by Greg Walcher, E&E Legal Senior Policy Fellow
As appearing in the Daily Sentinel
The New York Times ran an uncharacteristically long editorial last week about President’s Biden’s environmental agenda, headlined, “Joe Biden’s Monumental Environmental Gambit.” It was a gushy puff piece, like we have grown to expect from that source, leading with the probably-accurate generalization, “It is hard to overstate the joy of the environmental community when Joe Biden ascended to the White House.”
The Times asserted that, “In place of a man who called climate change a hoax, it got someone who saw global warming for the grave threat it is, and who spoke, at his inaugural, of the world’s duty to respond to ‘a cry for survival’ that ‘comes from the planet itself.’ It got someone who saw government regulations not as ‘job killers’ but as appropriate levers to achieve cleaner air and water. It got someone who viewed the public lands not as a resource to be exploited by commercial interests but as nature’s gift to future generations.”
All well and good, as an expression of opinion by people who are as entitled to their view as I am to mine. But it quickly became cringe-worthy when they concluded that Biden is, “A worthy custodian, in short, to the environmental ethic of Teddy Roosevelt, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton.” Bill Clinton perhaps, but the comparison to Roosevelt — the founder and patron saint of the modern conservation movement — strains credibility for students of history.