Congress urged to stop Manchin’s dirty deal


In response to reports that President Biden supports Senator Manchin’s proposal for permitting reform for energy projects, Oxfam America’s senior policy advisor for climate justice, Russell Armstrong, made the following statement:

“It is extremely disappointing that the White House is throwing its support behind a proposal that is out of alignment with US climate change needs and continues the pattern of harming marginalized communities as sacrifice zones.

“By fast-tracking dangerous fossil fuel and mining projects, Senator Manchin’s dirty side deal undercuts the positive impacts of the Inflation Reduction Act. It is in fact in direct contradiction of President Biden’s climate promises that would take us farther from meeting our global climate commitments.

“Rather than make deals that double down on our dirty fossil fuel infrastructure, we need the US to invest in more renewable energy and community-led solutions to the climate crisis.”

In addition, Oxfam America’s climate policy adviser Chelsea Hodgkins, added:

“Manchin’s dirty side deal has nothing to do with renewables, it is a wish list for the extractives industry. Weakening the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and eroding public participation does not benefit renewable energy development, it benefits the fossil fuel industry, whose projects are facing increasing opposition from communities and policy makers alike.

“The White House should not support a dirty side deal that will expand dangerous pipelines and mines that help warm our climate perpetuate violence and harm against women, especially Indigenous women, women in rural communities, and other women living close to mining operations. Extractives projects have known negative health impacts, have been linked to increasing gender-based violence, and other harms to women and communities of color, both of whom are disproportionately impacted by fossil fuel and mining projects.

“While the Biden administration has pledged a ‘whole of government’ approach to tackling gender inequity, by prioritizing fossil fuels and bypassing consent procedures, this dirty deal actively undermines those efforts.

“We can’t let the fossil fuel industry build whatever polluting project they want, wherever they want. The public must be able to have a say in the process and challenge dirty projects that are approved – especially the frontline, low-income and BIPOC communities that have far too often been targeted for these projects.

“There are better ways to safely reform our infrastructure approval process than this dirty deal, which guts bedrock environmental protections, cuts out the voice of the public, endangers public health, and fast tracks more dangerous fossil fuel projects. 

“Congress must stop this dirty deal and protect our communities, our voices, and our climate.”

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