With these initiatives, the new president of the United States dismantles to a large extent the legacy of his predecessor, Donald Trump, who, in turn, had imposed these measures through Executive Orders or administrative actions
Suspension of the construction of the wall on the border with Mexico; return to the Treaty of Paris against Climate change; repeal of the ban on entry into the United States for citizens of eleven Muslim countries, Venezuela and North Korea; return to the World Health Organization (WHO); mandatory to wear masks in buildings and land owned by the federal State those are some of the fifteen Executive Orders signed by Joe Biden on his first afternoon in the White House.
Besides, there is also a bill that will be presented today in the Senate by Senator Bob Menendez,to begin the process of regularization of the more than ten million undocumented immigrants in the United States.
With these initiatives, the new president of the United States largely dismantles the legacy of his predecessor, Donald Trump, who, in turn, had imposed those measures through Executive Orders or administrative actions.
That is the key to these types of acts: they are not laws, so the president can literally pass them with the stroke of a pen; but, for the same reason, his successor can erase them only with his signature.
Those measures had already been announced. Some have an international impact, such as those mentioned above. But most are for domestic consumption. Some, for a very specific electorate, such as the recovery of the protection of a series of natural spaces in Utah and New England that had been opened by Trump to oil and mining exploitation.
One of the decisions is going to hinder ties between the United States and Canada, despite the fact that the prime minister of that country, Justin Trudeau, had a terrible relationship with Trump. It involves the revocation of the license for the construction of the XL section of the Keystone pipeline between the two countries.
The XL is a 526 kilometer pipeline that would transport oil obtained from Alberta’s tar sands to a network that ends at refineries in the Gulf of Mexico. The bill has been at the center of a legal and political battle since it was introduced more than a decade ago, during the presidency of George W. Bush.
Republican presidents – Bush, Trump – have approved it; the Democrats – Obama, Biden – have canceled it.
That’s because the pipeline would not only carry oil – an energy source the use of which Democrats want to limit in favor of renewables – but also because one of the biggest beneficiaries would be Koch Industries, Charles Koch’s industrial conglomerate. one of the richest men in the world and also one of the biggest donors to the Republican Party.
In addition, the pipeline would cross one of the largest aquifers in the world, the Ogalalla, with the consequent risk of contamination of water for irrigation and human supply.
For its part, Canada, which is the third country in the world by size of its oil reserves, has always seen the project as one of the doors to export its crude, to the point that the current prime minister of that country, the Liberal Justin Trudeau, has parked his ‘green’ policy to finance with taxpayer money the construction of the Canadian section of the XL.
A section that has already been completed and that now will probably be destined for scrap metal, because after more than a decade fighting for it, no company wants to continue with a work that depends on the hazards of politics in Washington.