Check out this important new report, Fossil Fuel Racism: How Phasing Out Oil, Gas, and Coal Can Protect Communities. The report was issued by Greenpeace, the Movement for Black Lives, and the Gulf Coast Center for Law and Poverty and endorsed by many major environmental and social justice organizations.
According to the report’s overview, it “synthesizes existing research and provides new analysis that finds that the fossil fuel industry contributes to public health harms that kill hundreds of thousands of people in the U.S. each year and disproportionately endanger Black, Brown, Indigenous and poor communities. The report argues that President Joe Biden and the 117th Congress have a historic opportunity to improve public health, tackle the climate crisis, and confront systemic racism at the same time by phasing out fossil fuel production and use.”
Summary of policy recommendations:
- End fossil fuel racism and reverse the legacies of historical injustices. Require air and water pollution reductions in environmental justice communities with a “No Hotspots” policy and policies to mitigate cumulative pollution impacts. Pass the Environmental Justice For All Act and Climate Equity Act, and institutionalize Free, Prior, and Informed Consent regarding federal actions affecting the lands, livelihoods, culture, and spirituality of Indigenous peoples.
- Phase out fossil fuel production. Pass the End Polluter Welfare Act to eliminate federal fossil fuel subsidies, halt new fossil fuel leases and permits on public lands and waters, and reject new federal fossil fuel infrastructure permits. Pass the Break Free from Plastic Pollution Act. Reinstate the crude oil export ban and prohibit exports of liquified natural gas and coal.
- Ensure no worker or community is left behind. Pass the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act to protect and expand the right of workers to organize. Mandate the use of project labor agreements, Davis-Bacon prevailing wage requirements, community benefit agreements, and high-road labor standards in any federally funded project. Create 250,00 high-quality job-years under a federal oil and gas well remediation program. Establish a federal Energy Worker and Community Protection Fund to guarantee wage, benefit, and pension protections for workers affected by the transition away from fossil fuels, replace lost tax and community revenue, and promote community revitalization and economic development.
- Enact a green and just economic recovery. Pass the THRIVE Act to invest at least $1 trillion per year for the next decade to create 15 million good jobs, cut climate pollution in half by 2030, ensure at least 50% of new investments directly benefit frontline and disadvantaged communities, ensure federal investments pass a rigorous environmental justice and equity screen to avoid exacerbating “pollution hotspots,” and uphold rigorous labor, climate, and equity standards.
- Protect and expand our democracy to make it work for all people. Pass the For the People Act (H.R.1 / S.1) and John Lewis Voting Rights Act (H.R. 4) to give more electoral power to the people and protect against racist voter suppression tactics. End the Jim Crow filibuster. Enact the BREATHE Act to protect communities from police brutality and racial injustice by investing in Black communities and re-imagining community safety.
Read the report here