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The 2024 presidential race is officially on, and climate and clean energy are sure to be central issues. And while President Joe Biden has arguably done the most for climate of any U.S. president, it may not be enough to win over environmentally conscious voters.

President Joe Biden tours the Cummins Power Generation facility with Plant Manager Asit Desai, Monday, April 3, 2023, in Fridley, Minnesota.
President Joe Biden tours the Cummins Power Generation facility with Plant Manager Asit Desai last month in Fridley, Minnesota. Credit: Cameron Smith / White House Photo

Biden’s first term has been marked with huge climate wins, including the Inflation Reduction Act — the biggest climate spending law ever, with incentives for clean heating, electric vehicles, renewable energy construction and more. He’s also taken steps toward prioritizing environmental justice, cracking down on fossil fuel power plant emissions, and advancing global climate agreements.

But that doesn’t mean climate advocates are hyped to reelect Biden. At the center of their criticism is Biden’s lack of action on stemming fossil fuel use, including the approval of the Willow Project in Alaska. The massive oil and gas drilling project would unleash a “carbon bomb,” environmentalists say, as it will result in the release of more than 9 million tons of carbon dioxide each year. Fossil fuel supporters, meanwhile, may see Biden’s power plant regulations as a reason to oppose him and Democratic lawmakers. 

It’s a thin line Biden will have to straddle if he hopes to return to the White House. And if he doesn’t, every one of his climate accomplishments could be at stake.

More clean energy news

📝 Permitting reform is back: Sen. Joe Manchin will reintroduce his bill to speed up environmental permitting for energy projects, including natural gas facilities, as some Democrats say they’re losing patience with the West Virginia senator. (E&E News, Politico)

✨ Do heat pumps need a rebrand? While heat pumps are growing in popularity, some advocates say a marketing push is needed to overcome a lack of consumer visibility and an arguably confusing name. (Washington Post)

☀️ Solar import taxes make a comeback: Republicans picked up 12 Democratic votes to pass a U.S. House resolution to reinstate tariffs on southeast Asian solar panel imports, even as the domestic solar industry relies on foreign components. (E&E News)

🏭 Carbon capture is (maybe) happening: The federal government is rolling out new initiatives to boost carbon capture technology development and construction, but serious questions remain as to whether the projects will actually be completed. (Inside Climate News)

🔥 New York leads on gas bans: New York’s governor announces that the state’s budget includes the country’s first statewide ban on fossil fuel heating in most new buildings beginning in 2026, although gas furnaces in existing structures can be replaced. (Politico, NNY360)

⏸️ Nuclear’s years-long holdup: A new report says widespread deployment of small nuclear reactors could take decades due to technical, regulatory and economic barriers. (Reuters)

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Kathryn brings her extensive editorial background to the Vxartnews team, where she oversees the early-morning production of ENN’s five email digest newsletters as well as distribution of ENN’s original journalism with other media outlets. From documenting chronic illness’ effect on college students to following the inner workings of Congress, Kathryn has built a broad experience in her more than five years working at major publications including The Week Magazine. Kathryn holds a Bachelor of Science in magazine journalism and information management and technology from Syracuse University.