Biden turns focus to extreme heat

By Robin Bravender | 07/26/2023 04:29 PM EDT

The president plans to announce investments to improve weather forecasting and Interior Department grants to boost clean water.

the sun sets

Dangerous heat waves have broken records across North America and Europe this summer. Kseniia Zaitseva/Unsplash

President Joe Biden will announce new government measures Thursday to respond to extreme heat as he meets with mayors of Western cities that have seen dangerous heat waves this summer, the White House announced.

The president is slated to receive a briefing on extreme heat Thursday and speak about the administration’s efforts to tackle climate change and blunt the impact of soaring temperatures on communities.

He will announce investments through NOAA to improve weather forecasting and grants through the Interior Department to bring clean drinking water to communities across the West, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters Wednesday.


Biden will hear from FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell and NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad, Jean-Pierre said.

The mayors of Phoenix and San Antonio, Texas, will also speak about the impacts of climate change and extreme heat on their communities.

Asked whether Biden has any plans to declare a climate “emergency” — a move some advocates hope he’ll make to unlock additional executive branch authorities — Jean-Pierre said she has no upcoming actions to preview.

“But look, I think if you look at the president’s actions over this past two years,” she said, he “has been more aggressive on dealing with climate change than any other president.”

Separately, Jean-Pierre also said Biden still intends to visit East Palestine, Ohio, where he said he’d travel following the train derailment earlier this year that spilled hazardous chemicals.

“The president intends to go. I don’t have a time or date to preview at this time,” Jean-Pierre said.