Center for American Progress

RELEASE: Louisiana Residents Featured in New Video on Why We Need a Just and Equitable Climate Future
Press Release

RELEASE: Louisiana Residents Featured in New Video on Why We Need a Just and Equitable Climate Future

Washington, D.C. — Today, the Environmental Justice Health Alliance for Chemical Policy Reform, Coming Clean, and the Center for American Progress released a new video highlighting the story of Christine and Delma Bennett, longtime residents of Mossville, Louisiana, who have suffered from years of exposure to toxic pollution and environmental racism.

“A lot of it was asthma, respiratory problems, kidney problems. Then all of a sudden, cancer came. They were killing us every day,” says Christine Bennett about her experience growing up with the cumulative impacts of pollution in Mossville. “Our lives are in danger and we need to start knowing what industries are doing to our people, especially our children.”

“It’s just a handful of people like my wife and myself who continue to try to make things better for themselves,” said Delma Bennett on the residents of Mossville. “There is no one looking out for us.”

This video was released just one day before the White House Council on Environmental Quality holds its second of just two public hearings on its proposed rollback of regulations implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The video shows what can happen to a community when the cumulative impacts of pollution are ignored.

For generations, residents of Mossville, a town founded by former slaves and the site of various refining and chemical industry facilities, have been disproportionately exposed to the toxic pollution from these sites. Studies show residents of Mossville have three times the amount of dioxin, a carcinogen, in their bodies than the average American.

“We hope that this story will help all of us dig deep into our moral courage to make sure that no community is ever left behind like Mossville again,” said Michele Roberts, national co-coordinator of the Environmental Justice and Health Alliance for Chemical Policy.

Today’s video calls for no community to be left behind like Mossville and shows the clear need to adopt the principles laid out in the Equitable and Just Climate Platform. For more information, please visit ajustclimate.org.

To speak with Christine or Delma Bennett or a policy expert, please contact Ari Drennen at zdrennen@americanprogress.org or 202-741-6372.