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This summer’s rollout of President Obama’s Clean Power Plan is great news for the Black community. The plan establishes federal limits on carbon pollution from power plants, slowing climate change and the myriad of negative health and economic consequences. Nearly 40 percent of the six million Americans living close to coal-fired power plants are people of color; and their pollution is responsible for thousands of premature deaths, higher risks of asthma attacks, respiratory disease, and hundreds of thousands of missed workdays.

Especially susceptible are our kids, who often live closest to the sources of carbon pollution, and have an asthma rate of one in six, compared to one in ten nationwide. When you consider that Blacks are disproportionately impacted by climate change, the plan will go a long way in addressing the environmental injustice our communities have long suffered.

The Clean Power Plan’s benefits to low income and communities of color are abundant, and governors should move quickly to implement it. The plan will improve the health of millions, and by 2030 it will save communities across the country billions of dollars on energy bills and create jobs.

As we continue in the march toward equality, it would be unwise to exclude environmental justice. We must ensure the people we elect hear our voices loud and clear. The fight for our future cannot be a future fight.