President Biden’s first day. Environmental recovery begins.

On his first day in office, President Biden immediately sought to place a firm stake in the ground that the environment would be a lead issue. He issued an executive order stating his goal to rejoin the Paris Climate agreement. The process will take 30 days. He also issued orders for his agencies to review and as appropriate reverse the 100+ Trump actions that were hampering environmental quality around the country. He canceled the Keystone XL pipeline, which will be a significant blow to the struggling economy of Alberta, while protecting water resources for native tribes and hopefully lowering the emissions that this terribly polluting fuel source would have on air quality and climate change. Alberta needs to wake up to the reality that banking it’s future on tar sands is a losing proposition.

There are over 100 environmental regulations that Trump’s cronies implemented while he was in office. I say that they implemented them, because there was no indication that Trump himself knew anything about any of these issues, and they were simply brought to him by the hand picked hatchet men from industry that were put in offices by a variety of right wing industrial donors. Whatever they brought him, he signed. He was clear that whatever they wanted, he would do for them. But really help the voters that put him in office? That was a joke.

Biden brings an intelligence to the office that Trump never showed. Trump could have offset his anti-environmental moves with a massive infusion of government money into American industries and infrastructure rebuilding, creating millions of jobs across the country fixing roads and bridges. He failed to take advantage of his position. He squandered his time in office on petty issues and infighting.

Biden’s first steps are not just window dressing, but real substance that will have financial consequences for places like Alberta and many companies profiting from the XL pipeline in North and South Dakota. But fixing the environment will undoubtably bring financial consequences both good and bad. Some people will win, some will lose. There is no way to handhold everyone as we move towards a new era that may slow climate change, or keep us from not being swept away by it. To those people who are unhappy about possibly losing their jobs in the oil fields of Alberta and North Dakota, my answer to you is that tens of thousands of your fellow Canadians and those in California, Oregon and Washington State, among millions more around the world, in the Amazon, in Australia that have been displaced and made homeless by the massive climate induced fires that have spread everywhere as the consequences of burning fossil fuel come home to roost. Your few jobs are vastly offset by those casualties, and the industries that replace those jobs will be much larger and more dispersed to local communities. Installation of solar panels is one such industry as is the nascent production of electric vehicles.

We’ll continue to explore the ramifications to us here on the peninsula on Biden’s first 100 days.

One Response

  1. “We will lead not by the example of our power, but by the power of our example.”
    Joe Biden

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