Biden's new executive order aims for the federal government to run on carbon-free electricity by the end of the decade, a step toward realizing a 65% reduction in emissions by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2050. The US government would end purchases of gasoline-powered vehicles by 2035, transition to a "net-zero emissions building portfolio by 2045, including a 50% emissions reduction by 2032," as well as implement a "Buy Clean" policy "to promote use of construction materials with lower embodied emissions."
Mitch Jones, managing director of advocacy programs at Food & Water Watch, said that "while this executive order lays out noteworthy investments in solar energy and important changes in transportation and energy efficiency, their effectiveness is undermined by the White House's failures to address the root cause of the climate crisis: Fossil fuel development. If Biden was actually serious about tackling the climate crisis, he would ban new oil and gas extraction on federal lands like he repeatedly promised to do. Instead, the White House continues to approve new drilling and fracking projects on public lands, and just conducted a massive sale of offshore drilling leases in the Gulf of Mexico. The administration also seems eager to expand the export of fossil fuels, creating new sources of climate, air, and water pollution at home."
Jones continued, "The focus on 'net-zero' and zero-emissions goals leaves the door open for expensive and dirty energy infrastructure including nuclear and fossil fuel-based hydrogen. We need President Biden to stop pushing policies that will keep us hooked on dirty energy."
"If Biden wants to be the climate president, it's time to stand up against the fossil fuel industry, pass executive actions that actually meet the moment of the climate crisis, whip support from every elected official in his own party, and seize this narrow window of opportunity to pass climate legislation while Democrats still have a governing coalition," Sunrise Movement campaign director Deirdre Shelly said in a statement. "Anything less is a failure."