How Biden is reversing Trump’s environmental actions

By JULIA JACOBO, ABC News

(WASHINGTON) — President Joe Biden was clear on the campaign trail that he would roll back several actions taken by the Trump administration, many of them having to do with climate and the environment.

Throughout his presidency, Trump reversed several American commitments to mitigating climate change that were made during the Obama administration — most notably pulling out of the Paris Agreement, removing clean water protections and seeking to fast-track environmental reviews of dozens of major energy and infrastructure projects, such as drilling, fuel pipelines and wind farms.

After Biden was sworn in as the 46th president on Jan. 20, he was ready with pen in hand to begin signing executive actions — 33 in less than a week, with nearly two dozen of them aimed specifically at undoing what was on Trump’s agenda.

Biden appointed former Secretary of State John Kerry as climate envoy, a role that holds authority over energy and climate policy within the executive branch as well as former EPA administrator Gina McCarthy as White House climate adviser.

Here are the environmental actions Biden has taken so far:

The U.S. reentered the Paris Agreement


Biden kept his promise to rejoin the Paris Agreement — the accord among nearly every country in the world to prevent the earth’s temperatures from rising — the day he entered office.

Trump announced his intention to withdraw from the agreement in 2017, claiming it could be economically detrimental and cost 2.5 million Americans their jobs by 2025. The U.S. officially left the accord on Nov. 4, the day after Election Day.

Re-entering the agreement was among one of the first actions Biden signed upon arriving to the Oval Office.

Environmental policy experts told ABC News last year that while the U.S. lost its standing as a climate leader under Trump, it would take more than simply reentering the global stage for it to regain that status — that it would have to keep ambitious commitments for reducing its greenhouse gas outputs.

Permits for the Keystone Pipeline were revoked


Construction on the TransCanada Corporation Keystone XL oil pipeline has halted after the permits were revoked by Biden during his first day in office.

The 1,700-mile project, slated to carry about 800,000 barrels of oil per day from Alberta to the Gulf Coast in Texas, was first proposed under President George W. Bush but was later stopped by the Obama administration, which cited potential pollution concerns.

One of Trump’s first big moves as president was overturning Obama’s decision and signing an executive order to approve the development, stating it would benefit the economy.

“The Keystone XL pipeline disserves the U.S. national interest,” the Biden executive order states. “The United States and the world face a climate crisis. That crisis must be met with action on a scale and at a speed commensurate with the need to avoid setting the world on a dangerous, potentially catastrophic, climate trajectory.”

The halt will eliminate more than 1,000 jobs in the upcoming weeks, said Keystone XL President Richard Prior.

On Monday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed “disappointment” over rescinding the permit during a call with Biden, according to the White House. Trudeau had previously announced his support of the project in 2018.

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