End the duopoly

Environmental law supports social justice—recent attacks undermine it


Protesters march in Washington DC during the Global Climate Strike in 2019 NEPA a vital tool for public input and equity

Picture this: Goliath Petroleum Corporation wants to build a pipeline through the park near your apartment building , and they’ve already filed the paperwork to get it done.

Scenario A: You submit a comment to the federal agency that is considering the project, explaining your concerns about the plan. But the agency pooh-poohs your comment because you didn’t cite any structural engineering literature. And when a report is released announcing that the pipeline won’t harm the neighborhood, it becomes clear that report was authored by a team of Goliath’s own highly paid consultants. You find a legal aid lawyer to help you sue and stop this disaster, but they say you need to put up a bond—money out of your own pocket—to proceed. Who can afford that ? Like other recent rollbacks, consequences of attacks on NEPA will land disproportionately at the doorstep of Black people, Indigenous people and people of color Scenario B: You don’t even get the chance to submit that comment. The government has declared an ongoing emergency and is using it as justification to […]

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