Thursday, December 26, 2013

Oil Production in Sudan

South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in July 2011. Most of the oil is now produced in South Sudan, but the country is landlocked and remains dependent on Sudan because it must use Sudan's export pipelines and processing facilities. In early 2012, South Sudan voluntarily shut in all of its oil production because of a dispute with Sudan over oil transit fees.

Following South Sudan's secession, Sudan requested transit fees of $32-36/barrel (bbl) in an attempt to make up for the oil revenue loss, while South Sudan offered a transit fee of less than $1/bbl.  After nearly 15 months of intermittent negotiations, South Sudan restarted oil production in April 2013. Despite the progress that has been made to reconcile differences, several unresolved issues remain and production may be curtailed again in the future.

Oil plays a vital role in the economies of both countries. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), oil represented around 57 percent of Sudan's total government revenue and around 78 percent of export earnings in 2011, while it represented around 98 percent of total government revenues for South Sudan in 2011.

According to the Oil & Gas Journal (OGJ), Sudan and South Sudan have 5 billion barrels of proved crude oil reserves as of January 1, 2013. According to BP's 2013 Statistical Review, approximately 3.5 billion barrels are in South Sudan and 1.5 billion barrels are in Sudan. The majority of reserves are located in the oil-rich Muglad and Melut basins, which extend into both countries. Oil is transported through two main pipelines that stretch from the landlocked South to Port Sudan. Because of civil conflict, oil exploration prior to the 2011 independence was mostly limited to the central and south-central regions of the unified Sudan.

Natural gas associated with oil fields is mostly flared or re-injected. Despite proven reserves of 3 trillion cubic feet, gas development has been limited. In 2010, the unified Sudan flared approximately 11.8 billion cubic feet of natural gas, according to the latest data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which represents about 0.2 percent of the total gas flared globally.

International oil companies (IOCs), primarily from Asia, dominate the oil sectors in both countries. They are led by CNPC, India's Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and Malaysia's Petronas. These companies hold large stakes in the leading consortia operating in both countries: the Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Company, the Dar Petroleum Operating Company, and the Sudd Petroleum Operating Company.

Table 1: Main oil companies in Sudan and South Sudan
Consortium/subsidiary Company Country of
Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Company (GNPOC) CNPC China 40
Petronas Malaysia 30
ONGC India 25
Sudapet* Sudan 5
Nilepet* South Sudan 5
Dar Petroleum Operating Company (DPOC) CNPC China 41
Petronas Malaysia 40
Nilepet South Sudan 8
Sinopec China 6
Egypt Kuwait Holding Egypt 3.6
Other partner(s) -- 1.4
Sudd Petroleum Operating Company (SPOC) Nilepet South Sudan 41.9375
Petronas Malaysia 33.9375
ONGC India 24.125
Petro Energy E&P CNPC China 95
Sudapet Sudan 5
Star Oil Ansan Wikfs Yemen 66
Sudapet Sudan 34

Note: * Sudapet holds a 5-percent share in GNPOC's operations in Sudan, and Nilepet holds a 5-percent share in GNPOC's operations in South Sudan. Source: Company websites, IHS Edin, and Middle East Economic Survey (MEES)

Total oil production reached its peak of 486,000 bb/d in 2010, but declined to around 453,000 bbl/d in 2011. The fall in output was driven by production declines due to maturing oil fields and lack of investment in Sudan, as well as a shortage of skilled workers in South Sudan in 2011.

In 2012, combined production from Sudan and South Sudan plummeted to around 115,000 bbl/d because South Sudan shut in all of its production at the end of January 2012

Sudan has two export pipelines that travel northbound across the country to the Bashayer (Bashair) Marine Terminal, located about 15 miles south of Port Sudan. The Petrodar pipeline transports the Dar Blend, a heavy sweet crude, from South Sudan's Blocks 3 and 7. The Dar Blend sells at a discount to the Nile Blend along with Brent, the international benchmark for the crude oil price. The pipeline stretches 850 miles, and its design (maximum) capacity is 500,000 bbl/d. It includes several heating units along its length because of the waxy, acidic nature of the crude. The Petrodar pipeline was reportedly filled with water during the time that oil production was shut down.

The GNPOC pipeline transports the Nile Blend, a medium, low-sulfur waxy crude oil, 1,000 miles from the Heglig processing facilities to the Bashayer Marine Terminal. The pipeline has a design capacity of 450,000 bbl/d. The Nile Blend is sourced from Blocks 2 (Heglig and Bamboo fields) and 4 (Diffra and Neem fields) in Sudan and Blocks 1 (Unity field) and 5A (Mala and Thar Jath fields) in South Sudan.
Sudan and South Sudan export the Nile and Dar blends mostly to Asian markets. According to estimates based on data from Global Trade Atlas and FACTS Global Energy, total crude oil exports, including lease condensate, averaged around 337,000 bbl/d in 2011.

China imported 260,000 bbl/d from Sudan in 2011, which accounted for 5 percent of total Chinese crude imports, according to FACTS Global Energy.

ELECTRICITY GENERATION.  The unified Sudan generated 8.1 billion kilowatthours (KWh) of electricity in 2010. Almost all was generated from oil (3.8 KWh) and hydroelectricity (3.8 KWh), with the remaining 6 percent from biomass and waste (0.5 KWh). Although power generation almost tripled between 2000 and 2010, millions of people are still without access to electricity. According to the latest 2009 estimates from the International Energy Agency (IEA), about 36 percent of the population had access to electricity, higher than the regional average for Sub-Saharan Africa, which was almost 31 percent. (DOE-EIA)

The Crises In Sudan

South Sudan's Political Power Struggle Engulfs Nuer and Dinka Ethnic Groups

The conflict in South Sudan began on Dec. 15 as a power struggle between President Salva Kiir and his former vice president, Riek Machar, ahead of 2015 presidential elections.

South Sudan broke away from Sudan in 2011 and there were repeated clashes with its neighbor over oil production and exports. But it quickly descended into clashes between the country's two largest ethnic groups, including fighting for control of oil-producing areas. Oil is South Sudan's major source of revenue so whoever controls it holds the key to power. These clashes make for little hope for a unified South Sudan.

Before predominantly Christian South Sudan won independence from the mostly Muslim and Arab-ruled north, Mr. Kiir and Mr. Machar had been on opposing sides of the 1983-2005 civil war between the central government in Khartoum and the Sudan People's Liberation Army in the south. They made an alliance to win independence in 2011, but it disintegrated in the past 11 days.

The two sides were fighting Wednesday in the oil-producing northern states of Unity and Upper Nile.  Both sides think that they can win militarily. Both sides are overconfident as they attempt to deal the other side a decisive military blow.  More than 1,000 people have been killed and tens of thousands have fled in fear of ethnic massacres since the fighting broke out. In Unity State, to the north, Nuer are accused of slaughtering ethnic Dinka.

With decades of bad blood between Mr. Kiir's Dinka ethnic group and Mr. Machar's Nuer group, the conflict has quickly escalated into ethnic clashes, spurring tens of thousands to seek protection at United Nations camps. About 90,000 people have been displaced by the violence, and about 56,000 of them are taking shelter in U.N. compounds. They have fled to U.N. bases throughout the country that were never designed to serve as havens.  (WSJ, 12/25/2013)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Just Energy Policies: Reducing Pollution and Creating Jobs

Just Energy Policies

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
Environmental and Climate Justice Program
December 2013


This energy policy compendium will give you the information you need to stand up for a just energy future.  Our intention in creating this compendium is that it will serve as a resource and will spur states to make sure their energy policies protect communities from harmful energy production processes while simultaneously providing equitable access to economic opportunities in energy efficiency and clean energy.

Community involvement in paving new energy pathways is especially important because our energy system is broken and communities of color are paying the highest price.

Focal Policies

The compendium profiles

Renewable Portfolio Standards, Energy Efficiency Resource Standards, and Net Metering Standards for each state and also shares detailed information on how to access rebates/loan/grants, etc. for energy efficiency and clean energy.

Renewable Portfolio Standards

A Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) requires electric utility companies and other retail electric providers to supply a specific minimum amount of customer load with electricity from eligible renewable energy sources. In order to protect community health and well-being, as well as preserve the planet, we must transition to renewable energy. In setting standards for the content of RPS, the NAACP goes further and distinguishes that this must be clean energy, recognizing that not all renewable energy has been proven safe with minimal impact on the environment and communities. Under this definition, we focus on efforts on advancing solar, wind, and geothermal energy.

Energy Efficiency Resource Standards

Energy Efficiency Resource Standards (EERS) establish a requirement for utility companies to meet annual and cumulative energy savings targets through a portfolio of energy efficiency programs. Given our current dependence on harmful energy production practices, we should reduce our demand for energy altogether.

Net Metering Standards

Net Metering Standards require electric utility companies to provide retail credit for net renewable energy produced by a consumer. Meaning, if the consumer generates more energy from their solar panels or wind turbines than they use, they can sell it back to the utility at the same rate at which they purchase electricity. In order to incentivize clean energy practices at the consumer level, we need to offer the opportunity for revenue-generation for individuals who contribute to the grid through their at-home energy production.

Equity in Energy Enterprise Policies

As stated above, communities of color historically disproportionately have less access to jobs and wealth creation opportunities. As part of the effort to advance just energy policies and practices, it is essential to review state policy provisions to ensure that they foster economic growth for local communities.

Two key provisions that can ensure equity in economic opportunities afforded by state policies are ‘Local Hire’ and ‘Minority Business Enterprise.’

Local Hire

Local Hire is a goal or requirement to hire people who live near their place of work. This goal is achieved by requiring contractors that are awarded publicly funded projects to recruit a specified proportion of local residents as workers on the project. This provision: 1) ensures that tax dollars are invested back into the local economy; 2) reduces the environmental impact of commuting; 3) fosters community involvement; and 4) preserves local employment opportunities in construction.

Minority Business Enterprise

Minority Business Enterprise is defined as a business that is at least 51% owner- operated and controlled on a daily basis by people who identify with specific ethnic minority classifications, including African American, Asian American, Hispanic American, and Native American. MBEs can be self-identified, but are typically certified by a city, state, or federal agency. The predominant certifier for minority businesses is the National Minority Supplier Development Council. Often publically funded projects set a requirement or goal to source MBEs as suppliers.

Financial Incentives for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Tables listing each state’s incentives and rebates for energy efficiency and renewable energy are included in each state profile in the compendium. Each incentive has a short description and a hyperlink to more information.

Statewide Incentives

Statewide incentives are generally rebates and loan programs that individuals and businesses may claim according to the provisions of state law. Incentives may also include Local Options enacted by municipal governments.

Utility-Specific Incentives

This section relates to the incentives offered by specific utilities in each state, and in some cases interstate utilities. Some programs are only available to either electric or gas customers of a certain utility. Different programs are available for residential and commercial customers.

Local Incentives

Local incentives are those offered by counties, cities, and towns. Not all states have local incentives.

Non-Profit Incentives

Non-profit incentives are offered by non-profit organizations. These are only available in some states.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Show Children How To Fight Pollution

In a world where technology rules and children are engaged by smart phones, video games and web surfing, it’s difficult to see beyond their own needs. As a nanny or parent, though, you have the opportunity to use technology to promote ways to give back, preserve the environment and fight pollution by incorporating these lessons into your child’s daily routines.

With a few suggestions to reduce consumption, recycle and promote organic products, you and your children can make a difference locally, nationally and internationally in a crusade to “go green.”

Electronic Shut Down

As technology advances, it’s likely your children have outgrown gaming systems, old computers and outdated cell phones. According to e-cycle St. Louis, a nonprofit organization promoting technology recycling, nearly two million tons of used electronics are discarded each year, including an estimated 128 million cell phones.

The benefits of donating your e-products are many:
  • Conserves Natural Resources: Metals, computer circuit boards, glass and plastics from your electronics can be reused to make new products.
  • Supports the Community: When donating your unused electronics, recycling organizations often refurbish computers, televisions and cell phones for use in non-profit agencies and schools. Many cell phones and electronics are also donated to low-income families who cannot access or afford technology.
  • Creates Local Jobs: Boost the economy by recycling. Many new businesses are forming in the recycling industry, creating more jobs for people who can recover recyclable materials.
Water Conservation

A long, hot shower or a bubble bath filled to the brim may be a comforting end to the day for you and your children, but the waste of water is a barrier to fighting pollution. Teach your children to conserve water by cutting the length of showers and limiting the depth of baths. Discuss how water conservation can eliminate excess waste and overflow throughout the community.

In addition, reduce urban runoff by reducing outdoor watering habits, recommends Pamela Crouch with the Orange County Coastkeeper in California. According to Crouch, ensure that your sprinkler nozzles are aimed properly so water does not run into the street.

As you discuss water conversation with your children, ask them to look up statistics and images online that show the devastation that pollution brings to lakes, rivers and oceans. A picture says a thousand words and hopefully images of pollution will speak volumes about environmental concerns.

Recycling Rally

In an effort to teach the entire family about how to preserve the environment and fight pollution, it’s important to make recycling a priority. Everyday household items that you typically toss in the trash can be sorted and recycled at community centers or on your curbside. Inquire with your city resource center to see if recycling is available in your community, alongside your weekly trash pickup.

The next step is to get your children involved in identifying household items that can be recycled, such as papers, plastics, glass and metal. CleanScapes, a recycling company based in Seattle, Washington, offers the following list of recyclables:

  • Cardboard
  • Office paper, including windowed envelopes, color paper, file folders and post-it notes
  • Mail, magazines, mixed paper
  • Newspaper
  • Paper bags
  • Paper cups
  • Phone books & paperback books
  • Shredded paper (in clear plastic bags)
  • Wrapping paper (non-metallic)
  • Paper cartons
  • Juice boxes, Tetra Paks & aseptic containers
  • Milk cartons
  • Paper or frozen food boxes
  • Bottles (all colors and numbers)
  • Food containers and trays
  • Clear or colored plastic milk jugs
  • Dairy tubs
  • Pill bottles (no prescription vials)
  • Plastic cups
  • Lids (3 inches or wider)
  • Plastic plant pots
  • Plastic buckets
  • Plastic bags (shopping, newspaper and dry-cleaning bags when bagged together)
  • PVC pipe (white only)
  • Household rigid plastic items, such as furniture and laundry baskets
  • Aluminum cans
  • Aluminum foil & pie tins (clean)
  • Tin cans
  • Ferrous scrap metal
  • Other scrap metals (less than 2’ x 2’ x 2’)
  • Bottles
  • Jars
According to Jim Lewis, former staff in the aluminum industry in Pittsburgh, recycling makes a difference. “Not only does recycling save energy and decrease pollution, it also saves space in landfills,” he says. “Recycling is a simple and easy way to go green everyday in the house. Curbside recycling is easy and families can recycle some materials at scrap yards and turn their trash into cash.” (AupairJobs .com)

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

5 Ways Integration Underdeveloped Black America



1) Black Wealth Stagnated or Declined After Integration

During segregation, Blacks were forced to start and support the businesses in their own communities. Many of these businesses flourished and even helped made some Black communities, such as the Greenwood community in Tulsa, Okla., (often called Black Wall Street), wealthier than their white neighbors.

In 1865, just after Emancipation, 476,748 free Blacks – 1.5 percent of U.S. population– owned a .005 percent of the total wealth of the United States. Today, a full 135 years after the abolition of slavery, 44.5 million Black Americans – 14.2 percent of the population — possess a meager 1 percent of the national wealth.

2) Black Family Structure Collapsed After Integration

In 1965, only 8 percent of childbirths in the Black community occurred out of wedlock. In 2010, that figure was 41 percent; and today, out-of-wedlock childbirths in the Black community is at an astonishing 72 percent.

3) The Unemployment Rate of Black Men Quadrupled After Integration

Since integration, the unemployment rate of Black men has been spiraling out of control. In 1954, white men had a zero percent unemployment rate, while African-American men experienced about a 4 percent rate. By 2010, it was at 16.7 percent for Black men compared to 7.7 percent for white men.

4) Myth of a Colorblind Society Propagated After Integration

Colorblind policies that treat everyone the same, no exceptions for the historically oppressed and disenfranchised, are often used to argue against corrective policies such as affirmative action. But “colorblindness” today merely bolsters the unfair advantages that color-coded practices enabled white Americans to accumulate over a very long time.

5) Black Community Became Dependent After Integration

African-Americans have appealed to the descendants of our oppressors to right their ancestors’ wrongs, pay us sufficient wages to take care of our families, educate our children and police our neighborhoods.
As a result, only 2 percent of all working Black Americans work for another Black person within their own neighborhood. Because of this, professionally trained Black people provide very little economic benefit to the Black community.

(Atlanta Black Star, 12/6/2103)

EPA Seeks Environmental Education Grant Applications

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is currently accepting applications for environmental education projects under the agency’s Environmental Education Grant Program. The program works to engage communities across the country through a wide variety of educational projects that have a lasting impact on people’s health by facilitating environmental stewardship.

Projects in the past have engaged students in stream monitoring, created sustainable mentoring communities, and provided professional development to teachers on subjects including science, technology, engineering and math.

Eligible organizations include local education agencies, colleges or universities, state education or environmental agencies, tribal education agencies, 501(C)(3) nonprofit organizations, and noncommercial educational broadcasting entities working in education.

This competitive grants program will total $2.77 million. Each of the ten EPA regional offices will award two or three grants and one or two grants will be awarded from EPA’s headquarters in Washington, DC. Each award will be an estimated $75,000 to $200,000. EPA expects to award between 22 and 32 grants nationwide. (EPA)

More information about the program and how to apply

Mel Watt Confirmed By Senate To Lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency

Mel Watt
We applaud the Senate for confirming Congressman Mel Watt to head the Federal Housing Finance Agancy. Watt was confirmed on a vote of 57 to 41 vote and his confirmation was made possible because of the imlementation of the nuclear option - - changing the Senate rules to allow majority vote instead of 60 votes (invoking cloture--to end debate).

Congressman Watt has 40 years of experience in the housing sector and we believe he will be instrumental in solving the problems that plague Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Michelle DePass Joins The New School

The New School has announced that Michelle J. DePass has been named dean of the Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy. Michelle J. DePass will also be the Tishman Professor of Environmental Policy and Management as part of her appointment.
Michelle J. DePass
DePass will join Milano from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), where since 2009 she has served as Assistant Administrator for International and Tribal Affairs. In this presidentially appointed, senate-confirmed position, DePass has been responsible for all dimensions of environmental policy between the EPA and other nations, federally recognized tribal nations, and multilateral institutions and donors.

Prior to joining the EPA, DePass was a Program Officer at the Ford Foundation, with a portfolio focused on the environment and community development, most notably green economy and climate change, environmental health and justice and indigenous environmental rights. In her two-decade career in sustainability and public service, DePass has also served as founding Executive Director of the New York Environmental Justice Alliance, Senior Policy Advisor to the commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, and environmental manager for the City of San Jose.

DePass holds a bachelor’s degree from Tufts University, a Juris Doctor from Fordham Law School and a Master of Public Administration from Baruch College, where she was a National Urban Fellow.
Founded in 1919, The New School has 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students in design and the social sciences, liberal arts, management, the arts, and media. (The New School)

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Reject Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaigns

Washington Examiner: "Divestment From Fossil Fuel Firms Will Hurt DC Residents Without Helping Environment"

One of AAEA's primary goals is to use energy and natural resources as efficiently as possible.  We reject campaigns by some environmental groups to completely eliminate the use of fossil fuels.  Such campaigns are promoting unrealistic, impractical and radical approaches to energy use. 

Although we aggressively support renewable technologies to operate our society, these sources alone cannot provide the amenities required by Americans. Fossil fuels are, and should remain, a vital part of the energy mix in America and throughout the world.

Global warming is a very important issue and AAEA is working very hard to mitigate its negative consequences.  We believe that technological innovations provide the best opportunities for reducing greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere.  AAEA is promoting multiple approaches and technologies to address climate change.

Coal, natural gas and gasoline provide the energy that powers America.  To call for their complete elimination is to call for significantly reducing the standard of living in the United States. Why divest from resources that provide incredible benefits to American society?  Why divest from stocks that provide dependable and profitable returns?  We hope you will find the information below on fossil fuel divestment campaigns to be useful.

District of Colombia
Bill encouraging divestment from fossil fuels

A hearing on DC Bill 20-481, Fossil Fuel Divestment Act of 2013 was held on Tuesday November 26th. The bill requires the divestment, and prohibits the investment, of public funds in the stocks, securities, or other obligations of certain companies which hold the largest fossil fuel reserves and provides for the identification of companies with the largest fossil fuel reserves. D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson, along with four others, is sponsoring the measure. This is similar to efforts in other cities.

AAEA opposes this bill.

General Background on Divestment Campaigns:

Divestment Campaign Would Hurt American Retirees and College Students

Oil and natural gas company stocks outperform all other asset classes in public pension funds and college/university endowments

In 2012, activist Bill McKibben and his group launched a divestment campaign to encourage colleges, cities, and churches to fight climate change by selling their fossil fuel stocks. According to, “the movement has already spread to over 300 colleges and universities and 100 cities and states in the United States, Australia, and Canada. Over 15 cities, six colleges, and numerous religious institutions, have already committed to dump their fossil fuel holdings.”

Pension funds and colleges/universities have enjoyed strong returns from their investments in America’s oil and natural gas companies over the last decade. State pension fund investments in oil and natural gas companies are providing very healthy returns for teachers, firefighters, police officers, and other public pension retirees, far outperforming other public pension holdings.

A series of studies have found that while 2.1 percent of endowments in fiscal year 2010-2011 were oil and gas stocks, that 2.1 percent generated 5.7 percent of all endowment gains. During that period, oil and natural gas stocks achieved returns of almost 53 percent, far better than the pension funds and endowments’ performance as a whole and the performance of the S&P 500.

While oil and natural gas stocks made up an average of 4.6 percent of holdings in the top public pension funds, they accounted for an average of 15.7 percent of the returns in these funds over a five-year time period for the 48.1 percent of U.S. workers who participate in state and local government pension plans. In fact, they also outperformed as a whole and outperformed every other asset class examined in their investments.

Cities and Colleges Reject Divestment Proposals

The City of San Francisco recently rejected a proposal to divest.

Harvard University announced that the institution will not divest from the fossil fuel industry. The President of Harvard said that the “strength and growth” of the endowment, which pays for more than one-third of Harvard activities each year, is crucial to the support and opportunities the university can provide to its students, faculty, and researchers.

Yale and many other schools have turned down this idea.

Middlebury College, McKibben’s school, announced, after an extensive process of open meetings and group discussions with both sides, they decided too many questions raise serious concerns or remain unanswered for the board to support divestment. The college went on to note, “Given its fiduciary responsibilities, the board cannot look past the lack of proven alternative investment models, the difficulty and material cost of withdrawing from a complex portfolio of investments, and the uncertainties and risks that divestment would create.”, an online reference center, makes available a wealth of materials on African American history in one central location on the Internet.

These materials include an online encyclopedia of nearly 3,000 entries, the complete transcript of nearly 300 speeches by African Americans, other people of African ancestry, and those concerned about race, given between 1789 and 2012, over 140 full text primary documents, bibliographies, timelines and six gateway pages with links to digital archive collections, African and African American museums and research centers, genealogical research websites, and more than 200 other website resources on African American and global African history.

Additionally, 100 major African American museums and research centers and over 400 other website resources on black history are also linked to the website, as are nine bibliographies listing more than 5,000 major books categorized by author, title, subject, and date of publication. It also features a Perspectives Online Magazine which features commentary of important but little known events in black history often written by the individuals who participated in or witnessed them.

To date more than 100 articles have appeared. The compilation and concentration of these diverse resources allows BlackPast.orgto serve as the "Google" of African American history. brings the resources of African American history into every classroom in the world. It also makes every computer, regardless of its location, a classroom in African American history. is dedicated to providing the inquisitive public with comprehensive, reliable, and accurate information concerning the history of African Americans in the United States and people of African ancestry in other regions of the world. It is the aim of the founders and sponsors to foster understanding through knowledge in order to generate constructive change in our society. brings the resources of African American history into every classroom in the world. It also makes every computer, regardless of its location, a classroom in African American history.  (

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Nikki Henderson

Nikki Henderson
Nikki Henderson has been named the new Executive Director of Green For All.

Henderson began her work in social justice through the foster care system in Southern California, having been raised with seven older foster brothers. Through mentoring, tutoring, and directing Foster Youth Empowerment Workshops, she developed her passion for youth leadership development among communities of color.

She later shifted into sustainability, developing course curriculum for the University of California system and advocating across the state for environmental justice and political ecology.

She has worked at Green for All fighting for a green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty. She was also a part of Slow Food USA in Brooklyn, NY. In 2009, Nikki co-founded Live Real, a national collaborative of food movement organizations committed to strengthening and expanding the youth food movement in the United States. In 2010, Nikki was featured in ELLE magazine as one of the five Gold Awardees.

She has a Master’s degree in African American Studies from UCLA, and is originally from Los Angeles, CA.  (People's Grocery)

Friday, November 22, 2013

Phaedra Ellis Lampkins Leaving Green For All

Dear Norris,

As an important supporter and partner, I wanted to personally share the news that I’ll be leaving Green For All early next year to take time to be with my daughter and family; and, to focus on new strategies for social change.

Moving on wouldn’t be possible were it not for the incredible leadership of our board of directors, who have selected a dynamic new leader to take Green for All into its future. Her name is Nikki Henderson.

Nikki has a strong background in economic justice. As executive director of People’s Grocery in Oakland, she created a groundbreaking leadership development and micro-business program for food entrepreneurs, with a focus on racial justice. Nikki’s thought leadership has been widely recognized at venues like the United Nations, TEDx, and Bioneers. In 2010, she was honored with one of ELLE magazine’s five Gold Awards for young influencers.

Nikki worked closely with Van Jones and me in the early years of Green For All, and we were deeply impressed—both by her commitment to our issues and by her natural leadership abilities.

Most importantly, I believe Nikki is exactly the right leader at the right time for Green For All. The organization is ready for its next phase, and I believe there’s no better person to drive it. Nikki will invigorate and excite our base, bring new insights to our work, and create high-impact results.

Nikki will start with Green For All on February 1, 2014. In the months leading up to her official start date, she will be working closely with our board and staff on our work planning process, and will be ready to hit the ground running in February.

I know Green For All will be in excellent hands under Nikki, and I’m excited and confident about what we will accomplish in the coming months and years.

My decision to leave an organization and cause that I love wasn’t an easy one. But I feel that I can move on knowing that our new leadership and staff—working closely with partners like you—will take the work forward.

I greatly appreciate your partnership. I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the people that I have had the opportunity to work with. Your commitment and belief in a better world inspire me to be more. Being at Green for All has made it clear to me that we are surrounded by incredible grace and love. I want to have time to share those things with my young daughter. I am not leaving forever. Instead, I am taking a pause to recharge. I will be watching, supporting and helping, whenever needed.

Thank you for your past and future commitment to our mission.

Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins
CEO, Green For All

Monday, November 18, 2013

Wal-Mart Proposes Oxon Hill Store Site

Courtesy of Walmart - The proposed Wal-Mart Supercenter in Oxon Hill, Md.
This is a perspective of the store along Oxon Hill Road.

Wal-Mart is a proposing store site in Prince George's County, Maryland that would be located on Oxon Hill Road close to the National Harbor resort.  The Wal-Mart would have a full-size grocery store and would bring 300 jobs to southern Prince George’s. 

The store has generated some controversy because it would be right next to the Montessori school. Wal-Mart officials said the center will provide a significant landscaping buffer between the store and the Montessori school.  Also, parents from John Hanson and Oxon Hill High School, a few blocks away, have rallied against the proposal, expressing concern about security and the environmental impact on the school community.

AAEA is studying the proposal.

The project is being reviewed by the county’s planning department. The case is expected to be heard early next year by the county’s zoning hearing examiner.  (Wash Post, 11/17/2013)

Saturday, November 16, 2013

NPR Pollution Map

This interactive map, compiled by NPR and CPI, shows serious polluters across America that release hazardous chemicals — including lead, mercury and arsenic — into the air or water.

Enter your zip code or click on the map at and get information about polluters in your state.

About this map

To begin exploring how air pollution may affect your community, use this interactive map of more than 17,000 facilities that have emitted hazardous chemicals into the air. Color-coded dots and scores of one to five smoke stacks are based on an EPA method of assessing potential health risk in airborne toxins from a given facility. More smoke stack icons signify higher potential risks to human health. Zoom in to your neighborhood by clicking on the map or use the search box to find the area you're looking for. (Reporting methodology and data)

About the data

Last year reporting to TRI: Indicates the latest year, from 2003 through 2009, that the facility reported air emissions to the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI). The TRI consists of self-reported data on emissions of more than 600 chemicals. Our database includes facilities that reported emissions of any of 187 specific chemicals the Environmental Protection Agency is required to control.

High-priority violator status: This indicates that regulators have listed the facility as a "high priority violator" under the Clean Air Act. That means the EPA or a responsible state or local agency has information it can use to establish a violation of the Clean Air Act. The agency may or may not have made a formal finding of violation.

Risk-screening group: A ranked grouping from 1 to 5, based on a multi-year average of risk screening scores from the EPA’s Risk Screening Environmental Risk Indicators tool. The tool addresses chronic human toxicity associated with long-term exposure to harmful chemicals. More information about the tool.
Source: Analysis of Environmental Protection Agency databases by Elizabeth Lucas, Center for Public Integrity and Robert Benincasa, NPR. Credits: Map by Nelson Hsu/NPR;

Friday, November 15, 2013

Something I REALLY Hate


By Norris McDonald

I really really hate it when a federal agency, the U.S. Department of Energy steals a program right from under a private sector, community based program that originated the concept.

This happened in the case of the U.S. Department of Energy stealing, via its

National Environmental Justice Conference and Training Program

from the

State of Environmental Justice In America Conference

They even stole the sponsors.

Oh well.  Powerful federal money rules.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Confirm Representative Mel Watt as Director of the FHFA

We want a vote as soon as possible on the nomination of Mel Watt to be the regulator of taxpayer owned mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  The nation needs Rep. Watt’s talents and leadership at the FHFA. We urge the Senate to vote to confirm him.

Republican opposition has left his nomination in limbo for months. Fortunately, on Monday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid filed cloture on the nomination, setting up a vote later this week.  Democrats will need 60 votes to shut off debate and move to a vote on the Watt nomination.

Watt faces a time crunch because if he feels his nomination is a lost cause and wants to run for reelection the filing deadline in North Carolina is Feb. 28. As a sitting Member of Congress, Watt deserves the courtesy of an up-or-down vote.

Mel Watt

Rep. Watt is highly qualified to head the FHFA. He brings 40 years of experience in housing and finance to the position of FHFA Director. As a 20-year member of the House Financial Services Committee, and a member of the Subcommittees on Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises and Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit, he oversees housing, banking, insurance and other financial services matters.

In addition to his public service as a Member of Congress, Mr. Watt, a graduate of Yale Law School, spent more than 20 years practicing law in North Carolina with a particular focus on business and real estate law. Further, he was a former small business owner who understands both the practical and policy aspects of access to credit issues.

Rep. Watt was one of the first Members of Congress to speak out against the predatory mortgage lending practices that characterized the boom in subprime lending, and that eventually contributed to widespread economic devastation. Rep. Watt rightly led the push for legislation that would have required safety, soundness, and fairness to prevail over the blind rush for short-term profits.  (Politico, 10/28/2013)

News One Now

News One Now, the first morning news program in history to focus on news and analysis of politics, entertainment, sports, and culture from an explicitly African American perspective, will premiere on TV One Monday, November 4 at 9AM/ET.

Roland Martin, the 2013 National Association of Black Journalists’ Journalist of the Year and former host of TV One’s long-running, award-winning weekly news program, “Washington Watch with Roland Martin”, leads News One Now doing what he does best: sifting through the headlines of the day to spotlight matters that greatly impact the African American community.

News One Now is an evolution of the award winning digital brand Launched in 2008, has seen meteoric growth, currently reaching two million African Americans every month. The television show represents a blend of digital and broadcast, leveraging the engaged audience of and featuring an interactive, immersive experience. Enlisting the help of news makers, media stars, authors, celebrities, filmmakers, comedians and others, News One Now will be a jam-packed, live one-hour weekday morning news program driven by news headlines, on-set panelists, Skype-net interviews, social media integration, standing segments and discussion of the top mainstream media stories of the day, as well as more obscure stories that touch the African American audience nationwide.

In addition to the telecast, News One Now will be streamed live on Radio One. Each weekday morning, News One Now will kick off via its radio platform at 7AM/ET, airing on Radio One network stations in select U.S. markets. Entering its third hour at 9AM/ET, the radio program will simulcast on its TV One television platform, which will be broadcast from the heart of Washington D.C. from a state-of-the-art studio that offers a stunning view of the Capitol building. Audiences can continue their experience 24/7 with exclusive program content and extended editorial on and the NewsOne mobile app available in both iOS and Android. Social interaction is at the heart of the show and incorporates conversations from facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Vine, among others, using the hash tag #NewsOneNow.

According to Alfred Liggins, chairman of TV One and CEO and president of Radio One:
“Filling a glaring gap in the current cable news programming landscape,
News One Now builds off our online success, extending our presence to a complete multi-platform experience where we can serve the African American audience with news and analysis that is specially curated to suit their needs, concerns, interests and passions.”
According to Roland Martin:
“Our program will not only keep Black America abreast of major breaking news and hot-button issues, it will also shed light on peripheral stories that spotlight events and individuals making a concentrated, positive impact in our communities. Our audience can not only expect to be informed, but also enlightened and inspired.”
(Roland Martin Reports, 10/25/2013)

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Ebony Power 100 2013



Berry Gordy, Motown Records Founder, Will Receive Lifetime Achievement Award
Entertainer Nick Cannon to Host; Legendary Pop Group The Jacksons, Cast of Broadway Hit

“Motown The Musical” and Famed Rockjazz Pianist ELEW to Perform


EBONY® Magazine, the curator of the African-American experience, past, present and future, today announced that it will host a gala event in New York City at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall on Monday evening, November 4, 2013 to celebrate the honorees on its annual EBONY Power 100 list. This is the second year that the event is presented by Nationwide Insurance.
The EBONY Power 100 list salutes the achievements of the most influential African-Americans in the country. Among the game changers honored this year are President Barack Obama, actress Kerry Washington, NBA legend and entrepreneur Earvin "Magic" Johnson, actor Michael B. Jordan, film director Lee Daniels, chefs Marcus Samuelsson and Roblé Ali and activists Harry Belafonte and Marian Wright Edelman.
Nick Cannon

Hosting the star-studded evening will be Power 100 list honoree Nick Cannon, the multi-faceted entertainer, actor, DJ, comedian and musician. For the past five seasons, Cannon has served as the host of "America's Got Talent," NBC's top-rated summer reality competition series.
Berry Gordy

Berry Gordy, the legendary founder of Motown Records, will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award. Gordy was influential in the careers of such extraordinary talents as the Jackson 5, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, The Four Tops, the Supremes and the Temptations. Under his direction, Motown became a model for black capitalism, pride and self-expression. A gifted songwriter, Gordy also penned and co-wrote hits for Smokey Robinson, Jackie Wilson and Etta James. In addition, he has produced several movies, including “Mahogany” and “Lady Sings the Blues.”
The Motown themed evening will include a special performance by The Jacksons, one of the biggest acts in pop music history. The Jackson brothers—a preteen Michael, Jermaine, Tito, Marlon and Jackie—found their way to Berry Gordy’s hit-making Motown Records in the late 1960s.
Also scheduled to appear is the cast of Berry Gordy’s four-time Tony Award-nominated Broadway hit “Motown The Musical,” and famed American rockjazz pianist ELEW.
DJ KISS, who has spun for many of the world’s biggest celebrities and added her signature sound to the hottest fashion, music and charity events, will play throughout the evening and at the after-party along with Cannon. 
James Beard Award-winning chef and author Marcus Samuelsson, owner of Red Rooster Harlem in New York City, is designing the menu for the gala. The internationally acclaimed Samuelsson, who was also named to the EBONY Power 100 list, has cooked for President Obama, served as a judge for “Chopped” and has recently joined the second season of "The Taste" as a mentor. He is also the youngest chef ever to receive a three-star rating from The New York Times.
In addition to Nationwide, EBONY Power 100 Gala sponsors include United Airlines,Chevrolet, Ariel Investments, and McDonald’s. Wines for the evening are generously provided by Coral Brown of Brown Estate Vineyards, Napa Valley.
The 2013 Power 100 list will appear in the December/January issue of EBONY on newsstands the week of November 4. The full list of the EBONY Power 100 can be found here.

About EBONY: EBONY is the No. 1 source for an authoritative perspective on the African-American community. The monthly magazine, now in its 68th year, reaches nearly 11 million readers. EBONY features the best thinkers, trendsetters, hottest celebrities and next-generation leaders of African-Americans. EBONY ignites conversation, promotes empowerment and celebrates aspiration. Available nationwide on newsstands and the iPad, EBONY is the heart, the soul and the pulse of African-Americans (Ebony Press Release)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Compton To Catalina Program - Trip 5

AAEA conducted its 5th Compton To Catalina Program trip on Friday, October 18, 2013. The trip was completely successful and the students thoroughly enjoyed their experiences. The California Center for Economic Initiatives recruited the students and John Long conducted the tour of the Southern California Edison Pebbly Beach electricity generating plant.

The tour group left the Catalina Express Long Beach downtown landing at 10 a.m. ABC-7 TV covered the launch and it was broadcast on the evening news in Los Angeles. The tour group had a great burger/fry lunch at Eric's on the green pier and proceeded to the to the semi-submersible boat to view fish species and unique kelp. After the 45-minute submersible trip, we proceeded to the Pebbly Beach power plant for a tour.  The group left the island on the 4 pm Catalina Express back to Long Beach.

Participants included:

1) Eduardo Torres, Firebaugh High School, 14,

2) Yamilex Martinez, Aloha Health Medical Academy, 12,

3) Carlos Martinez, Artesia High School, 14,

4) Akeem Arana, Stephens Middle School, 13,

5) Afeni Arana, Stephens Middle School, 13,

6) Melissa Tucker, Torrance High School, 16.

Ramon Martinez, the father of Yamilex and Carlos, accompanied us on the trip.

Norris McDonald and Bernard Peyton were also chaperones on the trip.

The Compton To Catalina Program is sponsored by Southern California Edison.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Wetlands Permit Support - National Harbor, Circa 2000

President's Corner

By Norris McDonald

Below is my statement in support of the National Harbor regarding its water permit.

Testimony of Norris McDonald

Founder and President

On the
Nontidal Wetlands Permit Application

For the National Harbor Project

 Presented to the

Maryland Department of the Environment,

Water Management Administration,

Nontidal Wetlands and Waterways Division

Oxon Hill High School

 Wednesday, October 18, 2000

Good evening. My name is Norris McDonald and I am the founder and president of the African American Environmentalist Association. The African American Environmentalist Association, founded in 1985, is an environmental organization dedicated to protecting the environment, enhancing the human ecology, and promoting the efficient use of natural resources.

I have lived in Prince George’s County for 18 years. I have worked in the environmental field for 21 years. I was chairman of the Prince Georges County American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) for two years. I taught a NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) course for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Graduate School in 1997. I am the author of comprehensive report on pollution in Washington, D.C. I also served on two governor-appointed environmental councils: 1) Maryland Advisory Council on Environmental and 2) the Potomac Middle Tributary Strategy Implementation Team. 

AAEA supports the development of the National Harbor project. We support the project because it will provide maximal socioeconomic benefits with minimal environmental impacts. We believe that, like Washington, D.C. east of the Anacostia River, Prince George’s County lacks certain amenities that are clearly included in the National Harbor project. AAEA will continue to support relatively low-impact retail/commercial projects developed in a Brownfields context that serve to prevent sprawl. We also believe that this is the type of project Governor Parris N. Glendening had in mind in his Smart Growth and Brownfields initiatives.

This permit application provides a monetary compensation for the displacement of the intermittent nontidal streams and intermittent nontidal wetlands at the location. The proposal meets all State requirements and has been submitted with MDE guidelines related to nontidal wetlands mitigation. The monetary contribution of $121,000 is more than adequate to cover the necessary nontidal streams and wetland replacement costs. Maryland has adopted a goal of achieving no net loss of nontidal wetlands. Any wetland loss after December 31, 1990, regulated under state law, must be offset by mitigation. MDE may accept monetary compensation if it determines that mitigation is not a feasible alternative.
The Chesapeake Bay Agreement of 1987, as ratified by the Maryland legislature (Nontidal Wetlands Protection Act) in 1989, provides the framework for protecting and preserving the area’s nontidal wetlands. Nontidal wetlands are extremely important to us. Although, nontidal wetlands have many of the same biological characteristics as tidal wetlands, nontidal wetlands are inland, freshwater areas not subject to tidal influence. Wetlands are important natural resources providing numerous values to society, including habitat, flood protection, erosion control and water quality preservation. Nontidal wetlands are important to a healthy environment. We are blessed with diverse populations of flora and fauna and many species of wildlife use nontidal wetlands for breeding, wintering and migrating. Wetland vegetation helps in reducing erosion of banks.

The wetlands at the National Harbor site are small, palustrine forested wetlands and intermittent stream channels that originate at seepage areas above the Potomac River floodplain. In the wetland and immediately adjacent to the stream channels, the forest canopy is dominated by red maple, green ash, common elderberry, spicebush, Virginia bugleweed and fowl manna-grass occurring in the shrub layers. Before reaching the river, the intermittent water infiltrates into the soils and does not reach the Potomac River.

 The Prince George’s County Department of Environmental Resources has also approved the stormwater management plan. National Harbor will use Best Management Practices (BMPs) for stormwater management: infiltration trenches, dry well, porous pavement, detention ponds, wet pond with shallow marsh fringe, submerged gravel filter, perimeter sand filter, underground sand filter, grass filter swale with check dam, and curb less parking lot with bio-retention filter in island. I am confident that the developer will incorporate state-of-the-art techniques and technologies to assure the maximum protection for the Potomac River and the nearby watershed.

The National Harbor site is absolutely beautiful and will serve as a great experience and view for all. I think the opponents of the project will also visit the facility once it is finished. They should bring their families. I can’t wait for my eight-year-old son to enjoy National Harbor. We are also boaters and will enjoy the experience of National Harbor from the water. I enjoy teaching my son about the importance of protecting wetland areas. This instruction includes visits to wetland areas, mitigation techniques and practices and the great benefits of appropriate economic development.

Thank you for this opportunity to testify before you this evening.