After working in the oil industry for 38 years, John Beard turned to holding the industry accountable and became a community advocate in his hometown of Port Arthur, Texas. He founded Port Arthur Community Action Network ("PACAN") to fight for health and safety protections in an area teeming with refineries, export terminals, petrochemical plants...and cancer.
In the past year, Beard has emerged as an environmental justice leader on the national and world stage. He was a participant at the United Nations COP 26 in Glasgow Scotland; a recipient of the 2021 Rose Bratz Award from the Center for Biological Diversity, and the Community Sentinel Award from Halt the Harm Network.
He was one of the frontline leaders of last October's historic People Vs. Fossil Fuels week of action in Washington, and keynote speaker at Seventh Generation’s 2022 corporate advance, a presenter on petrochemical proliferation at Bennington College, Vermont, and at the recent "No More Sacrifice Zones: STOP MVP!" rally in Washington, which galvanized opposition to Sen. Joe Manchin’s permitting provisions removal from the federal budget bill.