01.27.2021

Biden to sign executive order promoting climate change agenda, halt new drilling on federal land

By David Boyer

President Biden will sign an executive order on Wednesday making climate change policy a priority of his administration, suspending certain new leases for oil and gas drilling and focusing on “environmental justice,” moves that critics say are costing thousands of jobs already in the energy field.

The White House said Mr. Biden’s order “clearly establishes climate considerations as an essential element of U.S. foreign policy and national security.” 

The statement also said his new policies will build on earlier actions such as canceling the Keystone XL pipeline project and rejoining the Paris climate agreement, reversals of policies of former President Trump.

The order will direct the secretary of the interior to halt any new oil and natural gas leases on public lands or offshore, launch a “rigorous review” of existing fossil-fuel production leases and permits, and will set a goal of doubling renewable energy production from offshore wind by 2030.

The administration also reportedly plans to allow the Federal Emergency Management Agency to redirect up to $10 billion in emergency COVID-19 money for climate change projects.

Former Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said the plan is proof of “the radical left coming forward with their priorities.”

“Whether it’s our border policy or any of the other executive orders that he’s putting forth, it’s going to have a real chilling effect on jobs,” he said on “Fox & Friends.”

Mr. Meadows questioned in particular the redirecting of COVID-19 aid.

“It’s a real head-scratcher when you start to look at FEMA’s critical role in making sure that vaccines get to the American people,” Mr. Meadows said on Wednesday. “They’ve played a very pivotal role in making sure that those get distributed in an equitable way. And yet, we’re going to reallocate $10 billion to climate change?”

He said most Americans don’t consider climate change as “their number one priority.”

“They probably looked at it as the virus. We need to keep the priority where it is,” Mr. Meadows said.

This article appeared on the Washington Times website at https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2021/jan/27/biden-sign-executive-order-promoting-climate-chang/

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