Good Day, Gnusies! It’s a GNR Potluck day, where we share some good news and invite you to share even more good news in the comments!
Progressives care about climate change and we care about the environment. So it is great to know that with Democratic leadership action is being taken to move us forward in the effort to protect ourselves and the world from the consequences of global warming. We’ve got a long way to go, but Joe and the Democrats are making some headway. Read on for a list of just some of the things Democrats achieved in the first year of Joe Biden’s presidency:
1. Biden rejoined the Paris Climate Accords!
What have Democrats done for us? Just put us back on path to protect the freakin’ planet.
Rejoin the Paris climate accords
Biden signed an order to rejoin the Paris climate accords that President Trump exited last year, sending the United Nations a document that will make the U.S. party to the agreement in 30 days. The international pact aims to push all countries to slash their greenhouse gas emissions
2. Biden expanded wind farms
Biden has been working behind the scenes to make huge changes in energy production. This is one outcome.
Biden administration announces plans for massive expansion of wind farms off US coasts
The Biden administration is planning to aggressively expand offshore wind energy capacity in the United States, potentially holding as many as seven new offshore lease sales by 2025.
The move was announced Wednesday by US Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and first reported by The New York Times.
Haaland said the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is exploring leasing sales along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, in the Gulf of Maine, the New York Bight, the central Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico, as well as off the Carolinas, California and Oregon.
As part of that initiative, which spans multiple government agencies, the Departments of the Interior, Energy and Commerce committed to a shared goal of generating 30 gigawatts of offshore wind in the US by 2030. The Interior Department estimates that reaching that goal would create nearly 80,000 jobs.
3. Biden and the Democrats made the largest investment in railroads since Amtrak was created
4. Biden revoked the Keystone XL pipeline permit
Revoke the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline and cancel other Trump administration energy rules
Biden revoked the presidential permit for the $8 billion Keystone XL pipeline that would have transported fossil fuels from Canada across the United States -- a project climate activists have protested for years. The order also directs federal agencies to start reversing and revising other Trump administration rules, including restoring protections and banning drilling in several national parks and national monuments and setting stricter emissions and fuel economy standards for vehicles.
5. Biden protected endangered species
Biden Administration Moves To Reverse Two Trump-Era Rules In Bid To Protect Endangered Species
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service have proposed rescinding two 2020 rules put in place by former President Donald Trump, a move that would allow the agencies more power to prevent development in endangered species’ habitats, part of a larger White House effort to undo policies Trump passed during office.
6. Biden increased use of renewable energy
Biden Orders Federal Vehicles and Buildings to Use Renewable Energy by 2050
Under an executive order, the federal government would phase out the purchase of gasoline-powered vehicles, and its buildings would be powered by wind, solar or other clean energy.
7. Biden is cleaning up long ignored toxic sites
After decades, some of America’s most toxic sites will finally get cleaned up
New funding and the revival of a long-lapsed tax on chemical makers in the bipartisan infrastructure law mean cities like Newark will get money to restore toxic Superfund sites.
President Biden signed legislation reviving a polluter’s tax that will inject a new stream of cash into the nation’s troubled Superfund program. The renewed excise fees, which disappeared more than 25 years ago, are expected to raise $14.5 billion in revenue over the next decade and could accelerate cleanups of many sites that are increasingly threatened by climate change.
The Superfund list includes more than 1,300 abandoned mines, radioactive landfills, shuttered military labs, closed factories and other contaminated areas across nearly all 50 states. They are the poisoned remnants of America’s emergence as a 20th-century industrial juggernaut.
8. Biden Halted federal aid to new fossil projects overseas
Biden Halts Federal Aid to New Fossil Fuel Projects Overseas
The Biden administration has ordered an immediate halt to new federal support for coal plants and other carbon-intensive projects overseas, a major policy shift designed to fight climate change and accelerate renewable energy worldwide.
The wide-ranging directive for the first time bars U.S. government backing for future ventures, potentially affecting billions of dollars in annual funding as well as diplomatic and technical assistance.
9. Biden Protected Trees
2021 was a game-changing year for trees
the year started out bleak for some of the nation’s most important forest ecosystems. The outgoing Trump administration slashed federal protection for Alaska’s Tongass National Forest — the world’s largest intact temperate rainforest — and finalized a rule to stop protecting more than 3 million acres of the Pacific Northwest that’s home to the northern spotted owl, a threatened bird.
Biden reversed these policies, and others, after taking office.
“We’ve now had 12 months to get us back to where we were in 2016,” said Aaron Weiss, deputy director at the Center for Western Priorities, a research and advocacy group. “I don’t know if you can call that progress as much as it is stopping the bleeding.”
But in January, Biden also announced that the US would aim for “30 by 30” — a goal of conserving at least 30 percent of the nation’s land and water by 2030, which dozens of other countries have committed to.
“We’ve never seen a president make that kind of big conservation promise right off the top,” Weiss said.
This year also ushered in major pledges and financing for trees. At the UN’s big November climate conference in Glasgow, more than 100 global leaders vowed to end deforestation by 2030 — a commitment that governments and private companies backed with $19 billion. In April, a number of countries, including the US and Norway, also launched a coalition that will pay countries that can show they’re preventing deforestation.
10. Biden reduced climate emissions from cars
New Biden rule reducing climate emissions from cars and SUVs reverses major Trump rollback
The Environmental Protection Agency regulation finalized Monday marks the president’s single biggest step to fight global warming.
The Biden administration finalized a rule Monday to cut climate pollutants from new cars and light trucks, which will keep billions of tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere and change the kinds of vehicles Americans drive.
11. Biden protected 3 million acres of land
Biden expands Bears Ears and other national monuments
Biden used an executive order to protect 1.36 million acres in Bears Ears — slightly larger than the original boundary that President Barack Obama established in 2016 — while also restoring the 1.87 million-acre Grand Staircase-Escalante monument. Biden also reimposed fishing restrictions in the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of New England that Trump had opened to commercial fishing.
12. Biden is making light bulbs more efficient
DOE Moves Toward Ensuring Light Bulbs Save Energy
The Biden administration took a major step late Friday toward ensuring most new light bulbs do not waste the bulk of the energy they use, but it is unclear how long inefficient bulbs will remain on the market. The Department of Energy
(DOE) proposed to require that everyday light bulbs meet an efficiency standard—easily achieved by today’s LEDs—that had been set to take effect last year before the Trump administration prevented it from doing so.
Each additional month that light bulb standards are delayed costs consumers nearly $300 million in needless energy bills and causes 800,000 tons of preventable carbon dioxide emissions over the lifetime of the inefficient bulbs sold in that month.
Since Goody posted these items in her epic One Hundred Amazing Things Biden and the Democrats Did in One Year! GNR, there’s been more work done in cities and towns, throughout states and at the federal level to protect the environment and combat global warming. What’s been happening in your state?
Share your local, state or federal stories (links are a welcome bonus!) in the comments!
Happy Day, Gnuville!