- Environmental lawyer
- President of Earth Day Network
- Established the “One Million New Voters” campaign in 2003
Kathleen Rogers, who served a stint as editor-in-chief of the University of California at Davis Law Review and clerked for Judge John Pratt at the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, has worked as an environmental attorney and advocate since the early 1990s. Among her employers have been Garth Associates (in New York City) and the Beveridge & Diamond law firm, where she developed a white-collar environmental crime defense practice. Moreover, Rogers has held senior positions with the Environmental Law Institute, the National Audubon Society (NAS), the Piedmont Environmental Council, the United Nations Conference on Women, and two U.S. Olympic Organizing Committees.1
Today Rogers is president of the Earth Day Network (EDN), which was co-founded by Paul Ehrlich, Denis Hayes, and Gaylord Nelson, a board member of the Energy and Resources Institute, and an official voting member of Greenpeace.
In 2002 Rogers joined a number of fellow environmentalists—including Brent Blackwelder, Denis Hayes, Randall Hayes, Fred Krupp, Carl Pope, Mark Van Putten, and Mark Ritchie—in signing an urgent “Call for Action” which cited “deep concerns about the uneven distribution of … economic gains among and within countries, the growing pressure on natural resources, and increasing pollution.” Most importantly, the document demanded a reduction of American “global warming pollutants,” the development and deployment of “renewable energy technologies,” and “increase[d] U.S. assistance to developing countries to protect their environments and the global environment.”
The following year, Rogers led EDN in launching its “One Million New Voters” (OMNV) campaign, an aggressive voter-registration initiative whose motto was: “If you want to do one thing for the environment, register to vote!” Though EDN denied that it was endorsing any particular candidate for the upcoming 2004 presidential election, Rogers, for her part, publicly thanked Democratic hopeful John Kerry at an Earth Day event in Boston for his “leadership in environmental stewardship.”
In Rogers’s estimation, the greenhouse-gas emissions that result from fossil-fuel combustion contribute heavily to the potentially cataclysmic phenomenon of global warming. “For too long people have not faced up to their [oil] addiction,” says Rogers, “and the consequences are now obvious. Your oil addiction not only ruins your life and the life of your families, but the lives of most of the world’s inhabitants.”
Drawing parallels between environmentalist and feminist agendas, Rogers laments “the stunning and negative consequences to the global environment resulting from an absence of women” among Fortune 500 executive officers and governing board members. By Rogers’s reckoning, female executives are not only more environmentally responsible than their male counterparts, but they also—despite the daunting obstacles posed by the “gender gap” and the “glass ceiling”—are “turning out to be equal or better financial managers” as compared to men.
Given that nonwhite minorities tend to vote overwhelmingly for Democratic political candidates who support leftwing environmentalism and other radical causes, Rogers says it is vital for environmental organizations to “invest more heavily in Latino-focused outreach and initiatives and [to] bring Latinos into the conversation about the green economy, climate change and other environmental issues.” Moreover, she lauds Latinos for their purportedly exceptional commitment to purchasing products that are “environmentally friendly,” even if they are costlier.
Rogers occasionally writes opinion pieces on environmental issues for the Huffington Post.
1 During her tenure as chief wildlife counsel for NAS, Rogers directed the organization’s international-trade, migratory-species, and biodiversity-policy initiatives. She also served as the environmental representative on the U.S. Delegation to the Free Trade Area of the Americas. And she was responsible for bringing the first citizen complaint before the Commission for Environmental Cooperation, the tri-national agency formed to oversee North American environmental issues.