President Biden to issue executive order dedicated to environmental justice
The order will create a White House Office for Environmental Justice and require several federal agencies to take steps to protect Americans from the effects of pollution.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden on Friday plans to sign an executive order that would create the White House Office of Environmental Justice.
The White House said it wants to ensure that poverty, race and ethnic status do not lead to worse exposure to pollution and environmental harm. Biden is trying to draw a contrast between his agenda and that of Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. GOP lawmakers have called for less regulation of oil production to lower energy prices, while the Biden administration says the GOP policies would give benefits to highly profitable oil companies and surrender the renewable energy sector to the Chinese.
Biden will sign the executive order to continue delivering on “the most ambitious environmental justice agenda in our nation’s history,” the White House said in a statement.
The order tells executive branch agencies to use data and scientific research to understand how pollution hurts people’s health, so that work can be done to limit any damage. Under the order, executive agencies would be required to inform nearby communities if toxic substances were released from a federal facility.
As part of the announcement, Vice President Kamala Harris is separately traveling to Miami, Florida, to announce $562 million to help protect communities against the impacts of climate change.
The EPA last year formed its own Office of Environmental Justice and External Civil Rights, merging three existing EPA programs to oversee a portion of Democrats’ $60 billion investment in environmental justice initiatives created by last year’s Inflation Reduction Act.
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