Across the country, frontline communities are the first and worst hit by climate change.
The Gulf Coast region, where nearly half of the nation’s oil is refined, has suffered immeasurable impacts from the presence of Big Oil. Low-income communities of color are the most vulnerable to environmental and economic disasters driven by extractive industries that continue to reap profits from our resources with little regard to our health, our land, or our culture. We’ve seen that the extractive industry is not just Big Oil, but also the systems that are extracting people from their communities, displacing them from their homes, and robbing them of healthy livelihoods.
Climate change has hit the Gulf Coast hard and discriminatory policies and unjust practices continue to leave many low-income communities of color sick and displaced. As we saw 10 years ago with Hurricane Katrina, the government continues to fail to invest in infrastructure to protect us or respond in the ways our communities need in times of crisis. This is climate injustice.
Here in California, children in the Central Valley go to school next to fracking wells. On the Central Coast, the California Public Utilities Commission is proposing another dirty power plant in Oxnard. And in the Bay Area, immigrant and refugee communities living on the fenceline of the Chevron oil refinery are vulnerable to explosions at any moment.
This is a wake up call for all of us! We demand climate justice! Enough is enough!
During our 2015 Congreso, join CEJA members and EJ allies from across the state as we commemorate the 10th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and stand in solidarity for climate justice from the Golden State to the Gulf Coast.
The time is now for frontline communities to confront the legacy of racism, poverty, and environmental destruction. We need policies that support the people who are most vulnerable to hurricanes, droughts, explosions, and most likely suffer from economic inequities which set back our ability to be climate resilient. At the same time, we need to come together to strategize and share our own solutions to the climate crisis.
People of color are the new majority in California, and throughout the nation, people are looking to California to be a leader in equitable climate policies that benefit low-income communities of color who have been hit the most by the impacts of climate change. California’s energy policies are not equitable unless they are promoting healthy hoods with locally-produced, clean, renewable energy. We can’t just trade pollution away and we need to see Big Oil clean up its act in our communities. California must be a leader in the transition to 100% renewable energy in order to address the ongoing impacts of environmental racism.
Join us at our 2015 Congreso to achieve climate justice by advocating for equitable climate policies like SB 350 and AB 693 that will benefit our communities who need it the most. We will come together on the steps of the Capitol to call on our legislators to stand with us for climate justice here in California, for the Gulf Coast, and frontline communities everywhere across the nation. It’s time to move beyond dirty energy and fossil fuels and toward a clean energy future that will provide our communities with good local jobs and a cleaner, healthier environment.