Biden administration restores community voices on climate change

By Leonardo Cervantes

The Biden administration will restore regulations that require local communities to have input on climate impacts before federal agencies. This includes approving highways, pipelines and other projects.
Former President Donald Trump changed these laws in April 2020 in order to speed up approval for major projects such as highways and pipelines. Biden’s administration undid the former president’s mistake of removing this law.
The new rule will take effect in May, and all further projects will required evaluation on climate impacts.
The less harmful the projects are, the better the world will be and the quicker they will be approved.
With the new law, agencies aren’t required to reject projects that might worsen climate change, but they will have to examine and report the impacts.
This can potentially help communities pressure harmful projects into being delayed or adjusted. The more public outcry, the less likely they are to build dangerous projects.
This law will help bring more roadblocks for hazardous environmental projects as it will require agencies to cross more barriers for approval on their harmful projects.
When new highways and pipelines get built, they require a lot of manpower, which means new jobs. However, these new jobs don’t outweigh the negative impacts such projects have as they can worsen the climate.
This is a good start to improve on climate change and shift the focus on how to better and protect the climate. One of the ways it can help communities is by better improving air quality.
Air pollution has been one of the major talking points and is a main reason for climate change. It seems to be getting worse and will become a bigger public threat as time goes on.
“Research estimates that 4.2 million deaths annually can be attributed to outdoor air pollution,” the World Health Organization (WHO) said.
Bad air quality affects everybody, especially young people and can have long-term consequences. For people with ongoing health problems like asthma, living in a badly polluted community can make their condition worse.
Climate change is impacting the world negatively but, it can be helped by focusing on building only the necessary pipelines and big projects.
It’s no secret that temperatures keep rising due to greenhouse gasses. Water vapor, methane, ozone, carbon dioxide, and nitrous oxide are some greenhouse gasses.
“To fight climate change, we must first reduce our greenhouse gasses (GHG) emissions. The first step is to embrace renewable energies that are naturally replenished on a human timescale, such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves, and geothermal heat, and avoid creating energy by the burning of fossil fuels,” said.
Being stricter with building gas pipelines is great as pipelines always come with a risk of exploding.
If a pipeline were to explode, it could lead to massive fires and large areas of explosion. The gas released would also lead to more climate change and air pollution.
While creating highways and buildings can lead to ways of earning money, they also reduce locations where trees can be planted.
Trees provide food and oxygen and help combat climate change. With stricter environmental laws perhaps more areas in neighborhoods can stay green.
With local communities having more input on what is built in their area, their voices can decide what is actually wanted and needed.

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