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LISTEN: Shalanda Baker On Advancing Racial Justice In The Transition To Clean Energy

Adam Glanzman
Northeastern University
Shalanda Baker is the new deputy director for energy justice at the U.S. Department of Energy.

A professorfrom Northeastern University in Boston is bringing a “justice first” mindset to President Joe Biden’s Department of Energy. Shalanda Baker has been appointed deputy director for energy justice.

In an interview with NEXTBaker said that our current energy system works against communities of color and low- to moderate-income communities. That’s what she argues in her new book, “Revolutionary Power: An Activist’s Guide to the Energy Transition.” Baker contends that a transition to clean energy must take a “justice first” approach rather than tackling climate first and justice later.

“Low- to moderate-income communities and households face very different challenges, and so our electricity system should actually be supporting them, and the ways that we respond to climate change, and the way that we design energy policy should make sure that their needs are most visible,” Baker told NEXT.

Baker said she is excited to bring that perspective to her new role in the Department of Energy.

“I think we have such a moment of opportunity to really make an energy system that serves all of us,” Baker said.

This interview was featured on NEXT from the New England News Collaborative. Listen to the entire show here.

Morgan Springer is the host/producer for the weekly show NEXT and the New England News Collaborative, a ten-station consortium of public radio newsrooms. She joined WNPR in 2019. Before working at Connecticut Public Radio, Morgan was the news director at Interlochen Public Radio in northern Michigan, where she launched and co-hosted a weekly show Points North.

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