See below for video/audio of Rep. Donald McEachin (D-VA04) and others speaking about the just-released, 547-page “Congressional Action Plan for a Clean Energy Economy and a Healthy, Resilient, and Just America.” As Rep. McEachin says, this plan represents a “transformative roadmap to solving the climate crisis,” one which “recognizes that climate policy must do more than cut carbon pollution—it must tackle our legacy of environmental racism and build a clean energy economy that achieves tangible improvements in people’s lives.” Rep. McEachin adds that “this is a list of recommendations, this is not a bill,” so “now the committees of jurisdiction will take these recommendations, fashion them into legislation, move them through the committee process and onto the floor of the House for final passage.” Of course, it’s unlikely that the climate-science-denying, fossil-fuel-industry puppet Republicans will take any action on any of this, which is one of the most important reasons why we need Democrats to win the White House and the U.S. Senate this November 3. Vote Democratic – the planet you save very well could be your own!
P.S. Thanks to Rep. McEachin for being a climate champion, in addition to all the other excellent work he does.
P.P.S. Just a few highlights from the report include: “Build a cleaner and more resilient electricity sector to achieve net-zero emissions from power generation by 2040”; “Build a cleaner and more resilient transportation sector”; “Build and upgrade homes and businesses to maximize energy efficiency and eliminate emissions”; “Plug leaks and cut pollution from America’s oil and gas infrastructure”; “Transform U.S. Industry and Expand Domestic Manufacturing of Clean Energy and Zero-Emission Technologies”; “Break Down Barriers for Clean Energy Technologies”; “Invest in America’s Workers and Build a Fairer Economy”; “Invest in Disproportionately Exposed Communities to Cut Pollution and Advance Environmental Justice”; “Invest in American Agriculture for Climate Solutions”; “Protect and Restore America’s Lands, Waters, Ocean, and Wildlife”; “Confront Climate Risks to America’s National Security and Restore America’s Leadership on the International Stage”; “Strengthen America’s Core Institutions to Facilitate Climate Action.”
McEachin Remarks from Press Event to Unveil the SCCC Climate Action Plan
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Rep. A. Donald McEachin (VA-04), a member of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis (SCCC), joined Speaker Nancy Pelosi, SCCC Chair Kathy Castor and others for a press conference to unveil the new comprehensive congressional action plan to solve the climate crisis. Below are the Congressman’s remarks as prepared:
Good morning! People across our country are taking to the streets to demand that we finally live up to our founding principles of ensuring equity and justice for all. They are crying out for an end to centuries of systemic racism and oppression that have led to unfair and unjust policies, and decades of inadequate public and private investment in lower-wealth communities, communities of color, and Tribal and indigenous communities.
It is no secret that the same racist economic and political forces that previously redlined Black and brown neighborhoods still exist today. These same forces are behind policies that ensure underserved communities are more likely to live on the frontlines of our climate crisis and fenceline of polluting industries – often without the necessary resources to respond to the impacts nor influence in the political process to promote equitable outcomes.
Earlier this year I joined Chair Grijalva to introduce our Environmental Justice for All Act, legislation crafted for the people by the people to give these communities a voice and a means to fight back against the pollution that threatens their children and their families.
We spent the last year and a half listening and learning about the impacts of national policies and climate change on communities across the country, and building a community-led, community-driven process to address the needs and perspectives of environmental justice communities.
We listened to the stories of these communities – stories that should never happen in America.
Stories of families in New Jersey forced to walk through raw sewage following heavy rains to get to work and school.
Of generations of working-class folks in Claymont, Delaware who have awakened each morning to the sights of steel dust on their cars even as they grapple with the effects of it settling on their lungs.
Of communities along the James River in my hometown of Richmond, Virginia exposed to arsenic-laced toxic sludge from coal ash ponds, linked to liver damage, kidney damage and a variety of cancers.
We are here today because we cannot – and must not – hide from these harsh truths.
We are here today because for far too long, the federal government has turned a blind eye to the impact of toxic pollution on entire communities, ignoring the devastating effects on their health and well-being and we refuse to accept this reality any longer.
We are here today because we have produced a Climate Crisis Action Plan that seeks to address these historic shortcomings by placing equity and justice at the center of federal climate and environmental policy.
Our climate plan recognizes that if we are going to achieve true justice in our country, we must center frontline communities in our policymaking – we must meaningfully involve and value environmental justice communities – and ensure that environmental justice is our future.
Our climate plan recognizes that climate policy must do more than cut carbon pollution—it must tackle our legacy of environmental racism and build a clean energy economy that achieves tangible improvements in people’s lives.
We must strengthen enforcement of our environmental laws; research and address the cumulative impacts of pollution on overburdened communities; and prioritize frontline communities in new federal spending to deploy clean energy and infrastructure.
Together, we will ensure a better, brighter, more sustainable future for Americans across our country, while delivering justice to communities that have long been denied. This Climate Crisis Action plan is the first step in delivering on that promise.