WASHINGTON — Today, Hip Hop Caucus Climate and Environment Policy Director Russell Armstrong issued the following statement in response to President Biden’s announcement of an executive order that will create a new office in the White House focused on environmental justice efforts:
Today’s announcement from the White House is another good start in a line of good starts on environmental justice but it doesn’t hold weight when the Administration is approving fossil fuel projects that continue to sacrifice Black, Brown and Indigenous communities. On the heels of approvals of Willow, Alaska LNG, and the Texas Rio Grande LNG projects, the Administration’s actions to support environmental justice are unfortunately once again two steps forward, one step back. However, this order is the most explicit recognition of racism as a driver of environmental injustice from the Biden Administration, and directs agencies to consider “disproportionate and adverse” impacts, including cumulative impacts on communities experiencing environmental justice. We also applaud today’s release of the environmental justice scorecard, announcements of new Justice40 covered programs including in the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, and the EPA pushing for a national strategy on plastic pollution that comes from petrochemicals. But more must be done. The Hip Hop Caucus looks forward to continuing to work with and push the Administration to enact climate justice, not just analyze and acknowledge it.