Environmental Justice

Red Paint Will Curb Public Access to Palos Verdes Nature Preserve, One of Los Angeles County’s Most Significant Open Spaces

Parking restrictions in Rancho Palos Verdes

Rancho Palos Verdes City Council votes to eliminate public street parking near Portuguese Bend Reserve

  See a full set of photos illustrating parking restrictions at Portuguese Bend Reserve on the Emmett Institute Flickr page.  Update: Responding to public concern about its new parking restrictions, the Rancho Palos Verdes City Council voted unanimously at its meeting on Sept. 1 to move away from a full parking prohibition. The council voted …

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Fighting for Clean Air in Imperial County, California

UCLA Emmett faculty team up with environmental justice group to file amicus brief in Clean Air Act case.

Air pollution has devastating health effects in many of California’s inland communities. That’s the case for rural Imperial County, where one in five children suffer from asthma, double the state rate, due to high levels of air pollution from highway traffic, farming and livestock operations, desert dust, and industry in Mexicali, a large city just …

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Guest Contributor Naomi Wheeler: States and Cities Should Prioritize Equity While Building Grid Resilience

Power grid masts

Learning from Grid Resilience Threats and Opportunities in California and New York

Electrical grids across the country face a complex series of overlapping threats to grid resilience in 2020. Wildfires and hurricanes have become the new normal as climate change intensifies the magnitude of extreme weather events. These destructive events create widespread systemic shocks for electrical grids already facing several underlying vulnerabilities. In a recent research report, …

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Beat the Heat

Sunset at Santa Monica Beach

As Angelenos swelter in historic heatwave, city and county governments seek to cool vulnerable residents  

Wildfires sparked by dry lightning storms across California this week are an ominous cap to the state’s historic heat emergency, adding hazardous air quality and evacuation orders to the burdens of the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis. Fire risk aside, the heat wave is now entering its most deadly phase. Nationwide, heat kills more Americans …

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What Will Harris’s Nomination Mean for the Environment?

She’s been outspoken on climate and EJ issues, but her core interests may be elsewhere.

Kamala Harris has taken some strong positions on climate change and environmental justice.  Her nomination signals the extent to which the Democratic party now embraces those issues.  However, to the extent one can judge from her public record, her highest priority interests have been elsewhere during her time in the Senate. While campaigning for the …

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EV Battery Supply Chain Sustainability & Mining

Register for forthcoming report launch webinar on Thursday, July 23rd, from 9-10am PT

The adoption of millions of electric vehicles needed to combat climate change will mark a major shift in mining activities across the world. To get the needed lithium, cobalt and other minerals for the batteries, countries and companies are turning to deep-sea mining, lithium deposits in Nevada and California’s Salton Sea, and further exploiting resources …

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July Fourth at Mt. Rushmore: What about the “unalienable rights” of the Lakota?

In the limbo game of the 45th presidency: no matter how far the bar descends, Trump clears it by going under. Just two weeks after political furor over a planned Juneteenth support rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma—site of the 1921 Race Massacre, in which white mobs killed up to 300 Black people in 48 hours, and …

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D.C. and Puerto Rico are not the same.

Blanket calls for D.C. and Puerto Rico statehood miss a critical difference: D.C. is the American capital. Puerto Rico is an American colony.

“D.C. and Puerto Rico should be states. Pass it on.” With passage of the D.C. statehood bill in the House of Representatives last Friday, variations on this statement have been gaining traction as a liberal rallying cry. Because they are not states, neither D.C. nor Puerto Rico have voting representation in Congress. The votes of …

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Towards an equitable microgrid policy

The California Public Utilities Commission’s recent decision is a first step to grid resiliency for communities of color and low-income communities

The 2020 fire season has already started, and we cannot repeat the mistakes of past fire seasons. PG&E recently pled guilty to 84 counts of manslaughter after 84 people were killed when a derelict PG&E transmission line sparked the 2018 Camp Fire. The 2019 fire seasons saw widespread public safety power shutoffs (PSPS events), most …

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The “American family” in crisis: Colonialism, COVID-19 risk, and climate vulnerability

The fight for racial justice must include a reckoning with US imperialism.

The recent spotlight on anti-Black violence has awoken many white Americans to an uncomfortable truth: that underneath its rhetoric of equality, the United States is a fundamentally racist country. The disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on U.S. communities of color underscores this fact. The pandemic also reveals a lesser known but equally uncomfortable truth: that underneath …

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