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Fossil Fuel Racism: How Phasing Out Oil, Gas, and Coal Can Protect Communities

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Fossil fuels — coal, oil, and gas — lie at the heart of the crises we face, including public health, racial injustice, and climate change. This report synthesizes existing research and provides new analysis that finds that the fossil fuel industry contributes to public health harms that kill hundreds of thousands of people in the U.S. each year and disproportionately endanger Black, Brown, Indigenous, and low-income communities. President Joe Biden and the 117th Congress have a historic opportunity to improve public health, tackle the climate crisis, and confront systemic racism at the same time by phasing out fossil fuel production and use.

In this report by Greenpeace, the Gulf Coast Center for Law and Policy, and The Movement for Black lives, experts show how tackling this fossil fuel racism would go a long way to address our present overlapping crises and correct the injustices that historically targeted communities have faced. A fossil fuel phaseout — an immediate halt to new extraction and infrastructure build-out and managed wind-down of existing production that prioritizes the needs of affected workers and communities — is necessary to end fossil fuel racism and fully address the public health, racial injustice, and climate crises.

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