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Biden Administration Vows to Act on Climate Crisis

The White House in Washington, D.C. USA /, miralex

Legislative negotiations to advance President Biden’s climate agenda are once again stalled on Capitol Hill as Senate Majority Leader Schumer (NY) and Senator Manchin (WV) failed to reach an agreement. To introduce actions to tackle the climate crisis, President Biden, on July 20, 2022, spoke at a new manufacturing site for wind energy parts in Somerset, Massachusetts, a former coal-fired power plant. Although Biden stated “climate change…is a clear and present danger” and “an emergency,” he fell short of formally declaring a climate emergency as the administration determines how to proceed. Within the coming weeks, the Biden administration is expected to announce additional policies and potential executive orders in efforts to combat the climate crisis.

The administration’s new executive actions, announced on July 20, 2022, to combat the climate crisis include:

  • Department of the Interior (DOI) proposing offshore wind energy areas in the Gulf of Mexico consisting of an estimated 700,000 acres and advancing similar developments in the mid- and southern Atlantic Coast and Florida’s Gulf Coast;
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) $2.3 billion funding to increase community resiliency and reduce hazards associated from heat waves, droughts, and wildfires, among other disasters;
  • Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) new guidance to help states, Tribes, and territories respond to extreme heat and decrease cooling costs for low-income Americans through federal funds for in-home air conditioners and community cooling centers in schools; and
  • Department of Labor’s heat-related inspections of workplaces.

Landscape architects lead the design, planning, and implementation of resilient, sustainable, and equitable communities that seek to mitigate the climate crisis. The climate crisis presents issues like extreme heat, storm damage, wildfires, and sea-level rise that affect our economy, public health, and national security. Landscape architects contain the knowledge and expertise to develop and implement innovative projects that utilize green infrastructure and nature-based solutions in efforts to address climate change impacts.

ASLA’s Government Affairs team will continue to monitor the administration’s climate-related developments closely and work with allies and partners to promote policies that seek to mitigate the impacts of climate change

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