Defend democracy in the South.

Environment

From the Archives: Dumping on Warren County

September 30, 2022 - To mark the 40th anniversary of the groundbreaking protests against North Carolina's plans to dump toxic waste in a rural Black community, we reprint from the 1988 Southern Exposure book titled "Environmental Politics" an essay and photos about the struggle by Jenny Labalme, who reported on it as an undergraduate at Duke University.

VOICES: Ben Chavis on the environmental justice movement's past and future

September 28, 2022 - The famed civil rights leader who coined the phrase "environmental racism" in a North Carolina jail recently delivered the Robert R. Wilson Distinguished Lecture at Duke University Chapel in Durham. Titled "Environmental Justice: Past, Present, and Future" and shared here, his talk commemorated the 40th anniversary of protests over toxic waste dumping in a rural Black community that sparked the environmental justice movement.

NC hog farm buyout failure leaves vulnerable communities at risk

July 21, 2022 - North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) pushed for the new state budget to allocate millions of dollars to close hog farms, which are concentrated in environmental justice communities in the state's increasingly flood-prone east. But the Republican-controlled state legislature, where the industry is a powerful force, passed a budget without the funds — and Cooper signed it.  

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.