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Activists stood up for the environment and triumphed when Senator Manchin withdrew his bad provision from legislation being voted on tonight.
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Climate and Energy
In a surprise twist this evening, the Senate removed a controversial energy permitting provision, backed by Sen. Joe Manchin and the fossil fuel industry, from a must-pass budget continuing resolution. The provision – a so-called ‘side deal’ negotiated between Manchin and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer – would have fast-tracked oil and gas infrastructure development, including the Mountain Valley Pipeline.
In past weeks, Manchin and Schumer all but guaranteed this legislation would pass. They didn’t foresee the efforts of grassroots organizers and clean energy activists throwing a wrench in their plans.
“Tonight’s turnaround represents a remarkable, against-all-odds victory by a determined grassroots climate movement against the overwhelming financial and political might of the fossil fuel industry and its Senate enablers. While the campaign against polluting oil and gas is far from over, this repudiation of Senator Manchin’s so-called permitting reform bill marks a huge victory against dirty energy – and also against dirty backroom Washington dealmaking.
“This victory would not have been possible without the coordinated efforts of hundreds of national and grassroots organizations, along with concerned Americans from coast to coast, working together for the health and safety of frontline communities and a livable future for the planet.
“Senator Schumer and Democratic leadership would be wise to heed the large and growing chorus of voices demanding an end to the fossil fuel era, and put Manchin’s permitting bill down for good.”
When the IRA became law in August, some hailed it as a victory in the long fight for climate action. But it contained only remnants of a more ambitious climate and economic agenda from President Biden and Congressional Democrats. And the last of those ambitions died at the feet of Joe Manchin and his Big Oil patrons.
In exchange for his tie-breaking vote to pass the IRA, Manchin extracted a promise for legislation to fast-track permits for new fossil fuel infrastructure.
This summer, leaked details of the deal had the American Petroleum Institute written all over it — literally. An “API” watermark branded the leaked memo, and the memo itself showed just how dangerous the legislation would be.
Now, we have the text of the legislation itself. And it just confirms the danger.
If passed, Manchin’s pipeline deal would mean more pollution and more dirty energy projects in communities already hard-hit by big environmental burdens. And it would change the National Environmental Policy Act, making it harder for regulators to do their jobs and harder for threatened communities to voice concerns about new projects.
It’s simple — and terrible. Manchin’s deal would gut environmental protections, endanger public health and silence communities.
Senator Manchin owes his fossil fuel funders big time. It’s likely that he’ll keep trying to get this ‘permitting reform’ (or some version of it) into legislation and passed. It’s crucial that we all remain vigilant and ready to strike it down with all of the people-power we can organize.
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BREAKING NEWS: Manchin's Dirty Side Deal Sidelined — For Now – Food and Water Watch
Fight like you live here.