What would Biden’s climate plan look like for marginalized neighborhoods?
Low-income neighborhoods and communities of color have suffered disproportionately from pollution for decades. What would the Biden clean energy plan look like for those communities?
Right now, dirty power plants and polluting factories have been placed in and near low-income, often majority nonwhite, neighborhoods and towns — away from richer neighborhoods. The extra air pollution inhaled by these communities leads to worse overall health and greater stress, and recently has even been tied to higher risk for serious cases of COVID-19.
The Biden clean energy plan would replace those dirty power plants and factories (or the equipment inside them) with clean options that would eliminate air pollution from those facilities. That would bring clean air to communities that have long suffered from environmental injustice, improving people’s health and lifelong wellbeing.
The Biden plan also promises that 40% of the plan’s overall benefits will go to disadvantaged communities, which will add economic development on top of cleaner air.
But the Biden plan also goes further: it promises to include affected communities at the table in climate decisionmaking. Biden even promises that working groups on environmental justice will report directly to the White House so EJ communities have access to “the highest levels of the Biden Administration.” That’s a level of engagement and empowerment such communities need and deserve!
[This mini-blog is part of Picturing Policy, a new project to help voters visualize what climate policy proposals would look like for their lives. See PicturingPolicy.org and @PicturingPolicy on Instagram. Image by Violet Kitchen.]