***MEDIA ALERT*** 1/19/2015
Region 1 Press contact : Dania Flores, Dania@ejlri.org, m (508) 322-8277
National Press contact: Leila Roberts, firstname.lastname@example.org, m (571) 331-0932 PST
Climate Justice Alliance: Michael Leon Guerrero, email@example.com, m (505) 263-4982 MST
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Environmental justice leaders to converge on all EPA regional headquarters Jan. 19, challenge Obama’s “Clean Power Plan”
The environmental justice leaders of the Climate Justice Alliance will organize peaceful public actions in all 10 EPA headquarters across the country on January 19, 2016. This mass movement for clean energy and local, living economies offers praise, criticism, and a different path forward as the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan moves into its implementation phase this year.
Providence, RI | 12 January 2016 — The reality of climate change means that major systemic transitions are inevitable. Whether or not they will be just and liberating, or devastating and oppressive, is up to us. Stated Julian Rodriguez-Drix
Providence, RI | 13 January 2016 — "Nobody knows how bad climate change is affecting us frontline communities. It's not just about how it's not snowing by now or how it's warm one day and freezing the next, it's these systems that is causing climate change. Nobody knows that they are the ones causing warming, drought, the Antarctica melting, places going under water and so much more natural disasters. And if you can't notice it or understand, then start paying attention." Commented Seena Chhan
Providence, RI | 14 January 2016 —To Whom It May Concern,
My name is Chief George Spring Buffalo. I'm a descendant of the Royal family of Indians who first met the pilgrims - European settlers. Currently I'm Counsel Chief of the Pocasset Wampanoag Tribe of the Pokanoket Nation, we are a nation of Indians located in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. My nation of Indians enjoy sovereignty within our reservation lands in Fall River, Freetown, MA.
Like you I am seeking and fighting for the welfare and future of my Nation. Our lands and waters have been stolen from my people and we are fight for the return of our lands.
Currently, I am also a member of some indigenous organizations including The Indigenous Peoples Network (IPN) dedicated to the economic, cultural, educational, health and development of the Indians within our nations and all indian nations around the world.
Like you we are interested in the concept of striving to rescue lands from conservation and restoration within our ancestral homelands and preserve and protect natural and cultural resources, sacred sites, habitats, ecosystems and ancestral village sites located at home and around the world.
Affiliated Tribes Chiefs, are asking to talk and meet with you and your leadership to share some ideas that I feel can greatly benefit all of our people.
I'm praying that the creator brings us all together as brothers and sisters for the betterment of our Indian Nations.
With Great Respect,
Chief George Spring Buffalo
Pocasset Wampanoag Tribe of the Pokanoket Nation
Providence, RI | 18 January 2016 — I been working most of my adult life for social justice and women's rights, worker rights and all the things that concern human rights, Today in MLK Jr. is so important to remember that all we fight speciall the environment are part of human rights, we need to keep going out and fighting for everyone's rights, as a Guatemalan I learn from very early to love nature and the right of mother earth, let’s get out of our comfortable zone and fight for the future generations like he say “Si supiera que el mundo se acaba mañana, yo, hoy todavía, plantaría un árbol” (If I knew that the world ends tomorrow , I still today , plant a tree). Dania Flores
Albuquerque, NM | 12 January 2016 — Environmental justice leaders from frontline communities hardest-hit by climate change and pollution will converge on 10 Environmental Protection Agency regional office headquarters Jan. 19, 2016, to mark the end of the final public comment period for the Obama Administration’s federal Clean Power Plan to reduce power plant carbon emissions 32% by 2030. These peaceful protests and press conferences will launch the “Our Power Plan,” the Climate Justice Alliance’s answer to the Clean Power Plan. Community leaders are also arranging private meetings with EPA Regional Administrators on that day.
“We were relieved to see the Obama Administration publicly acknowledge our extractive energy system kills and sickens low-income, Native, and communities of color first and worst,” explained Ahmina Maxey, a campaign leader with Climate Justice Alliance (CJA) member GAIA - Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives. “Our families live where the mining, fracking, burning, and dumping are worst. In climate change disasters like Hurricanes Katrina, Sandy, and Irene - and cyclical economic disasters like the Great Recession - our people are on the frontline of harm at every point along the way.”
“Missing from the EPA’s picture is how our frontline communities are also the source of clean energy innovation and cutting-edge economic and environmental policy,” added Elizabeth Sanders, a leader with CJA member Kentuckians for the Commonwealth. “We are already blazing a clean energy trail across the country. We’re seeding transformations like Navajo solar power replacing coal in Black Mesa, Arizona. We’re building a working-class eco-village with its own clean energy and zero waste infrastructure in Jackson, Mississippi. The Clean Power Plan should be an important point of leverage to grow the seeds Our Power Campaign leaders have already planted.”
The “Our Power Plan” provides an environmental justice counterpoint to the Clean Power Plan. It was produced by 19 of the member organizations within the Climate Justice Alliance who plan to engage with the EPA and state policymakers over the coming years. The “Our Power Plan” points out critical oversights in the EPA’s Clean Power Plan and demands the Federal and State Implementation Plans:
- develop alternative incentive mechanisms that allow EJ communities and households to directly participate and access efficiency incentives outside a carbon trading process;
- reduce and regulate carbon emissions and pollutions equitably across the supply chain--from the point of energy extraction to power plants that are overwhelmingly located in indigenous and minority communities;
- eliminate regulatory loopholes and incentives for all dirty energy, including natural gas, incineration, biomass, nuclear power, and coal;
- increase emphasis on and resources for energy efficiency;
- further prioritize frontline and low-income communities to ensure they directly benefit from investments and employment in renewable energy and conservation.
“We appreciate the EPA’s commitment to environmental justice in the final version of the Clean Power Plan,” agreed CJA National Coordinator Michael Leon Guerrero. “But let’s be clear: our vision of environmental justice is transformative rather than corrective. We need a “Just Transition” away from the era of “dig-burn-dump” energy that includes a complete playbook for local, living economies. This means clean community energy, and also zero waste; regional food systems; public transportation; efficient, affordable, and durable housing; and ecosystem restoration and stewardship.”
From the January 19th, 2016 actions to the final September 2018 EPA deadline, authors and co-signers of the “Our Power Plan” will remain directly involved in Clean Power Plan processes over the coming years. Climate Justice Alliance members will vigorously promote frontline community leadership and a more politically courageous vision of clean energy.
“Our frontline communities are full of seasoned organizers and advocates,” asserted Jacqui Patterson, Director of the NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program. “In the same way NAACP Indiana got coal power plants in Indianapolis retired and defeated a bill that would have obstructed distributed solar and wind generation… count on us all to be vocal and visible about the way the Clean Power Plan gets put into action in our home states.”
“Everyone who cares about climate change must speak out during the Clean Power Plan State Implementation Processes,” urged Fletcher Harper, Executive Director of Our Power Plan endorser, GreenFaith. “Our clean energy future depends on an educated public determined to end the era of extractive energy. Climate disruption is here. Your family’s survival depends on the collective vision, ingenuity, and determination of people like those leading the Our Power Campaign.”
# # #
Climate Justice Alliance Our Power Plan Day of Action sites & coordinators
EPA Region 1 - Boston, MA Environmental Justice League of Rhode Island
Dania Flores firstname.lastname@example.org
EPA Region 2 - New York, NY UPROSE
Elizabeth Yeampierre email@example.com
NY Environmental Justice Alliance
Eddie Bautista firstname.lastname@example.org
EPA Region 3 - Philadelphia, PA Energy Justice Network
Mike Ewall email@example.com
EPA Region 4 - Atlanta, GA Cooperation Jackson
Brandon King firstname.lastname@example.org
EPA Region 5 - Chicago, IL NAACP Indiana
Denise Abdul Rahman email@example.com
EPA Region 6 - Dallas, TX Black Mesa Water Coalition
Donna House firstname.lastname@example.org
Southwest Workers Union, Arturo Trejo
EPA Region 7 - Kansas City, KS Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment (MORE)
Nabeehah Azeez email@example.com
EPA Region 8 - Denver, CO Energy Justice Network
Mike Ewall firstname.lastname@example.org
EPA Region 9 - San Francisco, CA Communities for a Better Environment
Shana Lazerow email@example.com
Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives
Monica Wilson firstname.lastname@example.org
EPA Region 10 - Seattle, WA Community to Community Development
Edgar Franks email@example.com
- Our Power Plan landing page www.ourpowercampaign.org/ourpowerplan for dates, locations, campaign spokespeople, and more
- Livestreaming in some locations via Periscope.tv Visit page above for viewing details closer to the week
- For in-the-moment social media posts track #OurPowerPlan and #ItTakesRoots on Twitter. Bookmark @CJAOurPower and www.facebook.com/OurPowerCampaign