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In Opposition to Nuclear and Fossil Fuel Technologies as Safe, Viable Alternatives to Renewable Energy

WHEREAS, the Congressionally mandated 4th U.S. National Climate Assessment (NCA), a rigorously evaluated document that is peer reviewed by scientists at the National Oceanography and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Climate Science Special Report (CSSR), the National Aeronautics, Space Administration (NASA), the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and the nation's most accomplished climate scientists, is the core blueprint used to inform the public and craft public policy decisions to address climate change; and

WHEREAS, despite the unassailable, explicit warnings issued in the NCA's November 2017 conclusions of this non-partisan report that extreme weather events are being intensified by climate change and that carbon pollution is warming the planet at an unprecedented rate, the Trump administration presented a program at the 2017 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) entitled: "The Role of Cleaner and More Efficient Fossil Fuels and Nuclear Power in Climate Mitigation," which promoted coal, natural gas and nuclear energy as American energy resources to help poor countries meet electricity needs and drive down greenhouse gas emissions as an answer to climate change; and

WHEREAS, the Trump Administration has been reckless in its attempts at undermining the terms and goals of the United Nations 2016 Paris Climate Accord, by globally promoting what it references as "cleaner and more efficient fossil fuels" (clean coal) in helping countries meet their climate objectives at international forums such as the G-20 summit; and

WHEREAS, instead of exploring fundamentally safer, renewable forms of energy, most fossil fuel industries are still clinging to the use nuclear or more profitable, but equally, if not more harmful fossil fuels methods, such as natural gas and carbon capture sequestration (CCS), also known as geo-sequestration. At the same time the industry is misleading consumers by promoting and labeling these fossil fuels as "safe, natural or clean"; and

WHEREAS, so called "clean coal" is an expensive, failed, experimental, oxymoronic myth which promises to prevent carbon dioxide (CO²) from entering the atmosphere in the industrial coal burning process, and instead compresses and diverts it into pipelines which transports the CO² to be injected and stored underground in geologic rock formation; and

WHEREAS, "clean coal" has been embraced as a possible remedy to catastrophic climate effects- without contemplation of possible consequences including its short-term, non-sustainability, inflated cost to build and maintain these plants, possible deadly pipeline leaks, the possibility of hydro-fractured induced earthquakes, and other potential vulnerabilities; and

WHEREAS, even in his 2018 State of the Union Address, President Trump announced that his administration had "ended the war on beautiful, clean coal"; and

WHEREAS, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, coal production has risen since Trump took office — a fact that he has proudly boasted in his infamous tweets; and

WHEREAS, one of the most visible examples of failed carbon capture sequestration energy alternative debacles, is the experimental Kemper, County, Mississippi plant, which was touted as a revolutionary "clean coal" lignite plant and located in a community with a 60% African-American population, at an astronomical cost of $7.5 billion dollars; and

WHEREAS, Mississippi, the state with the highest percentage of African-Americans, in addition to being one of the poorest states and subject to some of the highest energy costs in the country, would have benefitted its 186,000 ratepayers by wisely and smartly investing in more economical, dependable renewable energy sources; and

WHEREAS, the burning of fossil fuels to generate electricity or transportation continue to pose substantial hazards to our climate through the emissions of greenhouse gases into our atmosphere, accelerating global warming; while risking the erosion of human health, quality of life and social factors, including the dynamic between property values, race, and socioeconomic status; and

WHEREAS, low income and minority populations are the most disproportionately impacted by the production of fossil fuel based energy and continue to be the least able to combat the adverse effects due to less financial resources and inability to pay discriminatory fixed and grid access costs; and

WHEREAS, the NAACP has chronicled the disproportionate class and racial inequities of coal based energy generation, a primary use of fossil fuel, in its widely acclaimed 2011 report, "Coal Blooded: Putting Profits Before People", which studied and ranked the environmental justice performance of the nation's 378 coal fired power plants.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that, the NAACP stands in opposition to nuclear energy and attempts to avoid the much needed, inevitable energy transition by merely converting from one fossil fuel source to another, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the NAACP reaffirms its support of renewable energy sources as the safest, most viable power alternative and emphasizes the need for a just energy transition that will avail equal opportunities, job training skills for 1) reclassification of the fossil energy labor force and 2) provide access, ownership, economic, and job opportunities for workers, people of color and low to moderate income individuals who continue to be the most adversely and disproportionately impacted by the use of fossil fuels; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the NAACP urges international allies of the United States, federal, state and local governments to deny taxpayers and ratepayers funding of experimental fossil fuel projects which continue to preserve and maintain fossil fuel energy production.

Derrick Lewis - Youth & College Hero

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