Washington D.C.- Today, the League of Conservation Voters released a new report examining the environmental records of members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), collectively referred to as the Tri-Caucus. Using data from the 2018 National Environmental Scorecard, the report details how members of the Tri-Caucus spoke out and voted against policies that posed particularly adverse threats to the health and safety of communities of color.
In 2018, the Trump administration waged an assault on critical environmental protections. While members of the Republican House majority rubber-stamped this dangerous agenda, Tri-Caucus members led the fight against these overwhelmingly anti-environmental policies. Leaders like Representatives Raúl Grijalva (AZ-03), Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX -30), Ruben Gallego (AZ-07), and Ted Lieu (CA-33) and the co-chairs of the United for Climate and Environmental Justice Task Force fought for funding for the Environmental Justice Small Grants program, worked to block reckless environmental rollbacks, and pushed for accountability from scandal plagued Trump Cabinet members Scott Pruitt and Ryan Zinke.
Full report here.
“LCV applauds Tri-Caucus members for their leadership for our environment in 2018,” said LCV Senior Vice President for Government Affairs Tiernan Sittenfeld. “Communities of color and low-income communities bear a disproportionate burden of the dangerous impacts of toxic pollution and climate change, and the Tri-Caucus has helped lead the fight against environmental racism. We were thrilled to see these caucuses grow, with a historic number of new members of color joining the 116th Congress, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with Tri-Caucus members in the fight for the health of communities across the country.”
“Communities and leaders of color across the country are organizing and fighting to protect their rights to clean air, clean water, and a safe and healthy climate for themselves and their children. They are holding elected officials and polluters accountable. It is great to see that Congressional Members of color are also standing up to polluters and voting to protect our air, water, and health,” said Fernando Cazares, National Director of Chispa, a community organizing program at LCV.
“Climate change affects communities across the country, and the negative impacts paired with pollution are hitting low-income communities and communities of color the hardest,” said Rep. Nanette Barragán (CA-44), member of the House Energy and Commerce committee and co-chair of the United for Climate and Environmental Justice Task Force. “While California is known for its beautiful landscape, residents in my district and across the state suffer from some of the worst air quality in the country – both from fossil fuel emissions as well as smoke from wildfires exacerbated by climate change. At a time when the Trump Administration is rolling back protection after protection and putting our communities at further risk, it’s more important than ever that we take proactive action to protect our land, air and water to guarantee the health and safety of our communities. That’s why our votes in Congress have impacts in our communities and why the work of the Tri-Caucus and environmental justice advocates are critical.”
“Climate change is widely known as a threat multiplier, exacerbating existing challenges that our communities face such as access to healthy food, clean air, and clean water.” said Rep. Pramila Jayapal (WA-07). “Communities of color and low-income communities are on the frontlines of these threats and yet the Trump Administration continues to attack critical environmental policies that protect people and the planet. They ignore evidence and advice from top climate scientists and actively seek to dismantle the agencies they oversee and defund grants and programs that protect our environment. I will continue to fight the unjust anti-environment bills pushed forward by this legislation and work to pass real reforms that protect the health and livelihoods of our families.”
“All people have the right to live, work, play, and pray in spaces that are safe and healthy,” said Congressman A. Donald McEachin. “This report reconfirms the commitment by my colleagues and I to safeguard these rights and ensure environmental quality for all communities. There is nothing more important that addressing our climate crisis, and I am committed to championing policies and processes to ensure that we leave our children and grandchildren a clean, healthy planet.”