In case you missed it, White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Brenda Mallory joined Washington Post Live this week to discuss President Biden’s historic environmental justice agenda and how the Biden-Harris Administration is leading by example on federal sustainability.

Watch HERE, and see below for highlights:

The Washington Post: This is Climate | Sustainable Cities

On environmental justice: “One of the reasons that I am so thrilled to have the opportunity to work for this President and this Administration is because environmental justice has been centered in the work that we do all across the board, in the way that it integrates with everything… The work that we are doing not only to embed environmental justice as an ethos within the federal government, but also across America, is really going to be important.”

On Justice40: “The President started on the campaign trail actually recognizing the importance of this issue and the place that we are in this country and how much work is still needed to address the kind of inequities in our structures. And made some commitments to the environmental justice communities and to the public, in general, that we were going to make sure that communities that have historically been underinvested in receive attention, receive the resources, receive the kind of protection that our systems offer. And that’s basically what we’ve been doing since day one.”

On impacts on the ground: “We have funding that’s been directed to communities in New Mexico for school buses. The use of electric school buses is a huge way to address… pollution and also climate change. Money has gone to removal of lead pipes. The President was just in Philadelphia a few weeks ago and $500 million was given in Philadelphia for the removal of lead pipes. That’s obviously been an issue that the President’s been focused on.”

On engaging communities: “In the first week, the President issued an executive order, 14008, which not only lays out our climate agenda and the approach that we’re taking on those issues, but it specifically calls for a focus on environmental justice in ways that bring communities and community voices and lived experiences into the White House so that we are making sure that’s part of what we are considering when we are looking at policies.”

On federal sustainability: “It’s important that we are there to lead by example, and that is absolutely true when it comes to the federal government. We have a footprint, a $650 billion spend footprint. We are the largest employer in the nation. We have the most real estate in the nation, and so these all give us tools that are really important for us to take advantage of.”

On the President’s Investing in America agenda: “[The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act] are incredible achievements for the President… they are really the anchors on which we’re able to do a lot of the things that we had talked about historically, and particularly on climate. This is the largest climate investment ever, anywhere. And I think that both of those are enabling us to actually deploy funding in ways that we weren’t able to, both in grant funding – so the school buses and the lead pipes that I just described – but also in ways to help communities understand the impacts they’re facing.”


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