Communities on the Frontlines of Climate Impacts Push for Clean Energy Bill

Washington, DC  – 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 on the Clean Energy bill.

“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.”

“Across the nation,

we are already feeling real and growing impacts from climate change,” said Rev.

Lennox Yearwood, Jr., president and CEO, Hip Hop Caucus. “We need fair and

equitable solutions to propel the clean energy economy, reduce pollution and

create millions of new jobs.”

“Native prophecy and

science have arrived at the same place relative to climate change impacts that

are here now,” said Pat Spears, co-founder and president, Intertribal Council

On Utility Policy (COUP), representing 11 Tribes in the Dakotas, Wyoming, and Nebraska.

“Native people are not only aware of climate change, but offer solutions to

lessen the impacts of global warming and help restore the balance of creation.

Renewable energy from the earth, the sun, and the wind can provide energy and

jobs for our communities and green the federal transmission grids that

interconnect us all.”

“Because indigenous

peoples are forced into the global market with only our resources and labor

with which to negotiate, we often find ourselves forced to choose between

economic development and cultural survival.” said Kandi Mossett, tribal campus

organizer for the Indigenous Environmental Network and member of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nations located on the Fort

Berthold Reservation, North Dakota.

“Clean energy from renewable sources offers the opportunity to break free from

the cycle of being dependent on our own cultural destruction.”

 A 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.”


National Wildlife Federation
is America’s

conservation organization inspiring Americans to protect wildlife for our

children’s future.

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