The Hip Hop Caucus, an organization that encourages urban youth to become active in elections, policymaking and service projects, recently traveled more than 2,000 miles, through nine states, to promote clean energy. 

The Hip Hop Caucus’ Clean Energy Now! Bus Tour closed on the Capitol’s steps after hosting events at churches, nightclubs, job training centers and five college campuses, including three historically black colleges and universities. Organizers distributed energy efficiency kits to attendees. 

“The clean energy choices we make today will have a profound impact on the environment of our young people and communities of color—the very people this tour is bringing together and the voices we need to hear,” said Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “We’re going out and meeting people where they live, work and learn, to talk about how we create clean energy jobs, protect our planet and break our dependence on foreign oil.” 

The tour “helped amplify and unite the voices of young people, African Americans, the hip hop community and the faith community around the critical need for clean energy jobs now and a clean energy future for our country,” said Caucus President Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr. “People around this country are hurting because our economy has failed them. Comprehensive clean energy policies will help our communities create a brighter future through solutions that will fight poverty and pollution at the same time.” 

Studies show comprehensive clean energy and climate policies could create up to 1.9 million new entry-level, professional and entrepreneurial jobs nationwide. 

Such policies would also save households up to $1,175 per year by 2020 through investments in building insulation and other efficiency improvements, while also reducing medical bills and protecting communities from environmental threats. 

For Your Organic Bookshelf: Urban Meltdown: Cities, Climate Change and Politics-as-Usual 

Photo: Tracy Russo/Flickr