Mar 10, 2020 - Energy & Environment

A Biden presidency would face significant climate scrutiny from activists

Joe Biden.

Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

Yesterday brought a reminder that if Joe Biden wins the presidency, a lot of his staffing decisions could become battlegrounds over climate policy, not just his picks to run agencies like the EPA and the DOE.

Driving the news: When Axios' Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen reported that Joe Biden confidantes were discussing JPMorgan Chase's Jamie Dimon among several potential Treasury picks, the reaction from some climate activists was severe.

What they're saying: The umbrella group Stop The Money Pipeline, which targets big banks' fossil fuel project lending, said he would be a "disaster" in light of JPMorgan's extensive work with the sector.

Why it matters: While Biden's climate plan would go well beyond Obama-era policies, the left flank of the green movement doesn't trust him and thinks he's too moderate, especially compared to Bernie Sanders.

  • So look for them to carefully scrutinize his personnel picks across the government.
  • That's true regardless of whether Dimon is indeed in the potential mix, which the Biden campaign dismissed as "laughable speculation."
  • Oh, and Green New Deal activists protested Biden's speech in Michigan last night.
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