During the last 4 years, the Trump administration has rolled back countless environmental policies and regulations. Now, Biden is looking to overturn 100 of these rollbacks as he seeks to put the United States on track to fight climate change.
These rollbacks will come in the form of an executive order that intends to address public health and climate change. The list of rollbacks range from lightbulb efficiency all the way to fuel standards for new cars.
Making these changes will help lower emissions and protect our environment from pollution.
List of Major Environmental Policies Rollbacks
In total, the Trump administration rolled back 104 regulations, with 20 currently still in the process of reform.
Here are just a few of the major ones that are likely to change:
Obama-era Automobile Fuel Standards
For years, automobiles have strived to use less gas. Not only does this provide an environmental benefit, but it also helps the auto owners. The specific rollback allows for cars to emit an extra billion tons by lowering enforceable fuel standards on new cars.
Oil Companies No Longer Need to Report Methane Emissions
One of the more controversial changes was no longer requiring oil companies to report methane emissions. Methane is an extremely powerful greenhouse gas, which is much more potent than CO2.
This disincentivizes companies to repair small leaks and has led to an increase in emissions.
Open Up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge For Oil Drilling
For over six decades, the drilling rights for this wildlife refuge have been in court. However, the legal battle came to an end when it was part of a major tax reform bill in 2017. Recently, the land was auctioned, and in quite an ironic turn of events, no major oil company showed up.
However, the possibility for drilling remains.
Weakened the Endangered Species Act
The act intended to protect wildlife species facing extinction was altered as well. The change made it harder for animals that were going extinct as a result of climate change to be added to the endangered species list.
This made it harder for the species to receive the protections they need to survive.
Revoked A Rule Preventing Coal Companies From Dumping in Local Streams
That’s right, it’s now not against the law for coal companies to dump mining debris into nearby local streams. Overturning this, and many other coal regulations, were in an effort to keep the coal industry alive. However, that ultimately failed.
The rise of natural gas and renewable energy has permanently made coal undesirable as an energy source.
Change is on the Way
Overturning these problematic environmental policies will help the United States improve environmental protection and meet climate goals.
Most importantly, the nation will begin rejoining the Paris Accord on day one. Currently, it is one of the very few nations not currently part of the agreement and the only major economy that is not a member. And, when combined with the environmental rollbacks, a greener future is ahead.