Analysis & Opinions - Union of Concerned Scientists

President Biden's Fast Start at the Interior Department

| Jan. 26, 2021

I never thought I'd say this, but Lady Gaga made me cry last week. Her rendition of the national anthem at the inauguration got me. Amanda Gorman's poetry and voice got me. Remarks from both the president and the vice president lifted me. Even John Legend's Nina Simone cover got me. It was an intense day so soon after the horrifying events at the Capitol earlier this month.

But the real action wasn’t at the Capitol, or the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. The real action was in the Oval Office shortly thereafter, when President Biden started signing executive orders (EOs) and announcing new hires. As a former senior executive and whistleblower at the Interior Department, I was paying close attention to what this would mean for my former agency.

It was a good day for the agency's mission.

First, the president signed an EO directing all agencies to root out rules and regulations from the previous administration that ran afoul of agency missions and goals—an effort that will take many months, but will course-correct the executive agencies to once again honor science and expertise, and serve the American people rather than Trump's industry patrons....

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation:

Clement, Joel."President Biden's Fast Start at the Interior Department." Union of Concerned Scientists, January 26, 2021.