With environmental and climate groups finally making a bigger push to address environmental racism, and standing in solidarity with the Movement for Black Lives, deniers have found their very clever response: it’s not pollution, but environmental policies that hurt Black communities.
To be fair, when people like industry-funded CFACT’s Paul Driessen talk about how renewables (and basically any other technology or battery) need rare earth minerals, some of which are sourced from mines in Africa operating with child labor and no environmental oversight, he’s not necessarily wrong. But environmental health policies in the US don’t force companies to cynically exploit the lack of child labor and environmental law enforcement in Africa. That’s still the companies behaving badly!
And, always, companies are behaving badly. For the latest, go on over to E&E for Corbin Hiar’s story exposing an attempt to co-opt the Black community.
Here’s the short version: On June 3rd, communications firm called CRC Advisors sent out a press release alleging that the Green New Deal “would bring particular harm to minority communities,” and offered up a couple of Black conservatives, a former Republican official named Ken Blackwell, and Derrick Hollie, an anti-GND, pro-gas advertising professional we’ve discussed before.
At the end of the email was this disclaimer: “If you would rather not receive future communications from Chevron, let us know by clicking here.”
Nevertheless, the Daily Wire appears to have taken the bait on June 4th, with a story featuring quotes from both.
On June 5th, Chevron made a statement and tweeted that “black lives matter” (in Chevron’s all lower-case, “aren’t we a hip cool company” font and style) which generated plenty of pushback given the company’s product disproportionately harms Black lives.
And the company itself is hardly a leader in safety. For example, Ilana Coehn’s story detailing the blowback describes how when Chevron’s refinery in Richmond, a California town that’s 20% Black and 41% Latinx, caught fire in 2012. Chevron pleaded “no contest” on six criminal charges and paid $2 million in fines after 15,000 people sought medical attention for breathing problems from inhaling the toxic smoke. According to Doria Robinson, one of the refinery’s fires “ate the paint off Mom’s car,” for which Chevron offered $500 in compensation. (Her mother didn’t take it because what she was really worried about was the health cost of that paint-peeling smoke in her family’s lungs.)
Despite the fact that Chevron made its own "black lives matter" statement just two days after CRC sent this pitch, and despite the fact that Chevron has long paid CRC for services, the company told E&E that they weren’t involved in the pitch.
CRC claimed it was “a clerical error.”
We’ll give them this: it certainly was an error.