The other two-track approach

Source: BY MATTHEW CHOI, Politico • Posted: Monday, August 16, 2021

 The White House is baffling some environmentalists and Republicans over the contrast between its climate ambitions with what appears to be major concessions to fossil fuels. The administration requested OPEC+ increase its oil output to alleviate gas prices at home and greenlit drilling on federal lands at a faster rate than the Trump administration. The bipartisan infrastructure deal also contains big investments for priorities supported by the fossil fuel industry, including carbon capture and highway expansion.

Environmentalists say the pushes seem incongruous with the administration’s climate agenda, which is the most ambitious in U.S. history. And the optics aren’t great with the U.N.’s latest IPCC report directly linking recent disasters to human-made climate change. But the White House is saying it’s being politically pragmatic, with high gas prices going into election season potentially jeopardizing Democratic majorities in Congress — and with them the party’s climate agenda. “We can do two things at once,” a White House spokesperson told POLITICO in an email