Earthjustice Applauds President Biden’s Climate Progress in First Year
Earthjustice President Abigail Dillen released this statement today on the one-year anniversary of President Biden’s inauguration:
“President Biden proposed the most ambitious climate and environmental justice agenda in U.S. history, recognizing how much is at stake. We applaud the Biden administration for taking critical steps forward in its first year, and we will continue to hold them accountable where they have fallen short of the ambition needed to urgently transition away from fossil fuels.
“In one year, the Biden administration has taken critical steps forward to restore U.S. climate leadership, strengthen environmental protections, advance clean energy, and center climate and environmental justice in policymaking. The White House established its first-ever Environmental Justice Advisory Council and committed that at least 40% of the benefits of climate investments go to communities that are disproportionately impacted by pollution. The Environmental Protection Agency is strengthening standards for methane pollution and clean cars. President Biden proposed sweeping investments in clean energy, zero-emission transportation and buildings, pollution cleanup, and conservation that are part of the Build Back Better Act. The administration also unveiled new initiatives to accelerate offshore and onshore renewable energy development, including significant investments in transmission.
“But the administration broke its promise when it offered more than 80 million acres of the Gulf of Mexico to the fossil fuel industry in the largest offshore lease sale to date. It has defended a Trump-era decision that fails to account for the costs of pollution from coal leasing on public lands. It has failed to take action to stop dangerous pipelines like Dakota Access Pipeline and Line 3, which threaten Tribal communities and our climate. And the administration has much more work to do to stop a massive fossil fuel and petrochemical buildout at a time when we need to be rapidly transitioning to clean energy.
“It’s clear that the Biden administration must build on and accelerate the progress made in their first year. That means working with Congress to pass the Build Back Better Act to make the transformative investments we urgently need. Specifically, the President must bring his full influence to bear to revive negotiations in the Senate and work with Congressional leadership to get a bill passed in the coming weeks. We can’t wait any longer for climate action in Congress, and we need the Biden administration to move faster on the full suite of promised executive actions that are essential to drive progress on climate and environmental justice. Going forward, President Biden must end oil, gas, and coal leasing on federal lands and stop dangerous fossil fuel projects like the Dakota Access Pipeline. The administration must act to clean up pollution in frontline communities and live up to its promise that 40% of the benefits of climate investments go to these communities. Every government agency must strengthen health and environmental protections to reduce pollution from energy, transportation, buildings, and industry.
“We look forward to working with the Biden administration in the year ahead to meet their climate and environmental justice commitments.”
Earthjustice is the premier nonprofit environmental law organization. We wield the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect people’s health, to preserve magnificent places and wildlife, to advance clean energy, and to combat climate change. We are here because the earth needs a good lawyer.