Gulf Coast Environmental and Economic Justice 2010 2010 Action of Immediate Witness

Because of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, thirteen parishes (counties) in Louisiana and two counties in Mississippi continue to work towards recovery from the devastating impact of the storms; and

BECAUSE our Unitarian Universalist commitment to justice is rooted in compassion, fairness, and respect for the interdependent web of all existence; and

BECAUSE of our Unitarian Universalist values of compassion and equity, thousands of UU volunteers have worked to restore communities and infrastructure across Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama; and

WHEREAS hurricane/flood recovery operations are at grave risk, due to the BP Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster, an unprecedented accident that continues to inflict great environmental damages; and

Whereas the environmental damage wrought by this industrial accident may permanently impact the habitat, the coastal economies, and the way of life for millions of residents who claim the Gulf Coast as home—particularly high-poverty communities situated along the Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana coasts; and

WHEREAS the complexity of this disaster has contributed to divisive artificial solutions that pit the needs of American consumers and workers in the oil industry against the needs of the environment and the survival of vital fishing and hospitality industries;

Therefore be it resolved that the UUA General Assembly 2010 will witness to the suffering of all residents and workers who make their homes along the coast, refusing to pit one suffering constituency against another; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we educate ourselves and our communities about how we are involved in these events due to our demand for oil, and that we actively commit ourselves to reducing energy consumption from fossil fuels; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we dedicate ourselves to restorative justice practices as we strive to hold the oil industry and our government accountable for failed operations; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we promote stable green jobs for displaced oil workers; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we dedicate ourselves to help restore wetlands, habitats, beaches, communities and local economies that have been hurt along the coast; and

FINALLY BE IT RESOLVED that we urge President Obama and Congress to work with stakeholders to develop a response strategy that meets the needs of the people and the environment; hold the responsible parties accountable; ensure that help reaches those in need; commit to a long-term recovery; take steps to prevent future disasters; and respond to yet-unknown needs.