Bridging History, Shaping Our Future is this year's AANHPI Heritage Month theme. It is an homage to the ancestors of AA and NHPI people and invites all Americans to delve into the legacies, triumphs and challenges that have shaped AA and NHPI communities.

Join us as we celebrate AANHPI Heritage Month at our in-person event in Washington, DC on May 23, 2024, from 4:00 - 6:30 pm. The Power Grid of the Future: Addressing Reliability, Affordability and Tomorrow's Workforce will take a look to how we have bridged history in the energy industry and how we are shaping the future. To participate in-person, Register Here!

ICYMI -- AE2C's Nod to Women's History Month

Three AE2C women are doing great things in the environmental justice space which fits well into the 2024 national theme - “Women Who Advocate for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.” 

Jeanette Pablo, Amethyst Roebuck, and Emily Chang are in different stages of their careers, yet have one thing in common – the desire to bring equity and justice to our society. Below are their thoughts and perspectives on environmental justice, energy justice and the Just Transition. We are honored to have them as part of the AE2C family and commend them for their work.

 Jeanette Pablo: My vision for the future of climate equity is that it becomes central to all climate initiatives. Not just in the U.S. but also globally. The more common term globally is Just Transition. And my vision for Just Transition is that the wide range of definitions become distilled into a single definition which incorporates human rights. The Just Transition cannot simply be about jobs. Historically, major socio-techno-economic transitions have increased the burdens of the most vulnerable. Climate change is about saving the world for everyone and shouldn’t be on the backs of people who are already disenfranchised. When I was invited to join Clean Air Task Force (CATF) it was to lead an entirely new initiative which was to explore how climate organizations and environmental justice organizations can work together to address common concerns even as there are several opposing views on critical issues. It almost seemed to be the perfect intersection between my career expertise and work with vulnerable communities through my volunteerism over the years. You can’t unsee or unknow injustice. It changes you. One way to think about it is your lens changes. You notice things in a new way. Climate equity became my passion, and I am so grateful to CATF for this opportunity and especially their support for my newly formed Climate Equity Foundation. The motivation for the Climate Equity Initiative was that too often proposed climate solutions are developed outside impacted communities and fail to respect the core needs of their residents. As a result, policies, programs, and community engagement initiatives often lack critical success elements, and result in failed climate-beneficial projects, or perpetuate injustice and inequality. I am not an environmental justice leader or expert; I am an analyst. But I really wanted to take on this work and hopefully make an impact.

 Amethyst Roebuck: I have spent my career working on multiple large infrastructure projects around the country participating in siting activities for these projects and lending a voice from an environmental justice perspective to reduce or eliminate impacts to disadvantage communities. Understanding the communities we serve and bringing local work force into the fold is a mutually beneficial partnership between these projects and society that humanity honestly needs. I am lucky to be in my field within the energy industry, as I am able to see things from other perspectives, have discussions with individuals that are truly being impacted on the ground through town hall events, and participate in workforce development programs within these communities. Being an environmental leader gives me the ability to understand and self-educate regarding issues within these underprivileged communities. Outside of my day-to-day role, I am an advocate for gender equality, participating in the Women in Energy program development team for Western Energy Institute. The program brings awareness and advocacy for women in the energy industry, a predominantly male industry, and provides a forum for women to lift each other up within the energy sector. Each year we come together as partners from all walks of life and are able to be seen, because at the end of the day, equity, no matter which community you are from, is about being seen. We support each other’s challenges and applaud each other’s wins. We provide insight, education, and mentorship to elevate each other.


Emily Chang: Promoting equity in the context of energy is relatively new for me; even still, I have witnessed genuine efforts, not just touted on paper, which are worthy of calling out.  As issues differ for historically underserved and underinvested communities, the set of effective solutions promoting energy equity involve both top-down policy changes and varying bottom-up grass roots work.  I would like to share about the bottom-up efforts around raising awareness about, participation in, and inclusivity in energy equity in these historically underserved areas.  The consortium of six Massachusetts utilities implementing the MassSave energy efficiency initiative and brand – are investing in and/or partnering with nonprofit agencies, trade networks, business consortiums, customer councils, chambers of commerce and other agencies. As an illustration, All In Energy is a nonprofit whose mission is to accelerate the inclusive transition to a clean energy economy and to promote equal access to clean energy.  Most of us tend to give more credibility and trust to someone who understands our plight culturally, socially, economically rather than to some ‘outsider’ even though these outsiders are well-meaning.  All In Energy has partnered with MassSave utilities to train local persons within these historically underserved communities to provide outreach and education on what energy efficiency is and how these measures benefit them.  Such grassroots efforts amplify, complement, and supplement a typical campaign of canvassing an area with pamphlets to encourage people to sign up for energy efficiency measures. This illustration highlights the work that is not only needed from the vantage point of building energy equity, but also the work of building relationships and nurturing trust between the community and a perceived omnipresent entity, in this case, a utility company.

 

Jeanette Pablo is the CEO of the Climate Equity Foundation and serves as the Vice President of the National Chapter of AE2C.
Previously, she was the Director of the Climate Equity Initiative at Clean Air Task Force where she focused on barriers, challenges, and solutions through research and engagement with environmental justice communities.
Prior to joining CATF, Ms. Pablo was General Counsel at the Energy Futures Initiative, a clean energy think tank founded by Ernest Moniz, the 13th Secretary of Energy. She was also a major contributor to EFI’s research and analysis portfolio for advancing clean energy technologies and deep decarbonization pathways.
Ms. Pablo served as Senior Advisor and Acting Deputy Director for Energy Systems in the Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis at the U.S. Department of Energy. At DOE she oversaw analysis and policy related to energy systems and infrastructure, the electricity sector, North America energy policy and security, and critical materials. Ms. Pablo was Director of Federal Affairs & Senior Climate Advisor for PNM Resources from 2005-2015. Earlier in her career, she represented the Tennessee Valley Authority before Congress and the Executive Branch on energy and climate policy. Before TVA, she was an energy associate at the law firm of Verner, Liipfert, Bernhard, McPherson and Hand. And she jump-started her career as an Intern at Mother Jones Magazine.
Ms. Pablo holds a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, an M.A. in Liberal Studies from Georgetown University, and a B.A. from the University of Virginia, where she focused on Soviet and East European Affairs.

Amethyst Roebuck is the Director of Environmental Affairs & Sustainability for PAR Western Line Contractors, LLC, a Quanta Services Inc. subsidiary (PAR West). Mrs. Roebuck assumed this role in 2012. She oversees environmental compliance, training, sustainability and social responsibility program implementation, and corporate governance across the Quanta West family of companies, with the goal of advancing stewardship and ESG excellence across all subsidiaries.
With over 20 years of experience in the environmental field, Mrs. Roebuck started her career in the environmental industry, specifically within the utility sector at San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), supporting facility compliance and infrastructure projects, including those licensed under NEPA/CEQA. She joined PAR Electrical Contractors Inc. (now PAR West) in 2012, continuing to support all aspects of facility and project environmental compliance with an emphasis on NEPA projects. Additionally, she serves as the Chair of the Environmental Steering Committee within the Associated General Contractors of America, is a member of the California Stormwater Quality Association and the Society of Wetland Scientists and is part of the program development team for Women in Energy under the Western Energy Institute. Specific to sustainability, she participates in the Sustainable Supply Chain Alliance and previously served on the conference planning committee. Born and raised in southern California to Filipino immigrant parents, she is currently working on the California chapter re-launch of AE2C, to support the AANHPI community within the Energy and Environmental Industries and champion AE2C’s mission and vision in the west. She actively participates in several non-profit organizations within her community, including the Boy Scouts of America - California Inland Empire Council and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society – San Diego/Hawaii.
Mrs. Roebuck holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Ecology from the University of California, Irvine, as well as a Master of Science Degree in Environmental Engineering from National University. She also holds several environmental industry certifications, such as a Certified Professional in Erosion and Sediment Control and a Qualified Stormwater Practitioner/Developer.

Emily Chang currently serves as a program manager at National Grid, an investor-owned utility, in the role of a compliance liaison for federally funded awards under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL).  Before this role, she worked in strategizing customer energy management solutions for commercial customers.  Ms. Chang’s path to the energy sector and interest in energy equity began while pursuing math, studying systems engineering, and delving into societal impacts of biased mathematical algorithms which reinforced systemic inequality.  Originally trained in classical music at Yale, from the beginning of her teaching career, she chose to work in disadvantaged communities with local non-profit agencies.  Her vision remains focused on equity in all its systemic manifestations whether in education or energy. Ms. Chang is a member of the AE2C Massachusetts Chapter Steering Committee.