Mr. Biden’s Justice 40 plan provides hope for a more equitable environment, but does it work? | US Domestic Policy

Indigenous farmers in Aireta Pueblo, south of Albuquerque, New Mexico, have long relied on corn and green pepper crops supplied by the Rio Grande River. Skip crop planting Completely-this can be devastating to the 2,500 inhabitants of the community.

But new national programs can help those farmers and other underprivileged communities. Introduced by Joe Biden earlier this year, the “Justice 40” program targets those who most need 40% of the return on federal environmental investment.

For Isleta Pueblo, that could mean advanced irrigation and funding for new sustainable sources of income.

“We have been dealing with droughts for decades, but this summer will be truly disastrous not only for many indigenous peoples, but also for farmers of color,” said clean water. Jade Begay of NDN Collective, an indigenous-led judicial body advocating access to, said.

According to experts, the Justice40 program, if done properly, can allocate millions or billions of dollars to the communities in need for extensive planning and analysis. Mistakes can be a slush fund for pet projects that don’t necessarily correct inequality. Sending money to the community does not necessarily reduce pollution in the area and bring new, more sustainable jobs to those in need.

The growing threat of global warming is affecting communities across the United States, but the study Climate change and pollution are the first and most severe hits, indicating that most are non-white and poor.

“We are talking about the 400-year challenge posed to the colored community,” said the Obama administration’s environmental justice advisor and now the National Federation of Wildlife Federation’s environmental justice, climate, and Mustafa Santiago Ali, Vice President of Community Revitalization, said. Wildlife Federation.

“If we really focus, we can make a big difference in helping people’s health,” he said, with work such as installing solar panels and closing isolated oil and gas fields in the community. Is to build wealth.

Ali called the program “the right move at the right time in history,” but said the plan could fail, including the state becoming responsible for the distribution of funds. States throughout the country have historically not valued environmental justice, climate, or science, he said.

The Biden administration has mobilized more than 20 people. Advisor We have created a specific Justice40 Working Group from the various Environmental Justice Groups of the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Board.Recently submitted by Congress Recommendations This suggests a wide range of investments in energy efficiency, sustainable and affordable housing, training and workforce development, and pollution reduction.

The White House responded to questions about concerns about how the program was implemented, saying that the Environmental Quality Council, the Office of Management and Budget, and other federal agencies are considering the Council’s recommendations. They also hear from Congressional leaders and others about how to define and measure success. In the coming days, the government will publish interim guidance for institutions.

Ana Baptista, an assistant professor at New School’s Graduate School of Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management, said there are many places that “need immediate help” when it comes to water infrastructure and chemical safety. But Republican states, such as Kentucky and Florida, were worried about states that were previously opposed to federal stimulus.

“My interpretation of this opposition is largely political and seeks to thwart federal efforts to support the local economy and communities,” she said.

Activists are worried that Justice40 will create competition among the communities that need it. For example, in California, she said, the community struggled to rank high in the state’s environmental justice review tools and qualify for the most funding.

The Water Tank is located on the upper hills of Kyle, South Dakota, on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Deprived Indian reservations may be eligible for Justice40 funding. Photo: Ryan C Hermens / EHRP

Many of the basics of this initiative have not yet been finalized and agreed upon, such as how much money will be invested in the program, where and how profits will be distributed. Appalachia coal mine area. A community along the Petrochemical Corridor in Louisiana, known as the “Cancer Alley.” And Indian reservations that lack access to water and electricity may be candidates. However, there are still no specific towns or cities of interest in the Justice40 program.

White House officials Say The initiative is Modeled Under New York’s groundbreaking 2019 Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, the state requires 40% of its resources to be invested in or devoted to underprivileged communities. However, supporters there said the Biden administration did not mention front-line climate justice leadership in the development of justice40.

Elizabeth Janpier, a member of the steering committee of NY Renews, a New York-based coalition of environmental justice, said she was surprised that the government did not contact the group.

“If they contacted us, they would have noticed that 40% had to be in the basement, not the ceiling, rather than just receiving it. And we weren’t talking about profits. I’m talking about investing, “she said.

The White House responded to a question about how the administration chose the 40% figure, saying the initiative was “based on widespread involvement and feedback from the environmental justice community during the president’s campaign.” ..

It has not yet been determined where more than 40% of the money comes from, but hope lies in Biden’s $ 2 trillion US employment plan. It would have been much less and could only have diverted some of the funding from various government agencies.

Despite growing doubts about how the program works, supporters consider it a serious and swift effort to address climate change, as Justice 40 shows. Being totally energized.

“I think we’re seeing a real commitment … and that’s a lot different than in the last four years,” said Begay of NDN Collective, who is also a member of the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Board.

“I want to do everything I can at this time, using the access and privileges we have.”

Mr. Biden’s Justice 40 plan provides hope for a more equitable environment, but does it work? | US Domestic Policy

Source link Mr. Biden’s Justice 40 plan provides hope for a more equitable environment, but does it work? | US Domestic Policy

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