Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Southern Black Women Weigh in On Senate Passage of the Inflation Reduction Act; Urge Just Transition to Renewable Energy That Prioritizes Communities of Color

“We know that voting is important, but it is in moments like this that we appreciate the power of having people aligned with our interests in office.”


August 12, 2022

BATON ROUGE, La. – Following the Senate’s passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, members of the Black Southern Women’s Collaborative today weighed in on the significance of the measure. They also warned that without intention, the same entities contributing to the climate crisis will receive billions in subsidies. The bill will cut pollution and invest $369 billion in measures to spur clean energy production and create new clean energy technologies and jobs. The group released the following statement:

“The Inflation Reduction Act presents a wonderful opportunity to address the climate crisis, health care and soaring taxes,” said Ashley K. Shelton, president and CEO of the Power Coalition for Equity & Justice. “But the legislation will also position energy companies, the same entities that helped spur the climate crisis, to get billions in subsidies for solar and renewable energy. We must ensure that these subsidies become new business opportunities and economic engines for communities of color and persons most impacted by the climate crisis but least responsible for it. The same industries that contribute to the climate crisis should not be the only ones benefiting from this bill. Additionally, the federal government has a moral obligation to not only address the climate crisis but to ensure an equitable and just transition to renewable energy that favors communities of color.”

The $430 billion Inflation Reduction Act will spur action on the climate crisis, health care and taxes. It passed the Senate, and the House of Representatives is expected to vote on it on Friday before it heads to President Biden for his signature.

“The Inflation Reduction Act comes as the nation weathers another challenging Atlantic Hurricane Season, which has already seen flooding in Eastern Kentucky, Southern Virginia and Las Vegas and wildfires in California,” said Tameka Greer, executive director of Memphis Artists for Change. “Every step to address the climate crisis must be taken with precision and intention. This will ensure that communities of color, who suffer the most due to the crisis, benefit from efforts to address the climate emergency.”

“In Florida, the climate emergency has created a housing crisis that, again, adversely impacts communities of color,” said Rev. Rhonda Thomas, executive director of Faith in Florida. “Housing prices have skyrocketed even as wages have stagnated. As the Biden administration and Congress consider how to transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy, they must ensure that the people who have suffered the most due to the climate emergency can participate in the emerging green economy.”

“What most people don’t get about hurricanes and flooding is that even when the water subsides, communities are forever impacted,” Shelton said. “Long after the cameras leave, communities of color, including Black and Brown women, still suffer. It is imperative that the federal government continue their efforts but also invest in community-based groups who can quickly disburse resources to those in need.”

“The climate emergency means that storms are coming more frequently, and they are increasing in severity,” said Kendra Cotton, chief operating officer for the New Georgia Project. “In short, as a result of inaction, the climate crisis is escalating. This occurs at a time when Black voters are already struggling to have their voices heard at the polls and have sufficient opportunity to elect candidates of choice. We know that voting is important, but it is in moments like this that we appreciate the power of having people aligned with our interests in office.”


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