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Biden is saving our environment

Dear Editor,

President Biden’s first 100 days is overall lauded for significant performance.

Experts agree the three biggest achievements of Biden’s first 100 days have been the COVID-19 vaccination distribution, passage of his $1.9 trillion economic relief bill, and the rejoining of the Paris Climate Accord.

I would add to the top three list a fourth major one: the elimination of Trump’s daily scandals and his crazy behavior. I am so happy that Biden trounced that criminal fool, Trump. But I digress.

While everyone is talking about Biden’s performance (and Trump’s destruction of the GOP), I would like to focus on Biden’s environmental performance. I want to point out the Biden efforts at the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Interior.

First of all Biden cleared out the environmental destroyers that Trump had appointed. Trump’s flunkies at EPA and DOI over four years, under Trump, took on a massive deregulation effort. They gutted pesticide bans, encouraged fossil fuel extraction on federal lands, weakened emissions standards, and even countered previous Environmental Protection Agency findings.

In a New York Times analysis the Trump administration: “dismantled major climate policies and rolled back many more EPA rules governing clean air, water, wildlife and toxic chemicals. At the same time, the DOI worked to open up more land for oil and gas leasing by limiting wildlife protections and weakening environmental requirements for projects.”

The Trump administration’s deregulation actions have been estimated to significantly increase greenhouse gas emission over the next decade and lead to thousands of extra deaths from poor air quality each year.

After cleaning house, Biden appointed leaders at the EPA and DOI dedicated to rescuing and preserving our precious environment, Michael S. Regan at EPA and Deb Haaland (the first native American cabinet member secretary) at DOI. Their very early accomplishments have been very impressive.

Science prevails under Biden. “When politics drives science rather than science informing policy, we are more likely to make policy choices that sacrifice the health of the most vulnerable among us,” EPA Director Regan wrote to his EPA department.”

The national parks, wildlife refuges and national recreation areas overseen by the DOI are crucial lands for greenhouse gas emissions. Interior lands are also part of the nation’s climate problem, since they hold vast reserves of fossil fuels that, when extracted and burned, generate climate pollution. Biden began dismantling many pro-drilling policies within hours of being sworn in.

The Biden administration used its first day to yank a Trump administration permit for TC Energy Corp.’s controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline, which would have carried very dirty crude from the Alberta oil fields to Gulf of Mexico refineries. “The pipeline has been a lightning rod with activists arguing that the environmentally damaging and high-carbon oil from the tar sands industry couldn’t grow without new conduits to move the oil to market,” according to Scientific American.

“Every year, power plants emit enormous quantities of air toxics and millions of tons of carbon pollution, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides into the air and discharge more than a billion pounds of toxic chemicals into waterways, harming public health and driving climate change …

“These power plants still cause tens of thousands of deaths and hundreds of thousands of illnesses each year, are the nation’s largest stationary source of climate pollution, and cause massive damage to ecosystems and agriculture,” environmental leaders write to Biden.

Biden heard them loud and clear. President Biden announced a new target for the United States to achieve a 50-52 percent reduction from 2005 levels in economy-wide net greenhouse gas pollution in 2030 — building on progress to-date and by positioning American workers and industry to tackle the climate crisis.

I am so thankful we have a President committed to saving our environment for us and our posterity.

Bill Bryant

St. Clairsville

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