It is President’s Day! A time to honor past presidents, but also an opportunity to see what our current President has accomplished thus far. Newly elected President Biden has been hard at work passing executive orders on national security, equity, COVID-19, and of course the environment. He stated his commitment to combating climate change, create jobs, build infrastructure, and deliver environmental justice. Within hours of his inauguration, Biden rejoined the Paris Climate Agreement and canceled the Keystone XL Pipeline project. It is now clear that climate is at the top of the new President’s priorities.
Executive orders for foreign and domestic climate change action
President Biden signed the Executive Order (EO) 14008 to tackle the climate crisis at home and abroad. This order establishes climate as a key consideration for foreign policies and national securities. It reaffirms that the U.S. must take a leadership role in global climate initiatives, such as the Paris Climate Agreement. It also established the White House Office of Domestic Climate Policy.
President Biden signed EO 13990 to protect public health and to instruct scientific initiatives to tackle the climate crisis. It also directs federal agencies to review regulations and actions from the past administration and address any conflicting policies. The order reinstates environmental regulations, such as rules on methane emissions in oil and gas production.
It is worth noting that Biden has revoked EO 13783, which promoted fossil fuel use and facilitated the sale or lease of public lands to oil and gas companies. The order was created to deregulate certain practices such as fracking and coal leasing. It also rolled back standards for oil and gas rights beneath tribal and National Parklands. This order did not coincide with Biden’s new climate policies and standards.
Conservation of Land
Under executive power, Biden established a new Civilian Climate Corps Initiative to conserve and restore public lands and waters, increase reforestation, protect biodiversity, and address climate change. It also encourages climate-smart agricultural practices to reduce carbon emissions and create new rural jobs.
Cancellation of Keystone XL Pipeline Project
One of Biden’s earliest accomplishments was rescinding the Keystone XL Pipeline permit, canceling the project. The controversial project was created to carry oil from Canada to the U.S. However, the project was not recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It also posed spillage risks and risked local communities and ecosystems. This cancellation marked the president’s shift away from fossil fuels and toward renewable energies.
Rejoining the Paris Agreement
President Biden decided to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement and continue the battle against the climate crisis. The agreement is a legal commitment to limit Earth’s temperature increase to 1.5C degrees to preserve planet livability. Biden presented a climate plan with goals even more ambitious than those stated in the Paris Climate Agreement. The president is determined to meet the agreement goals, as well as accomplish some of his own.
President Biden hopes to accomplish ‘Net-zero’ emissions by 2050
President Biden hopes to achieve a 100% clean energy economy and ‘net-zero’ emissions by 2050. To achieve this, we must reduce toxic gas emissions. Through the Paris Climate Agreement, policymakers are already encouraged to scale up renewable energy with incentives and policies. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), solar has maintained a 49% annual growth rate thanks to federal tax credit incentives. Solar installation costs are also lower than ever. It is likely President Biden will continue to encourage the expansion of solar, as he has already taken extensive executive action to combat the climate crisis. Freedom Forever is prepared to support President Biden in his battle against the climate crisis. We encourage you to be part of the solution.