Biden to order all federal agencies to prioritize environmental justice

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Biden to order all federal agencies to prioritize environmental justice

President Joe Biden on Friday will sign an executive order directing federal agencies to invest in disadvantaged communities disproportionally affected by pollution and climate change, the White House said.

The order will create a new Office of Environmental Justice in the White House to coordinate all environmental justice efforts across the federal government and require agencies to notify nearby communities if toxic substances are released from a federal facility.

The president, who is preparing to announce his re-election bid next week, will make the announcement during a ceremony at the White House Rose Garden. He is also anticipated to condemn Republicans over "safeguarding handouts for Big Oil companies" and "fighting to make it easier for oil and gas companies to pollute the air we breathe," a White House official said.

Biden is expected to argue that his administration's historic environmental justice and climate agenda contrasts with "the dangerous vision Speaker McCarthy and his extreme caucus have for our planet, our economy, and public health," the official said.

Republican lawmakers have urged weaker regulation of oil production in order to lower energy prices. And earlier this week, Speaker Kevin McCarthy proposed lifting the debt limit for one year and scaling back federal spending, including repealing electric vehicle and other clean energy tax incentives under the Inflation Reduction Act.

Early in his presidency, Biden pledged that addressing environmental justice would be a core component of his climate agenda and signed an executive order that launched the Justice40 Initiative, which requires agencies to deliver at least 40% of benefits from investments to overburdened communities.

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