Washington, D.C.–(ENEWSPF)–Aprill 20, 2012. Today policy experts from the Center for American Progress released a series of columns and analyses outlining a number of important priorities to keep in mind this Earth Day, which include the importance of environmental standards, ways that green jobs help communities of color and the top five American treasures to prioritize for protection this year.
Columns released today by CAP experts include:
- Environmental Standards Give the United States an Edge Over China (with photo slideshow) by Melanie Hart
Here in the United States, much can be learned by comparing our environmental progress to China, where they are just now starting down a path we took back in 1970. Prior to 1970 we left most environmental protection to state governments—creating a race to the bottom as they competed with one another to attract companies, resulting in health and environmental problems similar to what China is experiencing today. The column and accompanying slideshow show what can happen in the absence of a solid regulatory regime for environmental protection.
- Top 5 American Treasures to Protect in 2012 by Jessica Goad
Due to partisan gridlock Congress has not sent the president a single piece of land-designation legislation since March 30, 2009, when President Obama signed into law a bill protecting 2 million acres of wilderness and 1,000 miles of Wild and Scenic Rivers from development. Both Republicans and Democrats have introduced more than 20 wilderness bills, but none have even come up for a vote. This column outlines the locales that qualify as the top five candidates for protection this calendar year, as a result of community and political support.
- Green Jobs Help the Planet and Communities of Color by Abigail Ridley-Kerr and Jorge Madrid
In addition to helping the planet by reducing pollution and greenhouse gases, green jobs also provide opportunity for communities of color in urban centers that have felt the worst of the economic recession. The top five urban regions of green job growth are also home to large concentrations of communities of color, accounting for nearly half of the population in each region. This column elaborates on three key economic advantages that the green jobs sector offers to these communities.
- New EPA Rules Help Communities of Color Breathe Easier by Rachel Wilf and Jorge Madrid
For many people of color, air pollution is an unavoidable feature of daily life because they are more likely to live and work in the nation’s most polluted cities. They are overrepresented in areas near coal-fired power plants, hazardous waste facilities, and environments with unhealthy ozone levels. This column explains why new standards enacted and proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency are especially beneficial to these communities across the nation.
- The Lasting Impact of Deepwater Horizon by Kiley Kroh and Michael Conathan