White House orders are a giant leap in the right direction

Jan 27, 2021

MADISON – Kerry Schumann, executive director, Wisconsin Conservation Voters, released the following statement in response to President Joe Biden’s executive orders today to “tackle the climate crisis at home and abroad,” including a moratorium on new oil and gas leases on federal public lands or offshore waters.

“After four years of destructive policy and decision-making at the federal level, we're now even further behind as a nation in fighting climate change, protecting our environment, and protecting our water and public lands," Schumann said. "From his very first day on the job, President Biden has put his campaign promises into action. Today marks the single biggest day for climate action in more than a decade, with orders that address and prioritize the pressing issues of our time: climate change, environmental justice, protecting our public lands, and lifting science back into policy-making in Washington D.C."

Biden today also committed to the 30x30 Plan – to conserve at least 30 percent of U.S. land and ocean by the year 2030.

“30x30 calls for an ambitious and inclusive movement outlining six critical aspects of achieving a national goal of 30×30: more equitably distributing nature’s benefits; honoring the sovereignty of tribal nations; supporting locally-led conservation; protecting wildlife and biodiversity; supporting private conservation; and being guided by science.” Schumann said.

Scientists say protecting 30 percent of land and ocean is the bare minimum needed to stem the loss of biodiversity and prevent mass extinction of wildlife across the globe.

Additional executive orders today also:

  • Establish the Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization to focus on recovery for communities that currently rely on coal;
  • Establish an Earth Day (April 22) World Leaders Climate Summit;
  • Establish both the White House Office of Domestic Climate Policy and National Climate Task Force;
  • Ensure environmental justice is officially a part of every federal agency’s mission; and
  • Establish the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology,

Wisconsin Conservation Voters also praised Biden on Jan. 20, his first day in office, for re-entering the U.S. in the Paris Climate Agreement and for revoking the permit of the Keystone XL Pipeline.

For more information

Contact Ryan Billingham, Communications Director, Wisconsin Conservation Voters, 608-208-1129 (office), or ryan@conservationvoters.org