Protecting the Health of our Communities through the Clean Air Act

WHEREAS, the League of United Latin American Citizens is this nation’s oldest and largest Latino organization, founded in Corpus Christi, Texas on February 17, 1929; and

WHEREAS, LULAC throughout its history has committed itself to the principles that Latinos have equal access to opportunities in employment, education, housing and healthcare; and

WHEREAS, breathing air pollution can cause asthma attacks, heart attacks, strokes, cancer and shorten lives; and

WHEREAS, Latinos are more likely to live in counties with air pollution levels that fail to meet federal air quality standards for fine particulates and ozone- two dangerous and prevalent pollutants that can cause and/or worsen respiratory problems; and

WHEREAS, all of the top ten counties in the US with the greatest concentration of Latinos fail to meet federal standards for ozone pollution, while five fail to meet federal standards for particle pollution; and

WHEREAS, according to the Office of Minority Health, Latino children are 60% more likely to have asthma than non-Hispanic Whites, while Puerto Ricans have over twice the asthma rate of the overall Latino population and the non-Hispanic White population; and

WHEREAS, carbon dioxide (C02), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N20), hydro fluorocarbons (HFCs), per fluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) are greenhouse gases (GHGs) threaten the public health and welfare of current and future generations as per the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) endangerment finding; and

WHEREAS, burning fossil fuels, deforestation, and developing land for farms, cities, and roads release greenhouse gases (GHGs) into our air, build them up in our atmosphere and cause global temperatures to rise; and

WHEREAS, the Clean Air Act is a landmark legislation that protects public health and is responsible for dramatic reductions of air pollution resulting in tremendous health benefits and reductions in health care costs; and

WHEREAS, reducing pollution through the Clean Air Act prevented 160,000 premature deaths and more than 1.7 million asthma attacks in 2010 alone; and

WHEREAS, reducing pollution through the Clean Air Act will save $2 trillion by 2020 and prevent at least 230,000 deaths annually; and

WHEREAS, conservatives in Congress want to roll back Clean Air Act protections by preventing the EPA from setting and regulating greenhouse gas pollution standards, and enforcing the cleanup mercury; soot, carbon dioxide and other air pollutants; and

WHEREAS, measures to prevent the EPA from implementing the Clean Air Act would result in millions of Latino children, seniors, and people with respiratory diseases being forced to breathe air that is unhealthy; and

WHEREAS, a majority of voters strongly oppose Congress blocking the EPA's efforts to implement the Clean Air Act: 69 percent of the American public think the EPA should update Clean Air Act standards with stricter limits on air pollution; 64 percent feel that Congress should not stop the EPA from updating carbon dioxide emission standards; 69 percent believe that EPA scientists, rather than Congress, should set pollution standards; and

WHEREAS, the National Latino Coalition on Climate Change (NLCCC) is a coalition of 13 national Latino organizations working to inform and engage Latinos about climate change and energy issues that affect the health and well-being of our communities; and

WHEREAS, the NLCCC aims to develop a national network of leaders committed to advance the environmental and economic interests of the Latino community in a green economy; and

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the delegates of the 2011 LULAC State Convention in Phoenix, Arizona on June 11, 2011 will support and strengthen the nation's air pollution protections provided by the Clean Air Act; and

FURTHER, BE IT RESOLVED that the delegates of the 2011 LULAC State Convention in Phoenix, Arizona on June 11, 2011 will urge its members and communities to oppose legislation that rolls back or interferes with the EPA's ability to implement the Clean Air Act; and

FURTHER, BE IT RESOLVED, that the delegates of the 2011 LULAC State Convention in Phoenix, Arizona on June 11,2011 will support the National Latino Coalition on Climate Change (NLCCC) in its efforts to fight climate change, promote public health and improved air quality for low-income and US and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

Approved this 1st day of July 2011.

Margaret Moran
LULAC National President

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