by Joel Porter, CleanAIRE NC Advocacy Program Manager
Over the course of the last fifteen years, Clean Air Carolina has striven to accomplish its mission of reducing sources of pollution. In that pursuit, we’ve had victories big and small. Clean Air Carolina has secured pollution controls on large industrial plants in the Southeast, helped to close down electric generation plants burning tires as fuel, fought for smart transportation options for the RTP region, worked to ensure toxic chemical emissions are regulated to safeguard public health, and offered comments on countless rulemakings in an effort to make air quality programs stronger.
Ultimately, all of those efforts have been undertaken to help protect our state’s environment, ensure healthy communities, and grow a strong and sustainable economy.
Our mission is not complete.
We are seizing the moment: Over the past few years we have been pushing the state to finally address greenhouse gas emissions. We are holding polluters accountable and working to ensure that clean energy is just that – clean – and not the product of corporate greenwashing. And we are working with local advocates to ensure that the clean energy transition is affordable and continues to ensure access to reliable electricity for all North Carolinians.
Our organization is changing to reflect the world we find ourselves in, and to better position ourselves to address the goals we want to meet next.
Today we become CleanAIRE NC. We are continuing our mission of reducing sources of air pollution in the state, but with this new name we are emphasizing the need for Action and Innovation to Restore the Environment (AIRE).
Fossil fuels, and the hard-working men and women who have worked in these industries, are a powerful part of our nation’s history. But there is now a clear, and growing, clarion call to address lingering injustices in minority and economically disadvantaged communities that have borne the brunt of environmental degradation for far too long. That is why environmental justice has become a centerpoint in our advocacy efforts.
We realize that this is an ambitious undertaking. But to meet the climate challenge head on, we have to be a little nimble, ambitious, and optimistic.
There is an old saying; a rising tide lifts all ships. As we emerge from the pandemic, there is a tide coming in. We will take innovative action that will prove that age-old aphorism.
It’s an exciting time for CleanAIRE NC, and we hope you will continue to support our efforts as we turn toward a cleaner, brighter future.