WASHINGTON, D.C.— Today, senators blocked West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin’s “side deal” to allow dirty, dangerous fossil-fuel projects from being attached to the government funding bill. Manchin’s permitting proposal sought to fast track fossil fuel projects, allowing corporations to force through dirty, dangerous fossil fuel exploration and production in any neighborhood or community, whether the public wants them or not. People’s Action opposes Manchin’s short-sighted and self-interested permitting proposal and commends the senators who opposed the permitting side deal.
“Today was another win for organizers and communities who mobilized in opposition to Manchin’s handout to fossil fuel companies,” People’s Action Executive Director Sulma Arias said.
“People’s Action applauds the Democratic senators who voted against Manchin’s ‘dirty deal,’ which would reduce public input from fossil fuel projects, particularly impacting the low-income and Black, brown and indigenous communities that bear the brunt of pollution and climate change consequences,” Arias explained. “There are better ways to safely reform permitting than this dirty deal that guts bedrock environmental protections, cuts out the voice of the public, endangers public health, and fast tracks more dangerous fossil fuel projects.”
Manchin’s proposal also sought to approve federal permitting for the Mountain Valley Pipeline–a dirty project through his home state of West Virginia and Virginia that neighboring communities have opposed for years. Last week, Sens. Jeff Merkley, Tammy Duckworth, Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Ed Markey, Chris Van Hollen, and Ben Cardin cosigned a letter to Senate leadership insisting the ‘dirty deal’ must be blocked to prevent environmental harms from projects like the Mountain Valley Pipeline.
“Bypassing judicial review to force the completion of the Mountain Valley Pipeline would set a terrible precedent and impact all fenceline communities opposing toxic development in their backyards,” commented Gary Zuckett, Executive Director of West Virginia Citizen Action Group, part of the People’s Action national network. “This unneeded pipeline is designed to ship fracked natural gas overseas, and would be a big step backward in our efforts to address climate change. We commend the senators who blocked its passage.”
Contact: Derrick Crowe, firstname.lastname@example.org, 512.516.5067
People’s Action builds the power of poor and working people in urban, rural, and suburban areas to win change through issue fights and elections. We are a national network of 38 state and local grassroots power-building organizations in 28 states–united in the work of building a bigger “we.”