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President Biden Receives C- Grade on Environment at Six-Month Mark

WASHINGTON -

Based on his follow-through on campaign promises and efforts to reverse environmental rollbacks from the Trump administration, President Biden received a grade of C- on his first six months in office from the Center for Biological Diversity Action Fund in a report released today.

“President Biden got off to a strong start right when he took office, but his environmental agenda appears to be stalling out,” said Brett Hartl, chief political strategist at the Center for Biological Diversity Action Fund. “He has to light a fire under his Cabinet and the federal agencies to complete his campaign promises without foot-dragging, because the climate and extinction crises are getting more urgent every day.”

The report card identified 25 concrete and achievable environmental promises President Biden made during the 2020 campaign to see which promises were met, on which work had begun, and on which nothing had yet occurred. Overall five campaign promises were fully met — including rejecting the Keystone XL Pipeline and rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement — while the Biden administration has started work on 13 more promises. For seven campaign promises, the administration has not yet begun to take any action. This 72% rate for campaign promises translates to a C- grade.

Of 50 key Trump rollbacks, the Biden administration has completely reversed three of them and started work to address eight more. The administration has taken no action yet on 25 rollbacks. Most disturbingly it is actively supporting the Trump position on 12 anti-environment decisions, including supporting the Willow Arctic Drilling Project, the Line 3 pipeline, and continued operation of the Dakota Access pipeline.

“President Biden promised an end to new drilling on public lands and a transition away from oil, and now he needs to keep those promises,” said Hartl. “Biden’s bold vision during the campaign won’t be met if his administration leaves large chunks of Trump’s pro-polluter legacy intact.”

Last month the International Energy Agency concluded that there must be an abrupt shift away from fossil fuels to avert disaster. Despite this the Biden administration approved nearly 2,500 new drilling permits on public lands and waters, roughly the same amount that the Trump administration approved during its first entire year in office, and the highest rate of annual drilling permit approvals since the George W. Bush administration.

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At the Center for Biological Diversity, we believe that the welfare of human beings is deeply linked to nature — to the existence in our world of a vast diversity of wild animals and plants. Because diversity has intrinsic value, and because its loss impoverishes society, we work to secure a future for all species, great and small, hovering on the brink of extinction. We do so through science, law and creative media, with a focus on protecting the lands, waters and climate that species need to survive. 

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