Texas Clean Air Matters

Latinos In Texas Especially Vulnerable To Impacts Of Climate Change

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Source: Texas Vox

This week, President Obama shared his vision for how the U.S. can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for the effects of global warming.  This is the great challenge of our time and our moral responsibility compels us to take action now.  It is time to implement practical and sensible solutions to ensure that we leave a healthy planet for our kids and grandkids.

Climate change knows no boundaries; whether you live in an urban or rural area, close to the ocean or the mountains or somewhere in between, you are impacted by climate change.

The increased likelihood of extreme weather events may result in stronger, more intense hurricanes and the development of long-lasting droughts; both of which can increase food costs and decrease our government’s resources in the long term.

Public health is another concern, particularly for Hispanics, which account for 40% of Texas’ population.  Respiratory diseases, such as asthma, can be aggravated by changes in the weather. According to the National Institute of Health, Hispanics have an elevated rate of hospital admissions and emergency room visits due to these diseases.  Simply put, global warming puts our planet’s and family’s health at risk.

In Texas, we’ve seen our fair share of extreme weather and many of our industries and employment sources are being affected.  The ongoing drought that began three years ago continues to constrict water supplies around the state and is hindering the agricultural, recreational and energy sectors. The water crisis has reached critical limits in the Rio Grande Valley, where Hispanics account for 90% of the population. In some areas, economic losses could total $395 million.   Read More »

Also posted in Air Pollution, Climate Change, Drought, Extreme Weather, Houston / Tagged | Comments are closed

Improving Air Quality For Houstonians And Beyond

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How The Hispanic Business Community Can Play An Active Role In Reducing Emissions From Freight

The success of Texas has long been linked to the success of Hispanics.  Today, nearly 40% of Texans are Hispanic.  As the Hispanic community continues to shape the future of Texas (nearly 50 percent of our state’s youth is Hispanic), EDF is paying close attention to the ongoing air quality and public health challenges facing Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and other areas with significant Hispanic populations.  Nationwide, one in every two Hispanics lives in a county that frequently violates health-based ozone standards (see U.S. Latinos and Air Pollution).  This means that Hispanics, especially those within sensitive subpopulations, such as children and the elderly, are at greater risk of public health effects, such as asthma, lung cancer, stroke and premature death due to increased exposure to harmful air pollution.

There is good news though!  Hispanic businesses can make a significant difference in reducing air pollution through their logistics and freight transportation operations in key hubs, such as Houston.  Last month, I attended the International Summit & Business Expo, hosted by the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.  At the conference, we met with representatives of several companies who are eager to grow their businesses in the Houston area and the rest of the state.  Additionally, we discussed how they can play a leading role in reducing the health burden for Hispanics and all Houstonians by supporting clean air initiatives, such as participating in the Houston regional clean truck program, signing up for the SmartWay Drayage Program and setting efficiency and emissions reductions goals.

EDF has a track record of working with companies and organizations to reduce emissions from freight transportation, and we look forward to engaging new partners on our collaborative effort to ensure healthy air for our communities and a thriving business environment.

Also posted in Air Pollution, Houston, SmartWay, Transportation / Tagged | Comments are closed