Move Over MADD, MACC May Be The Next Big Thing
EPA chief Gina McCarthy and environmentalists are appealing to mothers’ love for their children to build support for government regulations to limit carbon dioxide emissions that are blamed for global warming.
“Our children mean the world to us,” McCarthy co-wrote in an EPA blog post with moms who lead environmental groups. “So as moms, when we say we must meet our moral obligation to leave the next generation a world that is safe and healthy, we mean it. For us moms, it’s personal.”
But it’s not just their kids they want to protect, McCarthy and her fellow moms specifically highlighted the impacts EPA regulations will have on “communities of color.”
“The carbon pollution that fuels climate change comes packaged with other dangerous pollutants that cause smog and soot,” they wrote. “With 1-in-10 children in the U.S. today already dealing with asthma — and even higher rates in communities of color — we must do all that we can to reduce harmful exposure.”
This is not the first time McCarthy has tried to appeal to “communities of color” to support EPA regulations to cut carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. Though this time, she’s appealing to mothers to think of their children when considering global warming.
“As mothers of color, we know that our children and families are disproportionately affected by climate change and stand the most to lose,” said Kuae Mattox of Mocha Moms, who co-wrote the blog post with McCarthy.
“Many of our communities suffer from the devastating effects of being near coal-fired plants,” Mattox added. “The right to have clean air is as fundamental as any other right, and many of us won’t rest until we make better headway.”
The EPA is preparing to finalize regulations limiting carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. The rules are expected to be costly, but the agency says they are instrumental in fighting global warming.
The rules, however, have been heavily criticized by conservatives and have been subject to legal challenges from states and the coal industry. The agency has been scrambling to make sure its rules are legally sound and has the support it needs to move forward.
Another complication for the agency is that regulating carbon dioxide emissions will force the closure of more coal-fired power plants, which means electricity prices are likely to increase — and energy price increases disproportionately harm minorities.
A 2014 study by the Pacific Research Institute found that African American families in Ohio could see their energy costs rise from 4.5 percent of their income to 5.8 percent of their income due to the EPA’s power plant rule — an increase of $408 a year.
“It’s the green movement’s new Jim Crow law,” Deneen Borelli, outreach director at FreedomWorks, told The Daily Caller News Foundation last year.
“These harmful regulations are going to drive blacks into government dependency,” said Borelli, a black American. “By harming the fossil fuel industry, you’re harming hard-working Americans.”
But McCarthy, and environmental activists in general, have been making a huge effort to build support for carbon dioxide regulations among minorities.
“Carbon pollution standards are an issue of justice,” McCarthy told environmental activists last year. “If we want to protect communities of color, we need to protect them from climate change.”
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