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How Biden can undo Trump’s damage and protect our oceans

For four years, President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden has spoken with some GOP senators, chief of staff says Trump told advisers he could announce 2024 bid shortly after certification of Biden win: report Ivy League cancels winter sports amid US COVID-19 pandemic surge MORE has attacked fundamental environmental protections for our oceans and proposed opening nearly all U.S. waters to fossil fuel companies for dirty and dangerous offshore drilling. We now have hope that we can reverse course to protect our oceans and environment, and as President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden has spoken with some GOP senators, chief of staff says Trump told advisers he could announce 2024 bid shortly after certification of Biden win: report Obama ‘troubled’ by GOP attempts to cast doubt on election results: ‘That’s a dangerous path’ MORE says, we can “build back better.”

Four years of deregulation have crippled protections for marine mammals and endangered species and undermined critical safeguards for marine habitat. Trump’s offshore drilling proposal put thriving coastal economies at risk. Leaders of coastal tourism, restaurant and ocean recreation businesses have joined forces to stop this. Together with owners of restaurants, dive shops and fishing businesses, along with many others, we will work with Biden to quickly and permanently protect our coasts.

Ocean protection is essential if we want to live in a healthier world. If we can end the expansion of offshore drilling and restore fishery abundance, U.S. waters can play an important role in the solution to climate change. By absorbing about a third of the carbon dioxide emitted globally, our oceans are doing us a great service in the climate crisis. But climate change is making our oceans sick. It is melting sea ice, driving sea level rise and increasing ocean acidification. It’s causing warming waters, more intense extreme weather and forcing species into new areas. All of this leads down to a path of ecological destruction. This is not just about marine life — climate change is already compromising our own lives as well. No matter where we live, we are all headed down this path.

While our oceans help us fight the climate crisis, they have their limits. The only way to save our oceans and ourselves from the worst impacts of climate change is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and curb other harmful greenhouse gases. Biden can begin by first leveling the playing field between clean energy and fossil fuels. It is essential that we promote clean energy and end fossil fuel subsidies to foster a transition to renewable sources. When done right, offshore wind can be part of that solution. We must electrify the automobile fleet to allow clean energy to more fully substitute for petroleum. And we must reduce the production and use of unnecessary single-use plastics, which are almost exclusively made from petroleum, and have a high carbon dioxide footprint throughout their life cycle, contributing to…

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2020-11-13 15:30:07

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