Protecting Communities in The Covid-19 Era
Demanding Accountability: In Pennsylvania, the state declined to police a potentially radioactive oil and gas spill until “after the shutdown concludes.” In Louisiana, some parishes experienced COVID-19 death rates of 5x the national average, due at least in part to decreased air quality from oil and gas pollution. And in Washington, D.C., the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) responded to COVID-19 by loosening oversight of oil and gas companies, opening the door for more pollution across the nation. We publicized Pennsylvania’s unwillingness to police oil and gas operations and forced them to change their policy. In Louisiana, we are partnering with local organizations to protect the residents of “Cancer Alley” from a proposed plastics production project that would only increase air pollution. And in D.C. we continued to demand tough oversight of extractive industries, changing the conversation on oil, gas, and mining.
Standing with Frontline Communities: There is a proven correlation between COVID-19 fatalities and preexisting air pollution from oil and gas facilities. Your contributions to our COVID-19 relief fund provided aid to communities facing the greatest health risks from the pandemic. More than $20,000 was distributed to 14 frontline activists and grassroots groups, many of them Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) across Texas, Louisiana, and New Mexico.
Reaffirming Our Values: In the wake of the police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and other Black Americans, we reaffirmed our commitment to challenging and dismantling the systemic oppression that allows these tragedies to continue. With your support we raised funds for Black-led organizations working at the intersection of race and the environment.