Morning Brief: Environmental groups confront racist past, speak out against institutional prejudice


Prominent groups in the environmental movement — which has struggled with a racist past — are speaking out against institutional prejudice and calling for the movement to better prioritize social justice. The League of Conservation Voters, Earthjustice,, and the Sierra Club also issued statements condemning the killing of George Floyd and vowing to work towards racial justice. “There is no just recovery for climate, without addressing the systemic extraction, harm and violence towards Black communities,” said in a statement on its website. Source: Grist

No rate change for residential solar in Arkansas: Solar advocates won at least a temporary victory when the Arkansas Public Service Commission issued an order maintaining current rate structures for existing residential and rooftop solar-power users through the end of 2022. Electric utility providers, however, can seek a grid fee on new commercial and industrial solar projects. Regulatory approval would be required for any new grid charges. Source: Arkansas Democrat Gazette (Arkansas ranked 36th in solar states in 2019 with 220 MW installed, according to SEIA.)

House Democratic leadership is preparing energy and environmental legislation for floor debate. The long-awaited infrastructure package may finally provide some relief for clean energy advocates who have patiently been awaiting congressional action to address the hundreds of thousands of jobs lost in the sector from Covid-19. The centerpiece of the package will be the $760 billion framework unveiled by House Democrats in January. The plan, dubbed “Moving Forward,” includes $34.3 billion for clean energy. Source: E&E News

The UK’s electricity system recorded its “greenest” ever month in May after running without coal-fired electricity for a full calendar month, according to The National Grid, the energy system operator. Wind and solar power made up about 28% of Britain’s electricity last month, narrowly behind gas-fired power generation, which made up 30% of the energy mix. The record low demand for electricity during lockdown has left little role for the UK’s last remaining coal power plants. Source: The Guardian

Nearmap, an aerial imagery company has made generally available Nearmap Artificial Intelligence, a series of datasets constructed from machine learning models deployed across Nearmap high-definition aerial images. The program allows users to identify ground features, from tree overhang to residential footprints, track changes and verify insights against current aerial imagery at massive scale, and is available to both businesses and local governments. Source: Nearmap

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