- Published: 19 April 2021 19 April 2021
Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland has issued two Secretarial Orders to prioritise action on climate change throughout the Department and to restore transparency and integrity in the Department’s decision-making processes.
SO 3399 establishes a Climate Task Force to coordinate work across the Department, including accelerating renewable energy development and identifying actions to foster investments in energy communities. The Order also provides guidance on how science should be used in the decision-making process and improves transparency and public engagement in the Department’s decision-making process. The Order additionally provides policy instruction to ensure that the level of National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analysis across DOI bureaus is not diminished, that climate change is appropriately analyzed, and that Tribes and environmental justice communities are appropriately engaged.
Secretary Haaland also issued SO 3398, which revokes a series of Secretarial Orders issued in recent years that are inconsistent with the Department’s commitment to protect public health; conserve land, water, and wildlife; and elevate science. Collectively, those Orders tilted the balance of public land and ocean management without regard for climate change, equity, or community engagement. The new Order does not impact the Interior Department’s ongoing review of proposals for oil, gas, coal, and renewable energy development on public lands and waters.