The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Biden Talks a Good Game at COP26

Nov 8, 2021

President Biden made big pronouncements at the COP26 meeting in Glasgow. He urged the world to “answer history’s call,” stating action on climate change is needed now, and vowing the U.S. will “lead by example.”

There are some telling examples. The United States is the second largest contributor of CO2 emissions in the world. And now under the Biden administration coal is rebounding. Coal consumption plunged 36% under Trump largely because utilities shifted to natural gas, which was far cheaper at the time. Now, with natural gas in short supply and the prices surging, coal is making a comeback. U.S. power plants are on track to burn 23% more coal this year, the first increase since 2013.

In the first 6 months of the Biden administration, about 2,500 new oil and gas permits were authorized. A figure that took the Trump administration a year to reach.

Biden’s administration is also giving the go-ahead for a huge Alaskan oil drilling project, set to produce more than 100,000 barrels of oil each day for the next 30 years! The administration recently filed a brief in U.S. District Court for Alaska defending the Trump administration decision to greenlight the project. The Interior Department said the Trump Administration decision complied with environmental rules.

The Biden administration did not explain how its position on this project aligns with its climate change policies. Over the past 60 years, Alaska has warmed more than twice as fast as the rest of the United States. Arctic ecosystems are suffering as a result, sea ice is disappearing, sea levels are rising, and the ground is thawing.

Biden claims he wants to fight climate change. But his own administration’s actions do just the opposite. This is because Biden and his administration represent the interests of big capital, including oil and gas companies. This means he will do what is good for business. It means the big companies will not have to pay for the damage they have caused or for cleaning it up or for preventing more damage.

If the administration does anything to mitigate climate change, the cost will come from public money, taxpayer money. In other words, the working class will have to pay for the mess the bosses created. This is what it means to live under capitalism.