How The Future of Water Fits into Biden’s Climate Agenda
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When Joe Biden is sworn in on January 20th, he will be faced with one of the greatest challenges in modern history: confronting the ongoing and worsening climate crisis, and environmental injustice around the country. While his predecessor spent much of his time in office rolling back climate regulations and disempowering federal regulators, President-elect Biden promises to combat the climate crisis head-on.
But he can’t do it alone– it is up to Guardians of H2O like you to fight to keep water safety and water justice at the top of his to-do list come January 20th.
Let’s take a look at the facts. As part of Joe Biden’s climate agenda, he promises a robust response to the deep structural inequities that plague our infrastructure, housing and water systems:
“Vulnerable communities are disproportionately impacted by the climate emergency and pollution. The Biden Administration will take action against fossil fuel companies and other polluters who put profit over people and knowingly harm our environment and poison our communities’ air, land, and water, or conceal information regarding potential environmental and health risks. The Biden plan will ensure that communities across the country from Flint, Michigan to Harlan, Kentucky to the New Hampshire Seacoast have access to clean, safe drinking water. And he’ll make sure the development of solutions is an inclusive, community-driven process.”
Source: Plan for Climate Change and Environmental Justice, JoeBiden.com
President-elect Biden also promises to develop a task force designed to advocate for consumers who are exposed to toxicity in their air and water. This kind of a commission could level the playing field for everyday Americans against large industry who are often responsible for environmental pollution:
“Biden’s plan directs 40% of its spending to historically disadvantaged communities, and calls for the establishment of an Environmental and Climate Justice Division at the Justice Department to prosecute anti-pollution cases.”
Source: How Joe Biden’s climate plan compares to the Green New Deal, CBS News
These promises, and their particular focus on racial and social justice, are understandably comforting for many environmentalists, concerned citizens, and Guardians of H2O in particular.
But words are no substitute for action. There have been a few concerning signs in recent weeks, as Biden assembles his cabinet team and selects personnel assigned to protect our water. Environmentalists have been sounding the alarm about Tom Vilsack, Biden’s pick for the head of the USDA (the Department of Agriculture), for his role in pesticide pollution controversies during the Obama administration.
In addition, many are concerned about Biden’s refusal to condemn the practice of fracking by big gas companies, which many scientists have linked to chemical contamination of drinking water supplies and agricultural waterways.
Most of these commitments are good to hear– but we need a movement of Guardians of H2O to hold this new administration accountable to their promises, and to provide regulators and lawmakers with the most robust, hyperlocal data about water quality at the tap. We can use this data to drive the conversation, and keep water safety at the center of Biden’s climate agenda.
Aquagenuity will be on the front lines of this fight: for safe, clean water for every person in this country, and for a climate agenda that rigorously and boldly tackles the systemic injustices in our waterways and our infrastructure. Our mission is to make sure every person in this country knows what’s in their water, so they can protect their family and their community’s health.
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