January 25, 2021
HARRISBURG, PA. – Environmentalists say President Joe Biden's actions on clean air and climate will make a big difference to air quality in Keystone State.
The executive orders signed by the president on his first day in office will reverse some of the Trump administration's most aggressive moves to weaken or eliminate clean air and climate protection regulations.
Joe Minott, executive director and chief counsel of the Clean Air Council, said this was welcome news for areas like Pittsburgh, which are consistently on the American Lung Association's list of cities with worst air pollution.
"We're going to see some of the pollution standards tightened," noted Minott. "And I think we may see better enforcement of environmental laws in general."
While some Republicans are calling for the Senate to review Biden's re-entry order into the Paris Agreement, Minott noted that both major parties generally agree on environmental issues.
"The new normal is returning where the Environmental Protection Agency will actually be protecting the environment, which is protecting public health, and I think that's a great thing," commented Minott.
He noted that many of the environmental regulations weakened by the Trump administration are also being restored by the courts.
Last week a federal court overturned the Trump EPA replacement for the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan. Minott believes the trend will continue.
"I think there will be a revival of regulations at the federal level to deal with mercury from power plants and greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, and that's absolutely necessary," Minott said.
He added that as regulations like auto emissions standards have been rolled back, new regulations need to be even stricter to meet the clean air goals, but the technology is in place.
This story was originally published by the Public News Service. More information is available at publicnewsservice.org. Subscribe now to the Public News Service's "2020Talks", a daily 3-minute podcast that answers all of your voting questions.