Penn Today recently spoke with experts in various areas of science and environmental policy about the outlook for science in the new Biden administration.
Edward B. Shils Professor of Law and professor of political science Cary Coglianese offered his insight and analysis on conservation and environmental protection:
“When it comes to policies affecting public lands, some of the Biden administration’s early decisions have overlapped with other administration priorities: A COVID-fighting mask mandate applies on all federal properties; a climate policy aimed at fossil fuels targets new oil and gas leases on federal land; an order halting new wall segments on the southern border puts a stop to environmentally damaging construction in the desert; and a directive released as part of the new administration’s racial justice initiative demands improved consultation with Native Americans over land management decisions. Beyond these linkages with other policy priorities, the Biden administration will undoubtedly take other steps to review and, when possible, reverse a series of other public lands policy changes adopted over the last four years. Already President Biden has called for a review of oil and gas leasing in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as well as a review of President Trump’s decisions to eliminate protections at the Bears Ears National Monument, the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, and the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument. We can also expect the new administration to revisit the Trump administration’s changes to federal standards governing environmental impact assessments under the National Environmental Policy Act.”
Read more perspectives from Penn experts on what the Biden administration may prioritize in the coming months.