The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Matt Casale, U.S. PIRG Education Fund Environment Campaigns Director, 609-610-8002, 
Josh Chetwynd, Communications Manager, 303-573-5558,

New Report Calls for President-Elect Biden To Restore Critical Environmental Protections on Day One

After four years of setbacks, U.S. can undo the damage and reemerge as a global leader on climate action.


Over the past four years, the Trump administration rolled back or weakened more than 100 environmental protections. President-elect Biden has promised to undo the Trump administration's environmental damage and set the U.S. on a path to global climate leadership. A new set of recommendations, which were released Tuesday, from Environment America Research & Policy Center and U.S. PIRG Education Fund sets forth a day one plan of action that the Biden administration should take to get the U.S. back on track. The report, First Things to Fix, also includes an agenda of additional rollbacks to undo in the first 100 days, all of which would have significant positive environmental impacts and garner broad public support.

"The Trump administration has steadily loosened oversight when it comes to polluting industries, eroded protections for endangered wildlife, and stymied efforts to address our most daunting environmental threat: climate change," said Environment America Research & Policy Center Chair Wendy Wendlandt. "After four years of setbacks, by prioritizing these first things to fix, the U.S. can undo the damage and reemerge as a global leader on climate action."

Americans broadly agree that the government should be doing more to protect the environment. But the Trump administration's actions have put our public lands and waterways at risk, increased greenhouse gas emissions and worsened air quality. To begin to repair the damage, the report recommends that the Biden administration take the following day one actions in five critical areas:

  1. Climate: Rejoin the Paris Agreement
  2. Clean Water: Set in motion a repeal of the Dirty Water Rule
  3. Clean Air: Strengthen federal fuel economy and emissions standards for vehicles and reaffirm California's authority to set stronger vehicle emissions standards
  4. Conservation: Withdraw the Trump draft five-year plan on offshore drilling
  5. Clean Energy: Restore smart energy efficiency policy

"In recent years, America's environment has been at risk," said Matt Casale, U.S. PIRG Education Fund Environmental Campaigns director and report author. "Air pollution has been on the rise and many of our bodies of water are at risk of pollution. As greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, so have the impacts of global warming -- from increased wildfires and hurricanes to heat-related illness.There's a lot to do, but so much of the policy damage from the past four years can quickly be fixed through swift administrative action in the early days of the Biden administration."

The report also recommends 15 additional actions that should be part of the first 100 day environmental agenda, including stopping oil and gas drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, protecting endangered species and reducing methane emissions. Like the first five, these important protections are policies that will enjoy broad bipartisan support among the American public.

"We've faced a lot of challenges over the past four years," Casale said. "But President-elect Biden has the opportunity to use the first 100 days to put us on a path toward a cleaner, healthier future for ourselves, our children and grandchildren. He cannot pass up that opportunity. We don't have any time to waste."

With Environment America, you protect the places that all of us love and promote core environmental values, such as clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, and clean energy to power our lives. We're a national network of 29 state environmental groups with members and supporters in every state. Together, we focus on timely, targeted action that wins tangible improvements in the quality of our environment and our lives.

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