-For Immediate Release-
WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden has wasted no time in following through on several campaign promises related to protecting the environment and addressing climate change.
Among the actions he will take within the week include: require the United States to rejoin the Paris Agreement; cancel the Keystone XL pipeline permit; ban new oil and gas permitting on public lands, including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; reimpose methane pollution limits for new and existing oil and gas operations; review Trump administration decisions to strip away national monument protections for such iconic locations as Grand Staircase-Escalante, Bears Ears and Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine national monuments; use the federal government procurement system to make facilities more reliant on clean energy and to purchase zero-emission electric vehicles; reestablish a working group on the societal cost of carbon; and begin the process of rescinding rollbacks on vehicle tailpipe emissions standards.
The president will also order the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to review several actions taken over the last four years that weakened clean water protections. These notably include the Dirty Water Rule, which put streams and wetlands at risk; weaker standards for coal ash and toxic pollution from power plants; and the recent update to the Lead and Copper Rule.
The Student PIRGs along with our partners at U.S. PIRG and Environment America have been at the forefront of campaigns for stronger environmental policies for decades. The Student PIRG chapters have been leading the charge on campuses across the country for the adoption of renewable energy, clean transportation and the conservation of our public lands and oceans.
“Americans, especially young Americans, want the government to do more to fight climate change and protect our environment.” said Political Director, Dan Xie.
Last week, 300 Student PIRG volunteers reached out to their peers to generate petition signatures from young people in 22 different states calling on the Biden administration to take a set of actions, to rollback the rollbacks and get the U.S. back on track. With these actions, many of those rollbacks are indeed being rolled back.
“We’ve faced a lot of setbacks over the past four years,” said Alex Gordon, Junior at Eckerd College and Chair of Florida PIRG students. “However, President Biden showed us just how serious he is about his campaign promises to protect the environment and take bold climate action. There remains a lot of work to do, but the president has set us on a course toward a greener, healthier future.”