Join us.

We’re working to create a just society and preserve a healthy environment for future generations. Donate today to help.

Donate

Blog

Showing 2,796 results

Lemir Teron | November 6, 2023

A Moment for Energy Justice

Energy justice mandates that renewable energy transitions center marginalized and historically overburdened households, including fenceline and extraction communities, that have faced heightened burdens from the prevalent fossil fuel-based energy system, and further have been mostly overlooked by the burgeoning renewable energy sector.

Carmen Gonzalez, Rebecca Bratspies | November 1, 2023

The Unbearable Whiteness of Environmental Law

Member Scholar John Knox's article, Environmental Justice as Environmental Human Rights, recognizes the many accomplishments of U.S. environmental law while pointedly acknowledging its greatest shortcoming: the failure to address environmental racism. As a solution, the article proposes stronger linkages between environmental justice movements and international human rights law. As the article explains, international human rights law provides an important tool for understanding how environmental racism undermines U.S. environmental law.

Daniel Farber | October 30, 2023

Eco-Pragmatism Meets Human Rights Law

A forthcoming article by John Knox and Nicole Tronolone brings international human rights law to bear on the issue of environmental justice. They argue that international human rights law provides a basis for treating some types of environmental inequities as human rights violations. In particular, they argue that the government has a duty to redress racial disparities in exposure to pollution and toxic chemicals. In their view, the government has conspicuously failed in this duty. In a recent article of my own, I tried to work through questions about how regulations could address economic and racial inequality.

Sidney A. Shapiro | October 25, 2023

The Environmental Justice Stories No One Hears

According to conventional expectations, the idea of incorporating stories in rulemaking will seem radical, but it is conventional expectations that have led to the country’s failure to effectively promote environmental justice. International norms highlight this failure. There cannot be a “right to participate” if the best method of participating — storytelling — is devalued or ignored. Now is the time — past time, really — to build the procedures we need to listen to the environmental justice stories no one hears.

John Knox | October 23, 2023

Environmental Justice as Environmental Human Rights

The quest for environmental justice is also a quest for environmental human rights. The fight is the same fight, and the lessons learned in one arena can help in the other.

Alexandra Klass | October 11, 2023

FERC, Electricity Transmission, and Clean Energy: Even Without New Legislation, Plenty to Do

Under the Federal Power Act, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has an obligation to maintain national grid reliability and to ensure “just and reasonable” rates for wholesale electricity sales and transmission. Notably, Congress has not granted FERC authority over the siting and permitting of most interstate transmission lines, as it has with interstate natural gas pipelines, leaving that authority over power lines primarily with the states. Even in the absence of congressional action, however, FERC has powerful tools using its existing statutory authority over rates and reliability to incentivize regulated transmission owners and grid planners to build the large-scale regional “macro-grid” the country needs.

Sandy Ma | October 3, 2023

A Shot in the Arm:  New Climate Funding for Maryland

President Biden had ambitious plans, with the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), to rebuild America’s aging infrastructure and revitalize our economy by fighting climate change through creating green jobs, reducing our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and championing environmental justice. In the scant few years since the passage of these monumental laws, changes are already taking root. For example, in Maryland, funding is flowing to various sectors of the state — private and public — for grid modernization, transportation planning, funding green banks, and cleaning polluted air, and all of it in the service of environmental justice.

James Goodwin | October 2, 2023

The Hill Op-ed: Ecosystem Economics: How the Biden Administration Is Finally Giving Nature Its Due

If a tree stands in the forest, and there’s no economist around to tabulate its benefits to humans, do those benefits still exist? For government agencies, the answer has long been, “No.” But the Biden administration is poised to change that.

James Goodwin | September 20, 2023

Proposed Guidance on Ecosystem Services Will Strengthen Regulatory Analysis

Last month, the Biden administration rolled out the latest piece of its comprehensive Modernizing Regulatory Review initiative: a proposed guidance on how to account for “ecosystem services” in regulatory analysis. As I explained in my comments, if implemented well, this guidance will reinforce the administration’s broader efforts to reprogram an important step in the rulemaking process known as regulatory analysis so that it provides a fairer and fuller picture of the impacts of planned rules.