On the day President Biden took office, he acted quickly to reverse some of the most offensive policies of his hate-mongering predecessor. Months later, it remains clear that no matter what may be on his plate, Biden is laser-focused on fixing all that Trump broke. Unfortunately, erasing some of Trump’s ugliest stains requires time and patience, but the good news is it’s happening.
Just a few days ago, I wrote about how the Biden administration reversed a Trump anti-abortion rule denying Title X federal funding to benefit family planning clinics that offer abortion counseling and referrals. Although this welcome news arrives months into his presidency, Biden started the long process for the rule’s reversal back in January.
Last night, the White House announced another significant step forward from the Trump era, this time on the environmental front. The Biden administration is restoring the boundaries of two Utah national monuments to pre-Trump days. In 2017, Trump halved the size of Grand Staircase-Escalante while cutting Bears Ears by an egregiously insulting 85%.
Biden’s new action also reinstates environmental protections that Trump removed in the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts National Monument in the Atlantic Ocean, which is located southeast of Cape Cod. Trump had changed the rules to allow commercial fishing in this “invaluable area” known for its “fragile species,” according to Jen Felt, the Conservation Law Foundation’s Ocean Campaign Director.
According to the White House, Biden was “fulfilling a key promise” by restoring the monuments to their full size and “upholding the longstanding principle that America’s national parks, monuments and other protected areas are to be protected for all time and for all people.” On top of Trump’s penchant for destroying the environment, it no doubt irked him that all three monuments were established by Democratic presidents.
Biden’s new action comes after he issued an executive order the day he took office directing the Interior Department to review the monument issue. It also follows a recent letter from the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition detailing the broad harm Trump has caused to the “sacred cultural landscape” and urging swift action to prevent “much permanent” harm. Once again, the Biden administration has delivered.