Biden Stops More Than 100 Of Trump’s Environmental Policy Decisions

Biden Stops More Than 100 Of Trump's Environmental Policy DecisionsPexels/PA Images

US President Joe Biden has signed an executive order that pauses more than 100 of Donald Trump’s environmental policies while his administration reviews them.

The order, on ‘Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis’, starts a process that could lead to amendments or complete U-turns on a total of nearly 200 of Trump’s policies.

During his term, Trump took a muddled approach to climate change. While he did sign an advert in The New York Times expressing support for legislation that combats climate change, he used his now-deleted Twitter account to falsely brand climate change ‘mythical’, ‘nonexistent’, and ‘an expensive hoax’.

BidenPA Images

On Wednesday, January 20, Biden also confirmed the US had started the process of rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement, which Trump notoriously quit during his term in office.

One major policy currently being reviewed by the new administration is the National Environmental Policy Act. Last summer, Trump’s team eliminated the requirement of environmental impact reports for certain projects and reduced opportunities for public input.

Additionally, Trump sought to expand the use and extraction of coal, oil and natural gas. In a bid to achieve this, his administration scrapped a Clean Water Act provision that allowed state governments to reject federal permit decisions on fossil fuel projects.

Joe BidenPA Images

The provision had previously been used at a local level to stop coal projects.

Brett VandenHeuvel, executive director at Columbia Riverkeeper, an organisation that seeks to protect the body of water, told Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB), ‘That’s a very important state power that the Trump administration tried to take away.’

In his final weeks in office, Trump also issued a number of alterations to the Endangered Species Act that left the wildlife in the northwest of the US without protection.

Susan Jane Brown, director of the Western Environmental Law Center Wildlands Program, said Biden will need to take stronger action to implement real change.

‘What it will take to rollback the rollback is more process, more rulemaking. There are a series of steps that have to take place,’ she said.

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