Biden Administration Prioritizes Environmental Policy in New Executive Orders

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By Samantha Swank

This past week, President Joe Biden signed several executive orders relating to environmental policy, including one that reinstated the United States into the Paris Climate Agreementan international pact of almost 200 countries to commit to emissions reductions, named after the location in which the negotiations were finalized, that went into full effect in late 2016. 

Former president Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the agreement in the summer of 2017, only a year and a half after the previous Obama administration entered the country into the agreement in December of 2015. The withdrawal, however, wasn’t finalized until this past November, thanks to a rule barring withdrawal within the first three years of the accord and another requiring 12 months notice. 

The United States accounts for a third of excess emissions despite containing less than five percent of the global population, which places particular emphasis on its government to lead the path to a viable and more sustainable way of living. 

Despite claims to otherwise, there exists no question as to whether or not human activities have harmfully accelerated climate change. Each of the past several years have breached records for being the hottest since record-keeping began2020 was the most recent year to reach the top ranks, even with global lockdowns.

Loss of land that will occur due to rising sea-levels is predicted to displace nearly 150 million people in geographically vulnerable areas by the year 2050, leading to a dramatic increase in the number of refugees seeking shelter from the environmental devastation of their homelands. Such loss of land will also negatively impact pre existing housing shortages and the supply of resources and food worldwide.

Beyond re-entry into the Paris agreement, President Biden has also revoked permission to expand the Keystone XL Pipeline, of which former president Trump permitted continued construction after it was barred by the Obama administration. The pipeline, along with others, spurred a lawsuit a few years ago due to its extraordinarily rapid approval, lack of environmental oversight, worries of oil spills contaminating crucial water supplies, and concerns related to the placement of the pipeline upon protected land significant to the Sioux and other tribes. Native American communities have long borne a disproportionate burden of the harms caused by hostile land and environmental policies. 

President Biden also ordered the reinstatement of several environmental and health protections that had been repealed or altered by the Trump administration.

Though not enough on their own to steer us away from the worst that our environmentally unfriendly habits have to offer, re-entry into the pact alongside other catch-up measures affirms the stance that the Biden administration has asserted regarding climate and environmental reform, and shows promise for substantial, lasting change.

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27 thoughts on “Biden Administration Prioritizes Environmental Policy in New Executive Orders”

  1. Chris Griffith

    I don’t think that global warming is a bad thing. I don’t think that [edited: Biden and his administration] are going to stop global warming no matter how much of our tax money he throws at it. If mother nature decides to kill every man woman and child let it happen. Cuz nothing what we do is going to stop it. In my personal opinion this Little Rock flying through space would be better off without the human race but I just one man’s opinion.

     

  2. Keith Olsen

    If today’s stock market is any indication Biden’s policies that he’s quickly enacting are starting to have a negative effect on the stock market and in turn the economy.

    1. Bill Marshall

      If today’s stock market is any indication Biden’s policies that he’s quickly enacting are starting to have a negative effect on the stock market and in turn the economy.

      Ahhh… but it’s not… “aye, there’s the rub”…

      If any one looks at a day, week, even month of ‘market trends’, they should be ‘day traders’ and prove themselves as fools

      Nice try, tho’…

      Perhaps you should follow Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of GA… she has filed articles of impeachment against Biden, Jan 21…

    2. Don Shor

      If today’s stock market is any indication Biden’s policies that he’s quickly enacting are starting to have a negative effect on the stock market and in turn the economy.

      The predictions that you made about the stock market and Biden’s election proved completely false. Today’s stock market drop has been directly attributed to comments by the Fed Chair. You know full well that your analysis on this topic has no basis.

      1. Keith Olsen

        The market is down 885 points since Biden took office and started enacting his executive orders of cancelling the xl pipeline and banning fracking on federal lands, that’s just for starters.

        1. Ron Glick

          I’ll grant you that the XL pipeline thing is virtue signaling but it is what a large number of Democrats want. After 4 years of it being all about the base its hard to complain too much about a little green base pandering.

          As for fracking on federal lands you are mistaken he doesn’t ban fracking as the following fact check from Newsweek shows:

          “Biden’s order does not issue a total ban on all existing and future fracking operations. His plan stops new fracking opportunities on federal land.”

           

          With the world awash in oil and after four years of a drill baby drill leasing policy by the previous administration there is not much need for new leasing by the Feds at this time.

  3. Chris Griffith

    At the moment I’m looking for some investors that’ll invest in my unicorn ranch I heard they don’t create as much methane as those damn cows do

  4. Ron Glick

    Biden’s biggest move is to move the Federal fleet of vehicles toward EV’s.

    If you take half a million gas vehicles off the road that could save a lot of fuel.

  5. Chris Griffith

    I would like to know what percentage of power that the White House consumes is green how much is solar or maybe nuclear energy how much green energy does Washington DC produce as a whole  could someone break it down in the segments how much is wind power for instance 🤗 how much is solar? What plans do they have for the future of Washington shouldn’t be a village idiots laid by example?

    Just one person’s opinion

    1. Bill Marshall

      I thought the answer was obvious… Congress and the White House has been largly powered by oral-thermal power… hot air that generates a heck of a lot of electrical power by running it thru turbines… also a lot of gas… particularly when one party is green with envy with its failure to retain control of the power grid…

      Perhaps they’ll convert more to solar when they finally let some light in…  they’ll need some more panels, for Congress and the White House to come up with a definite strategy, though…

  6. Tia Will

    My power has been out for 32 hours. I am sure Joe Biden is to blame. I am petitioning to have this added to Biden’s articles of impeachment.

    Sounds a little ridiculous when I say it, doesn’t it.

     

  7. Chris Griffith

    Tia,

    Biden is cowering in his basement at this given moment he is afraid that the Democrats are going to reinstate Donald Trump as president of the United States so they can successfully impeach the little guy 🤓

     

     

     

    1. Bill Marshall

      Chris… Trump has already been impeached… that’s a given… only question is whether he will be tried and found gulity…

      Thought it amusing, that you referred to him as “the little guy”… yeah, often wondered if that was a ‘problem’ he had… maybe he tried too hard to ‘compensate’…

  8. Ron Glick

    “I would like to know what percentage of power that the White House consumes is green…”

    I remember when Jimmy Carter put solar panels on the WH roof. I also remember when Ronald Reagan took them down. For almost 50 years the Dems have been ahead of the Reps on green energy.

    I’d like to know how much tax revenue was lost during the Trump years by not getting rid of oil depletion allowances?

  9. Chris Griffith

    I’d like to know how much tax revenue was lost during the Trump years by not getting rid of oil depletion allowances?

    I don’t think they lost a hell of a lot especially since price of gas and natural gas in other oil products were in the tank during the Trump administration.

    Also if you compare it to the tax write-offs to wind power and solar power and of course if you buy that nice Tesla car not having to pay gas tax that little depletion allowance is minuscule whats your opinion??

     

    1. Ron Glick

      The depletion allowance is 15% of revenue on ten million barrels a day at the low price of $30/barrel that is $45 million a day in tax breaks or about $15 billion a year by my back of the envelope calculations.

      The last President who tried to get rid of the depletion allowance was JFK. Some think its why the oil guys in Texas had his motorcade go through Dealey Plaza.

  10. Chris Griffith

    Ron but I’ll do respect I don’t understand what the big rub is maybe we’re talking about apples and oranges I don’t know but below is my understanding of who cost depletion effects

     

    Example of cost depletion:

    Landowner Hofstetter recently inherited 400 acres of property from his father. Upon his father’s death, the value of the land stepped up to its fair market value of $2,500 per acre. The total value of the land is $1,000,000. He had heard of the Marcellus Shale boom from his cousins in Pennsylvania so he allocated a portion of the land’s basis to the mineral rights. He establishes a basis in the mineral rights of his royalty interest to be $80,000. Through a geological survey, it was determined there is 4,000 million cubic feet (Mmcf) of natural gas reserves. In the first year, the well produced 400 Mmcf.

     

    The first step to calculate the cost depletion is to calculate the value for each depletion unit. This is calculated by dividing the adjusted basis of the reserves by the total reserve units. In this example, Mr. Hofstetter would divide $80,000 by 4,000 Mmcf whichequals $20 per Mmcf or $0.02/Mcf. In the first year, 400 Mmcf of gas were sold. For this amount the cost depletion value is (400 Mmcf * $20/Mmcf) is $8,000. Since this is less than his cost basis of $80,000, he can deduct $8,000 for his cost depletion on Schedule E. His adjusted basis for the next tax year will be $72,000, eligible for cost depletion.

     

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