#pollution
Minority Communities Raise Their Voices Against Trump’s Environmental Rule Rollbacks

Minority Communities Raise Their Voices Against Trump’s Environmental Rule Rollbacks

The rallying cry “I Can’t Breathe” that has been heard and seen at protests across the country was invoked by environmental justice advocates on Tuesday in Congress because it also applies to the harmful impact of pollution being experienced by these communities, and it is especially acute in minority communities also seeing disproportionate impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Why This Matters:  Under the guise of “helping” communities after the COVID crisis, the administration is making things even worse for so many Americans that are already struggling under the burden of discriminatory pollution and its cascading harms to their health and well-being.

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Climate and Environmental Injustice Persist Even In Cities With “Strong” Climate Plans

Climate and Environmental Injustice Persist Even In Cities With “Strong” Climate Plans

Minneapolis has been at the center of the nationwide discussion on racism and police brutality against minorities, but it is also a place where the city’s heralded climate plan, first enacted in 2013, does not adequately address climate justice issues, according to a report by E&E News

Why This Matters:  Minority neighborhoods and residents deserve environmental and climate justice in Minneapolis and other cities.

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A Florida Beach Reopened – People Left It Trashed

A Florida Beach Reopened – People Left It Trashed

The people who flocked to Cocoa Beach in Florida last weekend left behind 13,000 pounds of litter, prompting the police to threaten a crackdown.  Local officials believe that as social distancing and stay in place orders are loosened in parts of the state, there has been an influx of day-trippers who show up and leave […]

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Frontline Communities Lacking Clean Water Can’t Fight Coronavirus Effectively

Frontline Communities Lacking Clean Water Can’t Fight Coronavirus Effectively

Shocking as it may be, there are 2 million Americans living in such poverty that they lack running water, and tens of millions of others may have water in their homes but it is hardly safe to bathe in, much less drink, The Washington Post reports.  These extreme conditions are exacerbating the spread of COVID-19 in minority communities in the deep south and Navajo Country

Why This Matters:  With some states reopening despite Dr. Anthony Fauci’s warning today that we are not yet ready, we are all only as safe from the virus as the most vulnerable among us.

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Earth Day at 50: Pathways to a Sustainable Future

Earth Day at 50: Pathways to a Sustainable Future

By Daniel C. Esty Tens of millions of Americans took to the streets 50 years ago this week to demand ramped-up environmental protection in the face of choking smog in cities across the country, fouled waterways (including the drama of Cleveland’s Cuyahoga River catching on fire), and a terrible oil spill that blackened the California […]

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Supreme Court Closes Loophole, Ensures the Integrity of the Clean Water Act

Supreme Court Closes Loophole, Ensures the Integrity of the Clean Water Act

In a huge win for the Clean Water Act, by a 6-3 majority, the Supreme Court held that municipalities and others that discharge pollution are subject to the Act’s restrictions when they discharge the water into groundwater or ditches and it ends up in a water body covered by the law, such as a lake or the ocean.

Why This Matters: Six votes for a pro-conservation interpretation of the Act, including the Chief Justice and Trump-appointee Kavanaugh, has significance beyond this case.

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Despite Reg Rollbacks, Fracking Businesses Struggle Due to Oil and Gas Glut

Despite Reg Rollbacks, Fracking Businesses Struggle Due to Oil and Gas Glut

A judge on Friday upheld the Trump Administration’s rollback of environmental standards for fracking on federal land saying that the President’s rule change met the “low bar” of providing enough explanation to stand, The Hill reported The Obama rule required companies to say what chemicals they use in fracking, make them cover surface ponds that contain fracking fluids and also set well construction.

Why This Matters:  This rollback is on top of the suspension of enforcement of environmental rules that the Administration announced on Thursday.

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Hero of the Week: Sharon Lavigne

Hero of the Week: Sharon Lavigne

Sharon Lavigne, is 67-year-old recently retired special-ed teacher born and raised in St. James Parish, LA and a staunch advocate for her community that sits in what’s been dubbed as “Cancer Alley.” When Lavigne was a child she recalls St. James Parish being lush with fruit trees, vegetable gardens and full of families living off […]

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Trump Administration Finalizes Rule Severely Limiting Clean Water Act

Trump Administration Finalizes Rule Severely Limiting Clean Water Act

The Trump Administration on Thursday made official a controversial rule to drastically limit the application of the Clean Water Act, finalizing its proposal that has been uniformly criticized by environmental groups and the agency’s own science advisors because it will lead to the contamination of groundwater, many intermittent water bodies, and drinking water supplies and the elimination of many wetlands. 

Why This Matters: They call it the “The Navigable Waters Protection Rule” but nothing could be further from the truth because now pollution can enter big waterways and the ocean from smaller ones and from wetlands that are no longer protected.  More pesticides, more PFAS, more chemicals, more waste — and we won’t know it because these discharges and wetlands destruction will all be “perfectly” legal.

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The European Union Moving Forward on a “Green Deal”

The European Union Moving Forward on a “Green Deal”

Last week, as the UN Climate Meeting lurched and sputtered, the European Commission’s president, Ursula von der Leyen of Germany,  proposed the European “Green Deal” — a blueprint for how Europe will cut their carbon emissions in half by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, aiming to be a first-mover on creating climate-friendly industries and building clean technologies.  

Why This Matters:  Countries that seize the moment to transition to a fossil-fuel-free economy will win this century, and those that do not will be left behind.

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Trump Administration Plans To Open 1.9M Acres of TX Forests and Grasslands to Drilling

Trump Administration Plans To Open 1.9M Acres of TX Forests and Grasslands to Drilling

The Trump Administration is poised to open nearly 2 million acres of land in U.S. national forests in Texas to oil and gas drilling and fracking, which would allow lease holding companies to drill more than 1,000 horizontal wells and 500 vertical wells over a 20-year time period,

Why This Matters:  This is yet another senseless Trump rollback that would do significant environmental damag

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Fox News Host Tucker Carlson Equates Climate Migrants to “Pollution”

Fox News’ Tucker Carlson in a news segment on Monday night created a firestorm over racist remarks in which he claimed that proposals to allow many more climate refugees to enter the U.S. would result in overcrowding and would “despoil” and “pollute” our country. 

Why This Matters:  Millions of people around the world — including Americans — are already suffering due to climate change and it has created a refugee crisis.  According to the proposal’s proponents, since 2009, a climate-related disaster has displaced about one person every second due to severe weather events, famine, drought, and rising sea levels, and other climate impacts.  The United Nations believes that 22.5 million people worldwide have been displaced due to climate change since 2009 and that number could rise to 200 million forcibly displaced people by 2050. We will be confronted with this problem regardless of whether Congress passes a law allowing the government to deal with it directly.  

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