Environmental justice leaders from frontline communities hardest-hit by climate change and pollution will converge on Environmental Protection Agency regional headquarters in Seattle and across the nation on Tuesday, January 19, 2016 as part of the Our Power Campaign. [Day of Action]
While the political wrangling around the Clean Power Plan continues, frontline communities living with the daily reality of climate and economic disruption have quietly created a challenge to the Obama Administration’s EPA Clean Power Plan: demanding that provisions to protect frontline, low-income, indigenous, and communities of color be strengthened. They will deliver this “Our Power Plan” concurrently to EPA Regional Administrators across 10 cities: Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Dallas, Kansas City, Chicago, Denver, San Francisco, and Seattle, where they will meet with EPA staff. [Our Power Plan]
This Day of Action falls deliberately between the national holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the final deadline for public comment to the CPP’s Federal, or model, Implementation Plan. In the spirit of “nothing about us without us,” the Our Power Plan will be used over the coming years as leverage to protect the integrity of the Clean Power Plan (CPP); and to make sure the CPP’s State Implementation Plans adhere to principles of environmental justice.
“We’re also pushing for something we call a Just Transition away from this extraction economy. We must keep all “dig-burn-dump” energy sources in the ground and out of our air and water. This country is completely capable of creating millions of meaningful jobs and putting our communities back to work building the infrastructure we really need to address the climate crisis. And we want to see working families hit hard by the recession, by pollution, and by climate disruption own and control the assets of this new clean energy infrastructure. This looks like clean community energy, and also zero waste; regional food systems; public transportation; efficient, affordable, and durable housing; and ecosystem restoration and stewardship.” Michael Leon Guerrero, National Director, Climate Justice Alliance.
“Any policy or plan about the climate must also include the voices of the most affected. Carbon markets do not bring justice to our communities, we want a just transition and the the Our Power Plan is the alternative we need so that we all can thrive” said Edgar Franks, Civic Engagement Program Coordinator at Community to Community Development in Bellingham. Franks was at recent international climate negotiations in Paris. Community to Community Development is part of the national Climate Justice Alliance leadership and is a founding organization of Front and Centered.