What they are saying about Biden’s executive actions on climate crisis

President Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Wednesday took swift and bold executive actions to combat the climate crisis at home and abroad and restore scientific integrity across the federal government.

The White House said “President Biden’s steps today build upon the actions he took on Day One and fulfill his promise to power a clean energy revolution in America that creates good-paying union jobs, builds sustainable infrastructure, and achieves environmental justice.”

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“The actions include ensuring the Biden-Harris Administration takes a whole-of-government approach to addressing the climate emergency and elevating the issue in U.S. foreign policy and national security. From climate advocates to labor leaders and more, President Biden’s actions earned broad support from communities across the country,” the White House added.

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Below is what many are saying about those executive orders:

Climate Advocates

League of Conservation Voters: “This is the single biggest day for climate action in more than a decade, and what makes it all the better is that President Biden and Vice President Harris are just getting started!” said LCV President Gene Karpinski. “We’re thrilled that this administration is taking a whole of government approach that puts bold climate action, clean energy, and environmental justice at the heart of their domestic and foreign policy agenda. Today’s actions help deliver on their historic commitments to set our country on a path to 100 percent clean energy by 2035, protect 30 percent of our lands and ocean by 2030 and stop reckless giveaways of those lands to oil and gas CEOs, address environmental injustice, ensure that 40 percent of all investments are directed to frontline communities and communities of color, create high-quality jobs, restore the role of science in decision-making and more. This is what the record number of voters who overcame historic barriers to elect President Biden and Vice President Harris are counting on.” [Statement, 1/27/20]

NRDC: “The signal from President Biden today is unmistakable: For the next four years, every day will be climate day. That will not only help us avoid a fate of ever-worsening extreme weather disasters—it will help us rebuild stronger in the face of the multiple crises gripping our nation, from the pandemic to racial injustice and the economy. We look forward to working with the administration to answer this call of history. There is no time to waste.” [Statement, 1/27/20]

Sierra Club: “The Sierra Club applauds President Biden’s recognition that justice and equity must be centered in our effort — at home and abroad — to address the climate crisis,” said Senior Director of International Climate and Policy Campaign Cherelle Blazer. “The return of U.S. leadership in this space will set the example for how all countries need to center environmental and economic justice in their response to this global crisis. The Sierra Club is eager to support ambitious climate action that will set a strong Nationally Determined Contribution, accelerate the global coal phase out, and end all public finance of fossil fuel projects, monumental and necessary steps in the right direction.” [Statement, 1/27/21]

Earthjustice: “Today’s announcements herald the leadership we desperately need to tackle environmental injustice and our climate emergency. One week in office and President Biden is already making good on his promise to prioritize bold climate action and environmental justice. It will take unrelenting focus across the entire federal government to make up for all the time we have lost, and today’s executive order provides the blueprint…“We applaud the administration’s focus on justice, restoring science, job creation and an equitable transition away from fossil fuels. Today’s executive actions can set us down the path to address our country’s long history of environmental racism and to invest in a pollution-free economy that leaves no community behind. The President is making environmental justice, accountability, and enforcement a mission of the White House and every federal agency.” [Statement, 1/27/20]

NextGen America Founder Tom Steyer: “The Biden Admin Climate Proposals are broad and deep.  They demonstrate the commitment necessary to prevent catastrophic climate change while building jobs and addressing environmental justice.   Exactly what they ran on and promised.  Why winning the election was so crucial.” [Tweet, 1/27/20]

Former Vice President Al Gore: “President Biden is serious about confronting the climate crisis. These actions will ensure that climate action is integrated throughout all corners of his administration, to create new jobs, build a better America, and protect vulnerable communities.” [Tweet, 1/27/20]


Labor Leaders

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IBEW International President Lonnie R. Stephenson: “Today’s executive actions by the president is not just a much-needed step to address the ongoing climate crisis. It is a massive investment in America’s energy infrastructure, boosting American jobs and American businesses. Biden’s plan relies on harnessing American innovation, resources, and workers to bring it to fruition. And it ensures that all new energy jobs are good jobs by ordering federal agencies to strictly enforce federal prevailing wage law and encourage the use of project labor agreements. President Biden has also reconfirmed his commitment to uphold the right of all workers to join a union and collectively bargain. Across the nation, the power professionals of the IBEW are hard at work building the clean-energy economy of tomorrow. We know that addressing climate change can create good, middle-class jobs that rejuvenate communities across the United States. It is proof that cutting carbon and creating jobs do not need to be at odds with one another. We can succeed at both with the right leadership. We look forward to working with the Biden-Harris administration as we rebuild and retool our energy infrastructure and invest in good union jobs that will power our economy and communities with clean, sustainable and secure energy in the years to come and build back our middle class.” [Statement, 1/27/20]

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka: “Today’s executive order begins the process of fulfilling President Biden’s commitment to address the climate crisis with the urgency it demands while placing the needs of working people and communities at the center of every effort. The clean-energy economy must be built on a foundation of family-supporting union jobs, and today’s order makes clear that President Biden is committed to that vision. It is critical we create good jobs in advance of any actions that cause reductions in employment in fossil fuel production and use. Working families and communities want to know, and deserve to know, that doing what is necessary to fight climate change won’t result in unemployment or a reduced standard of living. The shift to clean energy is a tremendous opportunity to create jobs. The federal government must lead the way by insisting that public dollars are spent on American-made products, including renewable energy goods and clean vehicles, and that high labor standards are built into every action and attached to every federal incentive for clean energy. We deeply appreciate the president’s call to invest in coal and other fossil-fuel communities to create good jobs in new industries and by cleaning up abandoned mines and wells. We call on Congress to support this order with the funding it requires while doing more to require high labor standards. President Biden has been clear in saying he will be the most pro-worker and pro-union president in history. This executive order lays out a worker-friendly, climate-friendly path for his entire administration, and we look forward to working with him to make that vision a reality.” [Statement, 1/27/20]

BlueGreen Alliance: “These executive orders will launch the kind of whole of government approach to the climate crisis that our nation has been lacking for far too long,” said Executive Director Jason Walsh. “President Biden understands the reality and the severity of the climate crisis and knows how important it is to listen to experts and respond to it at the scale that science demands while simultaneously addressing economic and racial inequality and driving the creation of family-sustaining, union jobs. We are also excited to see action today to provide support to workers and communities impacted by our nation’s transition to cleaner, cheaper forms of energy. These workers have powered our nation for decades and we must ensure that no community or worker is left behind as we move toward building the clean economy. Building off of this historic moment, we look forward to working with the Biden-Harris administration to put this new strategy into action and to work to advance critical economic recovery, manufacturing, and infrastructure priorities that will go hand in hand with today’s actions—including adopting Buy Clean procurement policies to ensure our federal procurement dollars support clean, domestic manufacturing.” [Statement, 1/27/20]

Federal Agencies

U.S. Department of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin: “I fully support the President’s direction today to include climate considerations as an essential element of our national security and to assess the impacts of climate change on our security strategies, operations, and infrastructure … We know first-hand the risk that climate change poses to national security because it affects the work we do every day. The Department will immediately take appropriate policy actions to prioritize climate change considerations in our activities and risk assessments, to mitigate this driver of insecurity. As directed by the President, we will include the security implications of climate change in our risk analyses, strategy development, and planning guidance. As a leader in the interagency, the Department of Defense will also support incorporating climate risk analysis into modeling, simulation, wargaming, analysis, and the next National Defense Strategy. And by changing how we approach our own carbon footprint, the Department can also be a platform for positive change, spurring the development of climate-friendly technologies at scale. There is little about what the Department does to defend the American people that is not affected by climate change.  It is a national security issue, and we must treat it as such.”

U.S. Department of the Interior: “As part of President Biden’s efforts to Build Back Better and pursue a clean energy future, the administration has committed to making investments to create millions of family-supporting and union jobs in clean energy generation, land restoration, abandoned mine cleanup, plugging of orphan oil and gas wells, energy efficiency, clean transportation, advanced manufacturing, and sustainable agriculture across America. Today’s Executive Order will call for the Interior Department to identify steps to accelerate responsible development of renewable energy on public lands and waters, including setting a goal to double renewable energy production from offshore wind by 2030. The Department will immediately begin a review of processes and procedures to date as it re-invests in a rigorous renewable energy program. It also calls for the establishment of a new Climate Conservation Corps Initiative to put a new generation of Americans to work conserving and restoring public lands and waters, increasing reforestation, increasing carbon sequestration in the agricultural sector, protecting biodiversity, improving access to recreation, and addressing the changing climate.” [Statement, 1/27/20]

Conservation Organizations

The National Wildlife Federation: “What better way to put millions of Americans to work and build back better than by restoring our forests, grasslands, wetlands, and coastal areas to bolster resilience, sequester carbon, and recover imperiled wildlife populations through a revitalized 21st century Civilian Conservation Corps and a commitment to restore 30 percent of our lands and waters by 2030?” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “We applaud the Biden Administration for advancing solutions that will accelerate our economic recovery and revitalize frontline communities, while simultaneously confronting our nation’s biodiversity, climate, and racial justice crises.” [Statement, 1/27/21]

Environmental Defense Fund: “President Biden’s bold and decisive action today again makes clear he is serious about restoring and strengthening American leadership on climate solutions,” said President Fred Krupp. “The administration’s commitment to rapidly cut climate pollution, create good jobs now and in the future, and build healthier communities—especially communities of color unfairly burdened by pollution—demonstrates significant progress in the fight to protect our climate.” [Statement, 1/27/21]

The Trust for Public Land: “We need bold action to protect people from the climate crisis, and we’re very encouraged by the Biden Administration’s actions today,” said Bill Lee, Senior VP of Policy, Advocacy and Government Relations at The Trust for Public Land. “From President Biden’s commitment to conserve 30% of the U.S. by 2030 to his call to create a Civilian Climate Corps to put a new generation of Americans to work conserving and restoring public lands and parks, this bold and inclusive vision for America’s climate future marks a turning point for our country. These ambitious goals will help slow the loss of nature, mitigate the impacts of climate change, and ensure everybody in America — no matter their economic status, race, or ethnicity — have access to parks and green space.” [Statement, 1/27/21]

Open Space Institute: “The Open Space Institute (OSI) enthusiastically welcomes President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s executive order providing a comprehensive plan to combat climate change. This plan and his commitment to take on this, the greatest environmental crisis of our lifetime, is critically important and long overdue. Specifically, we applaud President Biden’s plan to conserve 30 percent of U.S. land and waters by the year 2030 to leverage natural climate solutions, protect biodiversity, and slow extinction rates. We look forward to supporting President Biden’s land and water conservation goals by continuing our 40-year history of protecting forests that store and capture atmospheric carbon, land that supplies clean water, and outdoor spaces that bolster the physical and mental well-being of communities.” [Statement, 1/27/21]

Elected Leaders

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: “President Biden’s sweeping and visionary climate action sends a clear message to the world: America recognizes the urgency of the climate crisis, and we are embracing the opportunity to solve it with economic and environmental justice for all.  These Executive Actions will not only reverse the Trump special interest, dirty energy agenda but will Build Back Better – expanding on House Democrats’ progress to finally take our country into a net zero-emissions, clean energy future. This coordinated, whole-of-government approach strengthens workers and the economy: creating good-paying American union jobs and powering growth by rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure in a climate-resilient way.  It shows how we can save the planet while saving consumers and taxpayers money.  The Biden Plan is transformative and forward-looking, understanding that the climate crisis is an issue of justice and championing equity at every step.  And it revitalizes our entire approach to the crisis: re-engaging the global community, treating the climate crisis as an economic and national security threat and ensuring that America’s climate policy will be determined by scientists, experts and the communities at stake, not politicians and polluters. Armed with Congressional Democrats’ Solving the Climate Crisis Action Plan – widely lauded as the most important climate strategy in American history – House Democrats are ready to work with President Biden to advance this climate agenda. Together, we can protect public health, advance America’s preeminence in the green jobs of the future, defend our national security and honor our moral obligation to be good stewards of God’s creation.” [Statement, 1/27/20]

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee: “I applaud President Biden’s executive actions today that will once again place the United States at the forefront of tackling the climate crisis here at home and around the world. This broad suite of actions reflects the administration’s commitment to full-scale mobilization of the whole of federal government — exactly what is required to meet this moment. President Biden is fulfilling his promise to protect our communities from the consequences of climate change and to seize the opportunity of an equitable clean energy economy that will create good-paying jobs across our country. I welcome President Biden’s commitment to protecting scientific integrity – a stark departure from years of watching our nation’s experts silenced and sidelined by political appointees in the previous administration. Confronting the dangers posed by our changing climate with clear eyes is essential to the safety of our communities, and the president’s commitment to eliminating political interference will protect Washingtonians from the ravages of wildfires, flooding, and environmental degradation. The benefits to every American of an equitable economy based on net-zero emissions and sustainable infrastructure are unmatched, and Washington state and our partners in the U.S. Climate Alliance are doing our part by continuing to advance bold climate legislative and executive agendas. Now, we once again have a partner in the White House committed to protecting our health and safety from climate threats and delivering on environmental justice.” [Statement, 1/27/20]

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis: “National progress on moving to cleaner, less expensive cars and cleaner energy is good for America and good for Colorado. We will also work closely with the Biden administration as they begin a program-wide review of energy development policy on public lands to ensure that it works for Colorado. And as long as the review is completed expeditiously we don’t expect an economic impact in the short-term with current market factors and the many existing unused leases and permits,” said Governor Jared Polis. “As we tackle the impacts of climate change and air pollution locally and nationally – now that we have a President that believes in science – Colorado’s strong environmental laws, my administration’s Greenhouse Gas Pollution Reduction Roadmap, and the state’s longstanding leadership in the clean energy economy and the conservation of our vast great outdoors can serve as valuable examples to the new federal administration as they tackle these critical issues.” [Statement, 1/27/20]

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer: “Today, President Biden is putting his pledge to address the climate crisis into action in his first days in office.  The executive orders and memorandum he is signing will ensure that departments and agencies across the federal government will prioritize climate change in their work and that we take a whole-of-government approach to tackling this global challenge while making it a centerpiece of our foreign policy.  I’m pleased the President is establishing a White House Environmental Justice Interagency Council to address how the climate crisis is affecting minority and low-income communities differently and to explore ways to mitigate those disparities.  In addition to those efforts aimed at reducing America’s carbon pollution, today’s actions return science to a central place in policymaking after years of having scientific knowledge and expertise sidelined. If America can lead the world again in addressing the global climate crisis, we can not only prevent the worst-case outcomes predicted by climate scientists but we can also create new economic opportunities for American businesses and workers.  The climate crisis represents one of the greatest threats to our nation’s interests and the wellbeing of its people. The sooner we start accepting this challenge and focusing on the opportunities that will come in addressing it, the better. House Democrats have been working for a long time on these efforts, and I am glad that we finally have partners in the White House and in the new Democratic Senate who are ready to work with us to achieve these goals.  I look forward to working closely with the President and his climate team to ensure that America is doing its part to address this crisis and that we can do so in a way that advantages our economy over the long term.” [Statement, 1/27/20]

Sen. Brian Schatz, Chair, Select Senate Committee on the Climate Crisis (D-HI): “President Biden’s announcement today shows the commitment, urgency, and scope of action we need to fight the climate crisis. Together, these steps put the nation on a path to cut emissions, grow our economy, create jobs, and prioritize environmental justice. I am particularly encouraged to see that climate change will be central to U.S. foreign policy and national security—because there is no denying the fact that climate change is an existential threat that is shaping how we engage with the rest of the world. America is once again providing a vision and leadership for collective action.” [Statement, 1/27/20]

Rep. Kathy Castor, Chair, Select House Committee on the Climate Crisis: “President Biden is making good on his promise to deliver real progress on solving the climate crisis, with a focus on putting Americans back to work and ensuring environmental justice,” said Chair Castor. “Under his leadership, America is poised to benefit from the incredible economic opportunities that will come from rebuilding our infrastructure, investing in clean energy innovation, and unleashing the potential for good-paying union jobs in manufacturing and conservation. Today’s suite of executive actions builds on the vital steps the President took on his first day in office to reposition America as a global climate leader. And his continued commitment to clean air and environmental safeguards will ensure this progress benefits the health and pocketbooks of everyday American families.” [Statement, 1/27/20]

Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr., Chairman, House Energy and Commerce Committee: “After four years of obstinate, reckless climate denial, today’s executive actions are a breath of fresh air. Together, President Biden’s orders will elevate the climate crisis to the economic and national security concern that it is, enlisting the power of the whole federal government in the fight. Itis a relief to finally have a president who sees this moment not only as a challenge, but as the opportunity that it is. It is an opportunity to empower our workers with new, good paying jobs that can’t be shipped overseas; to prioritize the needs and the voices of our environmental justice communities; to revitalize our energy communities with the support they need to rebuild from this pandemic; and to return our economy to a position of strength after a long, dark year of historic job losses and pain. I’m proud to stand with the president in this effort, and join him in saying: now is our time to act. We will not stand idly by as the rest of the world transitions to clean energy and our workers get left behind, and we will not watch from the sidelines as the climate crisis wreaks havoc on Americans’ health and homes. President Biden would be the first to admit these actions are just the starting point, and Congress will need to play a critical role if we are to truly tackle this crisis head-on. To that end, I look forward to holding a hearing next month to learn more precisely where legislative action is needed to round out these orders and set the country on the path to a 100 percent clean, carbon neutral future.” [Statement, 1/27/20]

Sen. Tom Carper, Chairman, Senate Environment and Public Works Committee: “Meeting the demands of the climate crisis is an urgent challenge that presents us with an incredible opportunity. I’m thrilled that the Biden Administration is wasting no time capitalizing on that opportunity in ways that benefit the American people and our planet. With his executive action today, President Biden is laying the foundation for bold, government-wide action that puts us on a path to net-zero emissions by 2050. Importantly, he’s doing so in a way that prioritizes American workers, environmental justice, and scientific integrity. President Biden’s executive action furthers progress on several key issues that I have been focused on for many years in the Senate. It directs the State Department to prepare for the ratification of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, a global agreement to phase down the use of powerful greenhouse gases known as hydrofluorocarbons or HFCs. This will build upon the implementation of my AIM Act, which was signed into law last year. The executive order will stimulate more offshore wind and electric vehicle production here at home and protect our beautiful coasts and public lands for future generations. I’m also glad it invests in communities that too often feel left behind when it comes to transitioning to a clean economy. Getting to net-zero is not going to be easy. It’s going to require bold action throughout our government and across society. I’m encouraged by the Biden Administration taking leadership on this urgent issue and pushing us in the right direction. Now it’s time for Congress to come together and seize on this moment.” [Statement, 1/27/20]

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse: “I am pleased that President Biden has made addressing the climate crisis and creating green jobs urgent priorities. I’m particularly encouraged by the Biden administration’s push to end the public subsidies that provide an enormous advantage to the fossil fuel industry, and his push to expand renewables like offshore wind.  There’s a lot of work ahead of us on climate, and the Biden administration has to marshal broad support for a bold, comprehensive solution.” [Statement, 1/27/20]

Senator Bob Casey: President Biden promised we can have both good jobs AND a clean environment, and today he’s keeping that promise. This executive action will tackle the climate crisis & deliver environmental justice while also creating good-paying union jobs & building sustainable infrastructure. [Twitter, 1/27/20]

Rep. Horsford (NV): Sustaining a workforce and union to combat the climate crisis is more than necessary—especially for communities impacted by environmental harm. [Twitter, 1/27/20]

Rep. Betty McCollum (MN):  Today President Biden is taking a number of bold actions that are urgently needed to address the climate crisis. America is once again ready to lead & take #ClimateActionNow! [Twitter, 1/27/20]  

Rep. John Sarbanes (MD): I look forward to working with my colleagues in Congress and on
@EnergyCommerce, alongside the Biden Administration, to achieve these ambitious climate goals and implement our plan to #ActOnClimate [Twitter, 1/27/20]

Rep. Brendan Boyle (PA): Since day 1, @POTUS Biden has taken bold #climate action. I’m ready to work with him to fix our damaged planet and create good-paying clean energy jobs. His Exec. Orders today will help work toward these goals. [Twitter, 1/27/20]

Rep. Jan Schacowsky (IL): Since day 1, @POTUS Biden has taken bold climate action. I’m ready to work alongside him to save our planet and create good-paying clean energy jobs. [Twitter, 1/27/20]

Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (OR): We must #ActOnClimate, and today’s Executive Orders demonstrate the Biden-Harris Admin’s commitment to #SolvingTheClimateCrisis. [Twitter, 1/27/20]

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