Hispanics have been hit the hardest by energy price increases, according to a new study today released by the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity.
The study found that more than half of American families have seen their energy costs nearly double in the past ten years. Due to income inequalities, Hispanic households are disproportionately impacted by these rising energy costs, which reduce the amount of income that can be spent on food, housing, health care and other necessities.
In 2010, 62 percent of Hispanic households had average annual incomes below $50,000, compared with 46 percent of Anglo households. Lower-income families are more vulnerable to energy costs than higher-income families because energy represents a larger portion of their household budgets. Energy is consuming one-fifth or more of the household incomes of lower- and middle-income families
“Hispanics are spending more of their family budget on energy costs, while at the same time the community is facing high unemployment and greater poverty levels,” said Evan Tracey, senior vice president of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity. “For millions of Americans living on low and fixed incomes, surging energy prices mean less money for other necessities such as food, housing and health care. EPA continues to drive up energy prices, which are hurting Hispanics and all American families.”
The annual assessment “Energy Cost Impacts of American Families” uses data from the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Census Bureau to analyze energy cost increases since 2001 for U.S. households.
The full study, “Energy Cost Impacts of American Families,” written by environmental attorney and energy economist Eugene M. Trisko for ACCCE, is available by clicking here.