In a press briefing at the White House on Friday, Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was asked about how President Joe Biden’s so-called “environmental justice” order would benefit East Palestine, a small town in Ohio that was recovering from a toxic train derailment.
The question came after Biden signed an executive order earlier that day, establishing a new federal agency dedicated to “environmental justice,” with a focus on addressing the impact of climate change on minority and low-income communities.
When pressed by the reporter about the impact of the executive order on the town of East Palestine, Jean-Pierre emphasized the administration’s ambitious climate agenda, stating that President Biden has the most ambitious climate agenda of any president in history. No, really.
KJP on what Biden's 'environmental justice' EO means for East Palestine: "That's a very good question…What's important to note about this…is the President's continued support in his climate agenda, his ambitious climate change. He has the most ambitious climate agenda" pic.twitter.com/27zXNBAWOW
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) April 21, 2023
“I think what’s important to note about this environmental justice EO is the president’s continued support in his climate agenda, his ambitious climate agenda,” Jean-Pierre said. “He has the most ambitious climate agenda than any other president in history and one way that you can look at this today is that he’s continuing to deliver on that ambitious agenda and he’s not done yet … this is a continuing continuation of what he’s promised the American people.”
In other words, KJP had no idea in practice how this executive order would help American citizens impacted by a toxic spill. You know, actual environmental problems.
KJP described the executive order as a continuation of Biden’s promise to the American people and highlighted that it makes environmental justice a “duty” for all federal agencies, while also expanding the programs covered under the Justice40 initiative, which directs funding from federal projects to communities that are marginalized, underserved, and overburdened by pollution.
Jean-Pierre further emphasized that President Biden is committed to dealing with climate change and will continue to do more work to address this important issue. The announcement of the executive order comes more than two months after a hazardous materials-carrying train derailed in East Palestine, and cleanup efforts are still ongoing in the community.
Joe Biden has not gone to visit East Palestine and has no reported plans to go there in the future.
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