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April 13, 2016 by Brian Gumm

New Paper: Best Practices for Protecting, Empowering Vulnerable Communities in Face of Climate Change

NEWS RELEASE: New Paper Showcases Best Practices for Protecting, Empowering Vulnerable Gulf Coast Communities in the Face of Climate Change

Most Americans understand the importance of curbing greenhouse gas emissions to prevent a climate catastrophe in the future. But many communities are already feeling the effects of our warming planet. Impacts on the Gulf Coast are particularly challenging. In a new paper released today, the Center for Progressive Reform (CPR) highlights recommendations and best practices for protecting and empowering vulnerable communities as they adapt to climate change. The release comes ahead of an April 15 forum in New Orleans on risk reduction strategies for Louisiana coastal areas. 

The paper, Climate Change, Resilience, and Fairness: How Nonstructural Adaptation Can Protect and Empower Socially Vulnerable Communities on the Gulf Coast, explains that many communities in the region are intimately tied to the area's environment and rich natural resources; local families depend on the land and sea for jobs in fishing, shrimping, and tourism. The effects of climate change, from rising sea levels to stronger, more damaging storms, can threaten the livelihoods of these communities, many of which are socially and economically marginalized. 

"Working together, residents and political leaders can protect coastal …

April 8, 2016 by Brian Gumm
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On April 6, U.S. District Court Judge Irene Berger sentenced former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship to one year in jail and a $250,000 fine for conspiring to violate federal health and safety standards at the Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia. The mine exploded and killed 29 miners in April 2010. 

In an April 7 New York Times op-ed, CPR Member Scholar Rena Steinzor, Professor of Law at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, explained the significance of Blankenship's conviction and sentence and what it portends for other top managers and CEOs: 

"The first C.E.O. ever to be convicted of conspiring to violate industrial safety standards will soon take his place in prison. 

"The sentence is noteworthy, however, not because of the law, but in spite of it. The Mine Safety and Health Act, the statute …

March 31, 2016 by Brian Gumm
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When it comes to public health, the environment, and social justice, Americans are facing a host of challenges that call out for comprehensive, national solutions. Whether it's climate change, threats to water resources like the Chesapeake Bay and the Great Lakes, or serious injuries and deaths in the workplace, how we respond as a nation has direct impacts on our everyday lives.

Strong standards and effective enforcement of our laws and regulations are key to protecting our health and environment, and the next presidential administration and Congress will determine if and how agencies like EPA and OSHA rise to the occasion. The University of Pennsylvania Law School will examine these issues and more when it hosts a panel discussion in Philadelphia on Tuesday, April 5 titled, "The Next Five Years in Regulation: An Election Year Conversation."

Rena Steinzor, a Center for Progressive Reform Member Scholar and …

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