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For Immediate Release, February 7, 2023

Contact: Brett Hartl, (202) 817-8121, bretthartl@centeractionfund.org

Biden Gets C Grade on Environment at Term’s Halfway Point

WASHINGTON— Two years after taking office, President Biden received a C grade on his environmental record from the Center for Biological Diversity Action Fund in a report released today. The report card, published as President Biden is set to deliver the State of the Union address, analyzed the status of his administration’s campaign promises and his record in reversing Trump’s attacks on the environment.

With many campaign promises unmet and many Trump-era rollbacks yet to be reversed, President Biden is still performing below expectations.

“President Biden still has time to lock in the bold environmental progress he promised during the campaign, but the window is closing rapidly,” said Brett Hartl, chief political strategist at the Center for Biological Diversity Action Fund. “With a hostile Republican House of Representatives, Biden needs to accelerate executive action at the EPA and Interior Department to protect our environment before the 2024 election.”

To date, President Biden has fully met nine environmental campaign promises, partially met four more and has started work on six others. However, his administration has broken four promises, including promises to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from drilling and to end all new oil and gas leasing on public lands and offshore waters.

Of the 50 key Trump environmental rollbacks, the Biden administration or the courts have reversed 17 and have started work on 10 more. The administration has not yet started work on 10 rollbacks and is in agreement with the Trump administration on 12 other rollbacks, including supporting the Willow Arctic Drilling Project, the Line 3 pipeline, the development of a road through the Izembek wildlife refuge and continued operation of the Dakota Access pipeline.

The report notes that the Inflation Reduction Act gave President Biden some modest wins in addressing the climate crisis. However, even if the new law works perfectly, it will only help reduce emissions by 40% by 2030, which is far short of the U.S. commitment to reduce emissions by 50% to 52% under the Paris Agreement.

The president’s promises to aggressively address the climate crisis and reduce emissions have been undercut by the decision to support Sen. Joe Manchin’s legislation to expedite the Mountain Valley Pipeline, approve new fossil fuel infrastructure, and rubber-stamp more than 6,000 additional oil and gas wells on public lands.

“Biden may want to declare mission accomplished on climate because of the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, but he needs to do so much more to avoid a climate catastrophe,” said Hartl. “The president is still far too cozy with the fossil fuel industry and is failing to make the hard choices needed to ensure a livable planet.”

The Center for Biological Diversity Action Fund is a national nonprofit organization that advocates for legislation and legislators that will advance a progressive environmental agenda. The Action Fund is the 501(c)(4) affiliate of the Center for Biological Diversity, but these organizations’ names are not interchangeable. This news release is from the Center for Biological Diversity Action Fund, not the Center for Biological Diversity.