Excerpt: The Biden Administration will establish a new Environmental and Climate Justice Division within the DOJ, as proposed by Governor Inslee, to complement the work of the Environment and Natural Resources Division. In line with the new Division’s mandate, Biden will instruct the Attorney General to: (i) implement, to the extent possible by executive action, Senator Booker’s Environmental Justice Act of 2019; (ii) increase enforcement, in line with the commitments already detailed in the Biden Plan; (iii) strategically support ongoing plaintiff-driven climate litigation against polluters; (iv) address legacy pollution that includes real remedies to make communities safe, healthy, and whole; and (v) work hand-in-hand with EPA’s Office of Civil Rights.
- Elevate environmental justice in the federal government and modernize the all-of-government approach. Currently, the federal government has two key environmental justice groups. Biden will elevate and reestablish the groups as the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council and White House Environmental Justice Interagency Council, both reporting directly to the Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), who reports directly to the President. To support this work, Biden’s CEQ will also have senior and dedicated environmental justice staff. These two councils will be charged with revising EO 12898 in order to address current and historic environmental injustice, in collaboration with local environmental justice leaders. And, they will be tasked with developing clear performance metrics to ensure accountability in the implementation of the Executive Order. Once the revised EO is finalized, the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council and White House Environmental Justice Interagency Council will publish an annual public performance score-card on its implementation.
Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Tuesday outlined an updated climate plan, seeking to invest $2 trillion to boost clean energy and rebuild infrastructure.
The proposal is the second plank of his new economic agenda called “Build Back Better,” which he first detailed last week in Pennsylvania.
Biden’s climate initiative calls to chart the United States on “an irreversible path” to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
To do that, the plan would aim to achieve a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035. It would also upgrade 4 million buildings and weatherize 2 million homes over four years to increase energy efficiency. And the proposal, Biden’s campaign said, would seek to shift major cities toward public transportation and “create millions of good, union jobs rebuilding America’s crumbling infrastructure.”
The former vice president’s plan comes with a $2 trillion price tag, with plans to deploy those resources at an accelerated pace during his first term.
The proposal also includes environmental justice components, such as creating an Environmental and Climate Justice Division within the Department of Justice.
In a statement, Trump’s reelection campaign said Biden’s proposals would “destroy jobs,” and the former vice president is also “drastically underreporting the costs of such a plan.” Team Trump also said Biden is “embracing the far-left climate positions” of people such as Washington Gov. Jay Inslee.
Indeed Inslee, who ran for the Democratic presidential nomination on a climate platform, called Biden’s new plan “visionary” in a New York Times interview.
The climate initiatives follow the unveiling of lengthy policy recommendations from joint task forces created by Biden and his onetime primary rival, the progressive Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.