Communities Push for Energy Legislation

As the Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works kicks off hearings on the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act, leaders from communities on the frontlines of climate impacts are on Capitol Hill, making their case for action – among other things, that global warming disproportionately impacts low-income and minority communities.

"We have a clear and simple message to our Senators: We're counting on you, to pass a strong climate and energy bill that will safeguard people and communities," said Marc Littlejohn, manager of Diversity Partnerships, National Wildlife Federation. 

"Climate change is a civil rights issue and the most vulnerable people to its dangerous impacts are inner city African-Americans," said Hilary O. Shelton, senior vice president for Advocacy and director of the NAACP DC Bureau. "The time is now to enact comprehensive climate change policies." 

Zogby survey found that a majority of likely voters want the Senate to act quickly to bring about a new energy plan for America. The public's desire for action is also reflected by a majority of African Americans, who believe climate change is a growing problem that demands action now, according to a recent poll by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies.

"We must take action to reduce global warming pollution now, while there is still time to avert the worst impacts," said Joe Mendelson, director of Global Warming Policy, National Wildlife Federation. "Investing in a clean energy future and reducing the carbon pollution that causes global warming will help communities nationwide, especially the most vulnerable. The good news is that a clean energy future can also create new economic opportunities for underserved communities."

Published: October 28, 2009