Dem senators launch Environmental Justice Caucus

Dem senators launch Environmental Justice Caucus
© Greg Nash

A trio of Democratic senators on Monday announced the creation of the Environmental Justice Caucus in the Senate. 

Sens. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerBooker takes swipe at Biden criminal justice reform plan Democrats, advocacy groups urge Pompeo to abolish new 'unalienable rights' commission Biden announces plan to counteract mass incarceration MORE (D-N.J.), Tammy DuckworthLadda (Tammy) Tammy DuckworthAl Franken says he 'absolutely' regrets resigning Advocates push for EpiPens on flights after college student's mid-flight allergic reaction Overnight Defense: Woman accusing general of sexual assault willing to testify | Joint Chiefs pick warns against early Afghan withdrawal | Tensions rise after Iran tries to block British tanker MORE (D-Ill.) and Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperOvernight Energy: Senators push back on EPA's new FOIA rule | Agency digs in on rule change | Watchdog expands ethics probe of former EPA air chief Watchdog probing more ethics investigations into EPA's former air chief: report Fighting the opioid epidemic: Congress can't just pass laws, but must also push to enforce them MORE (D-Del.) made the announcement on Earth Day and said the caucus will work to raise awareness of environmental issues that have impacted low-income communities and people of color. 

The caucus will also work to help those individuals and communities by providing assistance to them and creating legislation. 

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Duckworth said in a statement that all Americans have "the right to breathe safe air, drink clean water and live on uncontaminated land regardless of their zip code, the size of their wallet and the color of their skin."

"However, too often that is not the case, especially for low income communities and people of color. That’s why I’m proud to start the Senate’s first Environmental Justice Caucus to raise awareness of the fact that communities of color face public health challenges at alarming rates while too many in power look the other way," Duckworth said. 

"Together, we will be strong advocates for every person’s right to a safe, healthy and livable environment," she continued.

Booker, who is running for president in 2020 and has support the Green New Deal, said in a statement that "communities of color, low income communities, and indigenous communities" in the U.S. "disproportionately face environmental hazards and harmful pollutants on a daily basis."

"Clean air and clean water shouldn’t be luxuries for the privileged, and the Environmental Justice Caucus is an important step toward raising awareness and taking action to address this injustice," he added.