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Is renewable power reaching the people and are the people reaching the power? Creating a just transition from the ground-up




Farrell, Caroline, author
Stano, Madeline, author

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This article will examine how the Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment (CRPE) and the residents we work with are planning a Just Transition in the historic heart of California's oil and gas industry. Like many extractive-based economies, the oil and gas industry has created dependence and cycles of poverty. Tied to oil and gas for its economic growth, yet overburdened by its pollution, California reflects the paradox facing many extractive economies around the world. The article will discuss how state climate policies and targeted private investment can be implemented at the local level to improve community health, build community wealth, and create accountable governance systems that benefit low-income communities and communities of color. We will begin by discussing the Environmental Justice's Movements definition of a Just Transition. We will also discuss how California's climate policy has evolved over the last few years to incorporate elements of a Just Transition Framework. Finally, the article will discuss the case study of Arvin, CA, a low-income Latino community in the heart of the oil and gas industry we are working with to plan a project to become 100% fossil fuel free.


Presented at the Environmental justice in the Anthropocene symposium held on April 24-25, 2017 at the Lory Student Center, Colorado State University, Fort Collins Colorado. This symposium aims to bring together academics (faculty and graduate students), independent researchers, community and movement activists, and regulatory and policy practitioners from across disciplines, research areas, perspectives, and different countries. Our overarching goal is to build on several decades of EJ research and practice to address the seemingly intractable environmental and ecological problems of this unfolding era. How can we explore EJ amongst humans and between nature and humans, within and across generations, in an age when humans dominate the landscape? How can we better understand collective human dominance without obscuring continuing power differentials and inequities within and between human societies? What institutional and governance innovations can we adopt to address existing challenges and to promote just transitions and futures?
Includes bibliographical references.

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fossil fuels
renewable energy
energy production
climate policy


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