DOI Order Prioritizes Climate and Transparency

On April 16, 2021, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland issued a Secretary's Order establishing a "Department-Wide Approach to the Climate Crisis and Restoring Transparency and Integrity to the Decision-Making Process." Following President Biden's issuance of two climate change executive orders in his first week, this order creates a Climate Task Force at the Department of the Interior to develop a strategy to reduce climate pollution, improve adaptation and resilience, address environmental injustice, protect public health, and conserve federal lands. The Climate Task Force's mission includes supporting the use of the best evaluate science to evaluate greenhouse gas emissions and climate change impacts of federal land use, reviewing and reconsidering federal oil and gas leasing practices, and prioritizing and accelerating the permitting and environmental review of renewable energy projects including associated transmission. The order also instructs the Department not to implement the new environmental assessment rules issued by the Trump administration.