For Immediate Release
Call for Strong Clean Power Plan That Protects Impacted Communities
PITTSBURGH - Members and allies of National People’s Action (NPA) from Detroit, MI, Chicago, IL and Buffalo, NY traveled to Pittsburgh, PA to give testimony at the first of four Environmental Protection Agency hearings on the Federal Implementation Plan proposed as part of the Clean Power Plan (CPP). The new rule sets the first ever limits on carbon pollution from power plants. While applauding the plan, NPA leaders are calling on the EPA to go even further to ensure equity for those most impacted by the dirty energy economy and the climate crisis by protecting low income communities and communities of color from pollution and expanding access to renewables and clean energy jobs for those communities.
The dirty energy economy disproportionately impacts low income communities and communities of color. Sixty-eight percent of African Americans live within 30 miles of a coal fired power plant and eighty percent of Latinos live in areas that are failing to meet federal EPA air quality standards. One in six African American kids and one in nine Latino kids suffer from asthma. African American kids are four times as likely to die from asthma attacks as white children.
NPA members and allies say the government has a responsibility to right these wrongs as they prepare to implement the Clean Power Plan. The Federal Implementation Plan should ensure that the communities most impacted by dirty energy are first in line to experience the benefits of the Clean Power Plan.
“We can’t take a color-blind approach to a problem that disproportionately impacts people of color,” said Jordan Estevao, Senior Strategist at National People’s Action. “We need the EPA to ensure equity for those who are most impacted.”
“I raised my family less than ten miles from the Cheswick power plant in Pittsburgh,” said Carmen Alexander, an organizer with NPA ally New Voices Pittsburgh. “All three of my sons have asthma. Now my grandson, Elijah has asthma, too. Our communities have been hardest hit. The EPA must ensure that resources are dedicated to cleaning up our communities, that we have access to renewable energy and energy efficiency, and that we are trained and hired for new clean energy jobs.”
“In Buffalo, we’re paving the way when it comes to building an equitable new energy economy,” said Lucy Velez from PUSH Buffalo. “We’re creating jobs for low income people and people of color, while making homes more energy efficient and taking back control for our community. This is a model for the kind of change we want to see happen across the country.”
National People’s Action (www.npa-us.org) is a network of 30 grassroots organizations in 17 states, with 85,00 individual members working together to advance a racial and economic justice agenda for a new economy and true democracy.