The Economy and Climate Action Progresses Due To President Biden

Heather Cox Richardson

Meanwhile, the Biden administration today celebrated the drop of the inflation rate to zero for the month of October, meaning that prices did not rise at all between September and October. That flat month means the yearly inflation rate dropped to 3.2% for the past year. Much of that lower inflation rate reflects lower gasoline prices, which dropped 5% in October. 

Under the Democratic administration, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which oversees the maintenance of fair business practices, has been much more aggressive about policing misconduct, and today it announced it filed 784 enforcement actions and claimed $4.95 billion in penalties in the fiscal year that ended in September. This financial recovery was the second highest in the history of the SEC, second only to last year’s amount of $6.4 billion. 

The White House yesterday announced a new initiative on women’s health research designed to combat the fact that women’s health has been ill studied, leaving half the nation’s people suffering from poorly understood debilitating conditions such as endometriosis and fibroids, as well as being diagnosed or treated incorrectly for disorders such as cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and autoimmune disorders.

Today the White House issued the fifth national climate assessment, which showed a decline in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions despite the growth of the population and of the economy. The White House statement attributes this decline to efforts to mitigate emissions and the increasingly available low-emissions options. In the last decade, it noted, wind energy costs dropped 70% and solar energy costs dropped 90%. In 2020, 80% of new energy generation capacity came from clean energy. Climate change and related extreme weather events are rapidly intensifying, the administration warned, and will cost the U.S. at least $150 billion a year. 

Reflecting that fact, Biden today announced more than $6 billion in investments to strengthen the electric grid, reduce flooding, support conservation, and advance environmental justice, as underserved communities bear the brunt of weather events. The money is coming primarily from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the Inflation Reduction Act.

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