Washington, D.C. — The following is a statement from Mark Magaña, Founding President & CEO of GreenLatinos, in response to the new Administration and Executive Orders:
On this historic day, we congratulate Joe Biden on being sworn in as our 46th President of the United States, and Kamala Harris as the first Black, first South Asian, and the first woman to hold the office of Vice President. They carry with them a new sense of hope and purpose for achieving the grand societal changes so many of us continue to fight for.
We also applaud President Biden’s Day One executive actions including stopping the construction of the Southern border wall, rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement, revoking the permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline, and initiating the reversal of Trump’s rollbacks of environmental protections among other important executive actions.
Our nation's Frontera Communities and tribal nations on the southern border have seen their water and their way of life devastated by the construction of the border wall. The Department of Homeland Security waived dozens of keystone environmental and conservation laws, including the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Wilderness Act, and NEPA, to speed up the construction of fencing and roads across the borderlands, disregarding the culture, religion, economies, and wildlife of these vital border communities. We have heard the stories of devastation, together have demanded that this construction must stop, and now it finally will.
President Biden has heeded the calls to action for climate and environmental justice, issuing executive orders on his first day in office that will bring us back on the path of moral responsibility to those most impacted by climate injustices. The United States will be rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement, allowing us to work together globally with other nations in stemming the causes of climate change and committing our country to do its fair share.
In issuing an order revoking the permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline, President Biden is honoring the struggles of Indigenous leaders, climate advocates, farmers, and ranchers who organized and fought this deadly pipeline over the last decade. It’s a powerful signal for a new administration, not only in keeping with promises made, but also showing the power of grassroots environmental activists across our country.
We hope that these executive orders are just the first steps in a longer road to combating the climate crisis, rooting out racial injustice, and securing an environmentally just and equitable economic future for all Americans. As GreenLatinos, we will continue to advocate for aggressive, equitable, and just environmental action.
GreenLatinos is a national non-profit organization that convenes a broad coalition of Latino leaders committed to addressing national, regional and local environmental, natural resources and conservation issues that significantly affect the health and welfare of the Latino community in the United States.