Biden’s Climate Resolutions

During his first year in office, President Biden largely failed to take the actions on fossil fuel production necessary to protect our communities and climate. The Build Back Fossil Free coalition has prepared a list of “Climate Resolutions” that Biden needs to make for the new year ahead.

  • Reject presidential permits for major fossil fuel projects:  After rejecting Keystone XL on day one of his presidency, Biden failed to reject the presidential permits for major fossil fuel projects like the Line 3 pipeline, the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the Line 5 pipeline.

  • Instruct federal agencies to reject the permits for major fossil fuel projects: President Biden promised an “all government approach” to the climate crisis, but he’s yet to instruct federal agencies to stop approving new fossil fuel projects like the Mountain Valley Pipeline.

  • Stop new fossil fuel leasing, drilling and mining on public lands and waters: Biden broke the promise he made on the campaign trail and hosted the largest offshore oil and gas lease sale in US history. He also failed to prohibit new federal coal leasing while actually lowering royalty rates on 13 federal coal leases, making it cheaper for fossil fuel companies to dig up climate-destroying coal on public lands. His Department of Interior then released a watered-down report about fossil fuel extraction on public lands that failed to mention climate impacts. In 2022, Biden needs to follow through on his promise.

  • Reinstate the crude oil export ban: The United States is exporting carbon pollution around the world, while directly harming primarily Black and Brown communities along the Gulf Coast with the pollution from refineries and export facilities. Biden should reinstate the crude oil export ban in a way that protects American consumers.

  • Prevent major polluter giveaways in the Build Back Better Act: The Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework included billions of dollars in polluter giveaways. Biden needs to ensure that Congress passes the Build Back Better Act without massive handouts to the fossil fuel industry.

  • Declare a climate emergency: Millions of Americans were confronted with the climate emergency in 2021, with wildfires, droughts, floods, hurricanes, and other extreme weather devastating large parts of the country. It’s past time that President Biden should declare a climate emergency and unlock additional executive powers that could be used to push forward solutions.

  • Crackdown on Big Polluters: More than 4 in 10 Americans breathe polluted air and the problem is worse for people of color. Biden has promoted steps to stop methane emissions, but hasn’t acted to stop pollution more broadly. In 2022, he needs to direct the EPA Administrator to issue a stringent pollution prevention rule for the oil and gas sector, effectively stopping fracking and other ultra-hazardous and energy-intensive extraction methods everywhere.

  • Hold Big Oil accountable: The House Oversight Committee has begun an investigation into Big Oil’s decades of deception, but the White House has yet to support the effort. President Biden should instruct the Attorney General to investigate all legal violations by fossil fuel polluters and prosecute them to the maximum extent of the law, including by supporting the “nuisance” and “fraud” suits brought by more than a dozen local and state governments against fossil fuel producers for the damages they have caused.
  • Make DOE and a Department of Clean Energy: President Biden should transform the mission of the Department of Energy by ending all fossil fuel programs. Instead, in 2021, the Biden DOE under Secretary Granholm turned the Fossil Energy office into Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM), an R&D and propaganda shop for expensive, unproven, dangerous distractions such as Carbon Capture and Storage.