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Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins' Posts

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The unflagging fight

This week, declare your independence from dirty energy

Pledge your allegiance to clean energy: declare your independence from dirty energyPhoto courtesy of NREL This weekend, we celebrate America's independence from Britain. Brave people -- the fathers and mothers of our country -- stood together against the most powerful empire of the time and said, "We will be free."  But as BP's disastrous oil spill in the Gulf Coast reminds us, a force just as powerful has our country under its thumb today: dependence on dirty, deadly fossil fuels that are polluting our nation and costing Americans their livelihoods. Once again, we must rise up and fight for America's independence. …

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Obama has spoken, now let's act

We applaud President Obama's plan for the restoration of the Gulf Coast and his commitment to comprehensive climate-change legislation. As the President stated yesterday, we must embrace a clean-energy future. We must unleash American innovation and position our country at the global forefront of a clean-energy economy. We must create millions of good, green jobs and challenge the false choice of having to choose between a paycheck and personal safety. It starts with passing comprehensive climate and energy legislation that creates a more equitable, clean, and secure future for all Americans. In addition to protecting and restoring the Gulf Coast, …

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Hip Hop Artist Drake Going Green

by Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, (CEO, Green For All) and Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Jr., (President, Hip Hop Caucus) Hip-hop artist Drake is "going green" and bringing his fans with him. "Everywhere you turn, you can see how pollution and poverty are hurting our neighborhoods," says Drake. "But we can change that. Going green is the solution." Partnering with Green the Block, Drake traveled to 17 campuses in 12 states to entertain and, with the help of Green The Block, educate his fans about the benefits of going green – the jobs, health and wealth – created through this movement. While Drake's highly …

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Unheard Voices from the Gulf Coast

The Vietnamese community of greater New Orleans makes up roughly half of the fishing industry in the area. They help to supply more than one-third of the nation’s seafood. As our country faces a potential shortage of Gulf shrimp, crab and fish, these workers face complete economic uncertainty. Low-income communities and communities of color have the most to gain from a clean-energy future and the most to lose under the current dirty economy. Their livelihoods are prisoners of, and sadly victims to, our current energy policy. We are seeing this tragic tale unfold in neighborhoods across New Orleans. Johnson Nguyen, …

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Fueling American Action

With a climate bill still stalled in the Senate, leaders need to get leading

The Senate is delaying on climate and energy again. How can so much inaction feel so exhausting? The most frustrating part is the feeling that our political system is hurting us more than it is helping. We have solutions. We have some really smart ideas about how to wean ourselves off dirty energy and create millions of jobs doing so. And we know what investment in clean energy can do for our communities. But the U.S. Senate appears to be taking directions from political convention and special interests rather than from the American people. Although Capitol Hill may be deadlocked, …

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This Earth Day, it's about Hip Hop and Hard Hats

On April 22nd, 1970, twenty million Americans took action for the first Earth Day, marking the unofficial birth of the modern environmental movement. Forty years later, Earth Day is as much about hip hop and hard hats as it is about polar bears and Ponderosas. Over the past few years, the green movement has seen a fundamental shift with the realization of the economic opportunity provided by fighting the climate crisis.  Improving the environment and transitioning to clean energy can spark a wave of jobs and opportunity for the United States, particularly for low-income communities and communities of color.  This …

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Earth Day on Every Block

Co-authored with Reverend Lennox Yearwood, Jr, Hip Hop Caucus On April 22, 1970, the world recognized the first Earth Day. That same year, Hip Hop was born in the streets of New York City. For four decades, Earth Day and Hip Hop have been seen by many as rebellious; two voices speaking out against injustice, two commitments to principles that make some uncomfortable or angry. For us, Earth Day 2010 marks a moment to reflect on 40 years of progress, to continue our commitment to addressing problems that have been ignored for too long, and to celebrate the spirit of …

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Home Star advances in the House

The Home Star program, which could jumpstart a national revolution in residential energy efficiency, is one tiny step closer to becoming law. The House Subcommittee on Energy and Environment on Wednesday passed the Home Star Energy Retrofit Act of 2010, which could create 168,000 jobs by investing up to $6 billion in residential energy efficiency retrofits in communities across America.  Democrats on the panel had to fight off several Republican attempts to weaken or delay the proposal, but Home Star now heads to the full House Energy and Commerce Committee for further consideration. Across the country, communities are struggling under …

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No rest for the warriors.

Today President Obama signed health care reform into law. This is an incredible victory not just for the President and members of Congress who championed the legislation; not just for the movement of people and organizations who advocated for change; not just for the millions of Americans who will soon have affordable health coverage when before they had none; but also for our country. Today America takes a giant step towards the dream of being a land of opportunity for all.  Today, we deserve to celebrate. Unfortunately though, I've got some bad news for my friends who have worked so …

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Job Creation Begins at Home

Originally published on TheRoot.com Today the Senate Energy Committee will begin debating a weatherization bill known as Home Star that aims to make American homes more energy efficient, while creating thousands of American jobs in the process. Home Star has the potential to significantly reduce residential energy consumption, saving consumers almost $10 billion over the next ten years, while cutting greenhouse gas emissions by an amount equivalent to the removal of more than 600,000 cars from American highways. Even more importantly given the state of our economy, the legislation is projected to create 168,000 local jobs in communities all across …

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