Media Contact: Deidre Nelms, firstname.lastname@example.org (802) 251-0203 ext. 711
Coming Clean and the Environmental Justice Health Alliance for Chemical Policy Reform (EJHA) released the following statement reacting to the proposed Inflation Reduction Act of 2022:
The proposed Inflation Reduction Act takes significant steps to address the climate crisis and to redress legacy pollution in communities facing multiple, cumulative chemical and health hazards every day. We celebrate the bill’s inclusion of $60 billion in investments to support Environmental Justice, which rests on decades of advocacy by the communities most harmed by toxic chemicals, climate change, and systemic racism.
We celebrate the bill’s investments to clean up legacy pollution in low-income communities and communities of color; deploy affordable and accessible pollution-free energy in disadvantaged communities; improve the energy efficiency of low- and moderate-income households and affordable housing; and improve public health and climate resilience in communities historically left behind. The bill would finally put the US on a path toward substantial reductions in climate changing emissions, at a time when environmental justice communities are experiencing the worst impacts of the climate crisis in the form of deadly and extreme heat, wildfires, storms, flooding, and sea level rise.
However, while much of this bill is promising, it includes harmful trade-offs. Remedies to environmental injustice and the climate crisis should not include false solutions that continue to support and subsidize the toxic chemical and fossil fuels industries, which result in the adverse impacts this bill should seek to address, such as: provisions that tie offshore wind leasing to massive new oil and gas lease sales; fossil fuel subsidies and possible investment in dirty natural gas pipelines; investments in unproven carbon capture and storage technologies; investments in hydrogen, nuclear power and biofuels infrastructure; restrictions on community participation.
The fight for climate and environmental justice is not over. To truly achieve a just climate future, our government must ensure that communities long overburdened with a disproportionate share of deadly pollution are protected from further fossil fuel development. This bill must be coupled with bold executive action from the Biden Administration, and state and local leadership. Infrastructure permits should not be approved without meaningful community involvement and consultation, or if they contribute to cumulative or disproportionate impacts, or shift burdens.
For twenty years, Coming Clean and EJHA have been guided by the Louisville Charter for Safer Chemicals - a platform to transform the fossil fuel intensive chemical industry so it is no longer a source of harm - that has been endorsed by over 125 diverse organizations nationwide. The Charter outlines the need to eliminate fossil fuels from chemical and energy production, prevent disproportionate exposures and hazards, reduce cumulative Impacts on Environmental Justice communities, and take immediate action to protect, restore and strengthen communities that have been harmed by petrochemicals.
We still have a long way to go to achieve the goals of the Charter, protect disadvantaged communities and secure a pollution-free future for all. We celebrate this moment, and congratulate the bill’s supporters: You heard us. Now let's figure out how to do this right, together, for the people.
Coming Clean is a collaborative network of frontline community activists, environmental justice organizations, and policy, science and market experts, committed to transforming the chemical industry so that it is no longer a source of harm. For twenty years, we have fought to end legacy pollution in communities of color, ban toxic pesticides that harm farmworkers and their families, regulate hazardous facilities, and end the sale of unsafe products in dollar stores and other retailers across the country.
The Environmental Justice Health Alliance for Chemical Policy Reform is a national network of grassroots Environmental and Economic Justice organizations and advocates in communities that are disproportionately impacted by toxic chemicals from legacy contamination, ongoing exposure to polluting facilities and health-harming chemicals in household products. EJHA supports a just transition towards safer chemicals and a pollution-free economy that leaves no community or worker behind.