SELC Reed Environmental Writing Award winners look at inequality, politics

SELC created the Reed Environmental Writing Award in 1994 to enhance public awareness of the value, and the vulnerability, of the South's natural heritage. SELC will present the awards during a public event at the Virginia Festival of the Book on Saturday, March 21, at SELC headquarters in Charlottesville, Virginia.

A community’s struggle for environmental justice in Alabama and the money and politics driving current energy policy in North Carolina are the subjects covered by this year’s winners of SELC’s Reed Environmental Writing Award.

Ellen Griffith Spears, a member of the American studies faculty at the University of Alabama, won the Reed Award in the book category for Baptized in PCBs: Race, Pollution, and Justice in an All-American Town. Focusing on the legal fight against Monsanto over the dumping of PCBs in a historically African American and white working-class section of Anniston, Alabama, her book sheds light on the broader issue of environmental inequality.

The reporting staff of Environment and Energy Publishing won this year’s Reed Award in the journalism category for Turning Carolina Red: Reports from the Front of an Energy Culture War. The series looks at how North Carolina’s current political majority and its financial backers have changed environmental and energy policy in the state—from the pullback in enforcement revealed by Duke Energy’s coal ash spill to the push by lawmakers to open the state to fracking. 

SELC will present the awards during the Virginia Festival of the Book on Saturday, March 21, at our headquarters in Charlottesville, Virginia. The event will feature Bland Simpson, a noted writer and musician who received the 2005 North Carolina Award for Fine Arts, the state’s highest civilian honor. Author of several books of fiction and non-fiction, Simpson is also a member of the Tony Award-winning string band the Red Clay Ramblers.

For more than 20 years, SELC’s Philip D. Reed Environmental Writing Award has recognized the authors and journalists who use the power of the pen to capture the South’s natural wonders and to raise our awareness of the forces that would destroy them. Educating and engaging the public is central to the award’s mission and to SELC’s goal of safeguarding the South’s environment.

Read the press release.

More News

SELC op-ed: Virginians deserved better from senators on electric rates

SELC Senior Attorney Will Cleveland says what every Dominion customer felt as we saw our energy company and our state senators crushing every cha...

Frontier Logistics agrees to $1.2 million settlement in pellet-pollution lawsuit

Frontier Logistics has agreed to pay $1.2 million to settle a lawsuit that alleged the company spilled plastic pellets from its former facility a...

Great hikes from the heart of the Southern Appalachian Mountains

Aside from their boundless beauty and opportunity, one of the most magnificent things about our American national forests is our shared responsib...

Hydrogeologic report warns of pipeline threats to Memphis drinking water source

A hydrogeologic report presented to Memphis Light, Gas and Water (MLGW) warns that the Byhalia crude oil pipeline proposed by Valero Energy Corp....

Landmark clean transportation bills advance in Virginia

Transportation is the largest source of carbon pollution in Virginia, as it is across the South. People drive over 230 million miles every day in...

Tennessee Congressman urges White House to rescind Memphis pipeline permit

Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) wrote to President Biden urging that he direct the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to rescind its recently issued na...

More Stories