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Environmental Justice and Your Block

I wanted to create a visualization that shows how income varies by block to facilitate community environmental justice organizing. In some neighborhoods there are major differences between blocks, and these differences are used by corporations to decide what blocks to target with toxic facilities.

So I recently finished a highly experimental layer that estimates median household income by block. This could be used as an Environmental Justice Index. It is comparable to the EPA's EJScreen's EJ index. Both are estimates, but this block income index has a higher geographical resolution, and may also be more accurate (as the block group data that they use has very large confidence intervals). In the US there are 6 million populated blocks and 200,000 block groups.

(Image of my West Philly neighborhood. The two blocks with the highest estimated income are likely correct.)

Thanks for the Support!

Our end of the year fundraising drive raised a record $10,000 in donations!

Thanks to everyone for the support and we will be fighting hard for and with you in 2014.

Great news about Vermont Yankee Nuclear Reactor

Social Networking

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To Win Ohio and Pennsylvania, Obama Must Oppose Fracking

by Alex Lotorto

This morning, I was sipping coffee and watching Sunday morning talk shows with my parents. We talked about the presidential election when my dad muted the commercial breaks that consistently included fossil fuel industry commercials.

My mom put it simply, "I made phone calls, put up posters, and worked at the [Obama] campaign office in 2008. I won't do that again if he supports fracking. He needs to protect our clean water, public health, and well-being."

Hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking", is used to extract the gas from a rock layer called the Marcellus Shale and in at least 32 states in the country. The biggest corporations in the world have their sites on shale gas plays and the gas trapped in them, including Exxon Mobil, BP, Shell, Chevron, and the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC).

The vast grassroots organizing efforts to stop fracking, despite being largely unfunded by traditional Big Green environmental groups that have promoted natural gas as a bridge fuel to a clean energy future for years, have carried their weight in the pitched battle against drilling and are going to play a major part in 2012 kingmaking in swing states like Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Bold Energy Justice Platform Released!

After a year of work with numerous grassroots leaders throughout the U.S., our network of activists fighting "biomass" incinerators has put together a bold and comprehensive platform to guide and unite our work. Since so-called "biomass" incineration cuts across many issues, including energy and waste policy as well as agriculture and forestry issues, it makes sense that this came out of that network.

The platform is in solidarity with those who are fighting other forms of dirty energy and seeks an end to nuclear power and all fossil fuels as well. We do not wish to see one form of dirty energy solved by promoting another, which we often see when nuclear power, natural gas or "biomass" are proposed as alternatives to coal. It is urgent that we move beyond all of these. Since many of us fighting "biomass" incinerators are also engaged in protecting communities from these other threats, we see this as one inter-related struggle for clean energy.

We urge our colleagues -- both grassroots, regional and national organizations -- to join us in adopting this strong platform and to recognize that natural gas and biomass are not "transition" fuels.

Please view our platform and consider signing you or your organization onto it.

Mike Ewall audio interview

SolarTimes editor Sandy LeonVest ( talks to energy justice advocate, researcher and political organizer Mike Ewall of the Energy Justice Network about "corporate greenwashing" and false energy solutions.

Listen to It

We Won a Google Adwords Grant

Today Energy Justice won a Google Adwords grant!

This provides us with an in-kind donation of advertising which we can use to increase our traffic and reach more people.

Our ads will start showing up on the right hand side when you do searches in Google for any terms that we target (so long as they aren't expensive keywords).

We're looking for people who want to write! If you want to create new pages or update existing ones - Email Me I can get you an account, work with you to learn how to use our content management system (Drupal) and how to improve it to make contributing as easy as possible. I can also launch a Google advertising campaign that will maximize traffic to your web pages.

Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection's Pilot Project for Environmental Destruction

On Thursday, March 23rd, executive deputy secretary of the PA Department of Environmental Protection, John Hines, hit send on an unanticipated and regressive email memo ordering all Pennsylvania gas inspectors to stop issuing violations against drillers without prior approval from political appointee Michael Krancer.

The dramatic policy change will effectively suppress "Notice of Violations" (NOV) issuances and shift enforcement actions from professional inspectors to Governor Corbett's appointee DEP Secretary Michael Krancer. In the past two years, Pennsylvania DEP has issued more than 1600 violations to drillers in the Marcellus Shale, more than 1000 of which were identified "Most likely to harm the environment". Concentrating enforcement responsibilities and authority in senior level administrators cannot serve to protect the air and water; rather, it makes our environment less safe as these few administrators cannot keep pace with the gas boom.

For several years, gas drilling in PA has been ratcheting up and the DEP budget has been shrinking. Now operating with 60% of the funds the Ridge administration (yr 2000) spent, the agency should be providing inspectors the freedom to do their jobs as trained professionals without politically appointed administrators duplicating the work or, as many fear, giving industry a free pass.

Power Shift Recruitment 2011

Power Shift is happening April 1-4 in DC this year! Sign up to be a coordinator for your school or community and learn more below!


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