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Two pear pickers in Hood River, Ore. on Aug. 13. Photo: Michael Hanson/AFP via Getty Images

The White House announced a slew of actions Monday, including the start of a rule-making process at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), to protect American workers from extreme heat.

Driving the news: The U.S. just had its hottest summer on record, with triple-digit-temperatures killing hundreds in the Pacific Northwest and exposing outdoor workers to dangerous conditions.

  • Scientists concluded that event would have been virtually impossible without human-caused climate change.
  • The tie between more extreme and longer lasting heat waves and the increasing amounts of greenhouse gases in the air, the result of burning fossil fuels for energy, is one of the most well-established extreme weather links in climate science.

Details: The Biden administration announced the series of steps on Monday morning. The actions focus on the unequal burden in heat exposure, with poorer neighborhoods in cities with a higher concentration of minorities seeing higher temperatures than wealthy, white areas.

  • According to the White House, the Labor Department, Department of Health and Human Services, Environmental Protection Agency and other agencies will collaborate to bolster heat resilience and work with local communities.
  • OSHA, which is part of the Labor Department, is issuing an Advance Notice of Proposed Rule-making Monday or Tuesday on heat illness prevention in indoor and outdoor work settings, which is the first step toward developing a national heat work standard, the White House said.
  • As part of this initiative, OSHA will also implement greater enforcement of heat-related hazards, including stepped up inspections of hot indoor and outdoor settings when the heat index exceeds 80°F.
  • The White House is also focusing on addressing inequities in heat exposure, with Black, Native American and other people of color, as well as those with low incomes, exposed to greater heat impacts. Studies show that the urban heat island effect makes these neighborhoods within cities hotter than wealthier neighborhoods.

What they're saying: President Biden said extreme heat is a "climate disaster" that lurks just below the surface when compared to the wildfires and floods that have dominated climate news in recent weeks.

  • "As with other weather events, extreme heat is gaining in frequency and ferocity due to climate change, threatening communities across the country," Biden said in a statement.

Go deeper: Hard Truths: Race and Environment in America

Go deeper

What to know about COP26 in Glasgow

A banner advertising the upcoming COP26 climate talks in Glasgow, U.K., on Oct. 20. Photo: Ian Forsyth/Bloomberg via Getty Images

More than 100 world leaders — as well as thousands of diplomats and business leaders — are set to converge on Glasgow, Scotland, starting Oct. 31 to try to set new emissions reduction goals at the COP26 climate summit.

Why it matters: It's an annual meeting, but this year's assembly is viewed as crucial, since climate scientists warn that time is running out to secure necessary greenhouse gas emissions cuts to avoid potentially devastating climate change impacts during the next several decades.

Fossil fuel executives to testify at "landmark" hearing focused on climate disinformation

An oil flare at a BP plant in Whiting, Indiana. Photo: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform announced on Friday it will hold a "landmark" hearing next week with fossil fuel executives focused on the industry's role in spreading climate disinformation.

Why it matters: This is the first time oil company CEOs, and the head of their main trade group, will testify under oath about their knowledge of the link between burning fossil fuels and climate change, per Axios' Andrew Freedman.

Justice Department to increase enforcement of redlining

Merrick Garland speaks during an address at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Oct. 22, 2021. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Department of Justice on Friday announced a cross-government effort to ramp up investigations and prosecutions against redlining — a practice designed to keep racial minorities out of certain neighborhoods.

The big picture: Friday's announcement marks the first major expansion of redlining investigations since the Obama administration, per AP.