Now that 46th President Joe Biden has taken office, he has prioritized several executive orders that focus on environmental regulations. These orders center on big-ticket environmental initiatives like rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement, appointing new environmental authorities, and more. Find out how the Biden administration may impact environmental policies over the course of the next few years, and what those changes may mean for your business.
How the Biden Administration May Impact Environmental Policies
New Faces on the Environmental Scene, New Environmental Policies
With his nominations to top positions in key U.S. science agencies, President Biden has focused on advisers with strong backgrounds in research and climate change-based policy. Take, for example, Michael Regan, an environmental regulator who has been selected as Biden’s pick to lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). As the leader of the EPA, Regan will help safeguard public health and the environment. That involves heading up federal environmental regulations and limiting greenhouse-gas emissions. Regan has extensive environmental experience, with more than nine years working in the EPA’s air-quality program under former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, and then eight more at the Environmental Defense Fund. Regan has also led the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality for the last four years.
New Environmental Pipeline Updates
Halting construction on the long-disputed Keystone XL oil pipeline was one of President Biden’s first actions in office. President Biden revoked the pipeline’s permit on his first day in office, signaling a move away from future pipeline projects.
The Facts on the Paris Climate Agreement
The Paris Climate Agreement is an international accord between nations that have agreed to curb greenhouse gas emissions. The U.S. officially withdrew from the accord during President Donald Trump’s term. Now, President Biden has taken the first step to allow the U.S. to reenter the agreement.
Other Environmental Efforts
The initiatives listed above are very likely just the beginning of an environmentally-focused administration. President Biden has expressed interest in reversing several of former President Trump’s initiatives; for example, during the former president’s term, the EPA decided that incidental benefits of pollution limits wouldn’t count toward the consideration of costs and benefits of regulations. This is one action the Biden administration could, hypothetically, work to undo. Additionally, the EPA has changed its standards of evidence for studies on pollution harm. As of now, epidemiological evidence on its own is not enough to trigger regulation of a company. During former President Donald Trump’s administration, Obama-era rules on methane emissions from fossil fuel extraction were also eliminated, which Biden may seek to revive. While the new president may not be able to eliminate these rules through executive action, his first few weeks in office will likely be telling in terms of future environmental regulations.
President Joe Biden has only been in office for several days. However, the new president’s slew of environmentally-focused legislation likely indicates a more climate-aware White House in the years to come.
Are you curious about the new administration’s environmental policies, and what they may mean for your business? Give Environmental Works a call. We have in-house experts ready to help. We will walk you through the specifics of your organization’s planning and compliance needs and explore the ways you can be prepared for policy changes of all kinds. When you’re ready, you can contact EWI online or call 877-827-9500 for more information.