On Thursday, two of Joe Biden’s Cabinet members announced plans to create a new division within the Department of Justice that will focus on fighting for “environmental justice.”
As reported by Fox News, the joint announcement was made by Attorney General Merrick Garland and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan. The new Office of Environmental Justice (OEJ) will serve as a “central hub” for a “comprehensive environmental justice enforcement strategy,” and will soon lay out a “series of actions” that will be taken in order to ostensibly “secure environmental justice for all Americans.”
Michael Regan began his tenure as President Biden’s Environmental Protection Agency administrator by dismissing dozens of outside scientific advisers appointed during the previous administration — part of an effort to “ensure the agency receives the best possible scientific insight to support our work.”
At the time, Regan (pictured) called it a “reset.” Opponents grumbled that it looked more like “a purge.” Now, one of those advisers, Stanley Young, has filed a lawsuit in federal court accusing the agency of violating U.S. law; the suit also seeks an injunction to halt the work of his former committee.
The legal dustup is the latest rearguard action from the right on environmental issues. Conservatives see the case as their best chance to thwart the Biden administration’s multi-agency approach to combating climate change, seen as hostile to the fossil fuel industry.
A major pipeline used to deliver gasoline to the eastern U.S. has been shutdown by hackers, leading to higher gas prices and decreased availability in some areas of Virginia. The Colonial Pipeline was targeted by a ransomware cyber attack on Friday, and the company took some systems offline in response, leading to the pipeline shutdown.