WASHINGTON – President Biden will sign a package of implementing regulations on Wednesday to increase climate change at all levels of federal government. According to the government, the United States is being moved to reduce its share of emissions that warm the planet.
Taking the first important steps towards one of Mr. Biden’s most controversial election promises, the Secretary of the Interior Ministry is instructed to “pause as much as possible from entering into new oil and gas leases on public land and offshore waters” to begin a “rigorous review” of all existing leases and fossil fuel licensing practices as per a White House fact sheet.
Federal agencies are also being instructed to end fossil fuel subsidies and “identify new ways to drive innovation.” The overhaul of tax breaks, worth billions of dollars in the oil, coal and gas industries, to help pay for Mr. Biden’s $ 2 trillion climate protection plan, was also a major election promise. Both plans are likely to meet strong opposition in Congress.
Wednesday’s Executive Orders also set broad new foreign policy goals.
You will formalize the role of former Secretary of State John Kerry as Mr Biden’s new international envoy on climate change, based on the National Security Council. The ordinances stipulate that for the first time climate change will be a central component of all foreign policy and national security decisions.
The United States has endeavored to deliver on its promises made under the Paris Agreement, the agreement between nations to combat climate change. Under these conditions, the nation had pledged to cut emissions by up to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2020. Nonetheless, Mr Biden’s orders will usher in a process of developing new and more ambitious goals that will be announced ahead of a major United Nations summit later this year.
“The United States will exercise its leadership to promote a significant increase in global ambitions,” the White House said in a statement on Wednesday. Both important short-term and longer-term emissions targets, such as achieving net zero global emissions by 2050, “are required to avoid the world falling on a dangerous, potentially catastrophic climate path,” it said.
Oil and gas industry leaders signaled that many of Mr. Biden’s plans would meet stiff opposition.
“Punishing the oil and gas industry is killing well-paying American jobs, hurting our already troubled economy, making our country more dependent on foreign energy sources and affecting those who need affordable and reliable energy,” said Anne Bradbury, President the American Exploration and Production Council, a trading group that represents oil and gas producers, said in a statement.
Erik Milito, president of the National Ocean Industries Association, a trade group representing offshore energy companies, highlighted legal challenges and said in a statement that the hiatus in leasing oil and gas, in particular, “is against the law and tests America paves the way to increased imports from foreign countries, which have been characterized as polluting havens. “
Environmental groups called the changes long overdue, especially after four years in which the Trump administration mocked climate science and eliminated virtually every tool the government had to combat rising emissions.
“This is the biggest day for climate action in more than a decade,” said Gene Karpinski, president of the League of Conservation Voters.
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Jan. 27, 2021, 9:44 p.m. ET
In his campaign, Mr Biden set goals to eliminate fossil fuel emissions from the electricity sector by 2035, protect 30 percent of territories and oceans by 2030, and put the United States on a path to net zero emissions – that is to eliminate as much carbon pollution as the country puts into the atmosphere – before 2050.
His plan is to spend $ 2 trillion over four years to achieve this goal, a huge task in a tightly divided Congress.
The series of Executive Orders focuses on three main themes: integrating climate change into all facets of government, job creation and environmental justice.
In addition to formalizing a new domestic climate policy office in the White House under the leadership of Gina McCarthy, who previously served as the Environmental Protection Agency administrator under former President Barack Obama, Mr. Biden intends to set up a national climate protection group that will include leaders 21 and older Federal agencies. A new Interagency Council on Environmental Justice will also be established in the White House and a separate advisory council will be set up to prioritize understanding of the damage pollution is causing to poor and minority communities.
Mr. Biden will also issue a Memorandum on Scientific Integrity, instructing the agencies to make what the White House calls “evidence-based decisions based on the best available scientific evidence and data”. Any agency, not just those conducting scientific research, must appoint “scientific integrity” officials.
The steps to ensure scientific integrity follow the efforts of former President Donald J. Trump’s administration to thwart climate science.
In one of the most famous examples, senior Trump officials put pressure on those in charge of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in 2019 to turn down their own scientists after a weather station in Birmingham, Alabama, contradicted Mr. Trump’s false assertion that Hurricane Dorian was hit would hit the state.
Christopher Flavelle contributed to the coverage.