Earth Day surprise: Biden signs Executive Order to protect national forests during PNW tour

President Biden Delivers Remarks on Earth Day | White House YouTube Channel.

SEATTLE, Wash., April 22, 2022 – President Joe Biden signed an executive order on Earth Day, today, to strengthen the country’s forests, boost wildfire resistance, and combat deforestation. The order was signed at Seattle’s Seward Park, as part of Biden’s first visit to the Pacific Northwest since taking office.

“We’ve reached a point that the crises on the environment has become so obvious that we really have the opportunity to do the things we really couldn’t have done two, five, ten years ago,” President Biden said. “Our forests are our planet’s lungs. They are literally recycling cycling Co2 out of our planet’s atmosphere.”

Forests in the United States absorb more than 10% of annual United States economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions. Despite their importance, the world’s forests are quickly disappearing and only a small fraction of the world’s mature and old-growth forests remains.

“It is the policy of my Administration, in consultation with State, local, Tribal, and territorial governments, as well as the private sector, nonprofit organizations, labor unions, and the scientific community, to pursue science-based, sustainable forest and land management; conserve America’s mature and old-growth forests on Federal lands; invest in forest health and restoration; support indigenous traditional ecological knowledge and cultural and subsistence-practices; honor Tribal treaty rights; and deploy climate-smart forestry practices and other nature-based solutions to improve the resilience of our lands, waters, wildlife, and communities in the face of increasing disturbances and chronic stress arising from climate impacts,” The executive order signed today states.

Biden’s commitment to the environment and combating climate change has been a priority of his administration which he hopes to accomplish by eliminating tens of thousands of diesel school buses and investing in freight rails and public transit like the Puget Sound area’s Link light rail system.

“Here in Washington State… we’re going to triple the federal commitment to your Link Light Rail system,” Biden said.

The President signed the bipartisan Investments in Infrastructure and Jobs Act, last November, which adds $66 billion to freight rail, $39 billion for public transit, $10.6 billion for electric busses, and $2.5 for clean ferries, which the president says will take millions of cars worth of pollution off the road.

“Given the choice to go to point “A” to point “B” by electric rail or drive your own automobile, if you can get there as fast or faster on rail you take the rail,” President Biden said.

The bill will also intends to cap and seal hundreds of thousands of coal mines in the country redistributing coal workers to install solar panels at the same salary, Biden said.

At Seward Park, Biden was joined by the following dignitaries:

  • Jay Inslee, Governor of Washington
  • Patty Murray, U.S. Senator (WA)
  • Maria Cantwell, U.S. Senator (WA)
  • Kim Schrier, U.S. Congresswoman (WA-08)
  • Adam Smith, U.S. Congressman (WA-09)
  • Suzan DelBene, U.S. Congresswoman (WA-01)
  • Rick Larsen, U.S. Congressman (WA-02)
  • Derek Kilmer, U.S. Congressman (WA-06)
  • Bruce Harrell, Mayor of Seattle

Before President Biden arrived in Seattle he stopped in Portland, Oregon, to speak on infrastructure spending.

President Biden at Green River College

After leaving Seattle, the President traveled to Green River College, in Auburn, to talk about lowering costs for American families through affordable health care, affordable prescription drugs, and nationwide access to high-speed internet.

President Biden Delivers Remarks on Lowering Costs for American Families at Green River College. | White House YouTube Channel.

Biden proposed to cap the cost of insulin at $35 a month, cap the price seniors on Medicare have to pay for prescription drugs, and cap the cost of childcare for families earning less than $120,000 a year.

“We’re all laser focused on lowering costs for families and a big part of doing that is lowering cost for health care,” President Biden said.

Through expansion of the Affordable Care Act, Biden stated that nearly one million previously uninsured Americans will be able to afford health insurance.

Additionally, the President proposed increasing Federal Pell Grants for students by $400 a year, the largest increase in ten years, and proposed the Federal Government require corporations to pay their taxes.

“I’ve been called a socialist by conservatives. I’m a capitalist. I think if you can make a billion dollars, a million dollars, or one hundred million you should be able to do it…but pay your fair share,” President Biden said.

President Biden Delivers Remarks on Lowering Costs for American Families at Green River College. Photo taken from White House live feed.

Biden also mentioned that this year the nation is on track to cut the deficit by $1.3 trillion, which stays on course with the largest one-year deficit in history he said. He also addressed inflation and emphasized how the war in Ukraine is impacting the U.S. economy

“I’m more optimistic about America today than I have my whole life, my whole career. Because I see a future that’s within our grasp.” Biden said. “You are the least prejudice, the most involved, the most concerned generation in American history.”

At Green River College, Biden was joined by the following dignitaries:

  • Jay Inslee, Governor of Washington
  • Patty Murray, U.S. Senator (WA)
  • Maria Cantwell, U.S. Senator (WA)
  • Suzan DelBene, U.S. Congresswoman (WA-01)
  • Rick Larsen, U.S. Congressman (WA-02)
  • Derek Kilmer, U.S. Congressman (WA-06)
  • Kim Schrier, U.S. Congresswoman (WA-08)
  • Bruce Harrell, Mayor of Seattle
  • Nancy Backus, Mayor of Auburn
  • Dow Constantine, King County Executive
  • Rod Dembroski, County Councilmember
  • Mona Das, State Senator
  • Marko Liias, State Senator
  • Mark Mullet, State Senator
  • June Robinson, State Senator
  • Laurie Jinkins, Speaker of the Washington State House
  • Debra Entenman, State Representative
  • Tana Senn, State Representative

Editor’s Note: Feature photo taken from Senator Patty Murray’s twitter page.

Pics of today’s events

President Biden signing EO on Earth Day at Seward Park in Seattle. Photo courtesy of The White House.
President Biden signing EO on Earth Day at Seward Park in Seattle. Photo taken from White House live feed.

Kienan Briscoe

Michael Kienan Briscoe (referred to by his middle name 'Kienan') has a BA in Journalism from Arizona State University and has worked as a freelancer for a variety of publications and organizations throughout New York City and Seattle. Journalism, to him, is one of the most important public tools to ensure an educated and aware society of events surrounding them. When he is not reporting he enjoys writing fiction and poetry, playing guitar, reading classic literature, and getting outdoors. He lives in Seattle with his two dogs.

Kienan Briscoe has 236 posts and counting. See all posts by Kienan Briscoe

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