Earthjustice Praises Biden’s Choice to Head Council on Environmental Quality

Brenda Mallory is a revered environmental expert committed to protecting everyone, including the most vulnerable, from environmental pollution


Stephen Schima, Earthjustice, (503) 830-5753

“Brenda Mallory is an outstanding choice to lead the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ). She has a wealth of experience and expertise. Equally important, she holds a deep commitment to protecting everyone, including the most vulnerable, from environmental pollution. By nominating Mallory, President-elect Biden is sending a strong signal that his administration is prepared to take the steps necessary to address the climate and biodiversity crises and take meaningful action to combat environmental injustice,” said Stephen Schima, senior legislative counsel at Earthjustice. 

Mallory is the Director of Regulatory Policy at the Southern Environmental Law Center. Prior to her current role, she served as Acting General Counsel and Principal Deputy General Counsel at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and General Counsel at CEQ during the Obama Administration. 

As chair of CEQ, Mallory would serve as the President’s top in-house environmental advisor, guiding environmental policy decisions across the federal government. From land use and protecting endangered species to addressing environmental justice issues, CEQ plays a critical role in setting policy and advising the President. 

Massive changes are needed to protect the nation from environmental harm. 

“When Mallory takes office, three things must rise to the top of her agenda: restoring the regulations implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), strengthening environmental justice for those who have been most burdened by pollution, and swift and comprehensive action on climate change,” said Schima

“Trump’s decision to gut NEPA for the benefit of corporate polluters silenced the public’s voice and put frontline communities’ health, air, and water at risk. People must have a say before a dangerous pipeline is run past their child’s school, or the state or federal government builds a highway through their neighborhood,” Schima said. 

In this time when the nation is grappling with its role in perpetuating historic and structural racism, we must seek an end to environmental discrimination and the ways in which communities of color have been targeted by harmful pollution.

“We must clean up legacy pollution, carefully consider cumulative impacts of federal decisions, and empower communities to meaningfully participate in decisions impacting their health and livelihood,” Schima said, adding: “We need bold policy, action, and leadership to achieve environmental justice,” 

Lastly, we must strengthen our commitment to combating climate change. 

“We must dramatically strengthen the nation’s efforts to stop climate change and move quickly to transition to clean energy, prioritizing communities that have borne the brunt of pollution from fossil fuels,” Schima said. 

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Earthjustice is the premier nonprofit environmental law organization. We wield the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect people's health, to preserve magnificent places and wildlife, to advance clean energy, and to combat climate change. We are here because the earth needs a good lawyer.