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Waterbury Native, Head Of Federal Environmental Council, Speaks On Biden's Green Agenda

The head of the federal Council on Environmental Quality spoke this week about the Biden administration’s environmental goals. Brenda Mallory, a native of Waterbury, Connecticut, said America has for decades failed to deliver on its basic obligation to provide clean air and water to everyone. 

“The burdens associated with climate change, harmful pollution and decades of disinvestment in American infrastructure have disproportionately fallen on low-income communities and communities of color,” Mallory said.

Mallory said Black people are almost three times more likely to die from asthma-related causes than white people. 

Mallory, who spoke Tuesday during an online gathering of the Business Forward Foundation, said President Joe Biden would like to expand the country’s infrastructure for electric vehicles to help clean up our country’s air.

She called attention to one particular goal that she characterized as “ambitious.”

“The federal government owns a massive fleet of vehicles, and the president has pledged to make them all electric. This will increase demand for American-made, American-sourced electric cars and trucks,” Mallory said.

Mallory did not provide details on how the federal government expects to facilitate that transition, which would also include the entire fleet of the U.S. Postal Service. 

Right now, only a small fraction of the federal government’s fleet is electric. 

Mallory was confirmed by the United States Senate in April as the 12th chair of the Council on Environmental Quality. She is the first African American to serve in the position.

Patrick Skahill is a reporter and digital editor at Connecticut Public. Prior to becoming a reporter, he was the founding producer of Connecticut Public Radio's The Colin McEnroe Show, which began in 2009. Patrick's reporting has appeared on NPR's Morning Edition, Here & Now, and All Things Considered. He has also reported for the Marketplace Morning Report. He can be reached at pskahill@ctpublic.org.

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