WHEREAS, the NAACP has committed to Resolutions on Environmental and Climate Justice in 1993, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2009 and 2011; and
WHEREAS, the U.S. House of Representatives has passed a resolution that sets a national goal of 25% of total energy coming from domestic, renewable sources including ethanol and biodiesel-by the year 2025; and
WHEREAS, renewable energy sources currently provide roughly 6% of the United States' total energy needs; and
WHEREAS, African Americans are disproportionately impacted by air pollution, particularly from fossil fuel based energy production processes and people of color and the poor are more likely to be burdened with environmentally-related health conditions; and
WHEREAS, African American children are more likely to be asthmatic than Whites, regardless of their family income, and African Americans are twice as likely to die from asthma and more likely to die from lung disease in spite of lower smoking rates. African Americans lack access to health insurance at 150% the rate of uninsured in the general population; and
WHEREAS, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the February 2012 unemployment rates for African Americans, Hispanics, and Whites was 14.1%, 10.7% and 7.3%, respectively. Data has shown that even when you compare black and white workers, same age range, same education, you still see significant gaps in unemployment rates; and
WHEREAS, as it relates to the energy industry, African Americans spend the greatest proportion of their income on energy, yet benefit from a excessively low fraction of the revenue from the energy industry: Though African Americans spent $40 billion on energy in 2009, African Americans only comprised 1.1% of those employed in the energy sector and earn less than 1% of the revenue derived from the energy market; and
WHEREAS, it is critical for the U.S. to diversify its economy and we encourage strategic investments in emerging alternative and renewable energy industries, such as wind turbines, solar energy, electric or hybrid cars, advanced battery other 21st century technology which moves the nation toward energy independence. We also emphasize that such investments are not just about protecting the environment but are also about creating economic opportunity and healthy environments in distressed neighborhoods, while we must ensure that new industry and jobs meet the needs of the present without compromising the future; and
WHEREAS, we must ensure that "No Worker is Left Behind", by ensuring that the African American workforce is adequately trained and prepared for these newly created job opportunities. Our critical challenge is to present to our communities, palatable research, proven workforce development models and opportunities for income generation and wealth building as it relates to the advancement of clean energy; and
WHEREAS, the NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program serves as a thought leadership forum through which our allies and partners work together on common interests to organize and host both domestic and global policy events furthering the mission of renewable energy.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP commit to bringing renewable energy into the mainstream of the U.S. economy and lifestyle through research and communications programs and membership committees, and that we work in all sectors of the renewable energy industries including wind power, solar energy, geothermal energy, hydropower, ocean energy, biomass, bio-fuels, and waste energy and set a goal of 25% of renewable energy by 2025; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the renewable energy industry promises to create at least 25% of jobs for the African American community.