For years, activists have been pushing for government recognition of what’s known as environmental justice, the broad movement to provide restitution to communities that have suffered disproportionate harm. The $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill that passed the Senate earlier this month fell short of their wishes, advocates say. But Congress gets another chance in the $3.5 trillion budget and spending plan lawmakers are now writing.

As Michigan lawmakers and environmentalists are working to mitigate the effects of recent natural disasters fueled by climate change across the state, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report last week highlighting that global warming is posing more of an immediate existential threat than previously thought. 

Charles Morris writes, “Our faith teaches us to look out for one another to address the crises before us, and as our nation continues to recover, we must now turn our attention to the climate crisis and environmental justice. A bold investment in clean energy infrastructure currently being discussed in Washington would do just that. This is an opportunity to invest in a clean energy future while addressing the injustices of the past.”

In his first week in office, President Joe Biden paused new oil and gas leasing on federal lands as his administration reviewed fossil fuel development policy. Now that Interior Secretary Deb Haaland has taken office, the administration is gearing up to begin that process. A forum comprising the energy industry, conservation groups, labor organizations and others will meet virtually March 25 in the first public event of the review.

General Motors Company, which has been at the forefront of advanced powertrain research, offers just one fully electric vehicle — the Chevy Bolt. No hydrogen-powered vehicles are on the near horizon. Nevertheless, GM pushed the bar higher last month, surprising the auto industry by saying it plans to sell only “zero-emission” light-duty vehicles by 2035. That’s just 14 years, or little more than two new product cycles away.