Elizabeth Warren Touts Plan to Address ‘Environmental Racism’

Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren speaks to supporters during a campaign stop and town hall at Toad Hill Farm in Franconia, New Hampshire, overlooking the White Mountains on August 14, 2019. (Photo by JOSEPH PREZIOSO / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP/Getty Images)
JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP/Getty

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) on Wednesday unveiled her plan to address “environmental injustice” and “environmental racism,” which includes a $1 trillion investment into minority communities affected by “industrial pollution.”

Warren argues that “justice” plays a massive role in properly addressing the climate change “crisis,” citing studies that suggest that black and Hispanic families are disproportionately affected by air pollution caused by white people:

A more recent study found that while whites largely cause air pollution, Blacks and Latinxs are more likely to breathe it in. Unsurprisingly, these groups also experience higher rates of childhood asthma. And many more low-income and minority communities are exposed to toxins in their water – including lead and chemicals from industrial and agricultural run-off.

Warren calls this phenomenon “environmental racism” and concludes that “environmental injustice is the result of decades of discrimination and environmental racism compounding in communities that have been overlooked for too long.”

She previewed her plan in a video clip featuring far-left “Squad” member Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI).

“We need a government that’s on the side of families—not giant corporations polluting our communities. @RashidaTlaib and I walked through 48217, the most polluted zip code in Michigan, and talked with the families living every day with the effects of pollution,” Warren tweeted alongside the clip:

Like Warren’s other proposals, her environmental injustice plan weaves in aspects of her other campaign promises. For instance, Warren says her housing plan will provide an assistance program, aimed to get impoverished families out of poor, pollution-ridden neighborhoods and into the “neighborhood of their choice.”

She also pledges to invest one-third – or $1 trillion – of her climate change investment “into the most vulnerable communities,” although she does not specify what the $1 trillion will be spent on, specifically.

Like most of Warren’s plans, her environmental injustice proposal involves the implementation of another tax. In this instance, it is the “Superfund Waste Tax.”

Her plan states:

There are over 1300 remaining Superfund sites across the country, many located in or adjacent to frontline communities. So-called “orphan” toxic waste clean-ups were originally funded by a series of excise taxes on the petroleum and chemical industries. But thanks to Big Oil and other industry lobbyists, when that tax authority expired in 1995 it was not renewed. Polluters must pay for the consequences of their actions – not leave them for the communities to clean up. I’ll work with Congress to reinstate and then triple the Superfund tax, generating needed revenue to clean up the mess.

The presidential hopeful even weaves in Medicare for All as part of her broader proposal, arguing such a system will “make it easier for the federal government to quickly tailor health care responses to specific environmental disasters in affected communities when they occur.”

Warren also reiterates her pledge to “ensure that employers and our government honor the promises they made to workers in fossil fuel industries.”

“I’ve fought for years to protect pensions and health benefits for retired coal workers, and I’ll continue fighting to maintain the solvency of multi-employer pension plans,” she said. “As president, I’ll protect those benefits that fossil fuel workers have earned.”

However, Warren’s role in crafting a petition to the Supreme Court on behalf of LTV Steel – which helped the company’s “fight against a congressional requirement  that it pay millions of dollars into a fund for its retired coal miners’ health care” – calls her promise into question.

“As I’ve traveled this country, I’ve heard the human stories from frontline communities. Families where many people have cancer. Coastal communities facing the threat of rising sea levels. Ruined land and poisoned water,” Warren tweeted.

“These communities need justice—and I will stand with them,” she added:

.

Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.