Wednesday, 20 January 2021 21:38

Biden Announces Plans to Set U.S. on Course Toward Greener, Healthier Future


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President Joe Biden has wasted no time in following through on several campaign promises related to protecting the environment and addressing climate change. 

Among the actions he will take either Jan. 20 or within the week: require the U.S. to rejoin the Paris Agreement; cancel the Keystone XL pipeline permit; ban new oil and gas permitting on public lands, including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; reimpose methane pollution limits for new and existing oil and gas operations; review Trump administration decisions to strip away national monument protections; use the federal government procurement system to make facilities more reliant on clean energy and to purchase zero-emission electric vehicles; reestablish a working group on the societal cost of carbon; and begin the process of rescinding rollbacks on vehicle tailpipe emissions standards. 


The president will also order the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to review several actions taken over the last four years that weakened clean water protections. These notably include the Dirty Water Rule, which put streams and wetlands at risk; weaker standards for coal ash and toxic pollution from power plants; and the recent update to the Lead and Copper Rule.


U.S. PIRG and Environment America have been at the forefront of campaigns for stronger environmental policies for decades, leading the charge for the adoption of renewable energy, clean transportation and the conservation of our public lands and oceans.


In addition, late last year, the groups released “First Things to Fix,” a list of environmental actions...

...the Biden administration should prioritize. With these actions, many of those “first things” are being fixed. 


“After four years of environmental setbacks, a new day has dawned," said Environment America Acting President Wendy Wendlandt. "Today, President Biden showed us just how serious he is about his campaign promises to protect the environment and take bold climate action. There remains a lot of work to do, but the president has set us on a course toward a greener, healthier future.”


“When we put the environment at risk, we put the health of Americans at risk," said U.S. PIRG President Faye Park. "Today’s actions by President Biden will lead to a healthier environment and healthier Americans. We hope that this marks an inflection point where our federal policies match the nation’s desire to build a healthier and safer future for ourselves, our children and our grandchildren.”


We thank the U.S. PIRG for reprint permission. 


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