Biden executive order to require agencies to make ‘environmental justice’ part of mission

President Biden will sign an executive order Friday in the Rose Garden that will direct every agency of the federal government to incorporate “environmental justice” into its mission, the White House said.  The White House has invited environmental justice leaders, climate advocates and community leaders to join the president at the signing ceremony today. There, Biden will reaffirm his administration’s commitment to fighting climate change and correcting “disproportionate environmental harms,” including those inflicted by a “legacy of racial discrimination including redlining.” “The executive order will direct agencies to address gaps in science and data to better understand and prevent the cumulative impacts of pollution on people’s health. It will create a new Office of Environmental Justice in the White House to coordinate all environmental justice efforts across the federal government. And it will require agencies to notify nearby communities in the event of a release of toxic substances from a federal facility,” a White House official said.  BIDEN PLEDGES $1B MORE IN US FUNDING FOR UN’S GREEN CLIMATE FUND According to the White House, the executive order will recognize that “racism is a fundamental driver of environmental injustice.” It will direct federal agencies to consider and prevent disproportionate impacts of environmental and health harms on poor and minority communities. It also will require agencies to consult with historically excluded communities and “actively facilitate meaningful public participating and just treatment of all people in agency decision-making.”  The new White House Office of Environmental Justice created by Biden’s action will be led by a Federal Chief Environmental Justice Officer, who will be tasked with coordinating “environmental justice” policy across the whole federal government. MASSIVE OIL PROJECT SPARKED CIVIL WAR WITHIN BIDEN ADMINISTRATION, LAWMAKERS SAY Additionally, the executive order changes language used in a Clinton-era environmental order that called on the government to address “disproportionately high and adverse” effects of their actions, dropping the word “high” to remove the “potential misunderstanding that agencies should only be considering large disproportionate effects.”  The White House contrasted Biden’s planned action with policies favored by House Republicans and Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., accusing “extreme MAGA Republicans” of being in the pocket of Big Oil.  AOC, TOP DEMOCRATS ISSUE STINGING REBUKE OF BIDEN OVER FAILED CLIMATE PROMISES Republicans have introduced H.R. 1, the Lower Energy Costs Act, wide-ranging legislation that pushes back on Biden’s climate agenda on everything from Biden’s rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline to restrictions on oil and gas development to proposed bans on gas stoves. The legislation, passed with bipartisan support in the House, would repeal taxes and regulations on oil and gas production and make it easier to develop fossil fuel energy. President Biden has said he would veto the bill.  McCarthy has said the Biden administration “kneecapped American energy production” with “misguided policies” that increase costs on Americans.  “Speaker McCarthy and his extreme caucus’ proposals, including H.R. 1, would be a climate and health disaster that President Biden won’t allow on his watch,” the White House official said. 
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