Sunday, May 08, 2022

DOJ unveils new Office of Environmental Justice

The Department of Justice announced the creation of a new Office of Environmental Justice that will serve as a "central hub" for the department's efforts to advance its "comprehensive environmental justice enforcement strategy."

The new office within the Department of Justice was announced on Thursday by Attorney General Merrick Garland and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan along with stating a "series of actions" that will be taken to "secure environmental justice for all Americans."

One of the objectives of the newly formed Office of Environmental Justice is to work with the Environmental Protection Agency and other federal investigative agencies to "develop or enhance investigatory agencies’ protocols for assessing the environmental justice impacts during investigations."

Attorney General Merrick Garland steps away from the podium after speaking at a news conference at the Justice Department in Washington, Monday, Nov. 8, 2021.
Attorney General Merrick Garland steps away from the podium after speaking at a news conference at the Justice Department in Washington, Monday, Nov. 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

As part of the series of actions announced on Thursday, each U.S. Attorney’s Office is being tasked to designate an environmental justice coordinator within their office, who will then identify "areas of environmental justice concern" in areas within their district. The environmental justice coordinator will also be tasked with creating and publicizing a procedure for individuals to report environmental justice concerns.

U.S. Attorneys and other Department of Justice components are also being encouraged as part of the plan to create "environmental enforcement task forces" that can be used as a tool to pursue environmental justice enforcement matters, according to the series of actions announced.

Garland said that the new Office of Environmental Justice will "prioritize the cases that will have the greatest impact on the communities most overburdened by environmental harm."

"Although violations of our environmental laws can happen anywhere, communities of color, indigenous communities, and low-income communities often bear the brunt of the harm caused by environmental crime, pollution, and climate change," Garland said. "For far too long, these communities have faced barriers to accessing the justice they deserve. The Office of Environmental Justice will serve as the central hub for our efforts to advance our comprehensive environmental justice enforcement strategy. We will prioritize the cases that will have the greatest impact on the communities most overburdened by environmental harm."

The Department of Justice also announced an Interim Final Rule that will resume the usage of supplemental environmental projects that can be used in cases where communities are impacted by violations of federal environmental laws, which will "allow the government to more fully compensate victims, remedy harm, and punish and deter future violations."


India to reopen more than 100 coal mines as energy crisis deepens

India is planning to reopen more than 100 coal mines previously considered financially unsustainable, as a heatwave-driven power crisis forces the world's third-biggest greenhouse gas emitter to double down on the fuel after months of low consumption.

State-run Coal India (COAL.NS), which accounts for 80% of domestic coal output, saw production fall for two straight years ended March 2021 mainly due to a lack of demand during the COVID-19 pandemic. India also pushed utilities to cut imports of coal used for power generation to zero during that period.

But a recovery from the pandemic followed by an unrelenting heatwave boosting air conditioning use, has revived demand and the government is forcing utilities to step up imports and Coal India to ramp up production to address supply shortages.

On Friday, the coal ministry's top bureaucrat said the world's second-largest producer, importer and consumer of coal after China expected to increase output by up to 100 million tonnes in the next three years by reopening closed mines.

"Earlier we were hailed as bad boys because we were promoting fossil fuel and now we are in the news that we are not supplying enough of it," Coal Secretary Anil Kumar Jain told a conference aimed at attracting more private players into coal mining.

"This is a very courageous move by the ministry and Coal India to offer very quickly large supplies of coal."

Months of declining fuel inventories at power plants culminated in the worst power crisis in more than six years in April, disrupting industrial activity and forcing India to accelerate coal mining.

A resurgence in India's hunger for coal could mean peak consumption is years away. The use of the fuel for power generation is seen growing at the fastest pace in over a decade this year.

"While we are stressing on developing renewable sources of energy, coal is also going to be one of the major contributors in energy production," Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi told the conference.

Power use touched a record high during a heat wave in April and while temperatures have eased this month, they are forecast to surge again soon. read more

India's power minister last month asked states to keep importing for the next three years. His ministry has also evoked an emergency law in a bid to restart generation at some idle power plants using imported coal. read more

India's moves are likely to provide prolonged support to global prices . While prices came off near-record highs this week, fears of the impact of sanctions on Russia - a key coal and gas supplier to Europe - and higher Chinese imports once lockdowns are lifted, have kept prices on the boil.


EU Using ‘Mindfulness’ to Combat Green Anxieties

Move over shrinks of Brussels! Climate crazy Eurocrats have a new way of handling their existential dread brought about by their understanding of climate change: “mindfulness”.

Derived largely from religious practices found within Buddhism, so-called “mindfulness” meditation is now believed by a number of major organisations to be mentally helpful for some people, with the UK’s socialised healthcare service even dedicating an entire webpage to explaining the possible values the practice can have for those living in the modern world.

However, according to a report by The Guardian, another organisation has found use for the self-help system which has been lambasted as “McMindfulness” by some critics: the European Union.

Seemingly afraid of the effect solving climate change could have on the psyche of its mandarins, the publication reports that the transnational bloc is now making those working on its Green New Deal-style climate policy take so-called “Inner Green Deal” courses.

The aim of these courses — the curriculum of which reportedly involves taking walks in the Belgian woods and feeling empathy for trees and woodland creatures — is to curb the existential dread caused by having extreme fears to do with climate change.

“There is less eco-anxiety,” The Guardian reports Jeroen Janss, who is said to be running the courses, as saying.

Janss also noted that participants also often experienced strong emotions such as deep sadness, frustration, guilt and lack of hope when being told certain pieces of information in relation to climate change, and that the “Inner Green Deal” courses have helped them better “regulate” those feelings.

While the bloc’s officials are off prancing in the woods, fretting about climate change, the European Union finds itself confronted with problems of existential proportions.

First of all is the issue of fuel, which is quickly becoming a commodity that is in short supply thanks to the globalist-leaning bloc slapping sanction after sanction on Vladimir Putin’s Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.

However, thanks in part to the European elite’s obsession with green politics, Europe has struggled to shift reliance off of Russian energy, with some MEPs now lambasting bigwigs across the continent for failing to cultivate resources already present on the continent.


Barclays bank defies green activists to back oil and gas

Barclays has defied green activists with a pledge to invest in new oil and gas projects to help Europe wean itself off Russian fossil fuel.

The bank said that it intends to take a "pragmatic" approach to energy projects amid fears that supplies risk running short across Europe following Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine.

Bosses pledged to continue investment in oil and gas as a climate protester glued herself to a chair at the lender's annual general meeting in Manchester and fellow bank Standard Chartered was hit by protests in its own AGM.

It comes amid a reappraisal of fossil fuels across the City. Many finance companies have sought to cut down on their investments in the industry over climate change concerns in the past few years, with Norway's $1.4 trillion (£1.1 trillion) sovereign wealth fund announcing plans to sell out of oil and coal as long ago as 2019.

However, bankers and investors are now rethinking their position as the West scrambles to free itself from Russian influence.

In a document sent to shareholders, Barclays said: "The appalling invasion of Ukraine is starting to result in energy supply pressures in Europe and increased concerns over energy security and affordability, which governments will need support in addressing.

“We believe the financial services industry therefore needs to take a considered and pragmatic approach to near-term energy requirements.

"Barclays will participate fully in this discussion, alongside governments, businesses and other stakeholders.”

The bank said it was also “impractical” to restrict financing for expanding existing oil and gas projects, arguing this would have little impact as companies finance exploration from their own cash flows.

It added: “We believe continuing to support those companies that are transitioning is the right approach."

FTSE 100 producer Shell is expected to throw a fresh focus on energy prices on Thursday by unveiling record quarterly profits as Britain votes in local elections.

Analysts expect the company to announce a profit of £7bn, following rival BP’s £5.4bn profit announced on Tuesday.

Oil and gas prices have been high for months owing to the disruption caused by Russia’s war on Ukraine, as well as higher demand after the end of lockdowns.

The surge has sparked a cost of living crisis in the UK, triggering calls for a windfall tax to help households with a 54pc average hike in their energy bills.

Economists poured cold water on the proposal, saying it will deter investment and fail to raise enough money to make a meaningful difference.

James Smith, an analyst at ING, said the windfall tax proposed by Labour will not be enough to help households.

Barclays is seeking to reach net zero carbon emissions from its activities by 2050. The bank said that under its emissions targets, it effectively has “a carbon budget for financing oil and gas producers that is consistent” with keeping global warming within 1.5C.

Chairman Nigel Higgins told investors he hoped the company had “got the balance right” as it seeks to address climate concerns and support companies shifting to greener energy.

However, the proposals sparked protests from activists who set off fire alarms and criticised the bank for “greenwashing”.

One climate protestor reportedly shouted: “Your climate policy is not worth the paper it’s written on.”

Activists also reportedly targeted rival bank Standard Chartered’s meeting in London were heard chanting, "Life on Earth before your profit, Standard Chartered, please just stop it”.




1 comment:

Bird of Paradise said...

Just another Government Buracracy to have to put up with under that Bean Brain Joe Biden