15 Oct 2020 Black Activist Slams “One-Sided” Environmental Justice Policies at Congressional Hearing
Project 21 Member Testifies That “Environmental Justice Movement is Part of the Problem, Not Part of the Solution”
Washington, D.C. – Criticizing those who see “environmental justice” as a “one-sided issue,” a member of the Project 21 black leadership network will testify today before Congress in favor of a more balanced approach in applying racial considerations to the federal grantmaking process.
Project 21 member Donna Jackson is scheduled to testify at a virtual hearing of the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Water, Oceans and Wildlife on Thursday, October 15, 2020 at 2pmET. The hearing is entitled “Environmental Justice for Coastal Communities: Examining Inequities in Federal Grantmaking.”
In her prepared testimony, Jackson notes that most hearing participants are presumably “in a comfortable economic position” and “can afford to be complacent about the costs of environmental policies.” But, she points out, burdensome environmental policies can be “devastating” to poor – often minority – communities by causing higher consumer prices, fewer job opportunities and less infrastructure.
“The environmental justice movement is part of the problem,” Jackson claims, “not part of the solution.”
In her prepared testimony, Jackson says:
There are far too many people who try to make environmental justice into a one-sided issue. They focus only on claims that disadvantaged and minority communities are disproportionate victims of environmental threats such as water pollution, air pollution, climate change, and others. But I think the greater threat comes from the disproportionate impacts of environmental policies and the damage they do to the economic aspirations of those who can least afford them.
Regarding federal grantmaking in particular, she notes:
If the purpose of these grants is to pursue policies that serve to raise the cost of living on those who can least afford it, or to stifle the creation of good-paying jobs for those who most need them, then minority communities are better off without the money. The only winners seem to be environmental activists, bureaucrats and lawyers, but not the communities these people claim to serve.
During her testimony, Jackson highlights Project 21’s “Blueprint for a Better Deal for Black America.” In the Blueprint, Project 21 notes that regulations can have a “disproportionately negative impact” on black American entrepreneurs and recommends “minority impact assessments” be conducted on new regulations to determine how they might affect minority communities before they are instituted.
To schedule an interview with a member of Project 21 on this or other issues, contact Judy Kent at (703) 759-0269.
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