Environmentalists call President Biden’s climate plan a ‘breath of fresh air’

President Joe Biden unveiled his new strategy to protect the environment, putting a sharp focus on helping polluted communities.
In the most ambitious U.S. effort to stave off the worst effects of climate change, Biden issued executive orders Wednesday to cut oil, gas and coal emissions and double energy production from offshore wind turbines.
The orders target federal subsidies for oil and other fossil fuels and halt new oil and gas leases on federal lands and waters. They also aim to conserve 30% of the country’s lands and ocean waters in the next 10 years and move to an all-electric federal vehicle fleet.
Biden’s sweeping plan is aimed at slowing human-caused global warming, but it also carries political risk for the president and Democrats as oil- and coal-producing states face job losses from moves to sharply increase U.S. reliance on clean energy such as wind and solar power.
In a change from previous administrations of both parties, Biden also is directing agencies to focus help and investment on the low-income and minority communities that live closest to polluting refineries and other hazards, and the oil- and coal-patch towns that face job losses as the U.S. moves to sharply increase its reliance on wind, solar and other energy sources that do not emit climate-warming greenhouse gases.
Environmentalists on Long Island are calling it a “a breath of fresh air.”
Leigh-Ann Barde, of Central Islip, spoke with News 12 Wednesday saying that a waste transfer station planned to be rebuilt in Brentwood is not wanted by the community, especially after the illegal dumping scandal that kept Roberto Clemente Park closed for years.
"Brentwood is basically a microcosm of what the president is talking about - communities that are continually dumped on with pollution. And he's calling for that to...stop," she said.
“To have an environmental justice component to our policies now is the right thing to do - and it allows for all voices to be heard equally and fairly,” said Adrienne Esposito, of the Citizens Campaign for the Environment.
The Long Island Association also weighed in on the president's environmental agenda, saying it supports efforts to create thousands of green jobs and ban gas exploration off the coast of Long Island.
AP Wire Services were used in this report.