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Articles by Executive Editor Nikhil Swaminathan

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Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden answers a question during the second and final presidential debate at Belmont University on October 22, 2020 in Nashville, Tennessee.

There was a first in the second and final presidential debate of the 2020 election cycle: NBC News White House correspondent and Thursday’s moderator Kristen Welker asked a question about environmental justice.

For those not familiar, “environmental justice” refers to the undue burden faced by low-income populations and communities of color from both the causes of climate change (like pollution from oil refineries and fracking operations) and its effects (like sea-level rise and extreme heat). According to Judith Enck, a former regional administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, it’s the first question on the topic to be posed to candidates on a presidential debate stage in history.

Welker asked President Donald Trump: “Some people of color are much more likely to live near oil refineries and chemical plants in Texas. There are families who worry the plants near them are making them sick. Your administration has rolled back regulations on these kinds of facilities. Why should these families give you another four years in office?”

Trump responded by saying those families were gainfully employed — “They are making a lot of mo... Read more

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