EPA’s Carbon Rule “Falls Short of Real Emissions Reduction”
JANET REDMAN is director of the Climate Policy Program at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, DC, where she provides analysis of the international financial institutions’ energy investment and carbon finance activities. She will discuss President Obama and the EPA’s carbon reduction plan.
She and Wenonah Hauter, Food & Water Watch Executive Director released a joint statement Monday: “On the heels of two telling reports from the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change and the National Climate Assessment detailing the substantial negative impacts from climate change around the world, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to incorporate emissions trading and offsetting in their new carbon dioxide rule undermines its ability to deliver the real reductions in carbon emissions so urgently needed.
“We applaud the President for using the tools he has available, given a Congress that refuses to act, and for setting hard targets for emissions reductions. However, the targets don’t make the U.S. a leader in addressing climate change. Because this rule applies to only one segment of our economy — existing coal-fired power plants — the reduction targets fall far short of the IPCC’s goal for developed countries of economy-wide reductions of 15 to 40 percent below 1990 emission levels by 2020. With the President’s targets, U.S. economy-wide emissions would still be above 1990 levels in 2030.
“In addition, by allowing states the option of using cap-and-trade and offsets, the administration has cut the legs out from under its own rule. Carbon trading is designed to benefit big corporate polluters. It lets industry decide for itself how to limit carbon emissions based on profit motive, and makes it cheaper for the dirtiest power plants to simply pay for permits instead of cleaning up pollution.
“The U.S. needs only look to the European Union for evidence that cap and trade fails to deliver on its promises. The EU’s Emissions Trading System for carbon — the largest and longest-running in the world — has been fraught with problems, including corporate giveaways, gaming by the energy industry, volatile carbon prices, and fraud.”
Restaurant Workers 5 Times More Likely to be Sexually Harassed than the General Workplace:
States and cities like Michigan and Seattle move forward in raising their minimum wages but leave tipped workers out or behind, Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United releases a new video that takes on the connection between living off tips and sexual harassment.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has targeted the restaurant industry, of which servers are more than 70% women, as the largest source of sexual harassment charges with 37% of all claims — that’s five times higher than the rate for the general female workforce.
“The workers who consistently get left out of or used as bargaining chips in minimum wage negotiations are predominantly women; that’s not a coincidence,” said SARU JAYARAMAN, co-director and co-founder of ROC United. “Every time our elected officials cave to big business on raising the tipped minimum wage, they’re condoning a workplace where one’s livelihood is inextricably linked to enduring sexual advances, harassment, and even violence. This isn’t inherent to the restaurant industry; it’s because the tipped minimum wage has been so abysmally low for so long that the majority of a woman’s wages are tips. We hope this video empowers other women to say enough is enough, and share their stories at livingofftips.com. ROC will be doing a lot more to combat sexual harassment in the restaurant industry going forward.”
The video, “What’s Living Off Tips Got to Do with Sexual Harassment?,” produced in partnership with Global Girl Media, features ROC-Michigan member Aisha Thurman and her family. Thurman, a current server with more than two decades of experience, recounts experiences of enduring sexual harassment from customers and why she supports raising the tipped minimum wage.
Michigan, the only Republican-led state to raise its minimum wage, included a meager raise for tipped workers lifting the state’s current tipped minimum wage from from $2.65 to $3.50. Yesterday, Seattle became the city with the highest minimum wage in the country, and the first city in U.S. history to introduce a tipped minimum wage where it has been abolished statewide.
See the video here: