WASHINGTON, DC – The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies Energy and Environment Program released the following statement today regarding President Barack Obama’s 2014 State of the Union address:
During this year’s State of the Union address, President Obama elaborated his vision of opportunity for the nation and made it clear that our children will hold us accountable for what we do – or fail to do – to tackle unfolding climate disruption.
We applaud the President’s ongoing commitment to hold dirty, outdated power plants accountable for their toxic carbon pollution. However, the country needs to make additional environmental commitments to American families – and African Americans families in particular – to ensure a safe, healthy planet for themselves and their children. African American families, in particular, are disproportionately hurt by climate change despite having a smaller carbon footprint.
“There is great potential for job creation in clean energy like solar and wind, and common sense solutions like energy efficiency,” said Texas State Senator Rodney Ellis, Chair of the Joint Center’s Commission to Engage African Americans on Energy, Climate Change and the Environment. “We all must support expanding efforts that make the next generation green economy as inclusive as possible.”
Dr. Michael Dorsey, Energy and Environment Program Interim Director, added, “If we are truly serious about fighting the climate crisis, we must work further than an ‘all of the above’ energy policy and ensure that our use of fossil fuels meets rigorous pollution control standards that ward off dangerous climate disruption and protect public health, especially in marginalized communities.”
The Joint Center Energy and Environment Program was established in 2008 to increase the understanding of environmental issues in the African American community and ensure they have a voice in the development and decision of critical solutions. Leading the Program is the Commission to Engage African Americans on Energy, Climate Change and the Environment, a blue-ribbon panel uniting experts from government, industry, academia, and more to expand the discussion.
The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies is one of the nation’s leading research and public policy institutions and the only one whose work focuses primarily on issues of particular concern to African Americans and other people of color. To learn more, please visit www.jointcenter.org.