Environmental Justice

& Nuclear Power:


"Business Opportunities in the Nuclear Energy Industry"


The State of Environmental Justice in America 2008 Conference


Howard University School of Law

Houston Hall B, Classroom #4

Friday, May 23, 2008

3:30 - 5:30 p.m.

The Environmental Justice and Nuclear Power forum will examine how African American businessmen and women can participate in the anticipated nuclear power plant construction renaissance. The forum will bring together representatives from the nuclear power industry, entrepreneurs, and other stakeholders interested in assuring that America will have the power it needs to satisfy our society. It will also describe how minorities can participate.


Blacks do not generally own companies that provide energy products and services, particularly in the nuclear power industry. Blacks do not own any of the energy infrastructure in the U.S. There are many reasons for this lack of participation, but one glaring reason is the very large amount of money needed to participate in an ownership capacity in the energy sector. This forum will examine how companies could benefit by serving as mentors to minority entrepreneurs and investors. It will also show how minority entrepreneurs, investors and other stakeholders can be helpful in assuring the success of these huge investments. Such partnerships could bring fresh perspectives and unique opportunities to both partners.


America is poised to launch a renewal of nuclear power plant construction, which will involve billions of dollars for each plant. There are huge opportunities to participate in this renaissance if minority entrepreneurs and investors are aware of the products and services needed. Of course, it would also help to have contacts in companies that will be building new plants. There are also many ancillary opportunities because of the nature of the business. These include transportation of nuclear waste by truck, rail and barge, security, construction of casks for transport of spent fuel to Yucca Mountain, electricians, physicists, metal and concrete workers, plumbers, computers, electronics, and more.


The forum will also examine potential constraints to participation and how these problems can be overcome. Although nuclear power is not normally included as providing green jobs, this workshop will clearly describe how this industry will be creating such employment and how it can be leveraged to create opportunities in other areas, such as emissions trading. Finally, the forum will describe how these opportunities in the nuclear area can also complement new developments in conservation, efficiency, coal, carbon dioxide and transportation fuels.


Moderator and Panelist


Norris McDonald is the founder and president of the African American Environmentalist Association, he has been a career environmentalist for 29 years.  Formerly with the Environmental Policy Center (now Friends of the Earth), as Director of the Energy Conservation Project, he is an energy and environmental specialist and has served as an advisor to industry and local neighborhood community groups. 


McDonald was president of the Washington, D.C. Chapter of the American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE) from 1982 to 1984.  He has presented testimony before federal, state and local regulatory agencies, U.S. House and Senate Energy and Environmental Committees. He was a participant in the original meetings with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to adopt environmental justice policies.



McDonald led the fight in Congress in the early 1980s to maintain Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFÉ) Standards.  McDonald drafted and led the lobbying campaign in the U.S. Congress to pass the Federal Shared Energy Savings Act, signed by President Ronald Reagan in 1986.  He served as a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) instructor in 1997 for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Graduate School. He was the author of the first comprehensive studies of pollution in Washington, D.C.  He has received special recognition from the U.S. Congress, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Interior. McDonald is a 1977 graduate of Wake Forest University.


McDonald was the first environmentalist in the U.S. to publicly support nuclear power and AAEA was the first environmental organization in the U.S. to publicly support nuclear power.




Derrick Freeman is the Senior Director of Legislative Programs for the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI).  Freeman is a former aide to U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor with extensive experience in energy and environmental policy. Freeman served in Pryor's office for four years, first as a legislative assistant and later as legislative counsel.



He worked closely with the senator and his chief of staff and legislative director on the legislative agenda, and provided counsel on positions taken on legislative matters. Prior to his service on Capitol Hill, Freeman worked in the financial services industry in New York City culminating as Vice President and Counsel at the U.S. Investment banking arm of the Netherlands based ABN/AMRO.


Freeman earned his law degree from the Howard University School of Law. He is a member of the New York State Bar.




Mark Giles


Entergy Nuclear





Norris McDonald, President

African American Environmentalist Association

9903 Caltor Lane, Ft. Washington, MD  20744

(301) 265-8185 www.aaenvironment.com




Videos From 2008 Nuclear Forum

Videos From 2007 Nuclear Forum