Visiting Scholars Release White Papers on Environmental Justice Implications of U.S. EPA's Clean Power Plan

The Tishman Environment and Design Center at The New School in New York City fosters the integration of bold design, policy, and social justice approaches to environmental issues to advance just and sustainable outcomes in collaboration with communities. Visiting Scholars affiliated with the Tishman Center have released a series of White Papers focused on the environmental justice implications of the U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) rule.

The CPP is one of the most significant national environmental laws enacted in decades. As such, the CPP will set terms for how our nation tackles climate change mitigation broadly, and how we respond to the communities most impacted by this ecological crisis and the industries causing it.As courts rule on the progress of the CPP and states consider their implementation plans, this is a critical opportunity to examine the environmental justice (EJ) issues associated with this plan. The Visiting Scholars' papers take an in-depth look at specific issues in the CPP that impact environmental justice communities, including air pollution, carbon trading, challenges related to clean energy opportunities, incentives for dirty energy and the history of the EJ movement's engagement in climate policies.

Read the executive summary here.

Watch the webinar:

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The Scholars and their white papers are:

Dr_Nicky_SheatsDr. Nicky Sheats, Thomas Edison State University, New Jersey Environmental Justice Alliance; Achieving Emissions Reductions For Environmental Justice Communities Through Climate Change Mitigation PolicyDr. Sheats, Esq., is the Director of the Center for the Urban Environment of the John S. Watson Institute for Public Policy at Thomas Edison State University and has defined the primary mission of the Center as providing support for the environmental justice (EJ) community on both a state and national level. Dr. Sheats holds his BA in Economics from Princeton University, a MA in Public Policy from Harvard University, a JD from Harvard Law School, and a PhD from Harvard University in Earth and Planetary Science.Dr. Sheats is a founding member of the NJ EJ Alliance, the EJ Leadership Forum on Climate Change and the EJ and Science Initiative. He has been appointed to several federal and state advisory councils including the EPA’s National EJ Advisory Council, the EPA’s Clean Air Act Advisory Committee and the New Jersey Clean Air Council.This paper discusses the need for air pollution emissions reductions in environmental justice communities and offers a mechanism to achieve them through climate change mitigation policy. The paper also takes a critical look at these issues in relation to carbon trading and the CPP Rule.Contact Dr. Sheats at: Dr_Cecilia_MartinezDr. Cecilia Martinez, Center for Earth, Energy and Democracy; Environmental Justice And The Clean Power Plan: The Case of Energy EfficiencyDr. Martinez is the Co-Founder and Director of Research Programs at the Center for Earth, Energy and Democracy (CEED). Dr. Martinez has led a variety of projects to address sustainable development at the local and international levels. Her research is focused on the development of energy and environmental strategies that promote equitable and sustainable policies. Dr. Martinez holds a BA from Stanford University and a PhD in Urban Planning from the University of Delaware.This paper identifies the ways in which existing energy planning strategies are inequitable and illustrates a need for integrating environmental justice communities into renewable energy strategies. By highlighting issues of inequity in energy planning from an economic perspective, this paper articulates the importance for considering energy infrastructure transformation at the community level.Contact Dr. Martinez at: Dr_Ana_BaptistaDr. Ana Isabel Baptista, The New School; Garbage, Power And Environmental Justice: The Clean Power PlanDr. Baptista serves as the Associate Director of the Tishman Center and is an Assistant Professor of Professional Practice in Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management at The New School. She was most recently the Director of the Energy and Environment Program at the Regional Plan Association where she oversaw a diverse portfolio of issues ranging from climate change to greenspace preservation across the New York metropolitan region. Prior to RPA, Dr. Baptista was the Director of Environmental and Planning programs for the Ironbound Community Corporation for over seven years. Dr. Baptista holds a BA from Dartmouth College, a MA in Environmental Studies from Brown University, and a PhD from Rutgers University in Planning.This paper analyzes the environmental justice implications associated with the inclusion of waste incineration in the CPP rule. The paper examines the concerns related to the treatment of waste incineration as carbon neutral as well as strategies for environmental justice communities to challenge this provision in State Implementation Plans.Contact Dr. Baptista at:

These are papers in progress commissioned by The New School, with the intent that versions of them will be published by the William and Mary Environmental Law and Policy Review.
Please contact the Tishman Environment and Design Center at for more information.