Today, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland issued two secretarial orders to chart a course for the department’s future—a future animated by the imperative to take climate action, honor commitments to Indigenous peoples, and invest in a clean energy future. In so doing, the orders brought an end to the wrong-headed energy dominance narrative that defined the previous administration’s tenure. Sec. Haaland’s orders also create a climate task force, re-dedicate Interior to fulfill the promise of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and use the “social cost of greenhouse gases” to better ensure that decisions regarding fossil fuels—including decisions not to develop fossil fuels—are made in the public interest.
“It’s refreshing that Sec. Haaland is crafting a visionary and ambitious, forward-leaning purpose for Interior,” said Erik Schlenker-Goodrich, executive director of the Western Environmental Law Center. “Sec. Haaland also shows a willingness to harness the National Environmental Policy Act’s power to catalyze positive, public interest-centered action as we navigate interwoven climate, ecological, justice, and economic challenges and opportunities. Sec. Haaland clearly seeks a livable, more just future, and we are eager to help.”
For more information, please see Interior’s announcement regarding Secretary Haaland’s actions here.