US green groups say honeymoon is over, turn up heat on Joe Biden

US green groups say honeymoon is over, turn up heat on Joe Biden
Joe Biden walks past solar panels while touring the Plymouth Area Renewable Energy Initiative in Plymouth, New Hampshire, U.S., June 4, 2019. Source: REUTERS
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Daily US Times: US green groups that poured effort and money and behind Democrat Joe Biden’s successful run for White House are shifting to a new more adversarial role now that he has been elected, launching a pressure campaign to make sure the President-elect delivers on his promises to fight climate change.

The dynamic reflects a return to influence for environmental advocacy groups after four years of Donald Trump presidency, in which they were shut out Trump administration, a climate skeptic who crafted policies to maximize US fossil fuel development with the help of industry.

While Joe Biden united a range of groups from labor unions to youth activists behind his presidential campaign, he has already become the target of some green groups for considering cabinet picks who has ties to fossil fuels. He will be under constant pressure in office to move fast on his environmental agenda – potentially more than former President Barack Obama was during his tenure.

Jamie Henn, director of environmental group 350.org’s Fossil Free Media, which opposes the fossil fuel industry, said: “The honeymoon ended at the altar when the networks pronounced Biden president-elect.”

“It’s Biden’s call if he wants that pressure with him or against him.”

Joe Biden has acknowledged the role played by advocates as he prepares his administration. Last week, he said that advocacy groups are “pushing for more and more and more of what they want. That’s their job.”

Nat Keohane, senior vice president for climate at the Environmental Defense Action Fund and a former special assistant to President Obama, said Joe Biden could face even more scrutiny than Barack Obama, who was regularly criticized by green groups for not acting urgently enough on climate.

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