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Energy (Summer 1991)

Volume 2, No. 2: Summer 1991

In February of this year, President Bush’s National Energy Strategy was released to the American public from Washington, DC. The Strategy identifies no specific author or agency responsible for the contents, nor does it take into account the social justice aspect of energy policy planning.

For example, the NES missed an opportunity to address low-income weatherization policies. People who are transient or homeless usually have fewer options and less access to information regarding energy rebates and other programs. These individuals and their families fall between the cracks of practically every policy and program that is enacted in this country. Yet the halfway houses, shelters, and other public buildings these people occupy are among the most energy inefficient.

This issue of Race, Poverty & the Environment puts the spotlight on energy. When I look at the title of this newsletter on the one hand and think about energy on the other, the connections become apparent. RACE: people of color in this country have been largely absent from arenas where energy policy decisions are made, although those decisions have a direct impact on them. POVERTY: the poor must spend significantly more of their income on energy than the non-poor. ENVIRONMENT: the natural resources necessary to produce energy are often located in or near areas occupied by poor and/or non-white populations, particularly Native Americans. The extraction and production of energy, and the waste generated from these activities, has adverse effects on the physical environment and the nearby residents.

These are some of the reasons people of color and the poor must take a closer look at how energy policy is developed. Who are the people making the decisions? What are some methods local activists and citizens can use to make their needs known? Are there alternatives to the standard energy supplies?

The answers to these and other questions can and will shape energy policy well into the next century.

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In this issue... 

1   Energy and Air Pollution are Social Issues
     by Lily Lee

1   Hydro-Electric Power and Flooding of Indian Lands
     by Ann Stewart

3   Energy Policy and Inner City Abandonment
     by Carl Anthony

4   Energy Costs, Conservation and the Poor
     by Andrew McAllister

4   Energy Efficiency in Action
     by Max Weintraub

5   Native Americans' Energy Crisis: An Interview with Lance Hughes
     by Arthur James

9   Conservation and Economic Development Join Hands in Bayview
     by Christine Vance and Abu Baker

20 RPE Profile: Dr. Lenneal Henderson, Jr


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