Joe Biden to Sign 3 Executive Orders on Climate Change—Here's What They Do

President Joe Biden is set to sign three more executive orders on Wednesday addressing climate change—his latest moves in an effort to address campaign promises and appease his supporters.

The executive actions will block new oil and natural gas leases on public land or offshore waters, designate climate change as a national security priority, and reestablish scientific and technological advisory committees, among other directives.

The goal is to "help drive our nation toward a clean energy future, creating well-paying jobs with the opportunity to join a union, and delivering justice for communities who have been subjected to environmental harm," according to a summary the administration provided to Newsweek.

Just hours after being sworn into office, Biden signed orders to rejoin the Paris climate agreement, block the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline and direct a further review of Donald Trump's rollbacks of environmental regulations.

"We're going to combat climate change in a way we have not before," Biden told reporters in the Oval Office during the round of executive order signings a week ago.

Critics of the president have warned that his environmentally driven actions could cost jobs and drive up energy prices, while his supporters have hailed him for beginning a significant national effort to address the climate crisis.

Here's what Biden will be signing Wednesday:

Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad

Biden will sign a sweeping order to halt new oil and gas permits on public land and to study ways to double renewable energy production through offshore wind by 2030, among many other provisions.

The order sets a goal of conserving at least 30 percent of lands and oceans by 2030, and it directs a review of ways to reduce toxic substances and greenhouse gases emitted from abandoned infrastructure.

Federal agencies will be ordered to transition to only clean electricity and zero-emission vehicles that are American-made.

It also formally establishes the White House Office of Domestic Climate Policy, which will be led by former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, and create a National Climate Task Force.

Presidential Memorandum on Scientific Integrity

The second executive action directs federal agencies to prioritize science and data in their efforts. All agencies that oversee, direct or fund research will establish an in-house chief science officer to help oversee the effort, while other agencies will be instructed to designate a scientific integrity official.

Executive Order on Establishing President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology

Biden will sign an order to reestablish the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, which lagged for nearly three years after Barack Obama left office, before Trump appointed a new partial slate of members in 2019.

Under Trump, the council was mostly made up of appointees from the corporate sector rather than academia, as in previous administrations.

The Biden administration hasn't yet revealed who will be appointed to his council, but it indicated that it would be looking to "scientists, engineers and other
experts in science, technology and innovation."

Joe biden
President Joe Biden speaks on the federal response to the coronavirus crisis on January 26. MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty

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