As the Ranking Democratic Member of the Energy Subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee, I am committed to protecting our nation’s air and water supply by fighting efforts to reduce funding for the Environmental Protection Agency, as well as any attempts to overturn the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Land and Water Conservation Fund, or any additional environmental protection laws that have been under assault.
With the Trump Administration and House Republicans’ reckless attacks on the EPA, I am more determined than ever to fight any proposals that would defund the agency and repeal clean air and clean water laws that have been on the books for over 40 years. I believe in a balanced approach that promotes clean energy and efficiency, protects the environment, and provides for commonsense rules and regulations that allow industry to plan and prosper.
Research tells us that low-income communities and communities of color are disproportionately impacted by dirty air and water. Low-income communities are more likely to be located closer to coal-fired power plants and, therefore, are more likely to suffer from health issues resulting from dirty air and water. According to a 2002 Clean the Air report 68% of African-Americans live within 30 miles of a coal-fired power plant.
Additionally, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that “low-income populations, minorities, and children living in inner cities experience more emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and deaths due to asthma than the general population.” In fact, according to the American Lung Association, asthma attacks send African-Americans to the emergency room at more than three times the rate of white Americans and almost 1 in 10 African-American children suffer from asthma. These results are not limited to African-Americans. According to a 2006 CDC study, 12.7% of Hispanic children have asthma compared to 8% of non-Hispanic white children.
Now is not the time to defund and attempt to dismantle the EPA or repeal commonsense laws that were enacted — with bipartisan support — to protect the American public, especially those most vulnerable communities. We need a sensible approach that promotes clean and renewable sources of energy, encourages investment in new energy technologies, and helps employ more Americans by making our country more energy efficient and independent. I am committed to fighting towards this goal and I vow to never let profit come before health as we shape our energy policy for the 21st century.
More on Energy
WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Representative Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.) announced that he was sworn into the 117th Congress. In the 117th Congress, the Democratic majority remains committed to building back better by stamping out COVID-19, supporting the frontline workers that have served our communities so bravely throughout the pandemic, supporting small businesses, and putting urgently needed money in the pockets of workers. In this time of grave emergency, the American people need a Congress that prioritizes their health and economic well-being, and House Democrats stand ready to deliver.
WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.), Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy, delivered remarks at the American Association of Blacks in Energy 2020 Energy Policy Summit, highlighting his priorities heading into the 117th Congress as they relate to increasing diversity in the energy sector and better serving the energy needs of communities of color.
Rush Remarks as Delivered:
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Representative Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.) introduced the Restore Employment in Natural and Environmental Work (RENEW) Conservation Corps Act, which would create a civilian conservation corps to provide communities with job training and employment opportunities related to the outdoor recreation economy and green infrastructure projects. This legislation was introduced in the Senate by Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.).
WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Representative Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.), Chairman of the Energy Subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee, delivered the following opening statement at a hearing titled “Generating Equity: Improving Clean Energy Access and Affordability.” Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery: