The EPA is conducting a civil rights investigation into the water crisis in Jackson, Mississippi. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has held up despite US backlash over OPEC+’s decision to cut production, and the Biden administration won a court challenge over the “social costs” of greenhouse gases.
This is Overnight Energy & EnvironmentA source of breaking news focused on , energy, the environment and more. The Hill is Rachel Frazien and Zach Badrick.
EPA Confirms Jackson Water Crisis Investigation
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) confirmed in a letter to the NAACP that it had launched a civil rights investigation into a water crisis that denied residents of Jackson, Mississippi, earlier this year.
Civil rights groups filed complaints alleging patterns of discrimination by the state, the predominantly black capital, and urged the EPA’s Office of External Civil Rights Compliance (OECR) to review the investigation on Thursday.
what are they saying? In the letter, OECR Acting Executive Director Antu Hoang said whether state environmental quality departments and health departments had “intentionally or effectively” engaged in racial discrimination in funding water infrastructure, and whether the two departments said it would investigate whether they discriminated. Installation of appropriate guardrails against such discrimination.
Proceeding with the investigation is not the same as confirming the allegation, and the EPA Office has 180 days to conduct the investigation.
NAACP responds with: In a statement, NAACP President Derrick Johnson praised the EPA’s move, but added that “this action is just the first step.”
- “The NAACP and its partners are calling on the Biden administration and Congress to hold state officials accountable and to ensure that Jackson officials and residents actively participate in the decisions necessary to resolve the unacceptable problems with Jackson’s water. I will continue to pressure you to do so,” he added.
Jackson’s water infrastructure has fallen into disrepair over the past few decades, with many wealthy white residents leaving the city after consolidation, shrinking the tax base.
The latest water crisis came after flooding shut down the city’s water treatment plant, but it was Jackson’s second water crisis in years.
- The state government was allocated about $75 million in funding last year from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act to upgrade water infrastructure, but none went to the Jackson system.
- Earlier this week, House Oversight Committee Chairman Carolyn Maloney (DN.Y.) and Homeland Security Committee Chairman Benny Thompson (D-Miss.) announced that they have a constituency that includes most of Jackson, I wrote to Governor Tate Reeves (Republican) asking for more answers. On the use of state federal water funds.
Find out more about the survey here.
Saudi Arabia unfazed by US backlash against oil
Saudi Arabia is showing no signs of backing down in the face of US backlash over its decision to cut oil production as part of Riyadh’s strategy to flex its foreign policy clout more strongly.
Saudi officials have argued that the much-criticized decision to cut oil production in order to keep prices high was purely an economic one, blaming an attack on Russia’s side over the war in Ukraine. pushing back.
How I got here: Democrats vehemently demand a freeze on military sales and cooperation with the kingdom as Republicans are largely silent, saying US ties with powerful Gulf states are too strategic to risk. is doing.
Concerned about Washington’s withdrawal from the Middle East, experts say Riyadh is trying to find a balance between the US and Russia but is careful not to cut ties outright.
- “Saudi Arabia tried to put a needle between the US and Russia, partly because they mistrust the US,” said Samuel, an associate fellow at the Royal United Service Institute. Ramani said.
- “I don’t think this will be a long-term rift. It will be one of the big ups and downs in US-Saudi relations. And today we have another downfall.”
President Biden’s high-profile brawl with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Jeddah in July was, in Riyadh’s eyes, a promise to treat the kingdom as a pariah after the murder of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi. It didn’t make up for his campaign comments made. experts say.
And from the Trump administration not only for the administration seeking to revive the nuclear deal with Iran, but also for what the kingdom viewed as a frivolous response to Iran’s drone strikes on Aramco’s oil facilities in Abqaiq. Their positions have been cemented as the unrest in the
Read more about The Hill’s Alex Gangitano and Laura Kelly.
Biden fends off climate change accounting metrics challenge
The Biden administration has fended off new challenges to efforts to place climate impacts in federal decision-making processes.
The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals has dismissed the Red State’s attempt to prevent the Biden administration from using its assessment of how much climate change is hurting society.
- The Biden administration places much more weight on the potential damage caused by climate change than the Trump administration.
- Republican-led states, including Missouri, have challenged the Biden administration’s use of a specific uniform value across agencies to estimate the cost of damage from climate change.
A panel of three judges upheld the lower court rulings against these states. The appeals court judge wrote that the state lacks legitimacy because it fails to specifically identify how the Biden administration’s climate change cost estimates did damage.
“The plaintiff states that the ‘irreducible constitutional minimum’ of the validity of Article 3, i.e., the concrete and specified actual damages, is reasonably traceable to the defendant’s act of opposition. I couldn’t make a plausible case,” their opinion states.
“If a state believes that the action of a particular agency, justified by the provisional SC-GHG To [climate cost] Estimate yourself, ”they wrote.
The federal government must weigh the costs and benefits of taking actions ranging from regulating greenhouse gas emissions to issuing permits for energy projects such as pipelines.
One such cost or benefit might be how much the action exacerbates or mitigates climate change. To find a uniform way to quantify potential climate damage, the Obama, Trump and Biden administrations assigned a monetary value to greenhouse gas emissions known as the “social cost.” ”
Read more about the judgment here.
Fonda the Climate
Jane Fonda says she’s back in Washington to launch her first direct climate change protest in almost three years.
The ‘Grace and Frankie’ star announced Thursday that he will resume high-profile ‘Fire Drill Friday’ demonstrations starting December 2nd.
In a video, the 84-year-old actress addressed her nearly two million Instagram followers, saying, “We are coming together to sound the alarm about the climate emergency.
“Our leaders need to step up,” she said. “It’s going to be a big moment. So mark your calendars and pack your bags.”
Fonda and Greenpeace USA originally launched “Fire Drill Fridays” in 2019 to raise awareness and call for action on climate change. The outspoken performer – often attended by other Hollywood celebrities at rallies – was arrested multiple times during the 14-week-long event in the nation’s capital.
When the COVID-19 pandemic began in March, Fonda virtualized its protests.
Earlier this year, Fonda announced it would create a climate-focused PAC to “beat the fossil fuel industry’s political allies.”
Last month, Fonda revealed she had been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and had started chemotherapy.
For more information, see Judy Kurtz’s article on The Hill.
what we are reading
- Energy Lobbyists Plan Republican House Ahead of Midterm Elections (The New York Times)
- Secret files suggest link between herbicide feared by chemical giants and Parkinson’s disease (The Guardian)
- ‘Life or Death’: Why One Island of Hawaii’s Severe Drought Problem Scares Everyone (SFGate)
- Brazil presidential election spurs further logging of Amazon rainforest (The Financial Times)
- Italy aims for ‘miracle’ with LNG project amid energy crunch (Reuters)
🦓 Light Click: Capturing the beauty of nature?
That’s all for today, thanks for reading. Check out The Hill’s Energy & Environment page for the latest news and read our newsletter here. see you on monday.