President-Elect Biden has identified climate change as one of his top agenda items for his administration, noting that climate change underpins our global leadership. He has been just as confident sharing that a “Clean Economy” will produce high-paying jobs as he has been touting cleaner air and water for poor and minority communities that have historically taken the brunt of industrial pollution.
But comprehensive climate change and other matters before a likely divided Congress will be a tough lift and require a pragmatic touch. In order to help the Biden Administration, we thought it would be a good idea to put together a “wish list” of what we would like to see this Administration accomplish.
While most wish lists are all about what people get us (or in business speak, they are tactical in nature), a list such as what we’re addressing here requires a strategy and pathway to address and (ultimately) solve specific problems. The transition between the 45th and 46th Presidents of the United States already provides an indication of how Biden’s strategy will be shaped.
Given the appointments of Congresswoman Deb Haaland (Secretary of the Interior), Jennifer Granholm (former governor of Michigan being tapped as Secretary of Energy) and Michael Regan (leading the Environmental Protection Agency), Biden is laying out the relationship between job-creating clean energy investment and environmental justice. Proof of that mission is seen in Mr. Regan’s creation of an Environmental Justice and Equity Board in his home state of North Carolina; we believe that he will bring that same level of innovative thinking to Team Biden.
As far as what specific tactics Silverline expects to see—especially in the first 100 days of this Administration—we expect Biden will hit the ground running with a string of executive orders, including rejoining the Paris climate accord and for hosting a climate summit with heads of state. We also expect for Biden’s EPA and Transportation Department to revisit rules easing federal tailpipe pollution standards and greenhouse gas controls for existing electricity sources, while doing an about-face on Trump administration efforts to handcuff California and other states from enforcing more stringent rules. And, we also envision some quick wins to reinstate methane emissions limits within the oil and gas industry and revisit Trump administration rules limiting the reach of the National Environmental Policy Act (which governs federal environmental reviews of projects) and the Endangered Species Act.
We know there is more to be done. Team Silverline is assembling an overview of what we think the first 100 days for the Biden Administration will look like. What do you want the Biden Administration to accomplish? Let us know in the comments below or reach out to michael<at> teamsilverline <dotcom>.
Meanwhile, let’s hope we all get what we want out of 2021…and beyond.