Who Do You Trust on the Clean Power Plan: The Black Chamber of Commerce or the Climate Activists?

blog-misinformation-8.24.15According the Obama administration, the EPA’s Clean Power Plan will save the average family $85 a year on their energy bills, save consumers $155 billion, and create tens of thousands of new jobs. But the National Black Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) has been saying the opposite. As this article from Inside Climate News reports, NBCC put out a PR campaign contending that the plan will be a job-killer for minorities and raise their poverty levels over 25 percent.
Who should people believe? Here’s a clue: NBCC has strong ties to the fossil fuel industry, and has accepted at least $1 million in donations from Exxon and other oil companies. Their misinformation campaign does a great disservice to those they claim to empower, because as we discussed last Friday, climate change disproportionally affects people of color. Hispanics and African-Americans are more likely to live near polluted areas and suffer climate-related health impacts like asthma – impacts the Clean Power Plan will greatly reduce.
That’s why it’s so important not only to support the Clean Power Plan, but also to make sure people understand the benefits. We need our voices to be louder and clearer than those who oppose climate solutions for their own self-serving reasons. And we need to make people aware that misinformation campaigns are out there, so they seek out the truth.

Minorities Targeted with Misinformation on Obama’s Clean Power Plan, Groups Say

By Katherine Bagley, contributor to Inside Climate News
The National Black Chamber of Commerce launched a PR campaign against the carbon regulations, fueled by its oil and gas industry sponsors, critics contend.
After the Environmental Protection Agency released its groundbreaking carbon regulations last week, opponents worked to fill the airways and newspaper opinion pages with the message that the Clean Power Plan would cost minority communities millions of jobs and increase their poverty levels by more than 25 percent.
The claims were the resurgence of a campaign put forward two months ago by the National Black Chamber of Commerce. The Washington, D.C. group describes itself as a “nonprofit, nonpartisan, nonsectarian organization dedicated to the economic empowerment of African American communities,” but in fact has strong financial ties to the oil and gas industry.
It’s campaign was so vigorous, a prominent African American congressman, Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.) made a strong statement during the group’s annual convention in Florida and urged NBCC to sever ties with the industry and stop misleading minorities, who are disproportionately affected by pollution.
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Image credit: Carmella Fernando/flickr

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