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At a November Department of Energy panel on “Community Voices from the Ground” grassroots environmental justice advocates asked the Department to stop promoting large-scale polluting project in marginalized communities of color. John Beard, founder and director of the Port Arthur Community Action Network, said,

“DOE says it is committed to promoting environmental justice in all its activities. And yet, the agency continues to grant export authorizations to methane gas export terminals and explosive carbon bombs in low-income communities and communities of color.” 

 The environmental justice advocates asked DOE to stop investing in hydrogen hubs, carbon capture and sequestration technologies at refineries and utilities, and direct air carbon capture technology aimed at sucking CO2 out of the atmosphere, calling them all “dangerous distractions.” Beard said producing hydrogen requires large amounts of energy that will “worsen the effects of climate change while allowing big oil and gas to reap more profits while our children get sick, our air is polluted, and our safety is compromised.” 

 Simultaneously, at the White House Brenda Mallory, chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, said on a conference call with community groups and reporters that nearly 470 federal programs with billions of dollars in annual investment were being “reimagined and transformed to meet the Justice40 goal and maximize benefits to disadvantaged communities.”