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Clean energy activists in “Stop Killing Us” t-shirts delay EPA hearing for 15 minutes. The audience applauds and joins in chanting.

CHICAGO – People’s Action took control of the Environmental Protection Agency’s hearings here today for 15 minutes to draw attention to the sham hearing, the dangers of the Dirty Energy Scam, and the Trump administration’s plan to kill 1,400 people annually, according to the EPA’s own study.

“We refuse to sit passively while the Trump administration is making decisions that will kill poor people and people of color,” said George Goehl, director of People’s Action. “We will hold the Trump administration responsible for every death caused by intentionally easing restrictions on carbon emissions from coal fired power plants. This plan is a death trap and health hazard for all poor and working class communities.”

People’s Action, a national organization based in Chicago, has advocated for a strong Clean Power Plan since 2015. The organization’s work led to the Future Energy Jobs Act in Illinois two years ago. We will resist every effort by the Trump administration to weaken these strides toward clean air and good jobs.

“It is an outrage that we are being asked to respectfully testify in five minutes each about a plan that will sicken hundreds of thousands of our children with asthma and other diseases caused by increased air pollution,” said Rev. Tony Pierce, who traveled from Peoria for the hearing. “You know what our testimony is going to be. We have been telling the EPA for three long years, at hearings around the country and in this room, what we need.”

The 40 People’s Action climate justice activists then joined the hundreds of people protesting outside Ralph Metcalfe Federal Building where the hearing was being held. The Trump administration’s Dirty Energy Scam is a life and death issue for our families and our communities.

People’s Action is calling for dramatically reduced carbon emissions, ambitious action to protect communities of color from pollution; and renewable energy sovereignty that economically empowers low-income communities. The administration’s Affordable Clean Energy rule does the opposite.

“We’re sick and tired of fossil fuel companies buying our government and putting their profit before our health and the planet,” said Sonny Garcia of Bloomington. “We need People and Planet First policies that make the big corporations and one-percenters that are profiting off our suffering pay for a 100% renewable energy economy that works for workers and communities.”

The bogus hearing, the only one being held, is only intended to satisfy a government checklist and not make any real change to the dangerous plan.

“The EPA’s hearing, like its plan, is nothing short of sham. We know the Trump administration has no intention of listening to the pleas of working class people and people of color who are simply asking for the right to breathe clean air in their homes and neighborhoods,” said Ben Ishibashi, People’s Action climate justice organizer.

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People’s Action is a progressive, multiracial, working-class coalition of more than a million people and 48 member organizations in 30 states. We fight for racial, gender, climate and economic justice.

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About People’s Action Institute

Over five decades, People’s Action Institute and our affiliates have fought for reforms that recognize poor and working people’s dignity and make material and political improvements to millions of lives. Our victories include the Community Reinvestment Act, Superfund, the Affordable Care Act, the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Act and the MAT Act.

We engage in issue campaigns, public education and training to advance a long-term agenda for racial, economic and gender justice. Our focus now is on deepening community organizing so we can build lasting power across the country. 

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