Biden Is Pushing Equity and Environmental Justice Into Every Corner of the Regulatory State
As parts of the federal bureaucracy go, the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) would seem to be one of the more mundane and nonpolitical.
It doesn’t make rules that restrict the free market or tell people how to live their lives. It’s responsible for little more than managing the health insurance plans and the retirement benefits afforded to more than 152 million current and former federal workers and their families. That’s about as rote and boring as a federal agency could be.
And yet, the EBSA is now subject to the Biden administration’s attempt to make literally every government function part of the fight against climate change.
“The big change under Biden, and this is his own phrase, is ‘whole-of-government’ regulatory transformations in climate crisis, in equity, in competition policy, in ‘long COVID,’ in digital currency, and so on down the line,” says Wayne Crews, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute and author of the free market group’s annual report on the size of the regulatory state. “It’s way beyond what we saw with Barack Obama, and his pen and phone.”
Fund managers who handle retirement accounts through the EBSA are being told to consider climate change and other environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors in their decisions. It illustrates how deeply the Biden administration has embedded “controversial, unrelated progressive causes into the regulatory process,” Crews says.
And that’s just one example of how the Biden administration has shifted the priorities of the federal regulatory state. In the 28th annual edition of its “10,000 Commandments” report, CEI says those “whole-of-government” mandates are telling bureaucrats to prioritize issues that in some cases have nothing to do with the functions of their agencies.
Like Executive Order 13985, which Biden signed shortly after taking office in
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