[GWSG] Biden didn't prevent fossil fuel production on fed lands; but look at that executive order

Tilley, Al atilley at unf.edu
Sat Dec 11 14:54:09 EST 2021

1. As president, Joe Biden has not carried through with the restrictions on fossil fuel production he proposed as a candidate. Because relatively little is now done on public lands, one defense is that to call a halt to production on public lands (which is all the president could do) would raise political opposition which would endanger other, more productive measures, such as the new methane emission rules and the support for the transition to electric vehicles. Obviously it is not a rationale he could air publicly.  We may still feel disappointed. https://insideclimatenews.org/news/06122021/biden-promised-to-stop-oil-drilling-on-public-lands-is-his-failure-to-do-so-a-betrayal-or-a-smart-political-move/?utm_source=InsideClimate+News&utm_campaign=0976cd9204-&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_29c928ffb5-0976cd9204-326454481

2. It is a good time to consider the goals of Joe Biden’s executive order on energy, signed Dec. 8. These goals for operation of the federal government include:

1. 100% carbon pollution-free electricity by 2030 (at least half of which will be locally supplied clean energy to meet 24/7 demand)

2. 100% zero-emission vehicle acquisitions by 2035, including 100% zero-emission light duty vehicle acquisitions by 2027

3. Net zero emissions from federal procurement no later than 2050, including a Buy Clean policy to promote use of construction materials with lower embodied emissions

4. A net zero emissions building portfolio by 2045, including a 50% emissions reduction by 2032.

The article reports detail after detail of the plan, enough to bring tears to the eyes. We are sorry to have doubted you, Joe Biden. https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/federal-government-to-procure-more-than-9362747/

3. A link to the order itself follows. The general goal is “to lead by example to achieve a carbon pollution-free electricity sector by 2035 and net-zero emissions economy-wide by no later than 2050.” Details on the goals above are accompanied by other goals. Section 207 moves toward a circular economy through diverting at least 50% of non-hazardous waste from landfills by 2025 and 70% by 2030. Sec. 208 promotes sustainability by full lifecycle strategies. Food procurement shall be done so as to reduce emissions. Sec. 209 directs federal efforts toward adaptation. Sec. 302 directs the tracking of emissions by major federal suppliers with an eye to reducing supply chain emissions. Sec. 303 directs attention to embodied emissions of acquisitions, including concrete and steel. Sec. 402 required that environmental justice be incorporated in federal actions. Sec. 501 establishes a Federal Chief Sustainability Officer on the Cou8ncil of Environmental Quality, and other sections detail a broad scope of responsibility for that officer and for the Council. So far analysis of the plan has emphasized its goal of net-zero emissions by 2050. The plan goes well beyond that.  https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2021/12/08/executive-order-on-catalyzing-clean-energy-industries-and-jobs-through-federal-sustainability/

4. The New York Times emphasizes limitations of the order (it doesn’t cover procurements by the Department of Defense, e.g.) and opposition to it by predictable figures.  https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/08/climate/biden-government-carbon-neutral.html

5. The Washington Post finds more to celebrate but considers that failure to pass the Build Back Better act will hamper achievement of its goals. I feel that the order is intended to ensure that our efforts do not depend entirely on senators 49 and 50.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2021/12/08/biden-government-purchasing-climate-change/

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