7 climate actions that Biden could take on his first day

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From rejoining the Paris Agreement to stopping the Keystone Pipeline to restoring the Bears Ears monuments, some of the Trump administration’s most public environmental rollbacks can be easily reversed by a new president. The last four years have been devastating for environmental regulation. The Trump administration dismantled the Clean Power Plan, opened Arctic wilderness for drilling, and, as part of a spree of rollbacks in his last days in office, shrank the protected habitat of the northern spotted owl. Those are just the most visible of the more than 100 rollbacks of environmental rules spearheaded by the administration. Now the Biden administration will start trying to reinstate them. Some of the changes will take years to reverse—and going further will often require votes in the Senate that may not be winnable. But Biden can also begin to repair some of the damage on his first day in office. Read Full Story

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What environmental rule rollbacks will Trump try to sneak through before the end?

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After four years of allowing more pollution and emissions, the Trump administration has 10 weeks left to accomplish its deregulatory agenda. The Midnight Watch Project is keeping a list, so it can all be fixed after. President-elect Joseph Biden has big plans for climate policy, from rejoining the Paris climate agreement to decarbonizing the electric grid , but these initiatives won’t begin until his inauguration on January 20, 2021. In the meantime, the Trump administration still has 10 weeks (and counting) in office. In the past four years, the administration has already rolled back hundreds of rules designed to do everything from preventing the release of methane from oil wells to limiting how much mercury a coal power plant can emit. In the lame duck period, it could accelerate plans to do more before inauguration day. Read Full Story

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The border wall is destroying ecosystems. Biden can fix it

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The miles of wall built by the Trump administration have interrupted animal migration paths and caused enormous ecological damage. Even if Biden won’t remove it, he can take actions to mitigate the problem. While Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign focused heavily on his “build the wall” slogan, the story of the Trump administration’s actual wall is one of billions in government spending, fraudulent fundraising campaigns, and failed promises (no payment from Mexico has come yet). But hundreds of miles of wall were successfully built, so its most lasting legacy might be the ecological destruction it has wrought. Even if President-elect Joe Biden doesn’t remove the wall entirely, environmentalists hope he will take steps to mitigate its damage. Read Full Story

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New Biden campaign ad fights Trump BS fire with Trump BS fire

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In response to President Trump using Dr. Fauci’s words out of context, the Biden campaign did some selective quoting of Trump himself. One of the most common new hobbies over the past four years has been for critics of President Trump to retweet his old tweets that directly contradict something he’s said or done on any given day. There’s always a tweet, right? Last month, the Biden campaign used a 10-second clip of President Trump during a rally speech saying, “If I lose to him, I don’t know what I’m going to do. I will never speak to you again . . . . You’ll never see me again.” Read Full Story

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The U.S. rejoined the Paris agreement. Now comes the hard part

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Four years of inaction mean the country is far behind on the commitments required by the climate agreement. Here’s the bold action the Biden administration will need to take to keep the U.S. on track. More than three and a half years after Trump said that the U.S. would pull out of the Paris climate agreement, we’re back in. On Biden’s first day in office, rejoining the accord was the third of 17 immediate executive orders he signed as soon as was sworn in. Rejoining was simple; after sending a letter to the United Nations, the U.S. will officially be part of Paris again in a month. The next part is harder. How can the world’s second-largest polluter shrink emissions enough to comply with the deal. Read Full Story

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Big ideas for Biden’s first 100 days

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The new administration needs to move quickly on multiple fronts to confront a variety of crises. Our new series will look at how the new administration will move on key issues—from climate to AI to worker pay, and more—in the next few months. On January 2o, the clock started on the first 100 days of the Biden administration. While there will be 1,360 more days to follow, the period between January and the end of April is when the direction and forcefulness of the new president’s initial policies will be judged. How will he change regulation? What can he push through Congress? What first steps will his new appointees take? Read Full Story

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Can Biden do more than just undoing Trump’s anti-immigration legacy?

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A backlash from Trump—and a need for essential workers—may create the urgency for Biden to push for real immigration reform, not just administrative fixes. It’s now an image forever etched into the history of America: Donald Trump descending the gold escalator of his Fifth Avenue hotel to announce his candidacy for president. The words he delivered after would be just as long-lasting. “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best,” he famously spouted, not even two minutes into his 45-minute campaign launch speech . “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.” It was evident from the very start that Donald Trump’s presidency was founded on anti-immigrant sentiment. Read Full Story

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What Biden could do on climate—even with a Republican Senate

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The election hasn’t been called, but should Biden win but not control the Senate, he can still put us back in the Paris agreement—and push change via regulations and executive action. On November 4, Trump officially withdrew from the Paris climate agreement . If Biden wins, on his first day in office on January 20, he plans to rejoin it—a first step in setting the U.S. on a path to tackle climate change, which Biden has called the “number one issue facing humanity.” Read Full Story

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A last-minute Trump administration rule could lower restaurant workers’ wages by $700 million a year

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Critics of the new rule say it could severely decrease servers’ incomes by making them do more work for fewer tips. Less than 30 days before Trump is due to leave office, his Labor Department has imposed a rule that may significantly affect the wages of restaurant workers. By one estimate, it may collectively cost tipped workers more than $700 million a year. Read Full Story

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