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Southern Alliance for Clean Energy

Seandra Rawls
May 17, 2011
  DirtyEnergy Impacts
  Clean Energy Solutions
  Strategies for Success
  Coal Plant air pollution
disproportionately affects
communities of color.
• Asthma attacks send African Americans to the
emergency room at 3 times the rate of others.
• 71% of African Americans live in areas that violate air
quality standards, compared to 58% of others.
• In 19 states, African Americans are more than TWICE
as likely to live in neighborhoods where pollution
causes the greatest health danger.
“Blacks in 19 states and Latinos
in 12 states are more than twice
as likely as Whites to live in
neighborhoods where air
pollution poses the greatest
health danger.”

-According to a research brief

by Dr. Robert Bullard of Clark Atlanta University
  Mercury is a potent toxin that can cause a variety of
health problems from learning disorders to heart attacks.
  Mercury can lead to a variety of neurological problems in
children from decreased motor visual development and
vocabulary to sever cognitive impairment. In adults
mercury can negatively impact dexterity, concentration,
and memory, cause heart attacks and raise blood
  Low-income Southeastern African-Americans are
particularly at risk; losing as many as 12 IQ points do to
mercury exposure.
  Humans are exposed to the
most toxic form of mercury
when it accumulates in
watersheds and enters our
bodies through the fish we eat.
  African Americans are avid
fishermen and are more likely
to eat what they catch, eat
more of it and be less aware of
health advisories than their
white counterparts.
The typical poor household faces
energy costs of up to 25% of its
total income.
  Across the Southeast, the four main risk factors associated
with climate change include drought, flooding, hurricane
force winds, and sea-level rise.
  Like other energy-related health problems, the African
American community is particularly vulnerable.
“The effects of natural disasters
and climate change vary
widely by state, county and
community. Although social
variables such as income and
age do not determined who
will be hit by a natural
disaster, they do determine a
population’s ability to prepare,
respond and recover when
disaster does strike.”

- From Exposed: Social vulnerability

and climate change in the US
Southeast report by Oxfam, 2010
  Energy Efficiency
  Renewable Energy
  Prevent new coal plants from being
constructed in our region.
  Reduce air pollution in communities that are
disproportionately affected by poor air quality.
  Improve water quality, that is less toxic and
safe to drink and fish.
  Clean energy investments generate
upwards of three times more jobs
than the equivalent amount of
investment in the fossil fuel industry.
o  must pay family wages and provide
opportunities for advancement along a
career track of increasing skills and
o  must use local and targeted hire to
ensure full access to these jobs for
communities facing the highest
unemployment and poverty rates, and
provide job training and other
community benefits.
  Investing in energy efficiency and
home weatherization programs can
deliver immediate and tangible
financial benefits.
◦  lower utility bills
◦  green jobs
◦  higher quality homes
◦  stronger communities
◦  Community forums
◦  Energy Round
tables & Summits
◦  Webinars &
  Advocate for policies that will:
◦  create green jobs
◦  reduce global warming pollution
◦  transition the U.S. to a clean energy future

 Contact info and other resources through SACE’s

  Submit comments for Mercury
Rule to EPA
•  Speak at a public hearing
•  Submit online or via email
  remember to include the
specific docket number for
each case (Example:
mercury rule is EPA-HQ-
•  Fax or mail your typed
•  Double your impact by
encouraging a friend or family
member to submit, too
  Support SACE to ensure continued work educating and advocating for
equitable treatment of low-income consumers and marginalized
communities on climate and clean energy policies
◦  e-News letters, Action Alerts
◦  Interactive website cleanenergy org
◦  Blog – Footprints on the path to clean energy
◦  Member webinars
◦  Become a member