Have you ever heard it said that Nature needs a good lawyer?
VCE’s commitment to Environmental Justice focuses not just on nature and the environment, but on all the people whose lives are disproportionately affected by fossil fuel emissions. Simply stated, Environmental Justice is racial justice.
To remain complacent about racial and environmental injustice is no longer acceptable.
At Valley Clean Energy, we are acutely aware that every electron that is not “carbon-free” is creating a public health burden in some “other” place—and that these burdens are not evenly shared. According to the EPA’s National Center for Environmental Assessment, people of color are 35% more likely than white people to live near polluting energy facilities (1). And African-Americans are three times as likely to die from asthma as the rest of the population. (2).
To address this environmental harm—and inequity— Valley Clean Energy is committed to making a rapid transition to higher renewables and greener electricity. Currently, VCE’s regular power offering—known as Standard Green—is 75% carbon-free. In addition, we offer every customer the option to opt up to our 100% carbon-free power, UltraGreen, which is just 1.5 cents more costly. As we individually and collectively transition to 100% carbon free power, we will no longer be exporting pollution to communities of color—or anywhere else.
While the emissions from fossil fuels affect the air we all breathe, it’s no secret that the most highly polluting oil refineries, chemical plants, and toxic dumps are in underserved communities, and disproportionately affect communities of color. VCE is committed to serving the interests of ALL members of our community, as we continue to develop programs to assist historically underserved communities most dramatically affected by pollution and climate change. Cleaner energy is not just for the privileged few; it should be available to everyone.
On October 8, 2020, the VCE Board of Directors unanimously approved the Statement on Environmental Justice.
VCE will continue to explicitly integrate and address the concerns and priorities of emerging and historically marginalized communities in the design and implementation of VCE’s services, administration and programs—to ensure all our customers are well served.