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Biden to announce executive order to promote environmental justice

President Biden is set to announce an executive order on Friday that will create a new office in the White House focused on environmental justice efforts.

The order will launch an Office of Environmental Justice, which will work within the White House Council on Environmental Quality and be led by a federal chief environmental justice officer tasked with coordinating implementation of environmental justice policies. 

The order will also instruct agencies to look at gaps in science and data “to better understand and prevent the cumulative impacts of pollution on people’s health,” according to a White House official. 

Additionally, it will require agencies “to notify nearby communities in the event of a release of toxic substances from a federal facility,” the official said.

The order aims to better protect overburdened communities from pollution, confront existing and legacy barriers and injustices, promote the latest science, and create accountability. The Biden administration plans to publish the first-ever Environmental Justice Scorecard, launch a White House campaign for environmental justice, and work to combat plastic pollution in communities, among other new actions.

The president’s announcement on Friday afternoon will be alongside environmental justice leaders, climate advocates, and community leaders in the Rose Garden. Meanwhile, Vice President Harris will be in Florida to announce new steps to strengthen coastal resilience to climate change impacts and extreme storms, according to the White House.

The president, during his announcement, will also highlight his investments in climate in comparison to the House Republican debt limit proposal that Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) announced earlier this week. The proposal target aspects of the Inflation Reduction Act, which is a keystone to Biden’s domestic agenda and that Democrats passed without GOP support last year, including aiming to end the green energy tax credits.

“While we’re lowering costs for American families through clean energy tax credits, extreme MAGA Republicans are safeguarding handouts for Big Oil companies,” a White House official said. 

“While we’re plugging millions of orphaned wells that emit methane and other dangerous gases, extreme MAGA Republicans would allow mining and energy companies to store hazardous waste without a permit,” the official added.

Source: The Hill

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