Virtual Public Meeting

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 30 Mar 2022 19:00:00 GMT

The meeting discussion will focus on the beta version of the Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool developed by the Council on Environmental Quality and the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council draft recommendations on the implementation of the Justice40 Initiative. These two charges were established through Executive Order 14008 Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad.

The WHEJAC is interested in receiving public comments relevant to the beta version of the Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool and federal government agencies’ implementation of the Justice40 Initiative.

Please be prepared to briefly describe your comments and recommendations on what you want the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council to advise the Council on Environmental Quality and the White House Environmental Justice Interagency Council to do regarding the beta version of the Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool and federal government agencies’ implementation of the Justice40 Initiative.

Members of the public who wish to participate during the public comment period must pre-register by 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time, March 23, 2022.

Register for the WHEJAC public meeting

Read the Draft Agenda for the WHEJAC public meeting

The WHEJAC will hear from as many registered public commenters as possible during the time specified on the agenda. Written comments can be submitted up to two (2) weeks after the meeting date. To participate in the meeting via written comment, the public can submit their written comments in the following ways:
  • Entering comments in the Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OA-2021-0683 at, when the docket opens.
  • Using the webform
  • Sending comments via email to [email protected], for comments with additional materials.

2022 National Environmental Justice Conference and Training Program, Day 3

Posted by Brad Johnson Fri, 11 Mar 2022 13:00:00 GMT

Register for The 2022 National Environmental Justice Conference and Training Program at the Washington Marriott at Metro Center

Day 3 Agenda

8:00 a.m.—4:00 p.m.

Exhibit Hall Open

Conference Facilitator Ms. Carolyn Sawyer Communications Strategist Tom Sawyer Company

9:00 a.m.—10:00 a.m.

PRESENTATION: THE EVOLVING PARK IDEA David Vassar and Sally Kaplan have spent a lifetime making films and video about the natural world, parks, and environmental issues. They will present and discuss three short film clips which illustrate the evolving mission of parks: the importance of equitable access, the growing need for urban parks and historic sites that represent diverse peoples, and the battle to preserve lands that remain sacred for Native Americans. Clips include an interview with Robert Garcia, founder of City Project.

David Vassar Sally Kaplan Producers Backcountry Pictures

10:00 a.m.—11:00 a.m.

PANEL: Closing the Infrastructure Gap for Those in Need: Accessing Engineering Consulting Services for Infrastructure Provision in Underserved Areas of the US and its territories.

Natalie Celmo Senior Program Engineer Community Engineering Corps employed by Engineers Without Borders USA

Ellie Carley Senior Program Coordinator Community Engineering Corps employed by Engineers Without Borders USA

11:00 a.m.—11:15 a.m.


11:15 a.m.—12:15 p.m.

PANEL: Resources, Tools, and Strategies to Promote Equitable Investments in Transportation Infrastructure.

James Schroll Senior Analyst Abt Associates

Nissa Tupper Transportation and Public Health Planner Minnesota Department of Transportation

Benito Perez Policy Director Transportation for America

Chris Forinash Principal Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates

12:15 p.m.—12:45 p.m.


12:45 p.m.—2:00 p.m.


Introduction of Luncheon Keynote Speaker Dr. Kim Lambert Environmental Justice Coordinator U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service


Mike Martinez Deputy Assistant Secretary, Fish and Wildlife and Parks U.S. Department of the Interior

2:00 p.m.—2:15 p.m.


2:15 p.m.—3:30 p.m.


USDA Forest Service Environmental Justice Mapping Program

Mark D. O. Adams Senior GIS Specialist Office of Sustainability and Climate (OSC) USDA Forest Service

Dixie Porter Deputy Director Office of Sustainability and Climate (OSC) USDA Forest Service Satellite Data for Environmental Justice: Advancing EJ Mapping Tools and Building a New Community of Practice

Lauren Johnson The George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health

3:30 p.m.—4:00 p.m.


Dr. Melinda Downing Environmental Justice Program Manager U.S. Department of Energy

Mr. Benjamin F. Wilson, Esq. Chairman, Beveridge & Diamond, P.C. Chairman, Board of Directors, National Environmental Justice Conference, Inc.

Timothy Fields, Jr. Senior Vice President, MDB, Inc. Vice-Chairman, Board of Directors National Environmental Justice Conference, Inc.


Grand Ballroom Salon E

9:30 a.m.—11:00 a.m.

Federal Title VI and Environmental Justice

This session will be a discussion with Federal civil rights offices engaged in Title VI enforcement and compliance work related to environmental and health programs receiving federal financial assistance.

Title VI Committee Federal Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice

Daria Neal Deputy Chief, Federal Coordination & Compliance Section Civil Rights Division U.S. Department of Justice

Lilian Dorka Director, External Civil Rights and Compliance Office U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Carla Carter Associate Deputy Director, Civil Rights Division in the Office for Civil Rights U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Amy Vance Title VI Coordinator, Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Yvette Rivera Associate Director for Equity and Access Division Departmental Office of Civil Rights U.S. Department of Transportation

Jacy Gaige FHEO Director of Compliance and Disability Rights U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

11:30 a.m.—12:45 p.m.

USDA Forest Service Conservation Education Strategy: Advancing Equity and Justice for All

The USDA Forest Service Conservation Education Program is developing a new Conservation Education Strategy to provide clear, agency-wide program direction, unifying how the Forest Service communicates the value and interdependence of Conservation Education while empowering delivery of programs that uplift our communities and partners. We aim to achieve a comprehensive strategy that advances equity and environmental justice for all, including people of color and others who have been historically underserved, marginalized, and adversely affected by persistent inequality. This session will engage participants in innovative thinking around the Forest Service’s new Conservation Education Strategy. We will review the draft strategy and engage in a small group discussions focused on how the FS and partners/communities can effectively collaborate in the advancement of equity and inclusion in Conservation Education programming.

John Crockett Associate Deputy Chief for State and Private Forestry USDA Forest Service

Tinelle Bustam National Director USDA Forest Service Conservation Education

Rachel Bayer Environmental Education Specialist USDA Forest Service Conservation Education

Elaine Jackson-Retondo Program Manager Regional Preservation Partnership and History Department of The Interior Park Service

Amtchat Edwards Education Specialist USDA Forest Service Conservation Education

2:30 p.m.—3:30 p.m.

Incorporating Cumulative Risk into Tribal Risk Assessments

Tribal Nations are disproportionately affected by environmental issues, including contamination and climate impacts. Further, Tribes are a uniquely vulnerable population in the US, as Federal agencies have a Trust responsibility to Tribes, stemming from historical treaties, requiring government to government consultation, and the respecting of treaty rights (e.g., the right to hunt/fish/gather in usual and accustomed places). Tribal communities may be at greater risk of exposure to contamination than the general population because of dependence on the environment for sustenance (hunting, gathering, fishing); fixed boundaries of reservations (compounding the effects of shifting biological populations); and confounding equity issues (such as social and health inequities). For these reasons, risk assessments that do not consider the cumulative impacts of both contaminant and non-contaminant stressors will fail to fully characterize health risk to Tribal Nations.

The purpose of this workshop is to share examples, ideas, and considerations for incorporating cumulative risk into Tribal risk assessments. Through the presentation of case studies and facilitated discussions, the goal of this workshop is to provide a broader understanding of Tribal risk assessment and to stimulate discussion and engagement on this topic.

Beth Riess Associate Abt Associates

Michelle Krasnec, PhD Senior Scientist Abt Associates

2022 National Environmental Justice Conference and Training Program, Day 2

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 10 Mar 2022 13:00:00 GMT

Register for The 2022 National Environmental Justice Conference and Training Program at the Washington Marriott at Metro Center

Day 2 Agenda

8:00 a.m.—4:00 p.m.

Exhibit Hall Open

Conference Facilitator Ms. Carolyn Sawyer Communications Strategist Tom Sawyer Company

8:30 a.m.—9:15 a.m.

PANEL: Community and College Partners Program (C2P2): Developing Alternative Energy Options for Indigenous People in Tyonek, Alaska

Michael Burns Founder/Executive Director C2P2

Margaret McCurdy Graduate Student, Peace Engineering Program Drexel University Philadelphia, PA

Joan Nguyen Graduate Student, Peace Engineering Program Drexel University Philadelphia, PA

Kate Ryan Graduate Student, Peace Engineering Program Drexel University Philadelphia, PA

9:15 a.m.—9:55a.m.

Introduction of Keynote Speakers

Dr. Melinda Downing Environmental Justice Program Manager U.S. Department of Energy


The Honorable James E. Clyburn Majority Whip (Democrat, 6th District, South Carolina)

The Honorable Jennifer Granholm Secretary U.S. Department of Energy

9:55 a.m.—10:05 a.m.


10:05 a.m.—11:15 a.m.

PANEL: Estimating Disproportionate Impacts of Climate Change on Childhood Asthma Rates Among Socially Vulnerable Populations in the U.S.

Margaret Black Abt Associates

Stefani L. Penn Industrial Economics, Inc. (IEc)

Lauren E. Gentile U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Estimating the Benefits of Reduced Air Pollution During COVID-19 for Socially Vulnerable Populations in New York City.

David Cooley Abt Associates

11:15 a.m.—12:15 p.m.

PANEL: USDA Forest Service’s Environmental Justice and Climate Change Related Topics.

Elisabeth Grinspoon, Ph.D. Environmental Justice and Technology Transfer Specialist Office of Sustainability and Climate USDA Forest Service

Dixie Porter Deputy Director Office of Sustainability and Climate (OSC)

USDA Forest Service

12:15 p.m.—12:30 p.m.


12:30 p.m.—1:45 p.m.


Introduction of Luncheon Keynote Speaker

Dr. Melinda Downing Environmental Justice Program Manager U.S. Department of Energy


The Honorable David Turk Deputy Secretary United States Department of Energy Washington, D.C.

1:45 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.


2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.


Approaches for Evaluating Environmental Justice Issues at the State Level

Lisa McDonald, PhD Senior Associate Abt Associates

Appliance Standards: The Best Climate Change Policy You’ve Never Heard Of

Madeline Parker Outreach & Coalition-Building Associate Appliance Standards Awareness Project (ASAP)

3:00 p.m.—4:00 p.m.


Bridging America’s Outdoor Equity Gap

Diane Regas President and CEO The Trust for Public Land

In Defense of a Greenspace: Students Discover Agency in the Practice of Community-Engaged Technical Communication

Bob Hyland Associate Professor University of Cincinnati


Grand Ballroom Salon E

10:00 a.m.–-11:00 a.m.

What’s in My Neighborhood? How Communities Can Use EPA’s TRI Toxics Tracker to Identify Industrial Sources of Toxic Chemical Releases and Other Waste Management Activities.

EPA’s Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Program provides a detailed, multimedia dataset covering annual releases and other waste management activities from over 20,000 facilities in the United States for hundreds of different toxic chemicals. EPA makes these data available to the public, which can help inform decision-making by government agencies, community groups, companies, and other stakeholders. This training workshop will provide users with a basic introduction to the TRI Program and what types of data and information are collected by the EPA, as well as a live demonstration of the online TRI Toxics Tracker tool. TRI Toxics Tracker can be used to answer a variety of questions all in one place, such as what toxic chemical releases are occurring in a particular community with EJ concerns and which facilities might be contributing to disproportionate releases potentially affecting nearby residents.

T.J. Pepping Abt Associates

11:15 a.m.—12:15 p.m.

Pragmatic Approaches: Reaching Students in Areas with Limited Broadband to Access College Education

Lack of broadband access is a limiting factor to academic advancement of a remarkable number of youths in rural areas in America and worldwide. It has been documented that in rural areas, nearly one-fourth of the population – 14.5 million people lack access to this service. In tribal areas, nearly one-third of the population lacks access. Even in areas where broadband is available, approximately 100 million Americans still do not subscribe (FCC 2022). Consequently, an outreach was conducted in a rural area (Marion) of South Carolina with ineffective or no access to broadband. Parents and their high schoolers were invited. During this event, we had on board from Allen University, officials from the admission office, financial aid office, the university counsellors, a faculty and one junior student from Allen University.

Application forms were already printed out and handed over to high schoolers during this outreach. Seven high school students completed the application form on the spot. The financial aid officer succeeded in assisting one of these seven students to complete her FAFSA right on the spot using our personal hotspot internet access provided at the outreach site. Application forms were given to the high school students that attended with the promise to share with their friends. It is uber-important for colleges to make concerted efforts in reaching suburbs with limited broadband access. Such that youths in these areas will not be left behind. This workshop intends to shed more light on pragmatic approaches employed to forestall bottlenecks encountered during the outreach.

Oluwole Ariyo, PhD Principal Investigator, Environmental Justice Institute Allen University

2:00 p.m.—4 p.m.

EJ & NEPA Workshop: Considering Cumulative Effects and EJ in the NEPA Process

Increasingly, decisionmakers are recognizing the importance of looking at projects in the context of prior impacts and developments within the community or region. Direct effects continue to be most important to decisionmakers, in part because they are more certain. Nonetheless, the importance of other environmental stressors requires the need to address cumulative impacts on environmental justice (EJ) populations. The purpose of the workshop is to increase understanding of cumulative effects consideration of environmental justice (EJ) populations in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review process. The specific focus is the importance of understanding cumulative effects are caused by the aggregate of past, present, and reasonably foreseeable future actions that, for many EJ populations, may last for many years beyond the life of the action that caused the effects. The goal is to provide an understanding of the principles of a cumulative effects analysis within Environmental Justice (EJ) communities.

The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) published their Phase 1 revisions to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Regulations which focused on a narrow set of changes to the 2020 regulations that restores some of the regulatory provisions from the 1978 NEPA Regulations. One of the changes restores the definition of “effects,” including use of the terms “direct,” “indirect,” and “cumulative” and removed potential limitations on effects analysis.

The NEPA Subcommittee of the White House Interagency Environmental Justice Council (WHEJAC) formally known as the Federal Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice (EJ IWG), produced the “Promising Practices for EJ Methodologies in NEPA Reviews” (Promising Practices Report) and address various methodologies for addressing effects within an EJ analysis and will be utilized in this session.

The workshop is designed to address the changes in NEPA regulations, provide expectations for cumulative effects analysis and provide case study examples for cumulative effects.

Denise C. Freeman Co-chair, NEPA Committee, WH EJ Interagency Council Senior Advisor/Communications Liaison Office of Legacy Management U.S. Department of Energy

Jomar Maldonado Director for NEPA Council on Environmental Quality Executive Office of the President

Carolyn L. Nelson, P.E. Co-chair, NEPA Committee, WH EJ Interagency Council Sr. Project Development/Environmental Specialist Office of Project Development and Environmental Review USDOT-Federal Highway Administration

2022 National Environmental Justice Conference and Training Program, Day 1

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 09 Mar 2022 13:00:00 GMT

Register for The 2022 National Environmental Justice Conference and Training Program at the Washington Marriott at Metro Center

Day 1 Agenda


8:00 a.m.—4:00 p.m.


Exhibit Hall Open

9:00 a.m.—9:30 a.m.

Welcome/Opening Remarks

Conference Facilitator Ms. Carolyn Sawyer Communications Strategist Tom Sawyer Company

Dr. Melinda Downing Environmental Justice Program Manager U.S. Department of Energy

9:30 a.m.—10:30 a.m.

PANEL: Virtual Environmental Justice Academy. Undergraduate students Sierra Generette and Justice Wright spent their Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semesters interning with the Mentorship for Environmental Scholars (MES) Program. Their internship focused on creating virtual Environmental Justice trainings to be delivered to middle and high school students. The results of this 10-week academic year internship formed the Pre-College University’s Virtual Environmental Justice Academy.

Clarence T. Brown Executive Director Pre-College University, Inc.

Sierra Generette Former Mentorship for Environmental Scholars (MES) Intern

Justice Wright Former Mentorship for Environmental Scholars (MES) Intern

Dave J. Wess Dean of Students Pre-College University, Inc.

10:30 a.m.—10:45 a.m.


10:45 a.m.—12:45 p.m.

PANEL: Educate, Motivate, Innovate: Building the Next Generation of Environmental Justice Leaders (The Federal Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice’s “Educate, Motivate and Innovate (EMI) Environmental Justice Initiative”).


Joanna Mounce Stancil EMI Chair USDA Forest Service Washington, D.C.

EMI and CUPP Collaboration: CUPP is a unique program that coordinates partnerships between local colleges/universities with communities in need throughout the southeast. College and university students provide technical assistance, free of charge, to underserved communities through planned projects. CUPP has completed over 100 projects throughout the United States, obtaining several dedicated college/university and non-profit partners.

Jeannie Williamson EPA Region 4 College/Underserved Community Partnership Program (CUPP) Coordinator

PRESENTATION: Redlining and Environmental Justice: Identifying the roots of Child Health Vulnerabilities to Climate Change. This presentation will explore how children’s environmental health disparities correlate with the historical practices of redlining and provide valuable insight on the structural roots of environmental health disparities, in the context of climate change.

Dr. Leslie Isadore Rubin Director of Break the Cycle Program Southeastern Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit

Devon Nenon Undergraduate Student (Junior) Major: Sustainability Studies University of Florida

PRESENTATION: Georgia State University Students Assist Duck Hill, Mississippi Citizens Stay Informed About Their Community. The Georgia State University’s Computer Information System’s Department partnered with the Montgomery Citizens United for Prosperity (MCUP) to assist the Duck Hill community build a digital presence on the Internet. The presentation will show how the webpage will benefit the community.

Alicia Gholar Computer Information Systems Georgia State University

Romona Taylor Williams Executive Director Mississippi Communities United for Prosperity

Carelis Zambrano Bellorin Major: Computer Information Systems Georgia State University

PRESENTATION: Kentucky State University Assists in Preparing Educational Products for Low-income Communities in Kentucky. Kentucky’s Division of Water has partnered with Kentucky State University under the CUPP program to assist in developing easily accessible, easily interpreted educational documents for the lead testing in drinking water program. This presentation will show the research conducted by student to prepare these documents for use in low-income communities within the state.

Gabriel Tanner Kentucky Division of Water

Kabita Paudel Graduate Student, Master of Science in Environmental Studies Major: Environmental studies (GIS, Remote Sensing) Kentucky State University

PRESENTATION: Tech for Environmental Justice: BEEnevolent Hive and Mobile Application. The audience will learn about the plight of the honeybees and technological solutions for the honeybees. The audience will also learn about a tool for environmental reporting, environmental justice education and connectivity.

Sade Shofidiya Graduate Student Major: Public Administration – Museum Administration Savannah State University

12:45 p.m.—1:00 p.m.


1:00 p.m.—2:30 p.m.


Luncheon Speaker:

Dr. Britt Rios-Ellis Executive VP of Academic Affairs Oakland University Lake Angelus, MI

Black Leaders on Environmental Justice and Beyond

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 24 Feb 2022 18:00:00 GMT

Black communities throughout the nation have led on environmental justice for years. While at the same time they have also been most impacted by environmental malpractice, pollution, and injustice. The environmental movement has historically excluded the voices of Black leaders, even when policies and practices are directly affecting their livelihoods and communities. Today many are still fighting for a transformation of the environmental movement to prioritize funding and opportunities for justice for Black communities.

Join Green 2.0 and Hip Hop Caucus for a discussion with Black leaders in the environmental sector about what needs to happen to move the needle in our mission to achieve justice and equity in the environmental movement.

Register here

  • Rep. Andre Carson (D-Ill.)
  • Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr., Hip Hop Caucus
  • Raviya Ismail, Green 2.0
  • Eddie Love, Ocean Foundation
  • Karen T. Campblin, Fairfax County NAACP
  • Corina Newsome, Wildlife conservationist
  • Latresse Snead, Bonsai Leadership Group LLC

Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Environmental Policy Making: The Role of Environmental Organizations and Grantmaking Foundations

Posted by Brad Johnson Tue, 08 Feb 2022 15:00:00 GMT

Hearing page

  • Keya Chatterjee, Executive Director, US Climate Action Network
  • Abdul Dosunmu, Campaign Manager, Climate Funders Justice Pledge, Donors of Color Network
  • Mark A. Freeland, Navajo Nation Council Delegate, Crownpoint/Tse’li’Ahi/Nahodishgish/Becenti/WhiteRock/Lake Valley/Huerfano/Nageezi Chapters
  • Peter Forbes, Co-founder, First Light

National EJ Community Engagement Call

Posted by Brad Johnson Tue, 28 Sep 2021 18:00:00 GMT

The purpose of these calls is to inform communities about EPA’s environmental justice work and enhance opportunities to maintain an open dialogue with environmental justice advocates. As environmental justice continues to be integrated into EPA programs and policies, the Agency hopes that these calls will help reaffirm EPA’s continued commitment to work with community groups and the public to strengthen local environmental and human health outcomes.

Registration: Due to limited space, participation in this call will be on a first come, first-served basis. Pre-registration is highly suggested, but not required. If registration has reached capacity, please see the links below for instructions on how to access the call if seating is available on the day of the meeting. If you are unable to join the call, a summary will be posted to the U.S. EPA Office of Environmental Justice’s website after.

Interpretation: If you need English-language interpretation assistance, or special accommodations for a disability or other assistance, you can submit a request when registering for the meeting. Please submit your request by September 23, to give EPA sufficient time to process.

For more information about the National Environmental Justice Community Engagement Calls, please visit the website or email: Victoria Robinson ([email protected]) or Christina Motilall ([email protected]).

JOIN THE ZoomGov Webinar

IMPORTANT: Due to limited seating, PLEASE enter the call using either your mobile device OR your computer, not both. Please click the link below to join the webinar: Passcode: 11066564

With "No Double-Dip" Deal, Biden Has Quietly Acquiesced To Enormous Climate Justice Cuts In Infrastructure Plans

Posted by Brad Johnson Tue, 31 Aug 2021 19:20:00 GMT

Pres. Biden announces bipartisan infrastructure deal with eight of the 21 white U.S. Senators who negotiated the package.
With the so-called “no double-dip” rule, President Biden and 21 senators have negotiated a deal on the Build Back Better agenda that threatens several of his major climate and racial justice initiatives. The senators, all of whom are white, protected industry priorities in their deal.

At risk include programs for restoring minority neighborhoods cleaved by racially unjust highway projects, cut 96 percent, and for replacing all the lead water pipes in the nation, cut 67 percent.

In May, Biden proposed $6 trillion in public investment ($5 trillion in new spending) over ten years, in the form of the $2.3 trillion American Jobs Plan, a $1.9 trillion American Families Plan, and about $1.5 trillion more in other spending.

Biden’s proposed plan was significantly smaller than that advocated by Green New Dealers, who called for $10 trillion in spending over ten years to build a just and sustainable economy.

After months of Senate negotiations, Biden’s plan was cut down to about $4.5 trillion, broken into two legislative components – a $1 trillion ($550 billion in new spending) bipartisan “physical infrastructure” package passed by the Senate by a filibuster-proof majority, and a $3.5-trillion reconciliation package intended to pass with only Democratic votes.

The bipartisan package is a fully detailed bill, while the reconciliation package, at least publicly, remains a top-level skeleton that remains to be fleshed out.

The bipartisan package includes nearly the full amounts requested by Biden for traditional fossil-fuel-intensive infrastructure: $110 billion for roads and bridges, $25 billion for airports, and $17 billion for waterways and ports. In addition, there is $16 billion to bail out oil and gas companies to clean up their abandoned wells.

The “double-dip” deal is this: any initiative which received any monies in the bipartisan package cannot receive more in the reconciliation package. As Politico reported on June 30:
The president said something really important the other day and nobody noticed. At his press conference celebrating the bipartisan infrastructure deal, Joe Biden suggested there would be no coming back for seconds: When it comes to spending on basic physical infrastructure (for roads, bridges, public transportation, etc.), the bipartisan deal is it. There will be no using the parallel, Democrats-only reconciliation package to spend more on those things than Republicans agreed to.

Instead, Biden indicated, the reconciliation bill is exclusively for stuff that Democrats want but Republicans oppose — like spending for family care, climate change and health care.

This may seem like a minor point, but it has big implications. On the left, some progressives have argued that they would simply add to the reconciliation bill anything that wasn’t fully funded in the bipartisan bill. That’s not happening. Biden wanted $157 billion for electric vehicles. The bipartisan bill spends $15 billion. He wanted $100 billion for broadband, and he secured $65 billion. From the White House’s perspective, these issues are now resolved and the reconciliation bill can’t be used to take another crack at them.

We checked with the White House, and officials confirmed that this interpretation is correct.

On the right, some conservatives have argued that voting for the bipartisan deal is pointless because Democrats will simply take what they can get from Republicans on highway spending or airports and then get the rest in the reconciliation bill.

But what’s actually happening is that the bipartisan bill is serving as a brake on what Biden can spend on core infrastructure.

In July, the Senate’s bipartisan package whittled $2.6 billion of Biden’s planned new spending down to $550 billion. Left out completely were major components of Biden’s plan that likely will be taken up in the reconciliation package, including housing, schools, clean energy tax credits, and home and community-based care.

However, because of the “no double-dip” deal Biden and the Senate negotiators made, the following programs face massive cuts that can’t be restored unless the deal is broken:
  • Reconnecting minority communities cut off by highway projects, cut 96% from $24 billion to $1 billion
  • Replacing the nation’s lead pipes, cut 67% from $45 billion to $15 billion
  • Investing in electric school buses, cut 87% from $20 billion to $2.5 billion
  • Repairing and modernizing public transit, cut 54% from $85 billion to $39 billion
  • Building electric vehicle charging stations, cut 50% from $15 billion to $7.5 billion
  • Upgrading and modernizing America’s drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater systems, cut 46% from $56 billion to $30 billion
  • Road safety, including “vision zero” programs to protect pedestrians, cut 45% from $20 billion to $11 billion
  • Broadband infrastructure, cut 35% from $100 billion to $65 billion
  • Investing in passenger and freight rail, cut 18% from $80 billion to $66 billion

This overall cut of nearly half of $441 billion in proposed spending disproportionately targets the urban and rural poor and minority “environmental justice” communities, despite the Biden administration’s stated plans of achieving justice through intentional spending. Biden’s plan was about one-third of what Green New Deal advocates have said is needed for these initiatives.

The Green New Deal Network, a coalition of over 100 organizations, is advocating for the restoration of these funds.

House Transportation Committee chair Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) is intending to challenge the “no double-dip” deal for programs under his jurisdiction, including high-speed rail, connecting neighborhoods, and water systems.

In contrast, the all-white team of 21 U.S. Senators who crafted this deal, led by Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio), approved Biden’s requested spending levels for highways, airports, waterways, and major bailouts for industrial polluters responsible for chemical and fracking cleanups.

Energy Efficiency and Climate Justice

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 29 Jul 2021 17:00:00 GMT

Exposure to pollution and lack of access to clean, affordable energy solutions has created economic and health disparities – particularly in Black, Brown, Indigenous, and low-income communities. What are the Biden administration’s policy priorities around environmental justice and pollution-free energy infrastructure? And how do we ensure all Americans have access to clean air, water, and sustainable housing?

The Hill will convene advocates and sustainable energy experts for a comprehensive discussion on environmental justice and climate priorities, moderated by Steve Clemons.

  • Kim Foreman, Executive Director, Environmental Health Watch
  • Brenda Mallory, Chair, White House Council on Environmental Quality
  • Ben Passer, Lead Director, Energy Access and Equity, Fresh Energy
  • Jacqueline Patterson, Founder and Executive Director, The Chisolm Legacy Project
  • Adrianna Quintero, Senior Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Energy Foundation
Sponsor Perspective
  • Flo McAfee, President, Summerland Studios
  • Peggy Shepard, Co-Founder and Executive Director, WE ACT for Environmental Justice


Environmental Justice in Indigenous Communities

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 13 May 2021 14:00:00 GMT

Hearing page


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