Pruitt Puts Environmental Justice Under The Control of Koch Operative Samantha Dravis

Posted by Brad Johnson Fri, 08 Sep 2017 17:04:00 GMT

Samantha DravisAn email sent by EPA associate administrator for the Office of Policy Samantha Dravis, a long-time Republican operative, outlines organizational structure changes that put the Office of Environmental Justice and Office of Federal Activities under her control.

Dravis previously ran EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s industry-funded, anti-regulatory dark-money group, the Rule of Law Defense Fund, when he was Oklahoma Attorney General. She was also legal counsel at the Koch brothers’ Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce dark-money group. Sent: Wednesday, September 06, 2017 8:17 PM
To: OP-Everyone
Subject: Announcement

From: Kime, Robin On Behalf Of Dravis, Samantha

Dear Colleagues,

For the past several months I’ve had the pleasure of learning about the many ways the Office of Policy (OP) contributes to the mission of the Environmental Protection Agency. The analysis and support we provide for the agency’s most critical functions is of the utmost importance to me. As a cross-media and cross-agency office, I believe that the following changes to OP’s organization will enhance our ability to advance Administrator Pruitt’s priorities in line with EPA’s mission to protect human health and the environment.

Office of Environmental Justice (OEJ): In order to better serve overburdened communities, OEJ will join the Office of Policy. OEJ will work in partnership with the Office of Sustainable Communities, which will be renamed the Office of Community Revitalization. It is important to both Administrator Pruitt and myself that the most underserved and overburdened communities have a meaningful say in environmental protection and regulation. EPA has, and will continue to consider and incorporate environmental justice concerns into our regulatory process and this move enhances our ability to achieve this core function. It will also enable EPA’s EJ program to maximize its ability to support meaningful engagement and public participation across the agency and lead federal level coordination to consider overburdened community needs and the application of federal resources to meet those needs. Moving OEJ to OP allows OECA, where OEJ was previously located, to focus on its mission of enforcement and compliance assurance.

Office of Federal Activities (OFA): OFA will join the Office of Policy where it will continue to carry out its vital responsibilities under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Also within OFA will be a Permitting Policy Division to build on the successful streamlining efforts in the NEPA program. Together, these organizations will focus on two of the Administration’s top priorities: expediting federal infrastructure projects and streamlining permitting processes. This move will reform the agency’s permitting and NEPA roles that will streamline the entire environmental review process and reduce subjectivity, providing our stakeholders with more clarity and certainty on their projects; ensure staff are able to quickly elevate high visibility issues to the Administrator for resolution; coordinate with the permitting AAs which will allow the agency to drive solutions to expedite the entire environmental review process, as directed by the President under Executive Order 13766, under one central office; and continue the progress that has already been made to strengthen the NEPA program and our partnerships with our sister federal agencies. OFA staff who work on hazardous waste transport issues will move to the Office of Land and Emergency Management, where complementary work resides.

Sectors Team: I have established a Sectors Team within the Office of Policy’s Immediate Office to work with staff across OP and the agency. The Sectors Team will develop strategies that better protect human health and the environment by engaging with partners at all levels to ensure the agency puts forth sensible regulations that encourage economic growth. This team will coordinate with stakeholders to better understand their needs and challenges so as to improve environmental performance and inform smarter and more predictable rulemaking. This work will build upon our experience with the Sector Strategies Program as well as our ongoing work in regulatory and permitting reform.

Operations Office: Over the course of the last year, the Operations Team in the OP Immediate Office started efforts to streamline and improve our administrative and operational activities. To further these efforts, I have established an Operations Office, through which we will consolidate our operations and administrative support functions, leading to increased efficiency and enhanced processes.

Office of Strategic Environmental Management: To fully staff OP’s priorities, including the new functions noted above, many OSEM staff will be reassigned to OFA, ORPM, NCEE, and other areas where additional staffing is critical to meeting OP’s core mission and the Administration’s goals. I appreciate the unique skills and leadership OSEM has brought to numerous cross-cutting EPA priorities over the years and believe that OP’s new organizational structure will allow us to better harness their talents. The team will concentrate on streamlining the agency’s operations, especially in programmatic areas such as permitting.

The new responsibilities outlined here are a testament to OP’s valued expertise and its many past successes. I am excited about the new opportunities for OP, and how we can help the agency achieve its mission of protecting human health and the environment more efficiently and effectively for the American people.

Samantha

National Forum on Climate Change, Clean Energy and Communities of Color

Posted by Brad Johnson Tue, 29 Sep 2015 13:00:00 GMT

National, congressional, community, and faith leaders will share ideas on how we can work together and ensure the Clean Power Plan creates health, wealth, and opportunity for low-income communities and communities of color.

From 9 to 11 am, at the National Press Club located at 529 14th Street NW in Washington, D.C.

RSVP here.

Hill Briefing on Environmental Justice

Posted by Brad Johnson Tue, 15 Sep 2015 13:00:00 GMT

As a part of the Environmental Justice Leadership Forum on Climate Change’s continual effort to advocate for environmental justice principles, we will be convening a briefing on Capitol Hill for Members of Congress and their Staff members. The purpose of this briefing is to provide Member and their Staffers with a brief history of the Environmental Justice movement, share concrete examples of environmental injustices and highlight opportunities to integrate environmental justice into the state planning process of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan.

Our panel will include influential members of the Environmental Justice Movement including
  • Ms. Monique Harden Esq., Advocates for Environmental Human Rights (LA)
  • Dr. Charlotte Keys, Jesus People Against Pollution (MS)
  • Ms. Sharon Lewis, Connecticut Coalition for Environmental Justice (CT)
  • Dr. Nicky Sheats, New Jersey Environmental Justice Alliance (NJ)
  • Ms. Peggy Shepard, WE ACT for Environmental Justice (NY)
  • Ms. Kim Wasserman, Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (IL)
  • Dr. Jalonne L. White-Newsome, WE ACT for Environmental Justice (DC)
  • Rev. Leo Woodberry, Kingdom Living Temple (SC)
  • Dr. Beverly Wright, Deep South Environmental Justice Center (LA)

U.S. Congresswoman Donna F. Edwards (MD-4) is co-hosting this briefing with the Environmental Justice Leadership Forum on Climate Change. For more information, go to www.ejleadershipforum.org

Climate Equity Alliance launches to advocate for most vulnerable

Posted by Wonk Room Wed, 08 Apr 2009 15:00:00 GMT

More than two dozen organizations, including well-respected groups from the research, advocacy, faith-based, labor and civil rights communities, have come together to ensure that emerging climate legislation protects and provides opportunity for society’s most vulnerable individuals and families. The Climate Equity Alliance unites around shared concerns about the effects of climate change and climate change legislation on low- and moderate-income households. Alliance members believe climate legislation should both help to build an inclusive green economy — providing pathways to prosperity and expanding opportunity for America’s workers and communities — and ensure that low- and moderate-income people receive relief from the higher energy costs that will result, so that they are not pushed into poverty or made poorer.

This conference call for reporters will unveil the Climate Equity Alliance and present the principles drawing these groups together, with particular attention to how policymakers should move forward following the draft legislation introduced by Representatives Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Edward Markey (D-MA).

Speakers:
  • Robert Greenstein, Executive Director, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
  • Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, CEO, Green For All
  • Gerry Hudson, Executive Vice President, SEIU
  • Other speakers TBA

Click here to register for this conference call.

CLIMATE EQUITY ALLIANCE MEMBERS INCLUDE:
  • Green for All
  • Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
  • Center for American Progress
  • Service Employees International Union
  • NAACP
  • National Hispanic Environmental Council
  • Oxfam America
  • First Focus
  • Economic Policy Institute
  • Redefining Progress
  • US Action
  • Coalition on Human Needs
  • The Workforce Alliance
  • Center for Law and Social Policy
  • The Washington Office of Public Policy, Women’s Division, United Methodist Church
  • Union for Reform Judaism
  • National Low Income Housing Coalition
  • ACORN
  • Policy Link
  • Citizens for Tax Justice
  • Enterprise Community Partners

Environmental Justice Coalition Opposes Carbon Markets

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 20 Feb 2008 19:44:00 GMT

Citing the American Enterprise Institute, the Economist, and the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal, a group of environmental justice organizations including the California Environmental Rights Alliance (CERA) have come out in opposition to carbon trading schemes, in particular the European Union cap-and-trade system (the European Union Greenhouse Gas Emission Trading Scheme or EU ETS) and the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism for investing in emissions reductions in developing countries. Major signatories include the Rainforest Action Network and the Los Angeles chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility.

The declaration cites the windfall profits generated by the initial phase of EU ETS and argues that carbon trading “stands in the way of the transition to clean renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency strategies.” CDM is criticized for encouraging “carbon dumps” and financing “private industrial tree plantations and large hydro-electric facilities that appropriate land and water resources”.

The California Environmental Justice Movement will oppose efforts by our state government to create a carbon trading and offset program, because such a program will not reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the pace called for by the international scientific community, it will not result in a shift to clean sustainable energy sources, it will support and enrich the state’s worst polluters, it will fail to address the existing and future inequitable burden of pollution, it will deprive communities of the ability to protect and enhance their communities, and because if our state joins regional or international trading schemes it will further create incentives for carbon offset programs that harm communities in California, the region, the country, and developing nations around the world.

Signatories are below the jump.

Signatories:
  • Asian-Pacific Environmental Network
  • Association of Irritated Residents
  • California Communities Against Toxics
  • California Environmental Rights Alliance
  • Carbon Trade Watch
  • Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment
  • Clean New York
  • Coalition For A Safe Environment
  • Communities for a Better Environment
  • Del Amo Action Committee
  • Desert Citizens Against Pollution
  • Environmental Health Coalition
  • Fresno Metro Ministry
  • Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice
  • People Organized in Defense of the Earth and Her Resources
  • Physicians for Social Responsibility-LA
  • Rainforest Action Network
  • San Joaquin Valley Latino
  • Environmental Advance Project
  • Society for Positive Action
  • The Corner House
  • West County Toxics Coalition

The Environmental Protection Agency's Environmental Justice programs

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 25 Jul 2007 18:00:00 GMT

Panel 1
  • Granta Nakayama, Assistant Administrator, Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assistance, Environmental Protection Agency
  • Wade Najjum, Assistant Inspector General for Program Evaluation, Office of the Inspector General, Environmental Protection Agency
  • John B. Stephenson, Director, Natural Resources and Environment, U.S. Government Accountability Office
Panel 2
  • Representative Harold Mitchell, South Carolina State Legislature
  • Dr. Robert Bullard, Director, Environmental Justice Resource Center, Clark Atlanta University
  • Peggy Shepard, Executive Director, West Harlem Environmental Action (WE ACT)
  • Dr. Beverly Wright, Founder and Director, Deep South Center for Environmental Justice
  • Michael W. Steinberg, Senior Counsel, Morgan, Lewis, Bockius LLP