Bay Trail Middle School
Over the past four years, our country has seen many setbacks in terms of the climate. The Trump Administration’s climate policies have led to the approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, a relaxation on regulations for climate polluters, and the U.S.’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement. The Trump Administration also replaced the Clean Power Plan with ACE (Affordable Clean Energy), which has increased C02 emissions. However, the big cost is that progress towards a healthier climate has been slowed down significantly. The path towards a healthier climate has been blocked for four years in our country, and this means that more pressure is now put on President Biden and other future leaders.
Luckily, President Biden has already done many things to help the climate, and promises to do much more. On his first day as president, he started the process for the US to rejoin the Paris Agreement. He took away the permit for TC Energy Corp’s Keystone XL oil pipeline. The Biden Administration plans to reserve 30% of all the federal land and water for conservation purposes. President Biden has already made executive orders to authorize transition to all electric government vehicles. The Biden Administration has been halting new oil and natural gas* leases, which fulfills one of Biden’s campaign promises.
Although the Biden Administration promises to help with the climate crisis, there are worries that many will lose jobs to these changes. However, the Biden Administration expects just the opposite. The Biden Administration says that technological gains and the demand for solar and wind infrastructure will provide many jobs, and make up for lost jobs even in parts of the country that are reliant on oil. Workers will also be needed to build energy efficient homes, to manufacture new charging stations for electric vehicles, and to seal off oil and gas wells that are leaking. The Biden Administration also expects that the planned transition away from gasoline powered cars will create many new jobs in the automobile industry.
The Biden Administration has made helpful first steps to combat climate change. But there is still a lot of work to be done, to reverse the harmful policies of the Trump era, and push forward more initiatives to make our country environmentally friendly.
* Why move away from natural gas? Read this blog entry from August, 2020: The Case Against Natural Gas