President Joe Biden is expected to issue additional executive orders by end of the day today that will kickstart the process of combating climate change. Part of the directives will be an executive order requiring federal agencies to determine how expansive a ban on new oil and gas leasing on federal land should be. Others include preserving 30% of federal lands and waters and making the climate crisis an issue of national security.
President Biden campaigned on the promise of turning around the climate situation in the country. The directives to be issued today will mark the beginning of the process. However, even as the president and his team implement measures to combat climate change, experts say that executive orders can only do so much.
According to Jonathan H. Adler, a law professor at the Case Western Reserve University, the administration will need the goodwill of Congress to get any significant environmental policies in motion.
The president has previously said that he has a $2 trillion climate change agenda, which he intends to implement over his tenure. At the moment, Congress is only slightly tilted toward Democrats; however, some of the issues within his agenda may still prove hard to pass.
Tim Profeta, director of the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University, was among the group that delivered Biden’s climate policy blueprint. Profeta said, “The Biden administration can do quite a bit to start to put the country on the right trajectory with its own authorities.”
On his first day in office, President Biden signed several executive orders, including ending the Keystone XL pipeline project based on environmental concerns. The new executive directives will now call on agencies to consider how much federal land and waters should be reserved from mining and other economic activities. The president is also expected to sign an order to preserve 30% of federal land by 2030. He could also create a task force focused on reducing emissions nationally, and he is likely to sign an order to make climate change an issue of national security.
Image via Will Myers