Biden Moves Aggressively on Climate Change, Environmental Justice With Sweeping Executive Orders

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For Immediate Release: 
Wednesday, January 27, 2021

WASHINGTON – In a sharp break from the policies of the Trump administration, President Biden today issued an ambitious series of executive orders to combat the climate crisis, embrace science and foster environmental justice by ordering the federal government to pour resources into low-income communities and communities of color that bear an outsized burden from pollution and global warming.

The sweeping package of executive orders includes suspending new oil and gas leases on federal lands and offshore waters, requiring federal agencies to buy U.S.-made electric vehicles and establishing an interagency council on environmental justice, among many other directives to address the climate crisis.

The order also directs federal agencies to eliminate subsidies to the fossil fuel industry and seeks to identify new opportunities to kickstart “innovation, commercialization, and deployment of clean energy technologies and infrastructure.”

“Confronting the existential threat of the climate crisis and the inequities it foists on low-income communities and communities of color is now a top priority of the federal government, a shift that is long overdue,” said EWG President Ken Cook. “Today’s actions are a serious and much-needed down payment on limiting greenhouse gas emissions, but much more investment is needed to effectively counter the climate crisis.”

Reversing the anti-science posture and policies of the Trump administration, Biden’s directive calls on federal agencies “to make evidence-based decisions guided by the best available science and data” when crafting policies to tackle the climate crisis and other environmental challenges.

“The last four years saw a federal government largely untethered from facts and science,” said Cook. “Rebuilding and enhancing the critical role of data-driven environmental policy to protect people from pollution and the climate crisis is paramount, and it’s clear President Biden agrees.”

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The Environmental Working Group is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization that empowers people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. Through research, advocacy and unique education tools, EWG drives consumer choice and civic action.