Tony Reames, Senior Advisor, Office of Economic Impact and Diversity

DOE Welcomes New Biden-Harris Appointees Tony G. Reames was most recently a professor of environment and sustainability at the University of Michigan, where he established the Urban Energy Justice Lab to conduct research and develop solutions on the production and persistence of racial, income, and geographic disparities in energy access, affordability, decision making, and participation. Reames served as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and worked…

New Article: Exploring Residential Rooftop Solar Potential in the United States by Race and Ethnicity

Over the last decade, the United States has experienced continued growth in residential rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) adoption. However, solar adoption disparities have been shown across household income, homeownership status, and more recently racial and ethnic demographics. A key component to ensuring a just clean energy transition is understanding the existing landscape to establish realistic goals. Motivated by studies on solar adoption disparities, this descriptive study aims to evaluate the…

Pandemics and protests: America has experienced racism like this before

By JPB Fellow Jennifer D. Roberts “Riot Sweeps Chicago” should sound and feel intuitively familiar. However, this headline covered the front pages of a newspaper over a hundred years ago. Named the “Red Summer of 1919”, a spate of violence and bloodshed occurred from April to November 1919 with riots, lynchings, and mobs across the country. Hundreds of African American lives were claimed and hundreds more were left maimed and homeless. The most violent…

New Publication: Structural Racism and the COVID-19 Experience in the United States

The long, fallacious history of attributing racial disparities in public health outcomes to biological inferiority or poor decision making persists in contemporary conversations about the COVID-19 pandemic. Given the disproportionate impacts of this pandemic on communities of color, it is essential for scholars, practitioners, and policymakers to focus on how structural racism drives these disparate outcomes. In May and June 2020, we conducted a 6-state online survey to examine racial/ethnic…

E-Recycling Is a New Industry with Old Inequities

Electronics keep getting cheaper and becoming obsolete faster. And of the world’s estimated 53.6 million tons of electronic waste in 2020, only 17.4 percent is appropriately recycled. But even proper e-recycling has its dangers, exposing workers to toxic metals such as lead and cadmium, as well as toxic chemicals—all of it usually ground into a fine powder that’s easy to melt down for new gadgets, but also easy to inhale…

Why We Need to Fill the Green Space Gap

Closing the disparities in access to nature is imperative for health and social justice. “Go outside and play!” Countless parents have said this to their kids in the hopes of finding a few quiet moments. But it turns out to be scientifically sound advice, too. A raft of research shows that being outdoors rewards us. A dose of nature can boost creativity, elicit experiences of awe that increase altruism, and improve mental health outcomes. According…

Overlapping vulnerabilities in workers of the electronics recycling industry formal sector: A commentary

Vulnerabilities in workers performing electronics recycling (e‐recycling) in the informal sector worldwide have been well documented. However, the growing e‐recycling industry in the formal sector still brings many challenges to protect the health of workers and their environment. This commentary aims to draw attention to the overlooked vulnerabilities faced by the workers of the e‐recycling industry formal sector in high‐income countries and discuss the potential impact on health inequalities experienced…

New Article: Metals and Particulates Exposure from a Mobile E-Waste Shredding Truck: A Pilot Study

The US electronics recycling industry has introduced a novel mobile electronic waste (e-waste) shredding truck service to address increasing needs for secure data destruction of e-waste. These trucks can shred small electronics with data security concerns at remote locations for a wide variety of clients. Shredding jobs usually involve hand-feeding electronic waste (e-waste) for 4–10 h day−1, 1–5 days. Shredding of e-waste has been documented as a source of high…

How Trees Can Help Us Fight a Pandemic

As the world grapples with the devastation of the coronavirus, one thing is clear: The United States simply wasn’t prepared. Despite repeated warnings from infectious disease experts over the years, we lacked essential beds, equipment, and medication; public health advice was confusing, and our leadership offered no clear direction while sidelining credible health professionals and institutions. Infectious disease experts agree that it’s only a matter of time before the next pandemic hits,…

Risk Of Preterm Births Significantly Greater Near Natural Gas Flaring Sites, Study Finds

Texas Standard interviewed JPB Fellow Lara Cushing, associate professor of environmental health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, who co-led a study published in Environmental Health Perspectives that found the risk of premature births is 50% higher for mothers near natural gas flaring in Texas’ Eagle Ford Shale oil and gas region. In the mid 2010s, the Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas was among the most productive…