Oregon’s U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley released the following statement today after President Biden signed a series of executive orders aimed at tackling climate chaos:
“From extreme forest fires and crippling droughts to severe hurricanes, torrential rains, floods, and winter storms, Americans in every corner of the country have experienced firsthand how climate chaos is claiming lives and causing billions of dollars in destruction. We’ve also seen how that damage has a disproportionate impact on Black, Brown, Indigenous, and low-income families. We’ve also seen that climate chaos has a massive impact on rural communities, deeply damaging three of pillars of rural economies: Farming, fishing, and forestry. The American people are demanding action, and gave President Biden a massive mandate in November in part because he promised to deliver that action.
“President Biden has already taken a number of important steps that demonstrate his commitment to heeding Americans’ call. His decision today to move toward banning new oil and gas leases on federal land—leases which currently add up to almost 25 percent of America’s total carbon dioxide emissions—sends a powerful message that to tackle climate boldly, we must address both the supply and demand factors in the burning of fossil fuels. I look forward to working with President Biden to pass my Keep It In the Ground Act, which would make this ban permanent, and ensure this important action is not reversed by future administrations.
“I also applaud his plans to ensure that environmental justice remains at the forefront of our climate action plan, and that the new green economy we create is built by good-paying jobs that American families can depend on.
“I look forward to working with the Biden administration to make sure bold climate action remains a priority—not just today, but every day—and to ensure that our climate plans create reliable jobs and protect every American. The health, well-being, and security of our communities and our economy depend on it.”