The Mills Administration today welcomed a series of Executive Actions taken by President Biden to address the global threat of climate change. Since taking office, Governor Mills has committed Maine to transitioning to a clean energy economy and carbon neutral future, goals which align with the President’s actions.
“The initiatives announced today by the Biden-Harris Administration signal the return of the United States as a global leader on climate and the Federal government as an ally to states like Maine that are already taking bold steps to protect our planet,” said Governor Janet Mills. “Maine won’t wait to curb greenhouse gas emissions, to expand our use of renewable energy, to encourage investment in energy efficiency, weatherization and clean energy innovation, or to protect Maine people, families and communities from the effects of climate change. I applaud the Administration’s commitment to these goals, and I look forward to working with them to preserve our planet for future generations.”
Among other actions, the President signed an Executive Order that establishes the National Climate Task Force, an assembly of leaders from across 21 federal agencies and departments, to enable a whole-of-government approach to combat the climate crisis. Governor Mills and the Legislature last year enacted bipartisan legislation that created the Maine Climate Council an assembly of scientists, industry leaders, bipartisan local and state elected officials, and engaged citizens, to develop a plan to protect Maine people and communities and to spur economic growth in the fight against climate change.
“As co-chairs of the Maine Climate Council, we are excited that the actions announced today by the Biden-Harris Administration align with the direction, values and objectives of Maine’s four-year Climate Action Plan,” said Hannah Pingree, Director of the Governor’s Office of Policy Innovation and the Future, and Melanie Loyzim, Acting Commissioner of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. “From ensuring that science and equity are at the forefront of climate policy, to pursuing natural climate solutions alongside foresters and farmers, to accelerating electrification to curb fossil fuel use, the initiatives announced today will help Maine reach its ambitious emissions targets, grow our clean energy economy, and contribute to the global effort to fight climate change.”
In outlining his Executive Orders, President Biden also set a goal of a net-zero economy by 2050 in the United States achieved by transitioning American workers to good-paying clean energy jobs. Last month, the Maine Climate Council released its plan, Maine Won’t Wait, to reduce carbon emissions and achieve carbon neutrality in Maine by 2045, a goal set by Governor Mills before the United Nations General Assembly in 2019. Secretary John Kerry, President Biden’s special envoy for climate, praised the plan, saying “Maine is going to be ahead of the curve and get the job done for us and help set an example for every other state.”
“Maine spends more than $4 billion a year on out of state fossil fuels. By powering our grid with homegrown, clean energy, we can keep more of that money in Maine, ensuring the resilience of our communities, creating good-paying jobs, and fighting climate change,” said Dan Burgess, Director of the Governor’s Energy Office. “The President’s executive orders announced today align with Maine’s nation-leading target of 80 percent renewable energy powering our state by 2030 and with the governor’s goal of creating 30,000 jobs in Maine’s clean energy and energy efficiency fields by 2030.”
By Jennifer Mitchell
The Natural Resources Council of Maine is applauding a series of executive orders issued by President Joe Biden designed to tackle climate change.
Among other things, the orders end federal subsidies for fossil fuels, initiate a freeze on new oil and gas drilling leases on public lands and aim to conserve some 30% of the country’s lands and waters over the next 10 years.
Lisa Pohlman, chief executive officer at NRCM says it’s also encouraging that the administration is focusing on the development of new jobs to support the efforts.
“Making sure that those people who are currently in the fossil fuel industry don’t feel abandoned, but recognizing that everything to do with clean energy and climate at this point is about the new jobs and the new infrastructure that we need to put in place in the U.S.,” she says. “We are very excited about these new directions, relieved to have it dovetail with what we’re trying to do here in the state, looking forward to the kinds of investments that the federal administration may now make that could help us achieve our goals in Maine. So, it’s a good day.”
Biden is calling for a doubling of offshore wind power by 2030.
The orders reaffirm a commitment to science-based environmental policy, and makes climate change a consideration for every governmental department, as well as in matters of national security and foreign policy.
The president is also creating an office to address environmental justice issues, and identify environment policies that disproportionately impact low income and minority communities.
The new orders follow those issued by the new president on his first day in office, when he brought the U.S. back into the Paris Climate Accord, revoked permission for the Keystone XL pipeline and put a moratorium on oil and gas drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife.
Fair Use Notice: This website may reproduce or have links to copyrighted material the use of which has not been expressly authorized by the copyright owner. We make such material available, without profit, as part of our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, economic, scientific, and related issues. It is our understanding that this constitutes a "fair use" of any such copyrighted material as provided by law. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes that go beyond "fair use," you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.