Michigan Governor Ushers In New Era of Environmental Protection

Michigan Governor Ushers In New Era of Environmental Protection

Newly elected Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer on Monday issued two executive orders and one executive directive to strengthen protections for the Great Lakes, clean up groundwater and drinking water, and fight climate change.  Governor Whitmer wasted no time “shaking up” her Cabinet in order to fulfill a campaign promise she made to shift the focus in the state back to environmental protection and developing clean energy.

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Cory Booker’s presidential bid addresses environmental justice

Cory Booker’s presidential bid addresses environmental justice

Last Friday New Jersey Senator Cory Booker (D) announced his campaign for president. Booker, who is one of only 3 sitting African American senators, made his announcement on the first day of Black History Month likely as a symbol of his commitment to racial justice. The senator specifically has been outspoken on the issue of […]

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Remembering MLK: He Planted the Seeds of the Environmental Justice Movement

Remembering MLK: He Planted the Seeds of the Environmental Justice Movement

Today, as we look back at the life and legacy of Dr. King, we remember that although he tragically died before the environmental movement had begun, his call for justice and civil rights inspired other movements like our own.  Former Attorney General Eric Holder said in a speech honoring King at the Environmental Protection Agency in 2011, that “Dr. King, in addition to his many other achievements, helped to plant the seeds for what would become our nation’s now-thriving environmental justice movement. 

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A Brief History of the Environmental Justice Movement

A Brief History of the Environmental Justice Movement

Many consider the street protests and legal challenges brought by the overwhelmingly poor and minority residents of rural Afton, in Warren County, North Carolina in 1982 to be the first major milestone in the national movement for environmental justice because they drew sustained media coverage and grabbed national attention.

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How would Dr. King view climate justice?

How would Dr. King view climate justice?

Dr. King was assassinated in 1968 which was right before the modern environmental movement became a fully-fledged political force. He had already been dead for 20 years when the first IPCC report was released and broad national consensus around climate change began to form. And now, 50 years after his death, many thought-leaders wonder what Dr. King would say about the current state of our planet. Though in the news we often see mansions catching on fire in Malibu or hear about sea-level rise coming for the vibrant nightlife of Miami Beach, the untold stories are of how much climate change will impact poor, marginalized communities home and abroad. New York Times climate reporter, Kendra Pierre-Louis and Forbes science contributor Dr. Marshall Shepherd have written about how Dr. King would approach environmentalism today based on clues from his writings and political and religious philosophies and the consensus is climate change and environmental injustice would have been deeply troubling to him. 

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Virginia Regulators Ignore Environmental Justice Concerns, Grant Pipeline Permit

Virginia Regulators Ignore Environmental Justice Concerns, Grant Pipeline Permit

Ignoring the pleas of residents of the historic African American community of Union Hill in Richmond, the Virginia state air pollution control board voted unanimously to approve a natural gas compressor station there. 

Why This Matters:  The large and powerful fossil fuel industry always seems to have the upper hand — in DC and in state capitals around the country.  The ruling probably does not matter because the pipeline is mired in more serious federal court litigation.  But environmental groups were disappointed that Democratic Governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam, replaced two skeptical air pollution control board commissioners whose terms had run out, with two pro-pipeline commissioners.  Governor Northam, according to The Post, attended a political fundraiser with Dominion executives in recent days.  Yup.  It’s all about the money.  

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