Biden signs Executive Order to secure US BioeconomyChip Somodevilla/Getty Images
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What is an Executive Order?
According to the American Bar Association, an Executive Order is, ' a signed, written, and published directive from the President of the United States that manages operations of the federal government. They are numbered consecutively, so executive orders may be referenced by their assigned number, or their topic.'
Executive Orders are typically signed by the President of the United States when they feel a bill would not pass through Congress, or the executive wants to ensure action is taken on an issue quickly. Today President Joe Biden signed the Executive Order on Advancing Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing Innovation for a Sustainable, Safe, and Secure American Bioeconomy.
The following are several key aspects of the latest Executive Order.
Section 1 lists the desire to 'coordinate a whole-of-government approach to advance biotechnology and biomanufacturing towards innovative solutions in health, climate change, energy, food security, agriculture, supply chain resilience, and national and economic security.' Regarding the use of biotechnology to achieve wide-reaching goals, The Executive Order lists the need for the US to 'invest in foundational scientific capabilities.'
Section 2 - Section 7 lists how the United States will attempt to implement the details of the goal in Section 1. With Section 3 detailing, 'Within 180 days of the date of this order, the heads of agencies specified in subsections (a)(i)-(v) of this section shall submit the following reports on biotechnology and biomanufacturing to further societal goals related to health, climate change and energy, food and agricultural innovation, resilient supply chains, and cross-cutting scientific advances.' Section 4 outlines how President Biden and his administration would like to development of the United States bioeconomy.
Section 11 details how the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) will lead a 'comprehensive interagency assessment' to understand what future threats to United States national security from 'foreign adversaries' could arise against the bioeconomy. The DNI will also work with the Department of Defense to ensure future programs are implemented and utilized in a way to ensure national security is maintained.
Section 12 details how the Department of State and other agencies that work with international partners will work with those partners to 'promote and protect both the United States and global bioeconomies.'
If the bioeconomy replaces fossil fuels with sustainable agriculture, fishing, forestry, aquaculture, and other aspects of society -- the impact on the environment will be monumental. The Executive Order stops short of programs suggested in the Green New Deal, but it is a significant measure if measures are implemented.