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environmental justice

Earlier this year, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) released a nonbinding resolution for a Green New Deal. The 14-page document outlines a sweeping set of goals related to greenhouse gas emissions, infrastructure investments, and labor markets--largely through a lens of justice and equity.

On June 16, 2016, EPA released new information about the Clean Energy Incentive Program (CEIP), a subsection of the Clean Power Plan. The CEIP is a program intended to incentivize early action before 2022 in renewables and energy efficiency, with priority given to low-income communities.

Environmental justice advocates have a new role to play in their states’ electric-sector planning. In its new rule on carbon emissions from power plants, called the Clean Power Plan, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requires states to involve community stakeholders in their compliance planning processes. Underlying this requirement are the often disproportional health and environmental impacts that power plants can have on vulnerable communities.

Vulnerable communities such as low-income communities and communities of color are disproportionately affected by the health and climate impacts caused by power plant emissions. To comply with EPA’s Clean Power Plan, states must engage these communities during plan development and analyze opportunities to counteract these effects.