In recent weeks, a grassroots movement protesting systemic racism has erupted across the U.S. and abroad.
In New Orleans, Julie Dermansky’s powerful photos and reporting [[link removed]] revealed activists connecting environmental racism and police brutality in a week of George Floyd solidarity protests.
And Dana Drugmand reports that in the pages of the New England Journal of Medicine, former EPA clean air scientific advisors condemned the current agency’s decision [[link removed]] not to strengthen air quality standards that likely will hit America’s communities of color the hardest.
Meanwhile, Chevron has tweeted [[link removed]] that “racism has no place in America” while for years violating pollution standards and funding the police department in Richmond, California, a predominantly Black and brown community.
Brendan DeMelle, Executive Director, and Ashley Braun, Managing Editor
New Orleans Activists Call out Environmental Racism Alongside Police Brutality in Week of Protests [[link removed]]— By Julie Dermansky (6 min. read) —
On June 3, just hours before New Orleans police tear-gassed a group protesting racial violence, Jesse Perkins, a Black veteran, called out the many shades of racism and violence his community faces daily.
“What they inflicted on us was a slow violence. What is happening every day to these Black men on the street every day is violence. But it is all relative,” said Perkins, who lives in a house built on a toxic Superfund site in the Upper 9th Ward’s Gordon Plaza, a Black neighborhood. “That is why I’m here connecting the dots. Violence is violence. Racism is racism, whether it is environmental racism, whether it is racial profiling, whether you walk on the streets and get your brains knocked out by some guy who has taken an oath to uphold the law.”
READ MORE [[link removed]] Trump EPA’s Refusal to Strengthen Air Quality Standards Most Likely to Harm Communities of Color, Experts Say [[link removed]]— By Dana Drugmand (8 min. read) —
In April, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist, proposed maintaining, rather than strengthening, national air quality standards for soot, a type of air pollution with serious impacts for heart and lung health. This week, an independent panel of experts who previously advised the EPA on these air standards slammed the current agency's decision in the New England Journal of Medicine, pointing out it's literally a matter of life or death, especially for communities of color.
Mustafa Santiago Ali, former head of the EPA's environmental justice office, also highlighted in congressional testimony how the effects of air pollution are just another form of the same systemic racism that ends up hitting people of color particularly hard, and even more so during the current pandemic:
READ MORE [[link removed]] Chevron’s #BlackLivesMatter Hypocrisy [[link removed]]— By Amy Westervelt (16 min. read) —
At a House committee hearing on fossil fuel deception last year, Congressional reps from oil and gas states repeated a long-used talking point: A clean energy transition is just a big fuck-you to poor people. They claim that it risks leaving marginalized communities out in the cold and stalls development in Africa. (They love to talk about how dependent African economic growth is on fossil fuels, never about how they've destroyed water sources and wetlands and murdered protesters there). The grossest part: Fossil fuel companies also fund various civil rights groups to spread their message for them, all while simultaneously literally choking the life out of Black and brown communities with refineries and petrochemical plants.
READ MORE [[link removed]] Shell's Falcon Pipeline Dogged by Issues with Drilling and Permit Uncertainty During Pandemic [[link removed]]By Sharon Kelly (17 min. read) —
Over the past few months, amid the COVID-19 pandemic and stay-at-home orders, Shell Pipeline Company has pressed onward with the construction of a 97-mile pipeline running through Ohio and western Pennsylvania. Shell plans to use the Falcon pipeline to supply its $6 billion plastics plant currently being built in Beaver County, Pennsylvania, with ethane, a raw material pulled from shale wells in the state and from neighboring Ohio.
A DeSmog investigation found that Falcon’s construction has struggled with drilling problems and has continued even while one key water-crossing for the pipeline lacked state or federal permits. During that same time, vast numbers of other businesses in both states — including the Shell plastics plant itself — were forced to slow or stop activities in efforts to combat the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
READ MORE [[link removed]] From Hurricane Maria to COVID, Gas Lobbyist-turned-Trump Energy Lawyer Uses Crises as 'Opportunity [[link removed]]— By Steve Horn (14 min. read) —
Among a string of recent environmental rollbacks, President Donald Trump’s U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) aims to vastly narrow the scope of environmental reviews for those applying for liquefied natural gas (LNG) export permits. The proposal has been guided by Bill Cooper, a former oil and gas industry lobbyist who's now a top lawyer for the DOE.
On May 1, the DOE issued a proposal to limit environmental reviews for LNG export permit proposals so that the review applies to only the export process itself — literally “occurring at or after the point of export.” The rule would take off the table for consideration lifecycle greenhouse gas analyses, broader looks at both build-outs of pipelines and power plants attached to the export proposals, and other potential environmental impacts.
READ MORE [[link removed]] Formosa Plastics Opponents Ask Louisiana Governor to Veto Bill Over Harsh Sentencing Concerns [[link removed]]— By Julie Dermansky and Sharon Kelly (10 min. read) —
On Friday, June 12, Louisiana's Democratic governor John Bel Edwards is expected to sign off on a piece of legislation, House Bill 197, that would make it a more serious crime to trespass on Louisiana's so-called “critical infrastructure,” including the state's system of flood-control levees, fossil fuel pipelines, and sprawling network of petrochemical plants and refineries.
But if you ask Sharon Lavigne, founder of RISE St. James, a Louisiana community group, what House Bill 197 means to her, the answer that comes back isn’t about floodgates or water pumps or pipelines. It’s about the legacy of slavery in the United States — and how that legacy echoes in criminalization efforts today.
READ MORE [[link removed]] As Protests Rage Over George Floyd’s Death, Climate Activists Embrace Racial Justice [[link removed]]— By Ilana Cohen, Evelyn Nieves, Judy Fahys, Marianne Lavelle, and James Bruggers, InsideClimate News (11 min. read) —
When New York Communities for Change helped lead a demonstration of 500 on Monday in Brooklyn to protest George Floyd's killing in Minneapolis, the grassroots group's activism spoke to a long-standing link between police violence against African Americans and environmental justice.
Elizabeth Yeampierre, executive director of UPROSE, Brooklyn's oldest Latino community-based organization, said she considers showing up to fight police brutality and racial violence integral to her climate change activism.
READ MORE [[link removed]] From the Climate Disinformation Database: Horace Cooper [[link removed]]
Horace Cooper [[link removed]] is a senior fellow at the Heartland Institute [[link removed]], which has received funding from the coal and oil industries. He is also a director of the National Center for Public Policy Research (NCPPR), where he co-chairs the National Advisory Board for Project 21, which NCPPR describes as “the National Leadership Network of Black Conservatives.” Recently Cooper told Fox News that “There is a class of Americans whose entire livelihood is based on the existence of victims," and that “we've not done the basic kinds of things that would be good for Americans Black, white or brown." In 2015 Cooper said: “Poor people are disproportionately impacted by climate change regulation policies … They're overwhelmingly going to be the front line of those harmed by these policies.” He has praised President Trump’s decision to weaken vehicle fuel economy and pollution standards [[link removed]].
Read the full profile [[link removed]] and browse other individuals and organizations in our Climate Disinformation Database [[link removed]] or our new Koch Network Database [[link removed]].
SUBSCRIBE TO DESMOG ON YOUTUBE [[link removed]] Unsubscribe [link removed]