President Joe Biden plans to sign an executive order on Friday that would make “environmental justice” the mission of federal agencies, the White House said.
The Democratic administration wants to ensure that poverty, race and ethnic status do not lead to increased exposure to pollution and environmental damage. Biden is trying to draw a contrast between his agenda and that of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, Republican. Republican lawmakers have called for less regulation of oil production to lower energy prices, while the Biden administration says Republican policies would benefit highly profitable oil companies and hand over the renewable energy sector to the Chinese.
Biden will sign the executive order to continue to deliver “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 harms people’s health so that work can be done to limit any harm. It also establishes the White House Office of Environmental Justice, which will help coordinate efforts across government.
Under the order, executive agencies must inform nearby communities if toxic substances are released from a federal facility.
Last year, EPA 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 the Environmental Reduction Act. of inflation last year.