Biden Cancels Destructive Trump Environmental Policy, In Win For Dems

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Despite seemingly endless GOP complaints, Biden’s administration is continuing to oversee the achievement of significant successes for the American people. Now, federal authorities have finalized a reversal of a move by the Trump administration that made the environmental impact review process around certain infrastructure projects less rigorous. Biden’s changes cover the implementation of a federal law known as the National Environmental Policy Act, which demands examinations of the potential environmental impacts of initiatives such as the construction of energy infrastructure. The Trump administration removed “many” projects from the required review process, The Washington Post explains, leaving many areas — and the people in them — more vulnerable to pollution. Trump’s administration also eliminated requirements for examining indirect environmental impacts of covered infrastructure projects, a requirement the Biden administration has apparently put back into place.

Now, federal authorities will have to examine “how government actions may increase greenhouse gas emissions and whether they will impose new burdens on communities, particularly poor and minority neighborhoods, that have already faced disproportionate amounts of pollution,” the Post summarizes. The Trump administration originally undertook the regulatory changes that the Biden administration has now undone in the context of the consistent Republican ideological push for de-regulation in a manner that seems essentially purposefully ignorant of the possible consequences. Trump, of course, could barely be bothered to even acknowledge climate change while in office. In one particularly ridiculous moment among so many others throughout his presidency, Trump said he simply didn’t “believe” a report on possible negative impacts from climate change that his own administration produced.

The Biden administration apparently initially laid out their proposals last October for the environmental rules changes that have now been finalized, and additional rules updates regarding the implementation of that federal law are on the horizon, the Biden administration says. As explained by the Post, “The statute is considered one of the nation’s most consequential environmental laws, one widely imitated by other countries.” The federal legal provisions at issue also include requirements for public input amid the review process surrounding potential infrastructure projects. The Post identifies the infamous Keystone XL pipeline, which never actually began operation, as among the proposed construction projects undercut by challenges brought under the provisions of that federal law, the National Environmental Policy Act. The Biden administration has balanced its push for environmental protection with continuing to support the American economy — something that Republicans like to act as though the president’s team isn’t doing despite continuing signs of economic improvement like falling unemployment rates.

On a note similar to this reversal of the Trump administration’s actions on the National Environmental Policy Act, the Biden administration has also moved to undo the Trump administration’s limiting of the waterways that were subject to federal oversight under the so-called waters of the United States rule, while, it would appear, working on certain updates to the relevant provisions. The Biden administration is also “directing federal agencies to ensure that new construction projects funded by the $1.2 trillion infrastructure package are made with U.S.-made materials,” according to NBC. That expansive infrastructure spending law that Biden signed last year is poised to continue providing accessible work opportunities around the United States.