Cory Booker and Tammy Duckworth Announce Environmental Justice Caucus
Three Senators have teamed up to create the Senate Environmental Justice Caucus. Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), and Tom Carper (D-DE) on Monday -- Earth Day -- announced that the Caucus will work to raise awareness of environmental issues that impact low-income communities and people of color. The Environmental Protection Agency last year released a report revealing that people of color are much more likely to live near polluters and breathe polluted air. The Senators said the Caucus will help those communities advocate for themselves with the federal government by providing expertise and assistance, generate legislation, and organize hearings and events. They also plan to coordinate with the House Environmental Justice Task Force, which consists of members from the Congressional Black Caucus, Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. “Every American has the right to breathe safe air, drink clean water and live on uncontaminated land regardless of their zip code, the size of their wallet and the color of their skin. However, too often that is not the case, especially for low income communities and people of color,” said Duckworth. A March 2019 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that whites experience 17% less pollution caused by their consumption of goods and services. On the other hand, Blacks and Hispanics experience 56% and 63%, respectively, more pollution than their consumption would generate. Whites experience a “pollution advantage” while Blacks and Hispanics experience a “pollution burden.” Booker said economic justice or social justice cannot be achieved without also addressing environmental justice. “Clean air and clean water shouldn’t be luxuries for the privileged, and the Environmental Justice Caucus is an important step toward raising awareness and taking action to address this injustice,” said Booker. More here.