Leaders State that Combination of Climate Change and Increasing Lack of Access to Affordable Energy is Quickly Becoming a Widespread Energy Justice Issue
WASHINGTON, Sept. 18, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and former Florida Congressman Kendrick Meek are the most recent in a growing number of leaders to put their signature on natural gas as a solution to combating climate change. Natural Allies for a Clean Energy Future today announced the two are joining the Natural Allies Leadership Council. Mayor Nutter and Rep. Meek will serve alongside former Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and former Congressman Tim Ryan (D-OH) to advance the vital partnership between natural gas and renewable energy to reach our collective climate goals. Underlying this decision is a commitment to accessibility and equity for Black and Brown Americans and the need to address the problem as an energy justice issue.
The impacts of climate change continue to disproportionately impact Black and Brown communities nationwide. At the same time, energy costs are unaffordable for many low-income families across the country, with one in six U.S. households experiencing overdue power bills. Nearly half of these households report some level of energy insecurity. Disadvantaged households feel a greater impact from the rising costs of energy. A partnership between natural gas and renewable sources will improve access to energy for historically marginalized communities.
“Natural Allies has become the leading voice for a pragmatic approach to energy policy, recognizing that climate, reliability and affordability are all connected,” said Mayor Nutter, who served two terms as Philadelphia’s Mayor. “As Democrats, we agree that climate change is a global problem that must be addressed. But we also need to be mindful of the best strategies to get us to a clean energy future in the fastest way possible, without inadvertently widening the energy gap between those who can afford it and those who can’t. We can and should be growing our renewable capacity to drive down emissions, and we should partner those sources with natural gas as an alternative to coal and oil to accelerate our path to a clean, reliable and affordable energy future.”
“I am excited to join Natural Allies and this prestigious leadership team alongside Senator Landrieu, Congressman Ryan and Mayor Nutter,” said Rep. Meek, a former four-term Florida Congressman who previously served as the youngest Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. “These are challenging times for communities across our country as millions of Americans struggle to pay rent and make ends meet. As a Floridian on the front lines of climate change, it’s obvious we need to act now by embracing an energy policy that is pro-climate without sacrificing reliability and affordability for families and businesses across the United States. Natural gas is critical to that equation as we continue to grow and expand renewable energy.”
Natural gas is an affordable and proven carbon reduction strategy that can be expanded quickly to address the growing racial disparities in energy access. The Natural Allies Leadership Council is committed to raising awareness on the vital partnership between natural gas and renewables to achieve an equitable and just energy future.
“We are thrilled to welcome Congressman Meek and Mayor Nutter to our organization,” said Sen. Landrieu and Rep. Ryan. “They are respected and accomplished leaders and we are eager to work alongside them to accelerate our clean energy future. Together we will advocate for fair and inclusive climate initiatives that do not leave our most vulnerable communities behind.”
The Natural Allies Leadership Council continues to advocate for realistic and practical energy policies like permitting reform and building the infrastructure necessary to move natural gas and renewable power where it’s needed at home and abroad. The Biden Administration has acknowledged the importance of natural gas and its infrastructure as part of the clean energy future, in working with renewables, like stabilizing our European allies abroad with secure natural gas, developing technologies like carbon capture, and investing in zero-carbon fuels of the future like hydrogen.
“Together, alongside Mayor Nutter and Congressman Meek, our Leadership Council is committed to raising awareness on the vital partnership between natural gas and renewables to achieve an equitable and just energy future for all Americans, as we build a healthier planet for generations to come,” added Sen. Landrieu and Rep. Ryan.
Mayor Michael A. Nutter
From 2008 to 2016, Michael Nutter served as the 98th Mayor of his hometown of Philadelphia. As mayor, he managed Philadelphia through the Great Recession, and the City’s credit rating was upgraded to “A” by the three major credit agencies for the first time since the 1970s. Prior to his tenure as Mayor, he served almost 15 years in the Philadelphia City Council. Mayor Nutter and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu recently launched Cities United, an initiative — in affiliation with the National League of Cities — dedicated to creating partnerships between cities, non-profits, and others to combat violence and crime among young Black men and boys. Mayor Nutter is a past President of the United States Conference of Mayors as well as the Pennsylvania Municipal League. During the Obama Administration, he served on My Brother’s Keeper Advisory Council. Mayor Nutter holds several board positions including the Advisory Board of the African American Mayors Association and the Board of the Urban Institute, among others. In 2022 he was appointed by the U.S. Treasury to serve as Chair on the inaugural Formal Advisory Committee on Racial Equity.
Congressman Kendrick Meek
From 2002 to 2010, Rep. Meek represented the 17th Congressional District of Florida. During his time in Washington, Congressman Meek’s open-minded and bipartisan outlook allowed him to navigate a broad cross-section of Congress to achieve results for his constituents. Building on a strong legislative record in the Florida Senate and Florida House of Representatives, Congressman Meek secured a spot on the House Ways and Means Committee. In 2011, President Obama appointed him as Special Representative to the United Nations. He was the youngest Member of Congress to serve as Chairperson of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, and he was recently named Director Emeritus – one of only two former Members who has held this position.
About Natural Allies for a Clean Energy Future
Natural Allies is a 501c4 not for profit organization that seeks to better inform the public and policy makers about why natural gas is best partnered with renewable power sources to accelerate our clean energy goals. Among the industry leaders supporting Natural Allies for a Clean Energy Future are: The Williams Companies, Kinder Morgan, TC Energy, EQT, National Fuel Gas, Enbridge Inc., Quanta Services, Inc., the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, International Union of Operating Engineers, Pipe Line Contractors Association, American Pipeline Contractors Association, Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA), INGAA Foundation and American Public Gas Association (APGA). To learn more visit: naturalalliesforcleanenergy.org.
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SOURCE Natural Allies for a Clean Energy Future