You are here: Home » International » News » Others
Business Standard

Biden to suspend federal drilling, strengthen environmental justice

Biden will also assemble a national climate change task force

Joe Biden | United States

Valerie Volcovici & Jeff Mason | Reuters  |  WASHINGTON 

US President Joe Biden
US President Joe Biden | File photo

The Biden administration will announce on Wednesday a new batch of executive actions aimed at combating that will pause new oil and gas leases on federal land and strengthen measures to protect poor and minority neighborhoods from pollution, according to sources familiar with the matter.

The orders will set the direction for newly sworn-in President Joe Biden's and environmental agenda and mark a drastic reversal from his predecessor Donald Trump, who sought to maximize the country's oil, gas and coal output by removing regulations and easing environmental reviews.

In the orders, Biden will call for a pause on new federal oil and gas leases and direct the Interior Department to review the program's climate impacts and taxpayer benefits. He will also set a goal to conserve 30% of federal land and waters to protect wildlife, the sources said.

The orders will impact large swathes of acreage onshore in mostly Western states, as well as offshore drilling acreage located mainly in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

Word of the measure has drawn criticism from some states that depend on drilling revenue and the oil industry, which has warned the move will costs jobs and economic growth.

Biden will also assemble a national task force, to be led by White House domestic climate policy advisor Gina McCarthy. It will enlist federal agencies to devise climate change strategies.

He will also form an interagency council aimed at addressing environmental justice, placing an official to oversee the issue within each federal agency, and direct 40% of benefits from clean energy investments to low-income and minority communities, the sources said.

Biden is also expected to create a special environmental justice enforcement unit at the Justice Department, they said.

The orders aim to make good on several of Biden's campaign promises to tackle climate change while also addressing racial and economic inequality.

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Wed, January 27 2021. 16:42 IST