environmental justice

Equity Weighting: A Brief Introduction

An unfamiliar concept for most that just might make cost-benefit analysis more progressive.

A technique called equity weighting could make regulation more progressive. Implementing this technique may be harder than it sounds, however, for a variety of practical, legal, and political reasons. Agencies might do best to use equity weighting as a way to check their regulatory decisions rather than as their main decision tool.

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Whose Interests Count? And How Much?

Whether to consider harms to foreign countries and future generations is controversial. So is how much weight to give harm to the poor.

Should regulators take into account harm to people in other countries? What about harm to future generations? Should we give special attention when the disadvantaged are harmed? These questions are central to climate policy and some other important environmental issues. I’ll use cost-benefit analysis as a framework for discussing these issues. You probably don’t need …

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Making Electric Vehicles More Accessible for Lower-Income Californians

New policy report on solutions to improve equity in EV deployment | Webinar May 24

Join us for a webinar to discuss the report findings and EV equity solutions with state, local, and industry leaders on Tuesday, May 24 at 1pm PT. RSVP here. Today, the Center for Law, Energy and the Environment (CLEE) at Berkeley Law and the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at UCLA Law …

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Environmental Justice, Truck Pollution, and the Biden EPA

How will EPA integrate EJ into its rule making? The answer remains murky.

EPA recently released a notice of proposed rulemaking for pollution from new heavy-duty vehicles. I was interested to see how environmental justice figured into the analysis, looking for clues about how the Biden Administration plans to make EJ part of decision making.  What I found wasn’t very enlightening. Perhaps they’re still trying to come up …

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Air Quality as Environmental Justice

National air quality standards may be among the most powerful levers for environmental justice.

The environmental justice movement began with a focus on neighborhood struggles against toxic waste facilities and other local pollution sources.  The EJ focus now includes other measures to ensure that vulnerable communities get the benefit of climate regulations. The most powerful tool for assisting those communities, however, may be the National Ambient Air Quality Standards …

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Justice 40 and Identifying Disadvantaged Communities

White House

Why race is an important factor to consider

Last Friday, the White House Council on Environmental Quality released its long-awaited Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool. The screening tool will guide the Biden Administration’s implementation of its Justice40 Initiative that directs that 40 percent of certain federal investment programs benefit disadvantaged communities. However, like may legal scholars predicted and the White House foreshadowed, …

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Jim Crow and the Fossil Fuel Industry

The fossil fuel industry has yet to escape its discriminatory past.

This being Black History Month, I thought it would be worthwhile looking at the fossil fuel industry’s racial history.  Given the historic concentration of the oil and coal industries in the South, it is no surprise to find that these industries have also been deeply entangled with Jim Crow and its legacy of discrimination. Oil …

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Climate Change and Black History

By Oregon State University

Some important people in the climate arena are Black. But there are far too few of them.

Since this is Black History Month, I thought it would be appropriate to talk about some of the prominent contributions by Blacks to understanding and addressing climate change. Blacks are badly underrepresented in STEM fields such as atmospheric science and in environmental groups, but there are some important exceptions.(STEM stands for ‘Science, Technology, Engineering, and …

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Debating Environmental Racism in the Ninth Circuit

A recent case occasioned a sharp exchange about accusation of environmental racism.

 Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice v. FAA is a Ninth Circuit opinion decided before the Thanksgiving break. It involved to a legal challenge to the FAA’s refusal to prepare a full-scale environmental impact statement before approving a major Amazon distribution center at the San Bernardino airport. I probably wouldn’t have read the decision …

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Greening the Land of Lincoln

Illinois passes pathbreaking energy law.

Last week, Illinois’s governor signed into law a major piece of climate legislation. The law deserves more attention than it has received.  Sadly, however, Illinois seems to be something of a neglected stepchild in the media. That’s a pity, because there are some important lessons in Illinois’s experience, both for the Midwest and the country …

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