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For Immediate Release, January 24, 2022
Contact: Brett Hartl, (202) 774-7296, bretthartl@centeractionfund.org

One Year In, Biden Fails to Improve C- Grade on Environment

WASHINGTON— One year 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.

Today’s report card follows one issued at the administration’s six-month mark — that 2021 report also gave Biden a C-.

While the administration improved on the number of campaign promises that were met over the past year, it also broke several key environmental pledges, including a vow to end all new oil and gas leasing on public lands and offshore waters.

“President Biden said the right things when he took office, but he’s walking away from more and more of his environmental promises,” said Brett Hartl, chief political strategist at the Center for Biological Diversity Action Fund. “The administration needs a major course correction to make good on key environmental promises because the climate and extinction crises are getting more dire every day.”

The report card identified 25 concrete and achievable environmental promises President Biden made during the 2020 campaign. The report card examined to see which promises were met, on which work had begun, and on which nothing had yet occurred.

Overall Biden fully met six campaign promises — including rejecting the Keystone XL Pipeline and rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement — and partially achieved four more.

But the administration abandoned Biden’s promise to end all new fossil fuel leasing on public lands and offshore waters — a campaign promise made by all major Democratic candidates in the 2020 primary season.

Of 50 key Trump environmental rollbacks, the Biden administration has reversed 11 and started work to address 10 more. Federal courts and Congress reversed four others.

Unfortunately, the administration has taken no action yet on 13 Trump 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.

“Breaking his promise to end new drilling on public lands and waters is a major breach of trust by the president,” said Hartl. “It’s hard to imagine how this administration can keep any other major promise when it’s failed to address half of Trump’s devastating attacks on the environment. The climate crisis punishes every delay with greater disaster, and the president has to get serious about preventing that now.”

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.