ExxonMobil’s oil refinery in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, forms part of a cluster of petrochemical processing plants nicknamed ‘Cancer Alley’ in the southeast of the state.

Vampiric forces are afoot: in the week of Olivia Rogrigo’s new single, ‘Vampire’, Louisiana state attorney general and renowned ghoul Jeff Landry dealt a setback to environmental justice by attacking federal usage of the Civil Rights Act. In other news, the UK Court of Appeals put its foot through the government’s asylum seeker deportation plan, and a Paris administrative court will compel the gouvernement to address environmental damage from pesticides.

This is basically the EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] not using the full power of its environmental laws.

Read more: Two steps forward, one step back

The US EPA drafted proposals to compel the state of Louisiana to consider pollution permits with respect to racialised discrimintation and to existing environmental damage under the 1964 Civil Rights Act, according to documents obtained by Grist, but backed down after the state’s Republican attorney general sued the federal government in a general complaint over its use of anti-discrimination laws. Earthjustice’s Adam Kron and other lawyers cited by Grist claim the attorney general’s case stood on weak legal grounds, raising the possibility that the EPA, far from seeking to avoid a court battle, gave in to political pressure.

I reminded him again that the Philippines does not have a quarrel with China.

Rodrigo Duterte, former President of the Philippines and subject of an ongoing investigation by the International Criminal Court into extrajudicial killings, used an opportunity for comments following a meeting with the Chinese Ambassador this week to criticise a decision by his successor, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., to permit US installations on four military bases further to an existing five. Three of the locations adjoin the Luzon Strait between the Philippines and Taiwan, and another sits in the Philippines’ southwest adjoining the South China Sea.

La justice reconnaît l’intégralité du préjudice écologique et la responsabilité des pesticides dans l’effondrement du vivant. [The court recognises the entirety of ecological damage and the responsibility of pesticides in the collapse of living things.]

Le Monde quotes Julia Thibord, head of strategic litigation at the French charity POLLINIS, one of four organisations to have successfully sued the French state for failing to protect biodiversity and groundwater from pesticides. The Ministry of Agriculture repeatedly delayed a plan to halve their use between 2009 and 2019; sales instead increased by 14%, and the plan’s latest version no longer includes a reduction target.

The Environmental Protection Agency was the love of my life until it made Louisiana state attorney Jeff Landry mad.

Friday 30th June 2023