden’s Climate Agenda

Steven Cohen, Ph.D., the senior vice dean of the School of Professional Studies, was recently interviewed by the New Statesman to discuss President Joseph Biden’s climate agenda. The article by Philippa Nuttall, “Why a Wrong Step from Biden on Energy Could Put Trump Back in the White House,” details the challenge Biden faces in pursuing his clean energy goals while managing the nation’s increasing fuel prices.

“Do you have amnesia?” Dr. Cohen responded when asked if Biden’s climate actions were equal to that of the Trump administration. “The Biden team is the strongest on climate change in American history,” he said. “Trump was the most anti-environmental administration since the first two years of Reagan. Trump was anti-regulation and anti-environment. His administration was full of scientific illiterates. The fossil fuel industry dominated the EPA.”

While Biden has taken action with the $1.2 trillion infrastructure plan and his decision to bring America back into the Paris Agreement, the Build Back Better bill—which includes efforts to curb carbon emissions—remains blocked. Biden has also faced controversy about the current amount of domestic drilling being allowed, but Cohen doesn’t think there should be serious concern over these short-term setbacks. “The transition to renewable energy is a generation-long transition and would not be aided by an economic depression due to inadequate energy,” Cohen says.

Nuttall posits that as the midterm elections approach, Biden must prove he is committed to climate action while also easing concerns about fuel prices and dependence on Russian energy resources. Inflation, including rising fuel prices, would be a negative on the campaign trail for Biden and Democrats. However, Cohen remains optimistic about the president’s climate strategy. “Biden and his team understand the issue and are pursuing a government-wide approach.”

Read the full article, “Why a Wrong Step from Biden on Energy Could Put Trump back in the White House,” in the New Statesman.