Defend democracy in the South.

Environment

NEPA restoration buoys Gulf Coast enviros' fight with Big Gas

May 13, 2022 - With almost 20 new natural gas projects slated to open this year alone in Louisiana and Texas, environmental health and justice activists in the region say the Biden administration's recent restoration of transparency provisions in the National Environmental Policy Act, rolled back by its predecessor, will provide a critical shield for them in their battle with the industry.  

Democratizing Mississippi's electric cooperatives

April 8, 2022 - Facing South talked with three organizers in the nation’s poorest state who are part of a movement to bring greater democracy to rural electric cooperatives. Founded during the New Deal to power communities the big private utilities refused to serve, co-ops today stand accused of a lack of inclusivity and transparency, which organizers are working to change.

TESTIMONY: Environmental Justice for All Act protects vulnerable communities

February 17, 2022 - The House Natural Resources Committee held a hearing this week on the Environmental Justice for All Act, which would strengthen protections for vulnerable communities from environmental health threats. We share the official testimony of Amy Laura Cahn, director of the Environmental Justice Clinic at the Vermont Law School, who discussed waste dumping in Alabama and pipeline construction in Virginia in making a case for the bill's transformative power.

From the Archives: Acts of God?

December 16, 2021 - In 2004, Southern Exposure, the print forerunner to Facing South, devoted an issue to examining just how natural so-called "natural disasters" are. The reporting and analysis resonate today as residents of Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, and Kentucky struggle to recover from a devastating December tornado outbreak — the impact of which was compounded by workplace policies that treated profits as more important than human lives.

INSTITUTE INDEX: How Build Back Better would transform dirty rural electric systems

December 1, 2021 - Born of the New Deal's anti-poverty initiatives, rural electric cooperatives today serve 42 million Americans, most in the South, Midwest, and Great Plains. They still depend heavily on coal, but the $1.8 trillion spending bill passed by the House has a provision giving billions of dollars to speed their transition to renewables. Will it survive corporate Democrats' obstructionism in the Senate?

VOICES: Frontline workers and communities demand real solutions at COP26

October 28, 2021 - Effective climate action should center the priorities of those first and most impacted, write Judy Anne Asman of the Just Transition Alliance and Jonathan Alingu of Central Florida Jobs With Justice. Their groups are leading a delegation of frontline workers and community organizers to participate inside and outside the upcoming 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland.