Earlier this month, Forbes published an article addressing the potential consequences of California’s Progressive Climate Policies, particularly in the effect on minority populations. The author sources two public letters written by United Latinos Vote and The Two Hundred, a coalition of Latino Civil Rights leaders, addressed to the Sierra Club and the California Air Resources Board (CARB). In the letters, these groups highlight the economic impact of proposed environmental regulations and the disproportionate burden they place on the Latino community. They also call out the significant power environmental groups have in California’s government, and therefore, the responsibility to speak for all of California’s citizens.  

While understanding the need for sensible environmental policies is paramount for the health of the state and the nation, it is critical that these policies create a mutually beneficial impact for the citizens of California. The regulations being proposed by environmental groups, however, drive up the cost of living and intensify the housing crisis, which will increase the poverty rate. According to Forbes, 18.1% of Californians are already living in poverty, and the proposed regulations do not address the current housing crisis. So while these are lofty goals, we must acknowledge that the burden of climate and environmental policies cannot be solely placed on the State’s most economically vulnerable. Climate policies must be formed with all citizens in mind and be realistic – economically and environmentally. 

Read the full article here.