The Dems’ clean energy plan can do better on environmental justice. Here’s how.
Lew Daly is deputy director of climate policy at the Roosevelt Institute. Elizabeth Yeampierre is co-chair of the board of directors of the Climate Justice Alliance and the executive director of UPROSE in Brooklyn, New York.
It’s no secret that the top infrastructure priority for mainstream climate advocates is a federal clean energy standard, a necessity for achieving zero emissions in the electricity sector and decarbonizing the wider economy.
But if it’s not aligned with environmental justice goals, it could cause more harm to frontline communities.
The Clean Energy Performance Program, recently approved by the House Energy and Commerce Committee as part of the Democrats’ reconciliation proposal, is a good step forward on climate. But it raises more questions than it answers on racial equity. It also spotlights broader questions of how the clean energy transition will unfold for the most vulnerable communities in our current system of fossil fuel capitalism.
The legislation — which tailors the regulatory goals of a clean energy standard to the constraints of budget reconciliation ... Read more