INSTITUTE INDEX: A call for racial justice in energy policy

A new report from the NAACP documents the racial and economic injustice of current energy policy -- and the many benefits of moving to clean energy.

Date on which the NAACP released a report looking at state energy policy from a racial justice angle: 12/17/2013

Of the three states* the report found to have the best energy policies, number in the South: 0

Of the three states** the report found to have the worst energy policies, number in South: 3

Rank of Alabama among states where residents' energy bills take up the greatest proportion of their income: 1

Percent of African Americans who live within 30 miles of a coal-fired power plant: about 68

Number of times more likely an African-American child is to die from an asthma attack than a white American child: 2

Percent by which values of properties near coal-fired power plants are lower: 15

Percent of energy jobs held by African Americans: 1.1

Number of times that the unemployment rate for African Americans exceeds that of white Americans: nearly 2

Number of jobs that could be created nationwide if electric utilities were to fulfill 20 percent of their sales through renewable energy by 2020: 1.9 million

Number of states that have Minority Business Enterprise provisions specifically tailored for the energy industry: 0

Percent of revenue from energy sector profits gained by African Americans: .01

Number of times by which the wealth of white Americans exceeds that of African Americans: 20

Percent of income a household making more than $50,000 a year spends on energy bills: 9

Making less than $50,000 a year: 21

Amount African Americans spent on energy in 2009 alone: $41 billion

* Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York
** Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee

(The figures in this index and the diagram above come from the NAACP report "Just Energy Policies: Reducing Pollution and Creating Jobs.")