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President Biden in Seattle: Activists and the Environment

President Biden in Seattle: Activists and the Environment

caption: Kim Schrier speaks to a large crowd on Tuesday, November 6, 2018, at the Hilton in Bellevue.

President Joe Biden will be in Seattle for Earth Day 2022. He will speak with working families about the importance and affordability of clean energy.

Six months before the midterm elections, some Democrats face tough contests that could, ultimately, determine which party controls the U.S. House or Senate.

Tamara Keith, NPR White House correspondent, spoke to Seattle NowThis week, we will be discussing the impact of President Obama’s visit.

“Traditionally, the party with the president in office does very poorly during the midterms. Keith explained to Patricia Murphy that the president is not only popular with Democrats but is also in the basement when it comes to his overall approval rating. “So, the sheer political dynamics of the country are like bright red warning signs for Democrats

Rep. Kim Schrier, Washington’s 8th Congressional District representative, is one example of such a Democrat. She will be joining the president’s entourage when he is in town.

But how much will Biden’s visit help her, and other vulnerable Democrats who are facing viable Republican challengers in the future?

Angela King of KUOW met with Joni Balter, columnist and political analyst, and Erica Barnett who is editor and publisher at PubliColaTo talk about what they expect from the president.


Biden will make his first stop at Seward Park, where the executive order will protect old-growth forests and wildfires.

NPR reportsThe order requires the Department of the Interior to agree on a definition of mature and older-growth forests. They’ll then have one year to compile the data across the United States. These data will be used to create new policies to manage these wooded areas.

However, not everyone believes that Biden’s administration has done enough to protect the environment and combat climate change. Washington state officials and the public have set ambitious goals to reduce our collective carbon footprint.

According to climate activists, they will be protesting the speech of President Obama at Seward Park. They are particularly critical of Biden’s push for federal land to increase fossil fuel production.

Biden announced the start of new oil drilling on public land last week in response to rising gasoline prices after Russia’s invasion.

Thomas Meyer, a Seattle activist is with Food and Water Watch.

Meyer states that every time the federal government plans to drill for more oil or burn more oil or gas, it is just digging itself deeper into a hole.” “And we don’t have the time to transform our entire energy system.”

This month Antonio Guterres, United Nations Secretary General, called investing new fossil fuel production “morally insane”

First, we must speed up the shift to renewable energies. This means that subsidies and investments must be moved from fossil fuels to renewables. Renewables are usually much more affordable than fossil fuels. This means that governments will stop funding coal not only abroad but also at home.

Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations

Erica Barnett, PubliCola’s Director of Public Relations, says that if the president wants to be more popular with his efforts on this front, he should also highlight investments in things like Sound Transit’s lightrail expansion. This project is expected to receive more than $380million from the federal infrastructure deal.

She said, “These are infrastructure investments that reduce climate emissions, and not charging stations for Teslas.”


People from the Pacific Northwest are known for their climate-conscious conversations, which sometimes lead to policy.

Even though activists decry fossil fuels and Washingtonians are also disturbed by rising gas prices. This is largely because Biden has not been able to control the oil market.

NPR’s Tamara Keith points to the fact that people want to see the president do something about inflation and rising prices at the pumps.

She said that “lowering costs for American families” is a phrase you will hear a lot about, as long as inflation remains a red-hot concern facing American citizens. She also noted that the Build back Better initiative has not been talked about much by the Biden administration which could be a sign of some progress.

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If Biden’s trip is going to increase support for Rep. Kim Schrier (or any other person like him), Balter believes something like prescription cost that affects many people could be a winning topic. This is because, as in most elections this topic will likely come up during Schrier’s General Election race.

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Biden will also speak at Green River College about his efforts to help families affected by recent inflation.

Barnett says that while he’s in Seattle he’s speaking to a younger, more educated audience.

She believes that an announcement about student loan debt would resonate well with this crowd, particularly among younger Democrats who were not thrilled about Biden becoming the party’s nominee for 2020.

She states that Washington state’s average student loan debt is more than $33,000 per annum. “Student loan debt is an urgent issue in a highly educated city such as Seattle, where the average property price is nearly a million dollars, and rent is thousands per month.

But she isn’t holding her breath.


caption: Kim Schrier speaks to a large crowd on Tuesday, November 6, 2018, at the Hilton in Bellevue.

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Even though it isn’t explicitly stated, Biden’s visit to Kim Schrier and his inclusion in the bipartisan group ahead of the 2022 midterm elections are no accident. Democrats could lose control of either House or Senate, or both.

Balter states that how big the Republican tide in November will determine how effective this trip will be in protecting incumbent Democrats.

“A U.S. Supreme Court ruling that invalidates Roe v. Wade could make a significant difference in the political equations.” She says that this is likely to happen this summer. “We have seen many states across this country going back decades on the simple right for women in control of their bodies. If the court rules against this, suburban women (including those in Schriers) who might not love Biden on any other issues could vote for Democrats on this issue alone.

John Ryan, KUOW, contributed to this report.

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