Members of the Congressional Black Caucus have been at the forefront of the Environmental Justice Movement, calling national attention to the disproportionate burden of pollution on the most vulnerable members of our society. Their public advocacy has included protesting the location of toxic waste sites in minority and low-income areas, calling for new and revised standards for clean air and water, as well as promoting environmentally progressive energy policies. Their efforts to bring attention to environmental injustices in Congress and to raise the levels of awareness about the environment in their communities have brought about significant changes in environmental policy and oversight.
Working tirelessly to eradicate environmental racism and other injustices, the CBC promotes the fair treatment of low-income communities and people of color, especially in the development, implementation and enforcement of environmental policies. It challenges the myth that African Americans are not concerned about the environment. Since its inception, members have had consistently strong environmental voting scores.
Their long-standing commitment was put to the test in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina destroyed much of the Gulf Coast in Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi. Since then, the CBC has been aggressively working to ensure the fair and equitable treatment of hurricane victims and to clean up pollution and other environmental damage caused by Katrina.
CBC members continue to steer environmental legislation and policy-making, holding critical positions on environmental and energy related committees. Their continued participation and leadership ensures that the voices of African Americans and other underrepresented groups will be present in environmental policy and decision-making.