“Coal Blooded”: New Report Says Coal Plants Disproportionately Impact Communities Of Color

By scott parkin

A new report from the NAACP called “Coal Blooded: Putting Profits Before People” (co-authored by former RAN staffer Adrian Wilson) paints a grim picture.

Grim, but not surprising.

Of the 378 coal plants across the country, 75 are considered to be the most toxic and receive an “F” on the report’s environmental justice report card. Four million people live within three miles of those plants. In fact, some 78 percent of African-Americans live within 30 miles of a coal-fired power plant.

The report investigates the overall toxicity of emissions, or “dirtiness,” of America’s coal plants, and combines these emissions ratings with demographic data to rank a coal plant’s effect on neighboring communities. It looks at race, income and population density when looking at the dirtiest coal plants.

Climate justice is the intersection between climate change, fossil fuel extraction and combustion, and social justice. It’s the point where low-income communities and communities of color are disproportionately impacted by these environmental and climate catastrophes.

“Coal pollution is literally killing low-income communities and communities of color,” stated NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous, who added that it is an issue of environmental justice.

“There is no disputing the urgency of this issue. Environmental justice is a civil and human rights issue when our children are getting sick, our grandparents are dying early, and mothers and fathers are missing work,” stated Jealous.

The report is a combined effort of the NAACP, the Indigenous Environmental Network and the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization.

Read the full report here.