An NAACP report on the energy industry shows that protecting the environment and fueling the nation don’t always provide opportunities for people of color, or the businesses they own.
The organization released “Just Energy Policies: Reducing Pollution and Creating Jobs” on Tuesday, which looks at the energy policies of all 50 states and provides its own recommendations.
“A crucial component of sustainability in the energy sector is equity. Therefore we must also ensure that workers and entrepreneurs of color are empowered in the transition and growth of the evolving energy market,” the report reads, touting the importance of hiring local and having provisions to ensure that requirements are met.
Although quite a few states met some of the organization’s standards, according to the report, all states need to do more to include people of color and minority-owned businesses: Zero states were found to have Minority Business Enterprise provisions specific to the industry, the report finds.
“Of equal importance is establishing Minority Businesses Enterprise provisions within these energy policies. Such provisions will increase the access of entrepreneurs of color to businesses within the energy sector. Encouraging community and economic development models for every stage of the energy process will empower local communities to take ownership of their energy demands and end the history of retroactive engagement in America’s energy choices,” the report says.