African American Environmentalist Association

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The African American Environmentalist Association was founded by Norris McDonald in 1985 and is described as the "membership and outreach arm" of the Center for Environment, Commerce & Energy, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, nonprofit organization. [1]


The Association is "dedicated to protecting the environment, enhancing human, animal, and plant ecologies, promoting the efficient use of natural resources, and increasing African American participation in the environmental movement". [2]

Among the group's program goals for 2007 are promoting: [3]

  • Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Construction
  • Photovoltaic & Wind Power Production
  • Nuclear Power Plant Construction
  • Uranium Enrichment
  • Spent Fuel Reprocessing
  • Mixed Oxide (MOX) Reprocessing
  • LNG [liquid natural gas]


The group is listed as a member of the nuclear astroturf groups, the Clean and Safe Energy Coalition,the New York Affordable Reliable Electricity Alliance and the New Jersey Affordable, Clean, Reliable Energy Coalition. Its founder is listed as a member of the Alliance for Sound Nuclear Policy and the Nuclear Fuels Reprocessing Coalition.

AAEA stances

Pro-nuclear power

According to McDonald, the Association supports "nuclear power because it is emission free. It produces no emissions that contribute to global warming and smog. It emits no mercury. It emits no particulates. It is a major plus for asthmatics like me". [4]

On July 15, 2008, AAEA testified "at a public hearing before the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) ... in Scriba, New York." According to the group's blog, its testimony "was helpful in getting approval in July of the license renewal for the James A. FitzPatrick nuclear power plant State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) permit and Water Quality Certification (WQC). ... FitzPatrick expects its 20-year license renewal from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) soon, extending the station’s current 40-year license to 2034." [5]

On liquid natural gas

In a December 2007 blog post titled "AAEA Supports Proposed ExxonMobil LNG Project," Norris McDonald presents a somewhat confusing picture of the organization's stance on liquid natural gas (LNG) plants.[6]

After declaring support for Exxon's proposed "floating liquefied natural gas plant 20 miles off the coast of New Jersey," McDonald adds: "Hopefully ExxonMobil will not make the same mistakes other projects have made." Referring to other LNG projects, AAEA "suggested partial minority ownership for these projects but the developers have not been receptive. Maybe this is part of the reason the projects are failing. Moreover, these proposed LNG facilities or their pipelines have a funny way of finding minority communities." [6]

McDonald adds: "The BHP Billiton project (Cabrillo Deepwater Port) near Malibu was rejected by the State of California, the AES proposal for Baltimore, Maryland is in limbo and the Broadwater Project proposal for the Long Island Sound does not appear to be moving forward. The Mitsubishi proposal in Long Beach failed due to its proxity to a minority community and a highly developed area. AAEA took no position on the Long Beach and Baltimore projects because of local community opposition." [6]

On "clean coal"

In a January 2008 blog post, Norris McDonald expressed support for "a new $1.8 billion 'clean coal' demonstration plant that will capture carbon dioxide and store it underground permanently." The plant will be located in Mattoon, Illinois, and is "a joint venture between the U.S. Department of Energy and the FutureGen Alliance, a non-profit consortium of coal producers and energy generators." [7]


The AAEA argues that the controverisal organophosphate chemical DDT (Dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane) "should be used to prevent deaths from malaria in African countries".

On Wise Use

Due to its pro-DDT stance, the AAEA promotes the views of right-wing Wise Use activists who share similar views.

In April 2004 McDonald spoke at a conference on Eco-Imperialism organized by Paul Driessen, and which also included Niger Innis of the Congress of Racial Equality, John Meredith of Project 21, C.S. Prakash of AgBioWorld, Sallie L. Baliunas of TechCentralStation, and Roger Bate of the American Enterprise Institute.[8] Both Baliunas and Bate are long-term climate sceptics.

The AAEA quotes Driessen's book on its website and gives links to Bate's Africa Fighting Malaria website. [9]

Backing Bush

Although Bush is widely internationally condemned for his lack of action on climate change, according to the AAEA "President George W. Bush understands the importance of the environment". Bush, says the Assocation, has "demonstrated a balanced approach to addressing the environment and the economy". He has "proposed numerous innovative environmental policies that are not generally covered by the press. We will continue to encourage him to implement and publicize his environmental agenda". [10]

On offshore drilling

In a September 2008 blog post, Norris McDonald opposed expanded offshore oil drilling. "The threat to our oceans and coastal areas is too great a risk to allow for oil drilling off the coasts of Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia and the gulf west of Florida," he stated. "Moreover, there is no need to risk our invaluable ocean environments and beaches because there is plenty of oil from shale in the Rocky Mountains and from coal-to-liquids." He added, "if legislation is passed to expand offshore oil drilling, the Congressional Black Caucus should consider attaching a Reparations Amendment to the bill. The reparation should be in the form of federal land offerings of forty acres to eligible families, preferably in the oil shale and coal areas." [11]

Criticisms of environmental groups

In contrast to its praise of George Bush, the Association routinely attacks mainstream environmental groups.

Fish eggs over asthmatic children

"The basic issue pits Hudson River fish eggs against asthmatic children and elderly in Harlem and the South Bronx," wrote AAEA's Dan Durett on the group's blog. Referring to a respected local environmental group, he added, "Riverkeeper chooses protection of some fish eggs over asthmatic children in Harlem. AAEA chooses asthmatic children and elderly over protection of some fish eggs." [12]

Greens are "prisoners" to the Democrats

McDonald labels the black and environmental communities "prisoners to the Democratic Party". He says "This leaves the communities out in the cold whenever the Republican Party wins ... So the biggest pains I deal with are close-minded people who are afraid to wander off the plantation. My fellow blacks and greens: Free your minds and your butts will follow".

McDonald also takes issue with the "opposition dogma" of the mainstream environmental movement that has a "philosophy of opposing everything." [13]

Nuclear weapons to power program

Environmentalists says McDonald, should "support conversion of highly enriched uranium and plutonium from warheads into fuel to be used in a new generation of nuclear power plants". [14]


The group's staff include: [15]

The group's board of directors include: [16]

Former board members include: [17]

Contact information

9903 Caltor Lane
Ft. Washington, MD 20744
Phone: 301-265-8185


Midwest office

Director James Mosley
5411 Park Drive
Newburgh, Indiana 47630
Phone: 812-760-0330

Texas chapter


Nigeria office

Director Ifeanyi Joshua Ezekwe
No 16 Bassie Ogamba Street
Off Adeniran Ogusanya Street
Surulere, Lagos, Nigeria
Phone: 234-1-8981503

Email: kleenmatesltd AT

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles


  1. "African American Environmentalist Association", accessed August 2007.
  2. "We're Lovin' It!: Norris McDonald, president of the African American Environmentalist Association, answers Grist's questions", Grist, April 4, 2005.
  3. "About Us," African American Environmentalist Association website, accessed August 28, 2007.
  4. "We're Lovin' It!: Norris McDonald, president of the African American Environmentalist Association, answers Grist's questions", Grist, April 4, 2005.
  5. Norris McDonald, "AAEA New York Helps With Power Plant License Renewal," African American Environmentalist Association - New York blog, August 25, 2008.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Norris McDonald, "AAEA Supports Proposed ExxonMobil LNG Project," AAEA blog, December 12, 2007.
  7. Norris McDonald, "DOE Selects 'Clean Coal' Demonstration Site," AAEA Midwest blog, January 11, 2008.
  8. "AAEA at National Press Club For Earth Day" African American Environmentalist Association Newsgroup, accessed December 2007
  9. "DDT Use It To Stop Deaths From Malaria In African Countries" African American Environmentalist Association Website, accessed December 2007
  10. "President Bush: Innovative Environmentalist" African American Environmentalist Association Website, accessed December 2007.
  11. Norris McDonald, "AAEA Opposes Expanded Offshore Oil Drilling," African American Environmentalist Association blog, September 13, 2008.
  12. Dan Durett, "Riverkeeper Worked To Exclude African American Environmentalist Association," African American Environmentalist Association - New York blog, September 12, 2008.
  13. "We're Lovin' It!: Norris McDonald, president of the African American Environmentalist Association, answers Grist's questions", Grist, April 4, 2005.
  14. "Black and Green and Read All Over Norris McDonald, president of the African American Environmentalist Association, answers readers' questions", Grist, April 8, 2005.
  15. "About Us," African American Environmentalist Association website, accessed August 28, 2007.
  16. "About Us," African American Environmentalist Association website, accessed August 28, 2007.
  17. "About Us," African American Environmentalist Association website, accessed August 28, 2007.

External resources

External articles