White House Environmental Advisory Justice Council Calls for a Hard Stop on Carbon

Nov 17, 2023 | BM4F Spotlights, Uncategorized, Young, Gifted & Green Blog Series | 0 comments

November 17, 2023

While the Inflation Reduction Act is touted for establishing historical investments in environmental justice, it still allows polluters to continue poisoning communities through extremely harmful carbon technologies such as Carbon Capture and other unfounded carbon technologies. Black Millennials 4 Flint was one of many EJ organizations that had major concerns with the compromise federal legislators made that still puts tax payer dollars into the pockets of the fossil fuel industry. The White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council (WHEJAC), a national collective of environmental justice activist, advocates, and experts were and continue to be in solidarity with being opposition to these insidious technologies that have grossly been aligned to “Justice40”–giving full reign to polluters to use Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and economically disenfranchised communities for experimentation.

The WHEJAC Timeline

December 2022: During the WHEJAC Public Meeting, they received the initial “carbon management” charge which was unanimously rejected as the initial charge did not address public health nor environmental justice impacts.

June 2023: During the WHEJAC Public Meeting, the WHEJAC Carbon Management Working Group accepted a revised “charge” outlining its new role.

The charge asked the group to consider “what criteria should be applied to the evaluation and permitting of carbon management strategies and projects in ways that prevent harm, align with, and advance environmental justice and protection for communities.”

“As EJ activists, we’re not going to ever recommend something that could potentially cause harm.”

LaTricea D. Adams, MAT, EdS | BM4F Founder, CEO & President, and Current White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council (WHEJAC) Carbon Management Co-Chair LaTricea D. Adams (Reported by Inside EPA)

September 2023: During the WHEJAC Public Meeting, the Carbon Management Working Group delivered the recommendations to the full WHEJAC which passed unanimously.

November 2023: The final WHEJAC Carbon Management Recommendations are formally posted online for public view and access.

What are the WHEJAC’s Carbon Management Recommendations?

  • Recommendation 1, Tier 1: Cessation of Implementation of Carbon Management
  • Recommendation 2, Tier 2: Clarify the landscape of technologies that fall within carbon management
  • Recommendation 3, Tier 2: Perform a systematic review of the evidence relating to carbon management risks
  • Recommendation 4, Tier 3: Government should Engage in Accountable Communication
  • Recommendation 5, Tier 3: Consent and Engagement of Communities Must be Put in Practice

Summary of WHEJAC’s Carbon Management Recommendations

  • Potentially impacted communities are not well informed enough (or at all) regarding carbon technologies.
  • There is not a clear answer provided by DOE if a community says no to a project, if the project will indeed move forward.
  • The Community Benefits Plan does not efficiently address this concern.
  • There is not enough research to determine the highly nuanced public health and environmental risks associated with carbon management technologies.
  • There is an absence of data and scientific research regarding the efficacy of the carbon technologies to reduce CO2 emissions.
  • These technologies create long-term dependency on the fossil fuel industry and does not truly align with the administration’s climate goals.

How Can I Learn More + Spread the Word?

  • Click HERE to access the full WHEJAC recommendations.
  • Click HERE to download our social media kit .
  • Consider making written public comment to the WHEJAC.
    • The public can submit written comments in 3 different ways:
      • Entering comments in the Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OEJECR-2023-0099 at HERE
      • Using the webform HERE.
    • Sending comments via email to whejac@epa.gov, for comments with additional materials.
    • Written comments can be submitted through December 20, 2023.

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