Wednesday, February 26, 2014

EPA 20th Anniversary Ceremony for EJ Executive Order

There was an excellent program at EPA Headquarters today in the Rachel Carson Green Room that celebrated the 20th anniversay of the signing of the Presidential Executive Order 12898 on Environmental Justice:  "Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations."   President Bill Clinton signed the order on February 11th, 2014.

Congressman John Lewis was recognized for his groundbreaking work in the area of environmental justice.  He and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy gave excellent speeches to the packed room.

The event recognized past environmental justice leaders, to focus on the next generation.  The event highlighted how America can address many of the environmental justice challenges over the next 20 years.

The Executive Order directs federal agencies to make environmental justice part of their missions by identifying and addressing disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects of their programs, policies, and activities on minority, low-income populations. The Order is intended to promote nondiscrimination in federal programs substantially affecting human health and the environment. The Order also provides minority and low-income communities access to public information and an opportunity to participate in matters relating to human health or the environment. The Presidential Memorandum accompanying the Order underscores certain provisions of existing law that can help ensure that all communities and people across this nation live in a safe and healthy environment.

On February 10th, 2014, President Obama released a proclamation acknowledging the anniversary of the executive order. The proclamation is much more than a purely symbolic gesture. It is a very visible statement from the White House firmly re-committing this Administration's dedication to making sure that we, "live up to the promise that here in America, no matter who you are or where you come from, you can pursue your dreams in a safe and just environment."  (EPA)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

American Association of Blacks In Energy Annual Conference

The American Association of Blacks in Energy invites interested parties to attend the 37th Annual American Association of Blacks National Conference. The Conference features an interactive professional leadership sessions, town hall seminar, scholarship luncheon, awards gala, Career Fair and booth exhibits.

Please forward this information to your members and contacts.
AABE National Conference - April 8-11 in Houston, TX
The Annual American Association of Blacks in Energy Conference is set for April 8-11, at the Hilton Americas Houston Hotel.

The national conference attracts leaders from around the U.S. who work or have interests in the utility industry specifically the oil and gas, petroleum, solar, wind, biomass energy, electricity, nuclear, pipeline and hydrogenation energy arena.

This conference will feature nationally renowned sought after speakers who tackle tough issues regarding platforms in the energy industry.


Monday, February 17, 2014

Pro-Nuclear Environmentalists Refuse To Recognize AAEA Role in Promoting Nuclear Power


By Norris McDonald

AAEA was the first environmental group to support nuclear power in the United States.  I was the first environmentalist in the United States to support nuclear power.  This support started in 2000 and continues to this day.  But you would never know that if you listened to environmentalists who followed in my footsteps.  The white environmentalists casually and routinely recognize each other, but somehow manage to exclude mention of AAEA or me.  Other environmentalists started coming out in support of nuclear power around 2005.  By then, I had carved a significant path of supporting nuclear power, from testifying at NRC hearings and meetings to touring nuclear power plants all over the United States.

I isolated Indian Point nuclear power plant in New York right away as the central domino of the anti-nuclear movement.  If this plant could be closed, the other dominoes would fall too.  I spoke all over New York, from the New York City Council to churches to county and civic meetings to the New York State legislature to the National Governor's Association to national and international forums.  AAEA currently has full party status in the water permit adjudication and I intend to assure that Indian Point Energy Center gets its water permit(s) and license renewal(s).  I also testified at the water permit hearing for the James Fitzpatrick nuclear plant in upstate New York.  They received their water permit(s) and license renewal. 

I toured the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor facility 40 miles northwest of Beijing in China in 2007.  And I toured the Daya Bay nuclear facility in Guangdong, China.  I toured France's newest nuclear plant in Civaux, France and toured France's LaHague reprocessing facility near Normandy in 2007.  I toured Yucca Mountain in 2005.  I have toured 12 nuclear power plants throughout the United States, China and France.  All of this before most environmentalists ever publicly supported nuclear power. But do they recognize AAEA's groundbreaking work?  No.  In fact, they go out of their way to avoid recognizing AAEA's work.

Why?  And I have to be brutal here. It is part of the environmental movement's ethic of elitism and racism.  They exclude blacks in hiring and in their distribution of resources.  Plus, they thought (think) that support might lead to notoriety and financial benefits if nuclear power is adopted as a significant global warming mitigation tool. 

AAEA has led the documentation of this elitism and racism.  The old school environmentalists relish this elistist status and give lip service to diversity.  They are privately very proud of their elitism.  And very good at denying their racism.  They like to hear minorities whine about their exclusivity (as I am doing right now).  Even new school environmentalists and a recent film are intent upon keeping AAEA and me invisible on the nuclear scene.  I suspect they want us to stay in the Negro energy sections of weatherization, green jobs and renewable energy.

Ahhh.  That felt good.  I have been meaning to get that off my chest for some time.  Oh, and nuclear power is an environmental justice issue.  The emission free nature of nuclear power mitigates air pollution issues in environmental justice communities.  {Videos} [More Videos]

Oh?  So it's not just me:

Saturday, February 15, 2014

New York City Councilman Donovan Richards

New Chairman of the New York City Council Committee on Environmental Protection

Donovan Richards
Donovan Richards is a Democratic New York City Council member from the borough of Queens representing New York City’s 31st District.  During June 2011, Donovan Richards became the chief of staff for New York City Councilmand James Sanders. After Sanders was elected to the New York State Senate, Richards was elected to the New York City Council during a 2013 special election.

Incumbent Councilman Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton) — who won a special election in February for the southeast Queens seat vacated by his mentor, state Sen. James Sanders (D-Jamaica) — won his first term in City Hall with 92 percent of Tuesday’s vote. Richards had the second-largest number of votes among the borough's council races with 17,226. (Wiki, Facebook)

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Calvin G. Butler Jr. to Become BGE CEO

Calvin G. Butler, Jr.
Baltimore Gas and Electric announced Feb. 12 that Calvin G. Butler will become the chief executive officer of the Central Maryland-based company. With current CEO and President Kenneth W. DeFontes Jr.’s retirement becoming official on Feb. 28 after 42 years, Butler will move up from his current position as BGE’s senior vice president of regulatory and external affairs.

Stephen J. Woerner, who currently serves as senior vice president and chief operating officer, will become president while keeping his COO title.

Prior to managing BGE’s legislative business and playing middleman for the company’s corporate relationships and communications, Butler, an attorney, was senior vice president of corporate affairs for Exelon.

He also managed compensation and benefits for roughly 19,000 Exelon employees while strategizing on how to increase performance and push development as the company’s senior vice president of human resources.

Butler was key in the merging of BGE’s former parent company, Constellation Energy, with Exelon Corps in March 2012.

After graduating from law school, the St. Louis native went to work as in-house legal counsel for the Central Illinois Light Company. A 27-year-old Butler was soon aiding in the deregulation of the Illinois energy business, making it possible for residents to take their energy needs to the utility company of their choosing. (Afro American, 2/12/2014)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

CASEnergy Coalition Appoints Ron Kirk as New Co-Chair

AAEA is delighted about this appointment.

Ron Kirk
Ambassador Ron Kirk, former U.S. Trade Representative and mayor of Dallas, has been named co-chair of the Clean and Safe Energy (CASEnergy) Coalition. Kirk joins former EPA administrator Christine Todd Whitman, who has served as the coalition’s co-chair since its 2006 launch.
In his role as the CASEnergy Coalition Co-Chair, Kirk will provide perspectives on how electricity choices impact local communities, and how investments in advanced energy technologies today will better prepare America to compete in the global marketplace.

Kirk is currently Senior of Counsel for Dallas-based Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher with a focus on strategic advice pertaining to global interests.

His leadership as U.S. Trade Representative under President Obama will help provide policy leaders and other audiences a broader understanding of the role nuclear energy plays in creating and sustaining American jobs. The global market for nuclear energy trade is estimated at $500 billion to $750 billion over the next decade.

Kirk served as the mayor of Dallas from 1995 to 2001. He was the city’s first African American mayor, and he led the city to garner more than $3.5 billion in new investment and created 45,000 new jobs. (CASEnergy Coalition)

About Clean and Safe Energy Coalition

The Clean and Safe Energy Coalition is a national grassroots coalition that promotes the economic and environmental benefits of nuclear energy as part of a clean energy portfolio. The coalition is comprised of more than 3,400 members across the business, environmental, academic, consumer, minority, and labor communities. To learn more about the coalition, please visit, follow us on Twitter @CASEnergy, and checkout theirr blog, Clean Energy Buzz.

For more information please contact:

The Clean and Safe Energy Coalition
(202) 338-2273

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Presidential Proclamation -- 20th Anniversary of Executive Order 12898 on Environmental Justice


- - - - - - -



Two decades ago, President William J. Clinton directed the Federal Government to tackle a long-overlooked problem. Low-income neighborhoods, communities of color, and tribal areas disproportionately bore environmental burdens like contamination from industrial plants or landfills and indoor air pollution from poor housing conditions. These hazards worsen health disparities and reduce opportunity for residents -- children who miss school due to complications of asthma, adults who struggle with medical bills. Executive Order 12898 affirmed every American's right to breathe freely, drink clean water, and live on uncontaminated land. Today, as America marks 20 years of action, we renew our commitment to environmental justice for all.

Because we all deserve the chance to live, learn, and work in healthy communities, my Administration is fighting to restore environments in our country's hardest-hit places. After over a decade of inaction, we reconvened an Environmental Justice Interagency Working Group and invited more than 100 environmental justice leaders to a White House forum. Alongside tribal governments, we are working to reduce pollution on their lands. And to build a healthier environment for every American, we established the first-ever national limits for mercury and other toxic emissions from power plants.

While the past two decades have seen great progress, much work remains. In the years to come, we will continue to work with States, tribes, and local leaders to identify, aid, and empower areas most strained by pollution. By effectively implementing environmental laws, we can improve quality of life and expand economic opportunity in overburdened communities. And recognizing these same communities may suffer disproportionately due to climate change, we must cut carbon emissions, develop more homegrown clean energy, and prepare for the impacts of a changing climate that we are already feeling across our country.

As we mark this day, we recall the activists who took on environmental challenges long before the Federal Government acknowledged their needs. We remember how Americans -- young and old, on college campuses and in courtrooms, in our neighborhoods and through our places of worship -- called on a Nation to pursue clean air, water, and land for all people. On this anniversary, let us move forward with the same unity, energy, and passion to live up to the promise that here in America, no matter who you are or where you come from, you can pursue your dreams in a safe and just environment.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim February 11, 2014, as the 20th Anniversary of Executive Order 12898 on Environmental Justice. I call upon all Americans to observe this day with programs and activities that promote environmental justice and advance a healthy, sustainable future.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this tenth day of February, in the year of our Lord two thousand fourteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-eighth.



February 11, 2014 marks the 20th anniversary of President Clinton's
 signing of Executive Order 12898, "Federal Actions to Address
Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income
 Populations." EPA's Administrator, Gina McCarthey, has declared
  February 2014 as Environmental Justice Month at EPA, to
highlighting the agency's progress while also launching a
 yearlong effort to focus our environmental justice leadership
 and reaffirm our commitment to do even more. Throughout
 the year, tune in to to find out more about the great
 events that are going on across the country to commemorate
 this historic milestone, and to find out about the exciting
developments going on in EPA and across the government
 to advance environmental justice.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Position Available: Environmental Health News Climate Science Reporter

They are hiring!

@TheDailyClimate seeks experienced climate science reporter. 

Pls RT & send resumes to me at

Peter Dykstra
Environmental Health News
The Daily Climate
Twitter: pdykstra

Friday, February 07, 2014

DOE Secretary Speaks at Hampton University

Ernest Moniz
Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz travelled to Hampton Roads, Va. on January 31st to highlight President Obama’s State of the Union address at Hampton University, one of the nation’s top historically black universities and a leader in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education.

The Secretary focused on President Obama’s State of the Union address and the Obama Administration’s commitment to making America a magnet for good jobs, business investment and innovation.

Below are excerpts of the Secretary’s remarks as prepared for delivery:
“As the President mentioned in the State of the Union, one of the best ways to grow the economy and create jobs is to prepare students with the skills necessary to succeed in our new economy - particularly in science, technology, engineering and math or ‘STEM.’”

Science and engineering has long been an important pathway for social mobility in this country – a ticket to the middle class and beyond for those willing to work hard and pursue the American dream. I happen to be proof of this American experience.”

We have to fund the schools and universities that give students these opportunities. We have to support mentors and teachers that help discover the next great scientific breakthrough – and inspire the next great generation of scientists. And we have to invest in the basic scientific infrastructure that has laid the groundwork for America to be a global leader in these fields.”

“This is an exciting time for the energy industry. Thanks to President Obama’s all-of-the-above approach to energy we have seen unprecedented growth in domestic energy production. For the first time in nearly two decades, the United States now produces more of our own oil here at home than we buy from other countries. Today, the United States is the number one natural gas producer in the world. And at the same time that we have seen dramatic increases in fossil fuel production, we have also doubled the amount of energy that we produce from solar and wind in the last five years.”

“The work that Hampton University does– both educating the next generation of scientists and engineers and helping to drive cutting edge research and innovation– helps to ensure that the United States remains competitive in today’s global economy.”

Notice: New York City Council Air Quality EJ Hearing

The New York City Council

Committee on Environmental Protection

Councilmember donovan richards, Chairman

REPORT of the Infrasturcture Division

Robert Newman, legislative director

TO:                              Invited Guests

FROM:                       Samara Swanston, Counsel to the

                                    Environmental Protection Committee

Re:      Air quality Impacts and ways to measure and address them in NYC environmental justice communities

Date: 2/28/14

Time: 1:p.m.

Location: 250 Broadway, 16th FL Committee Room

We would very much appreciate an opportunity to hear your ideas and perspectives on the above Oversight Hearing topic.

Please testify in person and it will be real time live streamed on Time Warner Channel 74 or submit comments in writing.