Chair Castor: 'Biden Keeps Delivering Real Progress On Climate, Jobs & Justice'

Jan 27, 2021
Press Release
White House Announces New Round Of Climate & Environmental Executive Actions
WASHINGTON - On Wednesday, Chair Kathy Castor of the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis released the following statement, following President Joe Biden's announcement of a new round of environmental and climate executive actions:
 
"President Biden is making good on his promise to deliver real progress on solving the climate crisis, with a focus on putting Americans back to work and ensuring environmental justice," said Chair Castor. "Under his leadership, America is poised to benefit from the incredible economic opportunities that will come from rebuilding our infrastructure, investing in clean energy innovation, and unleashing the potential for good-paying union jobs in manufacturing and conservation. Today's suite of executive actions builds on the vital steps the President took on his first day in office to reposition America as a global climate leader. And his continued commitment to clean air and environmental safeguards will ensure this progress benefits the health and pocketbooks of everyday American families."
 
On Wednesday, the White House outlined a proactive climate agenda to move the country forward, with President Biden poised to sign a number of executive orders. The President has embraced a whole-of-government approach to fight the climate crisis, including:
 
Federal Leadership
 
  • Launching the National Climate Task Force with participation across federal departments and agencies to pursue governmentwide actions for confronting the climate crisis, including planning for each federal agency to increase the resilience of facilities and operations to climate impacts
  • Establishing the White House Office of Domestic Climate Policy as the central office for implementing the President’s domestic climate agenda
 
Environmental Justice and Just Transition 
 
  • Issuing an Executive Order establishing a White House Environmental Justice Interagency Council, as well as new and strengthened offices at EPA, DOJ, and HHS
  • Establishing a Justice40 Initiative with the goal of delivering 40 percent of the benefits of federal investments to disadvantaged communities as identified by a new Climate and Environmental Justice Screening tool
  • Directing federal agencies to make environmental justice and climate change part of their mission, by developing policies and programs to address disproportionate impacts on disadvantaged communities
  • Forming an Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization to advance projects reclaiming former mining sites, plugging oil and gas wells, and turning brownfields into new hubs for growth
 
Using Federal Buying Power to Advance Climate Goals 
 
  • Directing federal agencies to procure carbon-free electricity to help achieve a carbon-free electricity sector by 2035
  • Directing federal agencies to procure zero-emission vehicles made in America, creating 1 million jobs
  • Directing federal agencies to apply Davis-Bacon prevailing wage requirements, encourage Project Labor Agreements, and apply Buy American requirements
 
Foreign Policy and National Security 
 
  • Establishing the Special Presidential Envoy for Climate to lead international engagement
  • Hosting a Leaders’ Climate Summit on Earth Day, April 22, 2021 to raise ambition before the next U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26)
  • Reconvening the Major Economies Forum to elevate climate change within foreign policy
  • Kicking off the process to update the U.S. Nationally Determined Contribution under the Paris Agreement, including a climate finance plan
  • Directing the Director of National Intelligence to prepare a National Intelligence Estimate on the security implications of climate change, including growing threats from floods, droughts, and other extreme weather events
  • Directing the State Department to prepare a package to send to the Senate on the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol
  • Issuing an Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad emphasizing the climate threats to national security
 
Infrastructure 
 
  • Issuing an Executive Order to ensure infrastructure investments reduce greenhouse gas emissions and in an environmentally sustainable manner accelerate clean energy deployment and build out transmission infrastructure

 

Aligning Energy Development With Climate Goals 
 
  • Requesting a plan to double offshore wind production by 2030
  • Improving review of renewable energy projects on federal lands
  • Issuing a pause on new oil and gas leases on federal lands and waters
  • Directing a rigorous review of existing fossil energy leases and permits
  • Directing agencies to explore opportunities to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies
 
Agriculture, Forestry, and Conservation 
 
  • Committing to a goal of conserving 30 percent of U.S. lands and waters by 2030, working with state and local governments and farmers, fishermen, and foresters
  • Launching a new Civilian Climate Corps to build employment and skills-building opportunities through projects to conserve and restore public lands and waters, increase reforestation and carbon storage through agriculture, and support local resilience against floods, wildfires, and extreme heat
  • Directing USDA to collect input from farmers and ranchers on how to encourage broader use of climate-smart agricultural practices to create new jobs and income streams for rural Americans
 
Climate Science and Scientific Integrity 
 
  • Expanding the country’s climate forecasting capabilities to help governments, communities, and businesses prepare for and adapt to the impacts of climate change
  • Issuing a Presidential Memorandum to ensure federal decision-making is grounded in the best available science and data and to protect scientists from political interference
  • Designating Chief Science Officers and Scientific Integrity Officials across federal agencies to ensure research programs are guided by science, facts, and evidence and to implement scientific integrity policies
  • Re-establishing the Presidential Council of Advisors on Science and Technology to advise the President on policy that affects science, technology, and innovation as well as on the information needed to support policymaking for energy, environment, equity, and other topics
 
These actions build on announcements made on Tuesday, when President Biden: 
 
  • Issued a Presidential Memorandum on Tribal Consultation and Strengthening Nation-To-Nation Relationships, affirming the administration’s commitment to honoring Tribal sovereignty and including Tribal voices in policy development, and directing agencies to detail plans for ensuring meaningful Tribal consultation
  • Issued a Presidential Memorandum on Redressing Our Nation’s and the Federal Government’s History of Discriminatory Housing Practices and Policies, affirming the administration’s policy to end housing discrimination and racial bias and directing HUD to take necessary steps to address discriminatory federal housing policies.
 

Background:

 

 
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117th Congress