• Saturday, Jul 02, 2022
  • Last Update : 04:24 pm

Factbox: Biden could take quick first steps on long climate policy road

  • Published at 09:06 am November 8th, 2020
Joe Biden
File photo: Democratic US presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden speaks about climate change as an insect flies by during a campaign event held outside the Delaware Museum of Natural History in Wilmington, Delaware, US, September 14, 2020 Reuters

Biden proposed $2 trillion in spending over his first four-year term and achieving 100% clean electricity by 2035

Joe Biden has promised sweeping measures to make the US economy carbon neutral by 2050 to put the United States on a path to cut emissions as deeply as scientists say is necessary to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

The agenda to reverse President Donald Trump’s legacy of climate deregulation would likely start with some easy wins, such as rejoining the Paris Agreement, but would become more complex as his administration ventures further into regulating greenhouse gas emissions down toward net-zero.

Here are some of the actions Biden could take:

Rejoin Paris Agreement

Soon after the January 20 inauguration, Biden will likely rejoin the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, which Donald Trump left, saying it was too expensive. While Biden promised in the campaign to commit the United States to net zero emissions by 2050, rejoining the Paris pact will put him under pressure to set a nearer-term goal of cutting emissions by 2030.

Biden has said he wants to make a diplomatic push to persuade China, the world’s top greenhouse gas emitter, to stop financing coal plants through its Belt and Road initiative. Persuading other countries to cut emissions and to preserve their carbon storing forests will test the Biden administration.

Reversing Trump rollbacks

Biden will likely use executive orders to reverse Trump’s rollbacks of regulations. Potential targets include placing methane standards on oil and gas operations and the prevention of drilling in the Arctic.

Also read - Factbox: How a Biden presidency would transform the US energy landscape

Trump rolled back about 80 rules on the environment, dozens of which are related to standards on emissions or drilling and mining, according to a Harvard University Environmental & Energy Law Program tracker here.

How quickly Biden will issue executive orders and act on them may depend on how much drillers, still smarting from anemic fuel demand from the coronavirus pandemic, pressure his administration. Much of what Biden does by executive order could be reversed by a future Republican administration.

Green jobs

Biden proposed $2 trillion in spending over his first four-year term and achieving 100% clean electricity by 2035.

The extent to which he will achieve that plan to provide green jobs in infrastructure, such as building charging stations for electric vehicles and energy efficient housing, will largely depend on Congress. With it looking likely that Republicans will keep control of the Senate it would be unlikely Congress would pass a big climate bill anytime soon.

Still, some funds to build the green economy could be included in wider legislation such as an overdue package on coronavirus relief or an infrastructure bill, which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, says is one of her two big priorities and has long been a goal for Republicans.

And Biden could lean on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, a little-known independent panel of the Energy Department, to push through policy including decarbonizing the power grid by 2035.

Oil and gas

Trump tried to convince voters falsely that Biden would wipe out the oil and gas industry. Biden told reporters on October 22 that fossil fuels would be around for a long time, but his plan to kill subsidies for the fuels would help reduce US dependence on them.

Biden does not support a wide ban on fracking, a drilling technique that reaches big energy deposits, but wants to stop new oil and gas permitting on federal lands. Such a ban could be limited as fracking occurs mostly on private lands, and the move could be challenged in court.

Trump’s placement of Amy Coney Barrett on the Supreme Court increased its conservative majority to 6-3 and could present hurdles to Biden’s climate policy. The court could restrict the 2007 expansion of the Clean Air Act to include greenhouse gases that paved the way for Obama-era climate regulations. The court could also decide many cases on oil and gas pipelines.

Biden has also pledged to halt the Keystone XL pipeline that would transport crude from Canada’s oil sands, a project that Obama canceled but Trump revived. It is uncertain whether he supports efforts by progressives and Native Americans to stop the Dakota Access pipeline that has been caught up in legal battles.

Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail