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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 BookerDangerously fast slaughter speeds are putting animals, people at greater risk during COVID-19 crisis Senate Democrats reelect Schumer as leader by acclamation  Hill associations push for more diversity in lawmakers' staffs MORE (D-N.J.), Tammy DuckworthLadda (Tammy) Tammy DuckworthOvernight Defense: Trump orders troop drawdown in Afghanistan and Iraq | Key Republicans call Trump plan a 'mistake' Top Democrat calls Trump's Afghan drawdown 'the right policy decision' as others warn of 'mistake' Overnight Defense: Another Defense official resigns | Pentagon chief says military 'remains strong' despite purge | Top contender for Biden DOD secretary would be historic pick MORE (D-Ill.) and Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Kerry says Paris climate deal alone 'is not enough' | EPA halts planned Taiwan trip for Wheeler| EPA sued over rule extending life of toxic coal ash ponds Overnight Energy: Biden names John Kerry as 'climate czar' | GM reverses on Trump, exits suit challenging California's tougher emissions standards | United Nations agency says greenhouse gas emissions accumulating despite lockdown decline GSA transition delay 'poses serious risk' to Native Americans, Udall says 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.