Clean Water Action: The Executive Orders on Climate Show the Biden Administration Understands What's at Stake

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Washington DC -- President Biden today signed a number of executive orders focused on combating climate change, ending environmental injustice, restoring science, and protecting the nation’s lands and waters.

Clean Water Action President and CEO, Bob Wendeglass, released the following statement.

“We’re thrilled with today’s executive orders and the overall pace of action. The Biden administration clearly understands the stakes and is wasting no time getting to work. By centering science again in decisions about how to best protect our water and act on the climate crisis, and placing a renewed focus throughout the government on environmental justice, the Administration has made clear it is serious about putting the needs of communities across the country first.

The Administration should also be applauded for enacting a moratorium on new leases for drilling on public lands. This is a good first step to limiting fossil fuel supply, but while the public owns a vast amount of the nation’s land, the majority of fossil fuel production happens on private lands. Another important step is to leverage our federal water protection laws -- the Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act -- to rein in the most polluting oil and gas production activities. Because of the influence of fossil fuel interests, these laws contain too many loopholes that weaken their effectiveness, allowing oil and gas companies to get away with polluting our water while fueling the climate crisis. The Biden administration must begin to close these loopholes and strengthen the regulatory programs that should be protecting water quality from oil and gas. In the coming weeks Clean Water Action will release a roadmap to strengthen these laws and lessen the impact of fossil fuel production on our water and communities.

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Since our founding during the campaign to pass the landmark Clean Water Act in 1972, Clean Water Action has worked to win strong health and environmental protections by bringing issue expertise, solution-oriented thinking and people power to the table.

Michael Kelly
202-895-0420 x 103