NAACP Supports U.S. Government’s Efforts To Curb Greenhouse Gases
U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY, UNDER AUTHORITY OF THE “CLEAN AIR ACT”, WORKS TO PROTECT OUR ENVIRONMENT, HEALTH, AND ECONOMY
The Clean Air Act of 1970, as amended and strengthened in 1990, is a comprehensive federal response to air pollution. Under the Clean Air Act, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets limits on certain air pollutants, including setting limits on how much pollution can be in the air anywhere in the United States. This helps to ensure basic health and environmental protection from air pollution for all Americans. The Clean Air Act also gives the EPA the authority to limit emissions of air pollutants coming from sources like chemical plants, utilities, and steel mills.
Under the authority granted to the EPA by the Clean Air Act, in the fall of 2009 the EPA announced that as of January, 2011, new or substantially renovated major stationary sources of air pollution – such as power plants or refineries – would be required to use the best technology available to reduce harmful emissions, including “greenhouse gases” which are responsible for climate change. It is estimated that if successful these reductions will help slow global warming, improve Americans’ health and create new jobs. In fact, according to study released in 2010 by the Small Business Majority, between the years of 2010 and 2015, the capital investments in pollution controls required by EPA to implement these new rules and new generation will create an estimated 1.46 million jobs, or almost 3000,000 year-around jobs per year.
Efforts to slow or stop the effects of global warming are especially important to low-income and racial and ethnic minority Americans as we disproportionately impacted by the effects of climate change. Manifestations of climate change such as storms, floods, and climate variability have a much more serious impact on African-Americans and other racial and ethnic minorities economically, socially and through our health and well-being. Hurricane Katrina, and its aftermath, is but one example of how the results of climate change can have a disparate and often tragic impact on communities of color.
In Congress, there are at least eight bills intended to roll back or limit the EPA’s ability to reduce greenhouse emissions. One bill, by Congressman Fred Upton (MI) (H.R. 910, the Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011) was recently approved of by the House Energy and Commerce Committee and will likely come before the full House in the very near future. H.R. 910 would prohibit the EPA from limiting greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.
THE NAACP OPPOSES H.R. 910 AND ANY OTHER LEGISLATION WHICH WOULD LIMIT OR ELIMINATE THE EPA’S ABILITY TO REDUCE GREENHOUSE GASES.