The White House today named the 26 members of the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council, a new body created to support the Biden-Harris administration’s efforts to advance environmental justice nationwide by using all levers of the federal government.
The White House has appointed Appalachian Voices Executive Director Tom Cormons to serve on the volunteer council. The fellow members bring great wisdom and experience from across the nation and from a diverse range of communities and lived experiences. Appalachian Voices is honored to work with them and with Council on Environmental Quality Senior Director for Environmental Justice Dr. Cecilia Martinez, and to bring perspectives from our region to the table.
President Biden established the advisory council in his January 27 Executive Order, Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad. It will advise and provide recommendations to the chair of the CEQ and to the newly established White House Environmental Justice Interagency Council. The volunteer advisory council will augment the work of the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council, established in 1993 to advise the administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on environmental justice issues.
Statement from Tom Cormons, Executive Director of Appalachian Voices:
“The steps that the president, vice president and Dr. Cecilia Martinez of CEQ are taking to expeditiously prioritize America’s commitment to environmental justice through a whole-of-government approach are urgently needed. I am honored to be involved and eager to dig in.
“Appalachian Voices works with communities whose land and water have been devastated by mountaintop removal coal mining and others whose historic subjugation has made them targets for the companies behind fracked-gas pipeline projects and toxic coal ash impoundments. It is past time to reverse this and ensure that these places and people become the beneficiaries of a clean energy economy. For environmental and energy policies to benefit communities and places that have been treated unfairly, these communities must play a central role in shaping these policies.”
Appalachian Voices is a leading nonprofit advocate for a healthy environment and just economy in the Appalachian region, and a driving force in America’s shift from fossil fuels to a clean energy future.