WASHINGTON, April 20 (UPI) -- A black activist group said Tuesday Earth Day has become a forum for environmental elitists to promote a regulatory agenda hostile to U.S. minority groups.
"The notion of sacrificing economic empowerment for the sake of assuaging the feelings of a handful of environmentalists is offensive," Michael King, of the conservative black leadership network Project 21, said.
King says the regulatory agenda advocated by many of the major U.S. and world environmental groups would increase costs to U.S. consumers and "create a new underclass unable to afford to buy homes, vehicles and household goods."
As one example, the groups cites the anti-global warming Kyoto Protocol, saying that enforcement of its provisions would "force almost 1.4 million black and Hispanic Americans out of work and raise the price of food, energy, gasoline and other necessary goods."
Earth Day, founded by former U.S. Sen. Gaylord Nelson, D-Wis., is observed yearly on April 22.