Justin Timberlake has taken a stand against an oil pipeline that could be built under his hometown of Memphis.
The Byhalia Pipeline has been proposed by the Valero Energy Corporation and the Plains All American pipeline company, putting the drinking water from the Memphis Sand Aquifer at risk.
The water source supplies water to more than 1million people in the southern Memphis area, predominantly made up of Black and low-income neighbourhoods.
In an Instagram post, Timberlake shared a video explaining the situation and said that the proposed pipeline “cannot happen”. “Today, on #EarthDay, please consider what we are doing to the planet AND the people when we destroy sources of clean drinking water simply for the profit of two large companies,” he wrote in the caption.
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He also encouraged his followers to sign the petition linked to in his bio, which can be found here.
In his Instagram Story, Timberlake also shared the definition of “environmental racism” that was outlined by civil rights leader Dr Benjamin F. Chavis Jr. He explained it as: “A form of systemic racism whereby communities of colour are disproportionately burdened with health hazards through policies and practices that force them to live in proximity to sources of toxic waste such as sewage works, mines, landfills, power stations, major roads and emitters of airborne particulate matter.”
Rallies and marches have taken place in Memphis, with residents protesting the proposed plans to build the pipeline over the Memphis Sand Aquifer. Members of Congress have also written to the White House, calling on President Biden to take action against the project.
In February, Timberlake issued an apology to Janet Jackson and Britney Spears for his treatment of them in the past. It came after the documentary Framing Britney Spears brought a new focus on the sexist treatment the pop star had received throughout her career.