Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins

Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins is the chief executive officer of Green For All.

On its 39th anniversary, the Clean Water Act needs defenders

This post originally appeared on Treehugger. In 1969, a river caught fire. People of a certain age probably remember when it happened. The Cuyahoga, which runs through northeastern Ohio and outlets into Lake Erie in Cleveland, was heavily contaminated — so much so that stretches of the waterway contained no life at all. It was thick with pollutants; Time called it the river that “oozes rather than flows.” The ooze ignited on June 22. That fire wasn’t the river’s first. It was approximately the 13th time the river’s surface had burned. But the conflagration in 1969 was the last time. …

Oil Executive to Young People: 'As Long I Make Money, I Don't Care What Happens to You'

Cross-posted from Jack & Jill Politics Quick question: Do you think that tax subsidies for the “big five” oil companies — which earned $32 billion in profit during the first quarter of the year — are more important than the financial aid we give to low-income college students? My answer: Of course not. Investing in our young people is a far better use of taxpayer dollars than giving handouts to some of the world’s most profitable corporations. My guess is that you agree. How does the oil industry feel? Well, they aren’t sure. When asked this question by Senator Schumer …

Let’s Face It: Some Members of Congress Like Oil Executives Better Than You

“We’re only talking about four billion dollars.” That’s how former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin defended the tax breaks going to the some of the world’s richest corporations: oil companies. It may “only” be four billion dollars to these entities; after all, they are reaping windfall profits from rising gas prices. The “big five” oil companies — ExxonMobil, BP, Chevron, Shell and ConocoPhillips — made $32 billion dollars in profit in the first quarter. In fact, Exxon is the most profitable company in the world, raking in $30 billion dollars in 2010 — nearly double that of Walmart. Oil companies seem …

Obama Has His First Opponent To Campaign Against: Extremism

In 2008, Americans were fed up. Wars, a terrible economy, dishonesty, a drift from our core beliefs. That November, Barack Obama said, “Change,” which may basically have meant, “Not that.” Not that direction for America. Not that economic policy. And it worked. America didn’t want that. America wanted something different. Now, reasonable people can debate the extent to which America got something different. It’s certainly the case that the driving motivations of Presidents Bush and Obama are quite distinct. But as next year’s election looms, Obama’s problem is that wars and the economy and the vision for how America should …

One Year After BP Oil Spill: Communities Lead While Congress Fails

An urban garden in New Orleans.One year ago today, British Petroleum’s Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling unit exploded in the Gulf of Mexico — a catastrophe that most Americans will never forget. 11 people lost their lives. According to Good, roughly 5 million barrels of oil gushed uncontrollably into the Gulf – eventually covering more than 60 miles of shoreline. Areas of the shore remain oil-soaked to this day. The tragedy highlighted the need for new regulations to strengthen oversight of offshore drilling. In response, Congress held more than 60 hearings related to the BP disaster; more than 100 oil spill-related …

This Earth Week: Taking America Back From the Polluters

Last weekend, I was proud to join the likes of former Vice President Al Gore and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson as a keynote speaker at Power Shift 2011. There was an incredible energy; more than 10,000 young leaders gathered in Washington, D.C., to work towards two common goals – a cleaner future and a just America. It was a sight to see.  When I stood at the podium, and looked out at all these talented and energized organizers – standing in solidarity – I was filled with incredible hope that this was a turning point for the green movement. In …