Senate Dems seek input for environmental justice legislation

Source: By Manuel Quiñones, E&E News reporter • Posted: Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.). Photo credit: Francis Chung/E&E News

Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) helped found the Environmental Justice Caucus and is part of the Senate Democrats’ special climate panel. Francis Chung/E&E News

More than a dozen Senate Democrats are asking environmental justice advocates for input on legislation to address climate change impacts.

The lawmakers, led by Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), want advocates to weigh in on both legislative and regulatory solutions by early next year.

“It is well past time for Congress to partner with you and your communities in taking action to address the risks and impacts associated with climate change,” the Democrats wrote in a letter released yesterday.

“We must commit to justice in our Nation’s environmental and economic policies by ensuring that climate change solutions benefit the hardest hit workers and communities,” it said. “Simply put, special attention must be given to the industries and communities that are most likely to be impacted by the effects of climate change and the transition to a clean economy.”

Duckworth helped launch the Environmental Justice Caucus and is a member of the Senate Democrats’ special climate committee.

In the House last month, Natural Resources Chairman Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Rep. Donald McEachin (D-Va.) released draft environmental justice legislation and asked groups for input (E&E Daily, Nov. 15).

In June, the pair hosted an environmental justice summit on Capitol Hill. The bills and outreach to advocates are part of the Democrats’ increased focus on the issue.