2021

The Biden Administration and the Polluter-Industrial Complex

Presenter: Lucy Davis-Hup

Research Category: Social Sciences, Business, and Law
College: College of Social Sciences and Humanities
Major(s): Economics, Psychology
Graduation Date: 2023

Under the Trump Administration, the federal government, and particularly environmentally-related agencies, were colonized by the fossil fuel industry and other corporate polluters. In the first months since President Biden has assumed office, I have been researching the degree to which the Biden Administration has counteracted this agency capture and resisted political influence by the polluter-industrial complex (PIC). My research focuses on the means by which corporate elites and the PIC wield power over our governmentÕs decisions under the Biden Administration. This focus includes an analysis of the processes by which: (1) business-friendly political candidates were selected and financially supported in the 2020 election; (2) officials aligned with industry are (or not) appointed by Biden to oversee key government agencies, particularly those relating to environmental protection; (3) whether or not PIC and corporate lobbyists are continuing to exert extraordinary influence in the halls of government; and (4) whether the undermining of government-supported science on environmental problems that occurred under Trump will continue under Biden. Together, these processes constitute a series of mechanisms that establish and maintain the influence over our government of ecologically destructive companies. As the Biden administration fully transitions into office, I will continue to investigate the ways in which the PIC stymies climate action within his administration and research its financial ties to government decision-makers. The findings of this research will prove crucial in determining whether or not the Biden Administration will make significant progress in addressing the global climate crisis.

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