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Biden signed two executive orders and a memorandum Wednesday. Here’s what they do

President Joe Biden on Wednesday continued his executive action blitz with a package of orders aimed at addressing the climate crisis along with a new memorandum on scientific integrity.

“Today is climate day at the White House, which means that today is jobs day at the White House,” Biden told reporters as he sought to tie his environmental push to American job creation.

Here’s the executive action Biden took Wednesday and what each item does:

‘Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad.’ This order seeks to cement the climate crisis at the center of US foreign policy and national security. Most notably, it directs the secretary of the interior to pause on entering into new oil and natural gas leases on public lands or offshore waters.

The order also:

  • Instructs Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines to prepare a national intelligence estimate on the security implications of the climate crisis and directs all agencies to develop strategies for integrating climate considerations into their international work.
  • Establishes the National Climate Task Force, assembling leaders from across 21 federal agencies and departments.
  • Commits to environmental justice and new, clean infrastructure projects.
  • Kicks off development of emissions reduction target.
  • Establishes the special presidential envoy for climate on the National Security Council.

‘Executive Order on Establishing President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.’ This order reestablishes the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. Moving forward, the council will advise Biden on policy that affects science, technology, and innovation.

Presidential Memorandum on Scientific Integrity. This memorandum charges the director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy with the responsibility of ensuring scientific integrity across federal agencies

Agencies that oversee, direct or fund research are tasked with designating a senior agency employee as chief science officer to ensure agency research programs are scientifically and technologically well founded.

Is this Biden’s first action on the climate crisis?

No. On his first day in office, Biden signed executive actions to rejoin the Paris climate accord and cancel the Keystone XL pipeline.

He also directed agencies to review and reverse more than 100 Trump administration actions on the environment.

What’s next for Biden’s climate agenda?

Biden also announced Wednesday that he would be calling on Congress in the coming days to eliminate subsidies on fossil fuels.

“Unlike previous administrations I don’t think the federal government should give handouts to big oil to the tune of $40 billion in fossil fuel subsidies,” he told reporters.

Biden will additionally host a Leaders’ Climate Summit on Earth Day, April 22, and the US will reconvene the Major Economies Forum.

What executive action is expected tomorrow?

Health care is set be the the theme on Thursday with Biden planning to rescind the Mexico City Policy and review the Title X rule on abortion referrals. There may also be an executive action on Medicaid, as well as the initiation of open enrollment under the Affordable Care Act.

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