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Greenpeace USA Commends the Environmental Justice for All Act

by Ryan Schleeter

July 30, 2020

"We're glad to see Congress finally recognize that we can't address the overlapping crises of climate change and systemic racism without prioritizing justice for communities who have been left behind for too long."

© Michael Short / Greenpeace

Washington, DC — Today, Senators Kamala Harris (D-CA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) introduced the Environmental Justice for All Act [1], legislation designed to combat environmental racism and ensure clean air and water for all. The companion bill was introduced in the House by Representatives Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) and Donald McEachin (D-VA) in February.

The act’s focus on addressing racial disparities in environmental health and expanding opportunities for environmental justice community involvement in major infrastructure decisions stands in stark contrast to the Trump administration’s anti-environment, de-regulatory agenda. Since taking office, the Trump Administration has attempted to weaken or repeal 100 environmental rules, most recently attacking the bedrock National Environmental Policy Act [2].

In response, Greenpeace USA Climate Campaigner Charlie Jiang said:

“Everyone deserves clean water. Everyone deserves clean air. These are not controversial ideas, and yet Black, Brown, Indigenous, and working-class communities across the country have consistently been denied these basic rights and sacrificed to the fossil fuel industry. We’re glad to see Congress finally recognize that we can’t address the overlapping crises of climate change and systemic racism without prioritizing justice for communities who have been left behind for too long. We urge all members of Congress to join in advancing policy that addresses environmental injustice at its roots.

“If Donald Trump cared about clean air and water as much as he says he does, this is exactly the kind of legislation he’d support. Instead, he and his Republican colleagues are hellbent on rolling back environmental health protections like the National Environmental Policy Act, putting communities of color at even greater risk in the COVID-19 crisis. The Republicans’ anti-environment agenda is a racist agenda, and we need climate champions in Congress to hold corporate polluters accountable.”

ENDS

Notes:

[1] The full legislative text is available here. A one-page summary of the bill is available here.

[2] Since 1970, NEPA has required federal agencies to go through a review process and identify the environmental, economic, social, and health impacts of new infrastructure projects before construction. In many cases, it’s the only law that gives frontline communities a chance to weigh in on federal projects that could impact their health and safety. https://protectnepa.org/what-is-nepa/

Contact: Ryan Schleeter, Senior Communications Specialist, Greenpeace USA: +1 (415) 342-2386, [email protected]

Ryan Schleeter

By Ryan Schleeter

Ryan Schleeter is a senior communications specialist with Greenpeace USA covering climate and energy. His writing has appeared in National Geographic, Grist, GreenBiz, EcoWatch, and more. Find him on Twitter @ryschlee.

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