President Joe Biden is expected to issue executive orders to suspend new oil and gas leasing on federal property, reestablish a White House council of science advisers, and set a goal to protect 30% of federal land and water by 2030. He is also predicted to announce a number of initiatives prioritizing environmental justice by creating a White House interagency council on environmental justice and directing federal agencies to invest more in communities of color heavily impacted by pollution and the climate crisis. These actions, as well as executive orders to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline and put a moratorium on oil and gas permits in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, come after Biden used his inaugural address to declare the climate crisis to be one of the core issues facing the nation. Varshini Prakash, co-founder and executive director of the Sunrise Movement, says Biden is “off to a good start,” but says he needs to go beyond simply undoing the damage of the Trump administration. “We’re going to need to see a lot more from Joe Biden at the executive level and directing every branch of the federal government to action. But we’re also going to need to see him working actively to organize his congressional colleagues to pass what we need to be the greatest green jobs and infrastructure recovery plan that this country has seen,” says Prakash.
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