Last week, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland issued a pair of climate-related secretarial orders prioritizing climate change action and pursuing environmental justice.
According to EcoWatch:
Secretarial Order 3398 rescinds a dozen orders issued under the Trump administration which an Interior statement collectively described as “inconsistent with the department’s commitment to protect public health; conserve land, water, and wildlife; and elevate science.”
Secretarial Order 3399, establishes a departmental Climate Task Force that will identify policies needed to tackle the climate emergency, support the use of the best available science on greenhouse gas emissions, implement the review and reconsideration of federal gas and oil leasing and permitting practices, identify actions needed “address current and historic environmental injustice” as well as “foster economic revitalization of, and investment in, energy communities,” and work with state, tribe, and local governments.
Prior to becoming the secretary of the interior, Haaland served as chair of the New Mexico Democratic Party and as a U.S. representative for New Mexico’s first congressional district. She is also one of the first two Native American women to be elected to the U.S. Congress.
“From day one, President Biden was clear that we must take a whole-of-government approach to tackle the climate crisis, strengthen the economy, and address environmental justice. At the Department of the Interior, I believe we have a unique opportunity to make our communities more resilient to climate change and to help lead the transition to a clean energy economy. These steps will align the Interior Department with the president’s priorities and better position the team to be a part of the climate solution,” says Haaland.
Environmental activists, climate groups, and many others applaud Haaland’s orders and commitment to fighting climate change.
“The Interior Department is in a powerful position to drive bold action for the climate in the United States. Haaland’s actions today confirm that President Biden and his administration are seizing the opportunity to rein in fossil fuels and make climate action and climate justice a reality,” says Jeremy Nichols, climate and energy program director for WildEarth Guardians.