President Biden has directed executive departments and federal agencies to review actions taken over the past four years and consider suspending, revising, or rescinding the agency actions that are inconsistent with the new administration's policy.
The Biden administration's policy as detailed in the press release on presidential actions is as follows,
"It is, therefore, the policy of my Administration to listen to the science; to improve public health and protect our environment; to ensure access to clean air and water; to limit exposure to dangerous chemicals and pesticides; to hold polluters accountable, including those who disproportionately harm communities of color and low-income communities; to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; to bolster resilience to the impacts of climate change; to restore and expand our national treasures and monuments; and to prioritize both environmental justice and the creation of the well-paying union jobs necessary to deliver on these goals".
This review will likely include reinstating Obama era controls on methane, or perhaps going even further. The methane rules issued by the Environmental Protection Agency in August of 2020 removed unnecessary and duplicative regulatory burdens that fell overwhelmingly on the nation's small, independent producers.
The rule titled, Reducing Methane Emissions in the Oil and Gas Sector: “Oil and Natural Gas Sector: Emission Standards for New, Reconstructed, and Modified Sources Reconsideration,” is likely to be quickly undone under the Biden administration as its specifically mentioned in the President's Executive Order.
Other actions include:
- Moving to rejoin the Paris accord.
- Imposing a moratorium on oil leasing in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
- Ordering the Interior Department to review monument boundaries shrunk during the Trump administration, including Utah’s Bears Ears National Monument, which was pared to about 220,000 acres from its original 1.4-million-acre footprint.
- Halting the cross-border Keystone XL oil pipeline by revoking the a key permit.