First 100 Days

 

Rollbacks Home

Action Memos

Rollback Tracker

Day 2 Actions

 

The Biden administration has now completed its first 100 days in office. Traditionally, this time period has been a point to evaluate the performance of a new administration. With that in mind, a student team working under CLEE’s guidance developed a report analyzing the environmental actions of President Biden’s first 100 days in office. Drawing on the environmental rollbacks database compiled during the Trump administration, the team began tracking the reversals of those actions during the Biden administration’s first 100 days. This report provides a broad overview and analysis of reversal actions taken by the administration, as well as a more detailed look at the four agencies that account for a majority of the actions. It also provides in-depth case studies on a few specific reversals that reflect broader trends on reversals within the new administration, and identifies potential areas where additional work is needed. You can access the report via the link below.

Download the report: Reversing Trump Environmental Rollbacks: A 100 Day Analysis on the Biden Administration’s Reversals

 

In addition to its continuing work tracking over 200 Trump-era rollbacks of environmental safeguards, CLEE has compiled new actions of the Biden administration, listed below. These new actions do not primarily address rollbacks from the Trump administration (although some do incorporate rollback reversals), but rather represent the Biden administration’s attempt to advance their own agenda on the environment, environmental and economic justice, and climate change.

On January 20, 2021, President Biden was inaugurated and issued a series of executive orders addressing a suite of climate change policies and regulatory priorities. These executive orders, along with any other actions that indicate a significant policy shift or new direction have been tracked through the administration’s first 100 days.

We encourage suggestions and comments, particularly identification of significant new actions that might be missing from the list. Please send any and all ideas to clee@law.berkeley.edu.

Total new actions: 37 (updated through 4/30/21)
A spreadsheet version of the new actions can be found here


 

On January 20, 2021, President Biden signed a statement of acceptance on behalf of the United States officially re-entering the Paris Climate Agreement.

Presidential Statement of Acceptance

On January 20, 2021, President Biden signed an executive memorandum that froze all pending rules and withdrew any proposed rules pending on 1/20/21, subject to review and approval by administration officials.

Executive Memorandum

On January 20, 2021, President Biden signed a memorandum directing OMB to revise Circular A-4 and modernize regulatory review to reflect environmental, scientific, equity, and other considerations.

Presidential Memorandum

On January 20, 2021, President Biden signed an executive order that revoked multiple Trump-era environmental and regulatory executive orders; withdrew presidential permit for Keystone XL Pipeline; directed immediate agency review of automobile fuel efficiency, methane emission, appliance energy efficiency, and other rules; established social cost of carbon working group.

Executive Order 13990

On January 20, 2021, President Biden signed an executive order that revoked multiple Trump-era regulatory executive orders, including EO 13771 and EO 13777.

Executive Order 13992

On January 20, 2021, the Acting Secretary of DOI signed an order that suspended DOI’s authority to issue new regulations and new public lands leases, among other items, for 60 days pending confirmation of the new departmental leadership team.

Secretarial Order

On January 21, 2021, BOEM and BSEE announced an agreement to coordinate regulation of offshore renewable energy. On 3/8/21 BOEM announced the completion of the Vineyard Wind Environmental Impact Statement.

Memorandum of Agreement
Press Release

On January 21, 2021, EPA formally requested that DOJ seek and obtain abeyances or stays of proceedings in all pending litigation relating to EPA regulations promulgated during the Trump Administration.

Request Letter

On January 26, 2021, President Biden signed a memorandum which stated a federal policy of ending housing discrimination and promoting inclusive communities and directed HUD to review the 2020 “Preserving Community and Neighborhood Choice” rule and take necessary steps to affirmatively further fair housing, which could have long-term impacts with respect to environmental justice and disproportionate exposure to pollution.

Presidential Memorandum

On January 26, 2021, President Biden signed a memorandum that directed all federal agencies to develop and implement a plan of action for consultation with tribal officials on development of federal policies that have tribal implications, which could have long-term impacts on fossil fuel and renewable energy development policy.

Presidential Memorandum

On January 27, 2021, President Biden signed an executive order that initiated a whole-of-government approach to climate change analysis, mitigation, and planning, including national security and foreign relations, government procurement and assets, public lands policy, infrastructure, and workforce development, and environmental justice elements.

Executive Order

On January 27, 2021, President Biden established the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council (WHEJAC) to offer recommendations and bring greater visibility to EJ issues across the federal government.

Executive Order 14008

On March 29, 2021, the White House announced WHEJAC members, who are meant to bring expertise and lived experience, representing a diverse set of geographical regions.
White House Announcement

On January 27, 2021, President Biden signed an executive order that created a council of advisors on science and technology to advise the president on science and technological information needed to inform policy relating to the environment (among other issues).

Executive Order

On January 27, 2021, President Biden signed a Presidential Memorandum that directed a review of federal scientific integrity policies and required all federal agencies to update their policies, and directed OMB to issue guidance on evidence-based policymaking.

Presidential Memorandum

On February 2, 2021, Acting Commissioner Allison Herren Lee announced the hiring of Satyam Khanna for the position of Senior Policy Advisor for Climate and ESG. The position will be in the office of Acting Chair of the SEC.

New Position Announcement

On February 3, 2021, NASA announced a new position of Senior Climate Advisor to have one position explicitly focused on climate issues.

New Position Announcement

On February 5, 2021, DOJ issued a departmental memorandum withdrawing Trump-era guidance that loosened enforcement of environmental laws, reinstating the prior Obama administration approach to environmental enforcement.

Agency Memorandum

On February 9, 2021, President Biden signed Executive Order 14013 withdraws Trump-era immigration policy. It also requires the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, and the Director of National Intelligence, to prepare and submit to the President a report on climate change and its impact on migration, including forced migration, internal displacement, and planned relocation.

Executive Order

On February 11, 2021, Chairman Richard Glick announced plans to create a senior position at FERC to incorporate and coordinate environmental justice and equity concerns in the agency’s decision-making process.

New Position Announcement

FERC announced on February 22, 2021, it would open a new proceeding to examine the threat that climate change and extreme weather events pose to electric reliability.

Press Release

On February 23, 2021, President Biden and Prime Minister Trudeau released a joint statement outlining Canada and the United States’ blueprint for the future including forming a partnership on climate change. Specific actions include: implementing the Paris Agreement in tandem; launching a High-Level Climate Ministerial, which will coordinate cooperation between the United States and Canada to increase ambition aligned to the Paris Agreement and net-zero objectives; and working with private financial institutions to advance the adoption of climate-related financial risk disclosure and align financial flows with climate goals.

Roadmap

On February 24, 2021, President Biden signed an Executive Order focused on supply chain resiliency, including the supply chain for high-capacity batteries critical to electric vehicle and energy storage technologies. It directed various federal agencies to review supply chain risks over the next 100 days as well as produce reports on supply chains for different industrial bases within one year of signing.

Executive Order
Fact Sheet

In a statement released on 2/24/21 by acting SEC Chair Allison Herran Lee, she announced that she is ” directing the Division of Corporation Finance to enhance its focus on climate-related disclosure in public company filings.”

Statement on the Review of Climate-Related Disclosure

Pursuant to EO 14008 the Department of Defense released a memorandum announcing the establishment of a climate working group to incorporate climate risk analysis into every decision and plan.

Memorandum

In a speech on 3/23/21, Fed Gov. Lael Brainard announced the creation of a second climate change risk committee to evaluate the risk climate change poses to the entire financial system.

Speech Text

DOE is undertaking an early assessment review for consumer boilers to determine whether to amend the applicable energy conservation standards for this product. DOE seeks data and information to evaluate whether amended energy conservation standards would result in significant savings of energy, be technologically feasible, and be economically justified.

Proposed Rule

In a press release on 3/25/21, the DOE announced the goal of cutting the cost of solar by 60% within the next 10 years to 3 cents per kilowatt-hour by 2025 and 2 cents per kWh by 2030. The announcement also said the goal would be backed by “$128 million in funding to lower costs, improve performance, and speed the deployment of solar energy technologies.”

DOE Press Release

On 3/31/21, President Biden released an enormous Infrastructure plan that proposed $2.25 trillion in spending over the next eight years. Included in the plan is a $174 billion investment in EVs, a pathway to replace 50,000 diesel transit vehicles and electrify 20% of school buses. It also will rely on nature-based infrastructure when possible to build community resilience to climate events. Other climate allocations include a $10 billion investment for the new Civilian Climate Corps, $35 billion toward the pursuit of climate science, innovation, and R&D, and a $46 billion investment leveraging federal buying power in order to spur clean energy manufacturing.

Fact Sheet

On 3/29/21, The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy announced the creation of a task force to review and consider whether existing scientific policies prevent improper political interference, prevent the suppression of finding, data, or conclusions, support scientists of all genders, race, ethnicities, and background, and advance equitable delivery of federal programs.

Announcement

On April 7, 2021, EPA Director Michael Regan issued a directive to his staff to “infuse equity and environmental justice principles and priorities into all EPA practices, policies, and programs” using every tool available to the agency.

Article

On April 15, 2021, DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Office and Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office announced up to $100 million over four years for the “SuperTruck 3” to electrify medium- and heavy-duty trucks and freight systems. VTO also announced up to $62.75 million for its Low Greenhouse Gas Vehicle Technologies Research, Development, Demonstration, and Deployment program.

DOE Press Release

On April 16, 2021, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland signed two orders. Order 3399 established a Departmental Climate Task Force tasked with addressing climate pollution, improving resilience, addressing current and historic injustice, and conserving DOI lands.

DOI Secretarial Order

On April 22, 2021, in remarks at a White House Summit, President Biden announced the United States’ Nationally Determined Contribution for the Paris Climate Agreement. The goal is to reduce emissions by 50-52 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 economywide. The announcement lays out high-level summaries with a forthcoming task force planned which determine specific sector-by-sector strategies.

NDC Announcement

On April 22, 2021, the White House announced three agency actions aimed at accelerating the deployment of electric vehicles and charging infrastructure. DOT announced new alternative fuel corridors and grant guidance. DOE announced $34 million in funding and partnerships for research and development related to chargers. GSA announced a focus on electrifying the federal fleet as well as updates on current procurement.

Agency Actions

On April 22, 2021, the White House release the U.S. International Climate Finance Plan, which was called for by E.O. 14008. The plan has five parts and outlines how the U.S. can leverage “financial resources to assist developing countries to reduce and/or avoid greenhouse gas emissions and build resilience and adapt to the impacts of climate change.”

Plan

On April 27, 2021, the White House announced actions taken by DOE and DOT aimed at increasing investments in the electric grid. DOE announced two new sources of financing including $3.25 billion from Western Area Power Administration Transmission Infrastructure Program and $5 billion from the Loan Programs Office. DOT announced support for utilizing rights-of-ways such as public highways to accelerate the siting and permitting process for new transmission lines.

Agency Actions

On April 30, 2021, EPA issued a proposed rule to reduce the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), chemicals used in refrigeration and air conditioning, under the American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act of 2020. The proposed rule sets HFC production and consumption baseline levels, with the end goal set in the AMI act of reducing these potent greenhouse gases by 85 percent over the next 15 years.

Proposed Rule

CLEE thanks Hanson Bridgett LLP and Governing for Impact for their contributions to this effort, and Berkeley students Clara Barnosky, Jane Sadler, Richard Yates, and Zachary Zimmerman for their research assistance.