President Biden Issues Executive Orders To Address Climate Change

On Wednesday, President Biden signed several Executive Orders (EOs) designed to make climate change a central Administration priority for the next four years and build upon last week’s EOs to rewrite the Trump Administration’s Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standards (CAFE) and cancel the Keystone XL pipeline.

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was quick to condemn Biden’s climate EOs stating, “There’s nothing green about a tsunami of pink slips for American workers or carting Canadian crude [oil] around in trucks and trains instead of a pipeline.”

“This piecemeal Green New Deal is the wrong prescription — wrong for the environment, wrong for national security and, most of all, for the working Americans who will soon be formerly-working Americans if this keeps up.”

McConnell added the EOs would provide “no meaningful impact on global temperatures, just applause at those international conferences where the participants all assemble by private jets.”

Some of the EOs important to energy marketers:

— Replace federal, state and local government fleets with EVs assembled by union workers.

— Elimination of federal subsidies for oil companies.

— A “pause” on new oil and gas leases on public lands pending a comprehensive review although the Biden Administration did issue dozens of oil drilling permits recently. Click here for the story.

— Reversing Trump-era permitting rules that reduced regulatory compliance costs and streamlined infrastructure investments by requiring federal agencies to consider the effects of CO2 in environmental reviews.

— Creating a new task force of 21 agencies and departments to “enable a whole-of-government” approach to climate.

Click Here to read the rest of Biden’s EOs.

PPA Statement On Executive Orders

The PPA acknowledges the devastating impact that some climate change proposals could have on the businesses of member companies. We take these threats very seriously.

An example of this is the aggressive campaign PPA executed last year which successfully convinced Pennsylvania government leaders not to have the state join the Transportation & Climate Initiative— the regional cap-and-trade program that proposed a 17 cent tax on gasoline.

This is also reflected in the Association establishing long term goals for significantly reducing heating oil emissions in order to position the industry for future viability. 

In regard to the Biden plan, the PPA shares the concern of many members as to the tone and direction that is being outlined in the Executive Orders signed by the President.

We will continue to work with our federal partners to determine the details of the plan as they unfold, specifics of which are currently unclear in these early days of the Administration.

As reflected in the EMA weekly report, there are many hurdles that climate change proposals would have to clear, including U.S. Senator Joe Manchen (D-WV), the new chair of the Senate Environmental Committee who represents a state with deep ties to fossil fuels.

Nevertheless, the Administration could attempt to use its regulatory powers to proceed with their plans.

PPA will be vigilant in keeping members apprised of details as we learn of them-and recommend appropriate action.

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