Rep. August Pfluger, R-Texas, is leading a House GOP effort to rescind President Biden’s executive order directing federal agencies to take a “whole-of-government approach to environmental justice.”
Pfluger, who is chairman of the House Energy Action Team, called the order an attempt to entrench environmental justice in the bureaucracy and introduced legislation Friday that would repeal it.
“Instead of focusing on the many crises facing our nation, President Biden has delivered a mandate that every federal agency must focus on ‘environmental justice.’ This president is completely out of touch with the American people and the issues they are facing in their daily lives due to the policy failures of his administration,” Pfluger told Fox News Digital.
Biden’s executive order, titled “Revitalizing Our Nation’s Commitment to Environmental Justice for All,” directed federal agencies to “address gaps in science and data to better understand and prevent the cumulative impacts of pollution on people’s health,” according to the White House. It also created a new Office of Environmental Justice to coordinate environmental justice efforts through the administration.
The focus on “environmental justice” means “every federal agency must take into account environmental and health impacts on communities and the work to prevent those negative impacts,” Biden said during a signing ceremony on April 21.
The executive order also recognized that “racism is a fundamental driver of environmental injustice.” It directs federal agencies to consider and prevent disproportionate impacts of environmental and health harms on poor and minority communities. It also requires agencies to consult with historically excluded communities and “actively facilitate meaningful public participating and just treatment of all people in agency decision-making.”
Pfluger said these priorities were misguided and harmful.
“Despite the nationwide education crisis caused by COVID-19 school closures, Biden’s Department of Education is using its resources to force climate change propaganda on children. The Department of Justice, which should be investigating the many foreign influence schemes of the Biden family, will instead be enhancing the climate literacy of its staff, and electrifying its 40,000+ vehicles. At the Environmental Protection Agency, these additional powers are being used to shut down manufacturing facilities in the United States,” he said.
“This is weaponization of the federal government at its worst. I am proud to lead the charge against this incredibly harmful Executive Order,” Pfluger added.
Pfluger’s bill has 22 Republican co-sponsors.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Biden officials have previously accused “extreme MAGA Republicans” of being in the pocket of Big Oil and contrasted the president’s actions with GOP efforts to lower energy costs through deregulation and support for fossil fuels.
“Speaker McCarthy and his extreme caucus’ proposals, including H.R. 1, would be a climate and health disaster that President Biden won’t allow on his watch,” the White House said in April.