“The potential for executive action to jumpstart the transition that we need — to reorient our democracy for democratic engagement and redress historic inequities — is huge,” said Adrien Salazar, a senior campaign strategist with progressive think tank Dēmos. “If we're setting up the stage for a Green New Deal, we have to fight to ensure that those policies that a president can pass through executive action are also explicitly designed to address racial and economic equity, along with the climate crisis." [...]
To begin to address this, Salazar, of Dēmos, spoke to how the next president could use executive orders to make it so “any proposed policies that address climate and energy [need] to have an equity assessment and a process for stakeholder engagement,” especially for those stakeholders who will be most harmed by the climate crisis. This is one of the executive orders that Dēmos, alongside partner organizations, is proposing in a forthcoming list of executive actions addressing environmental justice.
Salazar also underscored the need for “cumulative impact assessments,” which would take into account multiple and interacting ecological and health hazards when evaluating a decision that impacts communities, like a proposed infrastructure project. The president could establish these right away via an executive order, requiring them to be a part of all EPA decisions. “Communities on the frontlines of pollution have been fighting for this kind of assessment for a very long time,” said Salazar.