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Biden administration seeks to protect Americans from extreme heat

CommoditiesSep 20, 2021 06:41PM ET
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2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden participates in a meeting of the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate (MEF) on climate change, from an auditorium at the White House in Washington, U.S. September 17, 2021. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst 2/2

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S. President Joe Biden on Monday ordered his administration to find ways to ensure people are protected from extreme heat, including through work-related rules and other cooling efforts.

The order comes as public health and environmental groups have put pressure on the administration to create enforceable standards for outdoor workers exposed to extreme heat, at a time when the number of high heat days is projected https://www.reuters.com/business/environment/once-in-50-year-heat-waves-now-happening-every-decade-un-climate-report-2021-08-09 to increase significantly due to climate change.

Excessive heat in the Pacific Northwest this summer led to hundreds of deaths and thousands of emergency room visits for heat-related illnesses, the administration said.

Essential outdoor jobs in sectors like agriculture, construction and delivery services are the most exposed to extreme heat, and are disproportionately held by people of color, the administration said in a statement.

"Rising temperatures pose an imminent threat to millions of American workers exposed to the elements, to kids in schools without air-conditioning, to seniors in nursing homes without

cooling resources, and particularly to disadvantaged communities," Biden said in a statement.

Various federal government departments and agencies are being tapped to help provide cooling assistance to homes and neighborhoods and ensure safe working conditions, Biden said.

The Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration will develop a process to create a workplace heat standard. The department will enforce the standard in part through workplace inspections on days when the temperature exceeds 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius).

The administration also directed the Department of Health and Human Services to expand a program that provides home energy assistance to low-income Americans to allow for purchases of air-conditioning units and to establish cooling centers.

The Environmental Protection Agency is coordinating the development of neighborhood cooling centers at public school facilities.

Farm workers in California and the Pacific Northwest worked in extreme heat this summer resulting in fatalities, according to advocates.

The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), which represents the agriculture industry, cautioned the Biden administration against enacting "one-size fits all" regulations.

"We urge (OSHA) to recognize individual health needs and regional differences in weather," said Allison Crittenden, director of congressional relations for AFBF, in a statement.

Worker advocates worry the announcement signals a prolonged regulatory process, even as workers continue to face deadly heat.

"It could be a really long time before anything substantive is actually in place, enforceable and in the fields," said Elizabeth Strater, director of strategic campaigns for United Farm Workers labor union. "I really hope we see some of the level of urgency that we feel. Our communities have had too many funerals this year."

Biden administration seeks to protect Americans from extreme heat
 

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Comments (23)
Pratt Man
Pratt Man Sep 20, 2021 8:06PM ET
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If everyone votes, republicans will never control anything again and democrats can fix this environmental disaster.
Saroop Calvete
Saroop Calvete Sep 20, 2021 6:47PM ET
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Tyrants, we need protection against politicians!
Pratt Man
Pratt Man Sep 20, 2021 6:47PM ET
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you can always move to a country you like better
palmer gossett
palmer gossett Sep 20, 2021 6:47PM ET
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Pratt Man
Pratt Man Sep 20, 2021 6:47PM ET
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palmer gossett I think our government is better than anything else on the planet. If you don't like it, run for office or leave.
palmer gossett
palmer gossett Sep 20, 2021 6:47PM ET
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Rick Baier
Rick Baier Sep 20, 2021 4:11PM ET
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Jill Biden without a doubt takes evil to a whole other level. That's right (Jill) Biden to allow your husband or even encourage him to run for president and then have his whole cognitive decline on display is beyond appalling. But I do believe that the swamp has so much on this family they were warned you ARE running or you will be floating.
Pratt Man
Pratt Man Sep 20, 2021 4:11PM ET
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still waiting on that proof of voter fraud
Casador Del Oso
Casador Del Oso Sep 20, 2021 3:13PM ET
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please protect us from the heat of North Korean ballistic missiles entering Japanese airspace
Saroop Calvete
Saroop Calvete Sep 20, 2021 2:34PM ET
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Dear Lord, protect me from politicians trying to "protect" me!
Saroop Calvete
Saroop Calvete Sep 20, 2021 2:33PM ET
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C'mon man, me people of colour has darker skin to better resist sun and heat!
Saroop Calvete
Saroop Calvete Sep 20, 2021 2:31PM ET
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Colling centers, isn't that a cool idea?
Saroop Calvete
Saroop Calvete Sep 20, 2021 2:29PM ET
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Mandatory heat  vaccines?
Saroop Calvete
Saroop Calvete Sep 20, 2021 2:26PM ET
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Protect me from politicians, please!
milena villa escobar
milena villa escobar Sep 20, 2021 2:13PM ET
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He should be seeking to protect Americans from dementia-ridden leaders
Anthony Badalamenti
Anthony Badalamenti Sep 20, 2021 1:36PM ET
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More dem party histeria
Chatt career
Chatt career Sep 20, 2021 1:15PM ET
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keep looking for short falls with the President way. He Joe Biden is the best from all the presidents of the United States Period .
Felipe Daniel
Felipe Daniel Sep 20, 2021 1:15PM ET
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Left $80 billion in weapons to Taliban and droned innocent family with 7 kids
Saroop Calvete
Saroop Calvete Sep 20, 2021 1:15PM ET
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General Milley, you should not be commenting here, go back to chat with your Chinese frens!
Trevor Roberts
LimitUp Sep 20, 2021 1:15PM ET
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Must be trolling, good one
Terence Williams
Terence Williams Sep 20, 2021 1:11PM ET
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Of all the things a President could address..heat is not on anyones mind.What a joke..but it's on us.
Vlad Lozovskiy
Vlad Lozovskiy Sep 20, 2021 1:06PM ET
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Ha ha ha.  If Biden wants to protect from heat, expect a lot of deaths from heat.  Everything he touches turns to sheet.
New Jazenevd
New Jazenevd Sep 20, 2021 1:06PM ET
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Everyone must wear diapers, the same as our dear president. Every American on every working place. It is necessary for public health.
Trevor Roberts
LimitUp Sep 20, 2021 12:52PM ET
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People are moving south for warmer weather lol
palmer gossett
palmer gossett Sep 20, 2021 12:52PM ET
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And to flee from democratic run cities
Felipe Daniel
Felipe Daniel Sep 20, 2021 12:49PM ET
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Biden admin is doing everything to distract from failure in Afghanistan, left over $80 billion in weapons to Taliban wow, and finally droned innocent family over 7 kids died. Biden adminstration still gets help from mainstream media but still not enough to cover.
Anthony Badalamenti
Anthony Badalamenti Sep 20, 2021 12:49PM ET
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Media IS the dem party!!
Felipe Daniel
Felipe Daniel Sep 20, 2021 12:49PM ET
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Alan Rice
Alan Rice Sep 20, 2021 11:58AM ET
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Personal Air conditioning ?? : (Spray everybody down with (cheap) gasoline. Water shouldn't be wasted on mere comfort.)
Scott Bailey
Scott Bailey Sep 20, 2021 10:40AM ET
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Its all a distraction from his horrible policies. Put an AC in a steel factory! LOL
joe balone
joe balone Sep 20, 2021 10:33AM ET
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More AC more fossil fuel used . Lose Lose.
Jurgen Daub
Jurgen Daub Sep 20, 2021 10:25AM ET
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at least somebody making efforts for the better of the country as a whole instead putting it in a hole and blame others
Roger Miller
Roger Miller Sep 20, 2021 9:44AM ET
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Nanny Biden to the rescue!
Roger Miller
Roger Miller Sep 20, 2021 9:44AM ET
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I’m sure this won’t create extra costs for small and medium sized business’, the job creation engine of the economy.
Ferdinando Riboni
Ferdinando Riboni Sep 20, 2021 9:28AM ET
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what is he smoking ?
John Snowden
John Snowden Sep 20, 2021 9:28AM ET
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his remaining brain cells
Anthony Badalamenti
Anthony Badalamenti Sep 20, 2021 9:28AM ET
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His son's crack pipe
 
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