President Joe Biden announced new environmental justice actions on Friday, including an executive order that the White House says will make environmental justice a central mission of federal agencies.
“Under this order, environmental justice will become the responsibility of every single federal agency – I mean, every single federal agency,” Biden pledged at a White House Rose Garden signing ceremony surrounded by climate and environmental justice advocates just before Earth Day.
He continued, “Every federal agency must take into account environmental health impacts on communities and work to prevent those negative impacts. Environmental justice will be the mission of the entire government woven directly into how we work with state, local, tribal, and territorial governments.”
The executive order, which will still be up to agencies to implement, will create a new Office of Environmental Justice inside the White House Council on Environmental Quality.
Friday’s move comes as as many environmental justice groups have been frustrated at the administration’s recent approval of a major Alaska oil project. CNN also reported Friday that the Biden administration is planning to roll out aggressive new rules to regulate planet-warming pollution from natural gas power plants – a move that could face fierce legal challenges.