The Corner

Politics & Policy

‘Congress Bows to the Pen and Phone’

I wrote for Politico today about the unilateral governance of contemporary presidents:

Consider what Biden did on his own on Wednesday.

He directed the Interior Department to stop new oil and gas leases on federal land, to review current leasing practices and to identify steps to double renewable energy production by 2030.

He created a special presidential envoy for climate, as well as a White House Office of Domestic Climate Policy — led by a brand new National Climate Adviser and deputy National Climate Adviser — a National Climate Task Force, a Civilian Climate Corps Initiative, an Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization, a White House Environmental Justice Interagency Council, and a White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council.

On top of this, he established a Justice40 Initiative to steer 40 percent of relevant federal investments to disadvantaged communities, along with a Climate and Environmental Justice Screening Tool to implement the new policy and an Environmental Justice Scorecard to keep track of results.

And on the seventh day, Biden rested (after tucking his pen back in his pocket).

If Congress had passed a bill doing all this, it’d be considered a pretty active day. Instead, of course, Congress stood on the sidelines . . . and commented.

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