23. LCLAA RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF RENEWABLE ENERGY, ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE AND GREEN JOBS

lclaaLCLAA 17TH NATIONAL MEMBERSHIP CONVENTION
ORLANDO, FL
AUGUST 4-8, 2008

RESOLUTION:  23.    LCLAA RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF RENEWABLE ENERGY, ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE AND GREEN JOBS

Whereas, there is a recession in the U.S. job market and limited economic prospects for workers since thus far, a total of 463,000 jobs have been lost in the U.S. economy in this year alone; and

Whereas, consistent increases in gas and energy prices are imposing a great burden on Latino working families throughout the nation; and

Whereas, the United States faces difficult challenges in the field of energy including an overdependence on fossil fuels such as oil, natural gas, and coal, the production and importation of bio-fuels with uncertain sustainability attributes, and the resurgence of domestic and international uranium mining and enrichment for the purposes of military arms proliferation; and

Whereas, the United States of America’s dependence on imported fossil fuels is undermining the country’s national security by tying the U.S. economy to unstable and undemocratic nations, thus increasing the risk of military conflict in political hotspots around the globe; and

Whereas, our energy crisis cannot be solved by drilling our way out of the problem; and

Whereas, air pollution and global warming is caused by the burning of fossil fuels and the release of its associated pollutants into the oceans, air, soil, and lungs jeopardizes the planet’s ability to maintain a livable climate and intensifies grave public health ailments; and

Whereas, communities of color including low-income Latino, Black, and Native Americans living in the United States, as well as indigenous and poor people around the world, disproportionately bear the negative economic, environmental, and health impacts of the fossil fuel economy at every stage of its life cycle, from exploration to extraction to production to refining to distribution to consumption to disposal of waste; and

Whereas, the current production model for crop-based transportation energy perpetuates agrarian monoculture, eliminates bio-diversity, increases the use of petroleum based chemical fertilizers and pesticides, amplifies water demand and pollution, and boosts crop demand increasing food commodity prices, thus placing economic pressure on net food importing countries and the urban/rural poor; and

Whereas, decades of pioneering research and development by both the government and the private sector have yielded a host of promising new technologies that turn abundant domestic energy sources - including solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, clean distributed generation, and ocean energy - into transportation fuels, electricity, lighting and heat; and

Whereas, exploring and developing alternative sources of energy to power our country  such as solar, wind, and geothermal will induce the creation of much needed jobs in the US economy, improve national security, and work towards protecting the health of all peoples, the planet, and economy; and

Whereas, a new and green economy can provide great opportunity for Latino working families, it is crucial for the prosperity, security and  wellbeing of all workers for the new jobs to be union jobs, and   

Whereas, an energy future based on abundant and clean renewable resources is not only urgently needed, but achievable; and

Whereas, energy justice affirms the right of all people, including the poor, women, rural and indigenous peoples, to have access to affordable and sustainable renewable energy; and

Whereas, energy justice affirms the right of all workers employed in fossil fuel, and other polluting industries, to a safe and healthy work environment, without being forced to choose between an unsafe livelihood based on unsustainable production and unemployment; and

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA)  mobilize its constituency to urge Congress to support policy initiatives that will promote and fund: the development of the new energy economy, climate change adaptation measures, direct air pollution emission reductions, health care, low-income assistance energy programs, the creation of green jobs, and a just transition for workers and vocational institutions; and

FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED, that the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) call for a strong national commitment to enacting new policies at the federal, state, and local levels that will allow the United States to become a world leader in clean renewable energy production, manufacturing, and deployment, with full worker rights and protections included; and

FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED, that the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) will support policies that call for a reduction in the amount of fossil fuel energy burned to provide transportation, including increased fuel efficiency of vehicles and incentives to reduce global warming pollution from vehicles; and

FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED, that the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) oppose the hosting of new fossil-fuel based power plants in low-income and minority communities until all other efforts to reduce energy use and enhance clean energy development have been exhausted; and

FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED, that the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) encourages international, national, state, regional, and local government agencies to direct public and private investment toward the most disadvantaged communities and provide an opportunity for small businesses, schools, affordable housing associations, and other community institutions to participate in and benefit from efforts to develop, market, deploy and utilize renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies; and

FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED, that the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) encourages state and national lawmakers to support global warming pollution reduction policies that encourage maximum development of new renewable energy and energy efficiency resources; and

FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED, that the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) will urge Congress to support progressive climate and energy policy initiatives and programs that will generate revenue to finance clean energy investments, assist low-income ratepayers and reduce energy consumption through energy efficiency while ensuring that any such program incorporates principles of democratic accountability, ecological sustainability and social justice.
Respectfully submitted by: 

LCLAA Executive Board

REFERRED TO THE COMMITTEE:_________________________
CONCURRENCE: _______________________________________
NON-CONCURRENCE:___________________________________