Green For All Deputy Director Michelle Romero speaks to Climate One about different parts of the vast fossil fuel system that drive the global economy and explore how many are captives of an economy run on carbon.Read more
Raise your hand if you think talking about climate change is a risky move on the campaign trail in 2018 midterms.
Okay, now put your hands down.
Recent polling makes climate change look more like a wedge issue than a hot potato—especially for younger and Latino voters.
Polling shows that US voters not only understand climate science, but more and more are increasingly worried about it—including hefty shares of moderate Republicans and Independents. Yes, it appears conservative US voters lag behind, but their attitudes are looking more like outliers. There’s also strong bipartisan support for a range of policies to address climate change and voters support a stronger Environmental Protection Agency—even Trump backers.
And climate change is a particular focus for millennial and Latino voters.
A Pew Research Center study confirms that millennial generation voters—ages 22 to 37 this election season—are considerably more liberal than older Americans. What’s more, that group now represents 28 percent of the US adult population. These voters are considerably more likely to support climate action and the Congressional candidates who talk them up. According to Pew: “these young people are poised to have an outsized impact on political races—this year and subsequently.” (See also: Ten US congressional districts where millennial voters could decide who wins this November.)
Pew notes that millennials are more than 40 percent nonwhite—the highest share of any adult generation—while millennials’ parents and grandparents are more like 79 percent white.
Racial demographics in general are a factor in the electoral equation. Latinos are now the largest non-white racial group in America and they’re the second-fastest growing population after Asian Americans. There are 57.5 million Latinos in the US according to the most recent US Census estimates.
“This group is more than large enough to transform the political balance of power in key states and in the country as a whole,” author Steve Philips wrote in an article for The Nation.” Most immediately, Latinos now have the numbers to swing key races that will determine control of the United States Senate.” It’s not inconsequential that all kinds of opinion research—and I mean poll after poll reveals strong environmental values among Latino voters, including support for aggressive action to address global warming.
African American voters’ attitudes on climate change haven’t been measured as fully, and neither have Asian American or Native American attitudes. What’s available tends to show green values among people of color. A 2014 Green For All poll showed that minority voters are more supportive of candidates willing to give resources to fight climate change than those who do not. I wrote about polling showing Asian Americans’ strong environmental attitudes a few years back. A 2015 Benenson Strategy Group poll found that 85 percent of African Americans supported global commitments on climate. And from the same year, a Green for All and Natural Resources Defense Council survey found that African-American voters were out ahead of white voters in both their concern about the problem and their backing for climate solutions. This is confirmed by more recent EcoAmerica metrics from 2017.
Read the full article here: https://www.sightline.org/2018/08/06/climate-change-hot-voter-issue-2018-midterms/
50+ Tri-Caucus Members Oppose Weaker Clean Car Standards, Warn of Disproportionate Impact on Communities of Color
WASHINGTON – Members of the Tri-Caucus sent a letter to Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler and Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao in opposition to the Trump Administration’s recently announced plan to weaken federal clean car standards. The bicameral letter, which was led by U.S. Reps. A. Donald McEachin (VA-04), Nanette Diaz Barragán (CA-44), Doris Matsui (CA-06), expressed Members’ concerns that the new standards will result in an increase of air pollution, climate change impacts, and fuel costs that will disproportionately affect low-income communities and communities of color.
“Tailpipe pollution has been linked to a variety of health problems, including asthma and other respiratory and cardiovascular conditions that can lead to premature death, as well as low birth weight and impaired fetal brain development, with lasting health and cognitive impacts. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recognizes this fact, stating that “economically disadvantaged and minority populations share a disproportionate burden of air pollution exposure and risk” and “experience higher residential exposure to traffic and traffic-related air pollution than nonminorities and persons of higher socioeconomic status,” wrote the Members of Congress. “Climate change, like air pollution, disproportionately affects low-income communities and communities of color. From coastal towns suffering from more severe tropical storms, to urban neighborhoods suffering from increasing heat waves, our communities are hit earliest and hardest by climate change. With transportation surpassing the energy sector as the largest source of greenhouse gas pollution, federal vehicle emissions standards are the most effective policy we have on the books to combat climate change.”
The Natural Resources Defense Council and Green For All applauded the lawmakers for their effort:
“Our nation’s clean car standards work to protect low-income households and communities of color who bear the brunt of harmful tailpipe pollution and suffer most from paying more at the pump,” said Rhea Suh, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council. “Members of Congress who represent frontline communities should join with these leaders to prevent the Trump administration from driving these protections into a ditch.”
“Tailpipe pollution is a huge health and safety issue, and the Trump Administration is playing fast and loose with it, said Michelle Romero, deputy director of Green For All. “Recent studies have shown that traffic related pollution results in more death than traffic related accidents. Attempting to weaken fuel economy and emissions standards while forcing working families to foot the bill in increased gas prices and medical costs, is unconscionable.”
Full text of the letter is available here
Green For All Statement on Clean Cars Rollback: Trump Admin. Wants Families to Foot Bill for Dirtier Air
Today, the U.S. EPA released a proposal to weaken clean car and fuel efficiency standards. The public will have an opportunity to submit comments on the rule, which the administration has dubbed the “The Safer and Affordable Fuel Efficient Vehicles Proposed Rule for Model Years 2021-2026,” before the EPA finalizes it.
Green For All issued a statement in response to today’s announcement:
“The Trump Administration remains dead set on advancing a policy agenda that benefits big, corporate polluters at the expense of our health and safety. According to recent studies, tailpipe pollution can lead to 30 percent more premature deaths than car accidents. So, why is the Trump Administration doing everything it can to weaken standards that curb vehicle pollution?
The Trump Administration’s proposal would force families to foot the bill for dirtier, unhealthy air.
Current emission standards save families an average of $3,200-$4,800 per year on fuel. Weakening the standards means families would pay hundreds of dollars more in fuel each month. Meanwhile, people with asthma and respiratory issues like COPD, could pay more in medical costs and hospital visits. To force working families to pay for dirtier air, that’s ridiculous.”
Originally aired and published by 94.1 KPFA.
Green For All Deputy Director Michelle Romero talks to 94.1 KPFA about the implications of Brett Kavanaugh's SCOTUS Nomination and what Scott Pruitt's resignation means for the future of the environment.Read more
by Kerene Tayloe
With suspense like a prime-time reality show, President Trump announced his nominee to replace Supreme Court Justice, Anthony Kennedy. While many suspected Trump would name a woman to The Court, he instead nominated Brett Kavanaugh; a 53-year-old man from Washington DC who served as a clerk to the Justice he will replace. Kavanaugh has been serving on the on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit for the last 12 years.Read more
I didn't do much for Independence Day this year. On top of the ridiculously hot and humid weather, I just wasn't feeling it. It has been over 1500 days since the people of Flint, MI have had clean drinking water; there wasn't much to celebrate. Beyond the search for a good cookout, I was at home watching The Handmaid's Tale, the cautionary Hulu original series about a dystopic American society that feels more like every day under this current administration.
But, as the good book says: “Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning.” (Psalms 30: 1-5) And what a morning it was. Who could have guessed that only a day after the federal holiday, we would be celebrating our liberation from Scott Pruitt?!
I am floored. The number of federal inquiries against Pruitt during his time at the EPA kept adding up. Public pressure was mounting for him to resign, but still it seemed unlikely given that either Trump would have to fire his own pick for EPA, or Pruitt would have to quit himself.
In fact, when Green For All joined forces with a coalition of national partners to launch the #BootPruitt campaign, there were definitely people who doubted us. But alas, I am amazed how the coordinated efforts of so many to shine light on Pruitt’s seedy ways has finally come to a victorious end.
Our coalition published a full page ad in the New York Times calling for Pruitt’s resignation, garnered nearly 1 million petition signatures, and worked tirelessly to amplify in the press how Pruitt’s actions were hurting communities.
Right now, I’m dancing. And, we must not lose sight of who will replace Scott Pruitt. Andrew Wheeler will be the acting Administrator of the EPA, and though he might not be running around town trying to get his hands on a Trump hotel mattress or figuring out how to get his wife a Chick Fil-A franchise, he is still very aligned with the same groups as Pruitt. Wheeler is a lawyer and former lobbyist for the coal industry. He lobbied on behalf of Murray Energy, the nation's largest privately owned coal company run by vocal climate change denier Robert Murray. Before becoming a coal lobbyist, Wheeler was a longtime staffer for one the biggest climate deniers on Capitol Hill, Senator James Inhofe (IA). That's right, the same Senator who took a snowball on to the Senate floor as “proof” that climate change isn't real.
So while the name at the head of the EPA has changed, the same kind of destructive policies are in place and will continue. The same EPA that has been working diligently to roll back over 67 rules protecting our water, air, you name it.
The same EPA that dismissed a civil rights claim of an all black town in Alabama who is dealing with toxic coal ash that was moved away from a town 90% white into their backyards. Many of the residents are experiencing health problems affecting their nervous and reproductive systems. This EPA found no “causal connection.”
The same EPA that wants to roll back fuel efficiency standards that determine how much pollution vehicles can emit. The very same standard that, if rolled back, the federal agencies themselves acknowledge “would result in increased adverse health impacts (mortality, acute bronchitis, respiratory emergency room visits, and work-loss days) nationwide.” Countless studies have found that people of color are the most heavily impacted by the pollution from cars and trucks. Rolling back clean car standards will also have a negative impact on families’ pockets. The current fuel economy standards are on track to save families an average of $3,200 per car and $4,800 per truck over the lifetimes of model year 2025 vehicles.
So again, this victory feels good. Scott Pruitt had no business being over the EPA. And, our work must go on.
Acting Administrator Anthony Wheeler is a Washington insider who definitely understands the political landscape. We will need to duplicate our efforts.
Moms must continue to show up and demanded a fully funded EPA . We must not be afraid to respectfully confront our public servants. The rallies must continue and the support for the EPA career professionals who genuinely care about our environment must also go on. Now, more than ever, we must also register all eligible Americans to vote and vote for representatives who care about protecting our environment.
Because if there’s anything to take away from our successes this year -- securing a FY 2018 federal budget that protected critical funding for environmental programs, and booting Pruitt out of office -- it’s this: In both scenarios the likelihood of success was a long shot, but we rose up anyway because it was the right thing to do. It took all of us lifting our voices and standing together to win against an administration that has intently sought to divide us. And winning, we proved, is possible.
We need to share our stories of how we are being impacted by climate change every single day. Our stories matter. They make a difference. They can change hearts and minds. They can weaken divides. And they can heal our country.
So, dance a little and get some rest today. Tomorrow is a new day to resist, unite, and continue protecting this future worth fighting for. Green For All will be releasing a new platform for sharing your story with us later this month. Stay tuned.
Kerene Tayloe is the policy director at Green For All, based in Washington D.C.
OP-ED originally published in The Hill by Vien Truong and Mary Anne Hitt.
As moms, we'll never forget those last few weeks of pregnancy, a nervous and exciting time when the rest of the world seemed to fall away, as we did everything we could to provide a safe and peaceful entry into the world for our babies.Read more
Who better than a parent to tackle the biggest problems facing families? In honor of Mother’s Day, Parents magazine asked eight leaders to write meaningful messages to those they love. Dream Corps CEO and Green For All director Vien Truong is featured at number 7.
The Green Guardian
As the CEO of the nonprofit Dream Corps and leader of its Green for All national initiative, Truong, mom of 5-year-old twins, is on the front lines tackling poverty and pollution. "This work is a labor of love," she says. “I’m joining moms and hundreds of volunteers across the country to fight for all our kids. Whether they’re working to switch from diesel to clean fuel or to fix contaminated pipes, they’re all operating from passion, from a place of unconditional love. It’s not about politics or recognition or anything else. In that way, these moms remind me of my own mother.”
Read the full article on Parents.com
Van Jones co-founded Green For All to solve poverty and pollution at the same time. We're building a green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty. We're bringing clean energy, good jobs, and better health to communities who need it most.