Executive Orders



An executive order is a signed, written, and published directive from the President of the United States. Issuing an Executive Order is not to be confused with taking an Executive Action, which has little legal significance. Executive orders are not legislation; they require no approval from Congress, and Congress cannot simply overturn them.

On May 3, 2019, National Geographic Magazine published an updated timeline (dating back to March, 2017) of the Trump Administration’s first two years of environmental actions and policy changes. Although much of the piece focuses on deregulations, it covers executive orders as well, including two, signed on April 9, 2019, which will smooth the path for companies to build oil and gas pipelines and limit the tools states have to block them, not to mention Trump’s earlier order to increase logging of forests on federal land, signed on December 21, 2018, a day before the government shutdown. 

On January 20th, 2021, President Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States.  On his first day in office, President Joe Biden moved to rejoin the Paris Agreement — which will take 30 days to take effect.  He also  signed an executive order entitled, “Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis.”  This establishes the Biden administration’s commitment to immediately work to confront both the causes and impacts of climate change by implementing policy guided by science. The order rolls back many actions taken by the Trump administration to loosen environmental standards and protections and calls on all federal agency heads to review and “consider suspending, revising, or rescinding the agency actions” that may be inconsistent with Biden’s articulated policy. The order is divided into eight sections: (1) policy; (2) immediate review of environmental actions taken during President Trump’s term; (3) restoring national monuments; (4) Arctic refuge; (5) accounting for the benefits of reducing climate pollution; (6) revoking the March 2019 permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline; (7) other revocations; and (8) general provisions.

All executive orders can be found here.  Executive Orders related to climate are listed on this page. The Biden administration has also issued Presidential Actions, Statements & Releases, Speeches & Remarks , Press Briefings, and Fact Sheets (including those relating to the budget). which are directly related to climate change. These can be found here.

The Washington Post, much as it did for the Trump Administration, is keeping track of Biden’s environmental actions here.


Court strikes down ruling that blocked Biden’s oil drilling pause

By Dino Grandoni and Others 08/17/22
A federal appellate judge struck down a lower court’s decision that had stopped the Biden administration from pausing the auction of oil and gas drilling rights in federal lands and water, a key campaign pledge…

Biden to restore boundaries of protected areas that were reduced by Trump

By Nichola Groom 10/09/21
President Joe Biden will restore the boundaries of three American nature reserves, known as national monuments, that were reduced in size by former President Donald Trump to allow commercial activity, the White House said on…

Biden restores protections for Bears Ears monument, 4 years after Trump downsized it

By Deepa Shivaram 10/08/21
President Biden restored the boundaries of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante monuments in southern Utah and added protections for the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts national monuments on Friday.

Biden expands Bears Ears and other national monuments, reversing Trump cuts

By Joshua Partlow 10/08/21
President Biden on Friday restored full protections to three national monuments that had been slashed in size by former president Donald Trump, including Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante in Utah — known for their stunning…

Biden to Restore Three National Monuments in Utah and New England

By Coral Davenport 10/07/21
President Biden is restoring Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante in Utah and a marine monument off the New England coast, all severely reduced by former President Donald J. Trump...

Biden calls for half of new cars to be electric or plug-in hybrids by 2030

By Dino Grandoni and Brady Dennis 08/05/21
The executive order comes as part of a suite of new goals and mandates to cut climate-warming emissions from the auto sector

Biden, in a Push to Phase Out Gas Cars, Tightens Pollution Rules

By Coral Davenport 08/05/21
The president is restoring and strengthening tailpipe emissions regulations from the Obama era and has set a target that half of all vehicles sold in the United States be electric by 2030.

Presidential Executive Order 14008: The Climate Crisis Order

By Pillsbury 07/29/21
Presidential Executive Order 14008, “Tackling the Climate Crisis,” a long and unusually detailed Executive Order published in the Federal Registeron February 1, 2021 (see 86 FR 7619), has generated considerable discussion and commentary. Below, I…

EXCLUSIVE: Biden mileage rule to exceed Obama climate goal

By Tom Krisher And Hope Yen 07/28/21
In a major step against climate change, President Joe Biden is proposing a return to aggressive Obama-era vehicle mileage standards over five years, according to industry and government officials briefed on the plan. He’s then…

Blue Ribbon Panel Presents Ground-Breaking Recommendations to President on the Climate Crisis and Global Migration

A Task Force of prominent former U.S. government and UN officials, NGO leaders, and climate experts today called for dramatic and unprecedented policy measures to address the global climate crisis and its impact on migration.…

How Companies can Align with Biden’s Executive Order on Climate-Related Financial Risk

Climate change is an imminent U.S. financial risk. According to a study conducted by the National Bureau of Economic Research, continued temperature increases and failure to drastically cut emissions could result in a 10.5% cut…

Executive Order: on Catalyzing Clean Energy Industries and Jobs Through Federal Sustainability

The Federal Government faces broad exposure to the mounting risks and costs already posed by the climate crisis. In responding to this crisis, we have a once-in-a-generation economic opportunity to create and sustain jobs, including…

FACT SHEET: President Biden Restores Protections for Three National Monuments and Renews American Leadership to Steward Lands, Waters, and Cultural Resources

As part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s effort to better protect, conserve, and restore the lands and waters that sustain the health of communities and power our economy, President Biden will sign three proclamations restoring protections…

Executive Order: on Strengthening American Leadership in Clean Cars and Trucks

America must lead the world on clean and efficient cars and trucks.  That means bolstering our domestic market by setting a goal that 50 percent of all new passenger cars and light trucks sold in…

Executive Order: on Advancing Equity, Justice, and Opportunity for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders

Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AA and NHPI) individuals and communities are irrefutable sources of our Nation’s strength.  These communities have molded the American experience, and the achievements of AA and NHPI communities…

Fact Sheet: Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework Will Address Barriers Communities of Color Face to Economic Opportunity

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework addresses economic disparities in our economy and the consequences of decades of disinvestment in America’s infrastructure that have fallen most heavily on communities of color. Through critical investments, the Bipartisan Infrastructure…

Fact Sheet: President Biden Establishes the White House Initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders

President Biden will sign an Executive Order establishing the White House Initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders, and delivering on the President’s commitment to reinstate and reinvigorate this historic Initiative.

Press Briefing: by Press Secretary Jen Psaki, Homeland Security Advisor and Deputy National Security Advisor Dr. Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, and Deputy National Security Advisor for Cyber and Emerging Technologies Anne Neuberger, May 10, 2021

Colonial Pipeline reported that its pipeline system had been subject to a ransomware cyberattack. Colonial chose to shut down its pipeline operations as a precautionary measure and to ensure that the ransomware could not migrate…

Executive Order on Climate-Related Financial Risk

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows: Section 1.  Policy.  The intensifying impacts of climate change present…

Executive Order on the Establishment of the Climate Change Support Office

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including section 202 of the Revised Statutes (22 U.S.C. 2656) and section 3161 of title…

Presidential Remarks: by President Biden at a Virtual CEO Summit on Semiconductor and Supply Chain Resilience

THE PRESIDENT: Well, look, the reason I’m here today is — all of these technology manufacturing leaders around the country and all over the world on the screens — is to talk about how we…

Press Briefing: by Press Secretary Jen Psaki, Deputy Director of the National Economic Council Sameera Fazili, and Senior Director for International Economics and Competitiveness Peter Harrell, February 24, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has underlined the need for resilient supply chains and robust domestic manufacturing so all Americans have access to essential goods and services in times of crisis.

PRESIDENTIAL ACTIONS: Executive Order on America’s Supply Chains

The United States needs resilient, diverse, and secure supply chains to ensure our economic prosperity and national security. Pandemics and other biological threats, cyber-attacks, climate shocks and extreme weather events, terrorist attacks, geopolitical and economic…

Memorandum: for the Secretary of State on the Emergency Presidential Determination on Refugee Admissions for Fiscal Year 2021

In Executive Order 14013 of February 4, 2021 (Rebuilding and Enhancing Programs to Resettle Refugees and Planning for the Impact of Climate Change on Migration), I directed numerous actions to rebuild, expand, and improve the…

Memorandum: for the Secretary of State on the Emergency Presidential Determination on Refugee Admissions for Fiscal Year 2021

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, in accordance with section 207(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (the “Act”) (8 U.S.C.…

Executive Order: on Rebuilding and Enhancing Programs to Resettle Refugees and Planning for the Impact of Climate Change on Migration

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq., I hereby order as…

FACT SHEET: President Biden to Sign Executive Actions Restoring America’s Place in the World

Today, President Biden is sending a message loud and clear to the rest of the world: America is back. Since taking office, President Biden has already undertaken a number of steps to strengthen our nation…

Executive Order on Revocation of Certain Executive Orders Concerning Federal Regulation

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered that: Section 1.  Policy.  It is the policy of my Administration to use available…

EXECUTIVE ORDER: on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science & Technology

As directed in the Presidential Memorandum of January 27, 2021 (Scientific Integrity and Evidence-Based Policymaking), it is the policy of my Administration to make evidence-based decisions guided by the best available science and data.

EXECUTIVE ORDER: on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad

The United States and the world face a profound climate crisis.  We have a narrow moment to pursue action at home and abroad in order to avoid the most catastrophic impacts of that crisis and…

Fact Sheet: President Biden Takes Executive Actions To Tackle The Climate Crisis At Home And Abroad

Today, President Biden will take executive action to tackle the climate crisis at home and abroad while creating good-paying union jobs and equitable clean energy future, building modern and sustainable infrastructure, restoring scientific integrity and…

EXECUTIVE ORDER: Protecting Public Health and Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle Climate Crisis

Our Nation has an abiding commitment to empower our workers and communities; promote and protect our public health and the environment; and conserve our national treasures and monuments, places that secure our national memory.

FACT SHEET: Listing Agency Actions for Review, in accordance with the following Executive Order: “Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis.”

This is a non-exclusive list of agency actions that heads of the relevant agencies will review in accordance with the Executive Order: “Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate…


Presidential Executive Orders

The President of the United States manages the operations of the Executive branch of Government through Executive orders. After the President signs an Executive order, the White House sends it to the Office of the…


Climate-Related Financial Risk: (Net) Zeroing in on Key Private Equity Considerations under the Biden Administration’s Executive Order

On May 20, 2021, President Biden signed an Executive Order on Climate-Related Financial Risk, which outlines various initiatives to promote policies related to physical and transition risks associated with climate change and to prioritize federal…

Executive Order On Climate-Related Financial Risk: One Small Step For Climate, One Giant Leap For Federal Climate Policy

By Vinson & Elkins LLP   05/24/21  
On May 20, 2021, President Biden signed a long-anticipated Executive Order on Climate-Related Financial Risk (the “Executive Order”). The Executive Order establishes a policy “to advance consistent, clear, intelligible, comparable, and accurate disclosure of climate-related…

Biden’s new executive order on climate change leaves a key question unanswered

By Tim McDonnell   05/22/21  
Climate change poses a grave risk to the financial system. Catastrophic impacts like sea level rise and drought threaten critical supply chains, home mortgages, and infrastructure, and the escalating transition away from fossil fuels could destabilize…

Biden Executive Order Targets Climate Financial Risks

By Avery Ellfeldt   05/21/21  
The directive charges federal agencies with assessing the potential economic toll of warming and urging regulators to it

Biden Signs EO to Evaluate and Mitigate Climate-Related Financial Risk

President Biden signed an executive order on climate-related financial risk, a cross-governmental plan that directs federal agencies to identify and mitigate financial risks presented by climate change to Americans, businesses, and the government itself. The administration said that Americans…

Remarks by Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen on the Executive Order on Climate-Related Financial Risks

Achieving net zero emissions in the United States will require transformational investments in our energy sector and the broader economy, and the global financial sector will be a crucial player, helping channel capital into investments…

Biden order on climate financial risk reaches deep into the economy

By Lorraine Woellert   05/20/21  
President Joe Biden will direct agencies to mitigate the financial risk of climate change to homeowners, consumers, federal workers, businesses and the government itself in a sweeping executive order signed Thursday.

White House launches sweeping climate risk initiative

By Ben Geman and Andrew Freedman   05/20/21  
President Biden issued an executive order Thursday that directs agencies government-wide to launch or expand efforts to analyze and lessen economic risks stemming from climate change. Why it matters: The order lays the groundwork for new oversight and mandates…

Biden’s climate executive orders are a mini-Green New Deal

By Dana Nuccitelli   02/03/21  
Imagine a deployment of federal investments to curb U.S. greenhouse gas emissions from various sectors including electricity, transportation, and agriculture, with the goal of creating millions of jobs and an eye on correcting environmental injustices…

Joe Biden’s Climate Plan

By Coral Davenport   02/02/21  
The president has signed several executive orders for environmental policies since taking office. But the real work of reducing America’s emissions has just begun.

The Energy 202: Today is Biden’s ‘Climate Day.’ Here’s what to expect.

By Dino Grandoni   01/27/21  
President Biden is preparing a slew of executive orders Wednesday building out the new administration's agenda for tackling climate change, in what is being dubbed “Climate Day."

Biden, Emphasizing Job Creation, Signs Sweeping Climate Actions

By Lisa Friedman, Coral Davenport and Christopher Flavelle   01/27/21  
The array of directives — touching on international relations, drilling policy, employment and national security, among other things — elevate climate change across every level of the federal government.

Biden signs executive actions on climate change: ‘It’s time to act’

By Rebecca Shabad and Geoff Bennett   01/27/21  
President Joe Biden delivered remarks Wednesday about his plan to tackle climate change and signed related executive actions to further the key part of his agenda, which includes “creating jobs and restoring scientific integrity,” the…

Unpacking Biden’s New Environmental Executive Orders

By Alexander C. Kaufman and Chris D’Angelo   01/27/21  
For the second time in as many weeks, President Joe Biden issued sweeping executive orders to confront global climate change and other environmental crises.  The orders elevate climate change as a key foreign policy and…

Can a President Stop Flooding by Executive Order?

By John Englander   11/09/20  
Following the U.S. Presidential election, many pundits speculate that President Biden will use Executive Orders to deal with many issues that do not require Congressional legislation. That would follow the precedent of both Presidents Trump…

Trump adds Va. to the list for offshore drilling bans

By Heather Richards   09/28/20  
President Trump will add Virginia to a growing list of states protected from offshore oil and gas drilling in a campaign year reversal of the administration's previous push to expand oil and gas development across…

Trump Signs Executive Order That Will Accelerate Corporate Ocean Pollution

By Jake Johnson   05/08/20  
By Jake JohnsonPresident Donald Trump issued an executive order late Thursday that environmentalists warned will accelerate the corporate exploitation of oceans by relaxing regulations on and...

New Emails Reveal that the Trump Administration Manipulated Wildfire Science to Promote Logging

By Emily Holden and Jimmy Tobias   01/26/20  
The director of the US Geological Survey asked scientists to “gin up” emissions figures for him.

Trump administration moves controversial Keystone XL pipeline closer to construction

By Rachel Frazin   01/22/20  
The Trump administration on Wednesday approved a right-of-way grant allowing for the construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline across 44 miles of land in Montana.

Trump Rule Would Exclude Climate Change in Infrastructure Planning

By Lisa Friedman   01/03/20  
Federal agencies would no longer have to take climate change into account when they assess the environmental impacts of highways, pipelines and other major infrastructure projects, according to a Trump administration plan that would weaken…

Trump used to call presidential executive orders ‘power grabs.’ Not anymore

By Associated Press   10/19/19  
It wasn’t too long ago that Donald Trump derided presidential executive orders as “power grabs” and a “basic disaster.” He’s switched sides in a big way: In each year of his presidency, he has issued…

INSIGHT: Executive Orders to Speed Energy Projects May Mean Delay

The White House issued two executive orders April 10 intended to remove obstacles to developing energy infrastructure and expediting the pipeline permitting process.

Memos, Orders, Oh My! Trump Makes a Keystone XL Mess

By Joshua Axelrod   04/11/19  
It’s déjà vu all over again. Everyone’s talking about the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. Beginning on March 29, when President Trump unexpectedly published a memo purporting to be a new permit for the…

Trump Signs Executive Orders In Push To Make It Easier To Build Oil And Gas Pipelines

By Cat Schuknecht   04/11/19  
President Trump stood in front of an audience of operating engineers in Crosby, Texas, on Wednesday and promised to make it easier for them to lay pipe.

Trump Signs Orders to Speed Up Oil and Gas Pipeline Construction

By Clifford Krauss   04/10/19  
President Trump signed two executive orders on Wednesday that he says will speed up construction of pipelines and other projects to enhance the production and transport of oil and natural gas between states and across…

Trump’s executive order will aggressively cut more forest trees

With a partial government shutdown looming, President Trump quietly issued an executive order that expands logging on public land on the grounds that it will curb deadly wildfires.

President’s executive order might open national parks to logging

By Lloyd Alter   01/07/19  
Apologies to the President of the United States for posting this in the Climate Change category; he doesn't believe his own scientists about it, and certainly doesn't believe that it caused all the forest fires…

Trump’s ‘energy independence’ order: Where do things stand?

By Ellen M. Gilmer and Pamela King   10/24/17  
President Trump's deregulatory agenda has been relentless. Nine months into his presidency, Trump and his team have tossed reams of environmental standards in the trash, working to fulfill a promise to lighten the energy industry's…

Why Trump’s Executive Orders On Climate Are Impotent, According To Congressional Research Service

By Jeff McMahon   04/28/17  
President Trump is unlikely to succeed in reversing climate and energy policies he has targeted by executive order, according to a Congressional Research Service legal brief released this week, at least in part because of…

The hidden impact of Trump’s energy executive order

By Danny Vinik   03/30/17  
When President Donald Trump signed his executive order on climate change Tuesday, it was the rollback of Barack Obama’s signature Clean Power Plan that dominated headlines.

President Trump’s executive order on “energy independence,” annotated by an environmental law expert

This executive order is designed to do two key things: first, to undo the Obama administration’s significant achievements in climate policy — appealing to the minority of Americans who share President Trump’s view that climate…

What to Know About Trump’s Order to Dismantle the Clean Power Plan

By Tatiana Schlossberg   03/27/17  
President Trump signed an executive order Tuesday that calls on Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, to take steps to dismantle the Clean Power Plan, a set of rules regulating energy plants…

Here’s the Full List of Donald Trump’s Executive Orders

By Avalon Zoppo, Amanda Proença Santos and Jackson Hudgins   02/14/17  
Since Donald Trump took office early this year he has signed a long and ever-growing list of executive orders, hoping to fulfill a number of his campaign promises.