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State Impact Center Applauds AG Becerra's New Bureau of Environmental Justice

February 22, 2018
Contact: stateimpactcenter@nyu.edu
Washington, D.C. – David Hayes, executive director of the State Energy & Environmental Impact Center at NYU School of Law and former deputy secretary of the Department of the Interior during the Obama and Clinton administrations, releasing the following statement after California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced the establishment of a new Bureau of Environmental Justice at the California Department of Justice:
“From fighting bad environmental actors in the Golden State, opposing rate hikes at California’s national parks and combatting ‘bomb trains’ that pose unacceptable risks of a crude oil explosion, Attorney General Becerra has consistently advocated for low-income communities and communities of color. This new Bureau will add to these efforts and help to ensure no community is left behind when it comes to protections from dangerous and misguided environmental actions and policies. Given the Trump Administration’s troubling dismantling of crucial safeguards, the establishment of this Bureau could not come at a better time.”
Among other actions, Attorney General Becerra in November led a coalition of state attorneys general in opposing the Administration’s “cruel deception” in seeking to double and triple entry fees for the nation’s most popular National Parks, including four parks within California: Yosemite National Park, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, and Joshua Tree National Park. AG Becerra wrote, “All Americans should have access to these lands, especially communities that the Service’s surveys show have often been underrepresented, including inner city children and Hispanic-American and African-American populations.”
In May, Attorney General Becerra urged the Trump Administration “to immediately close a loophole to prevent highly flammable, highly explosive crude oil from being shipped by freight rail via so-called ‘bomb trains’ through communities in California, including the highly populated San Bernardino-Riverside and San Luis Obispo regions. High hazard areas for derailments would exist along every freight rail route in California. Many of these areas are also adjacent to California’s most sensitive ecological areas.”
The State Energy & Environmental Impact Center is a non-partisan Center at the NYU School of Law that is dedicated to helping state attorneys general fight against regulatory rollbacks and advocate for clean energy, climate change, and environmental values and protections. It was launched in August 2017 with support from Bloomberg Philanthropies. For more information, visit http://www.law.nyu.edu/centers/state-impact.