Environmental leaders sit on Capitol Hill to protest Schumer/Manchin permit deal

Washington DC, September 22, 2022 – A group of 13 environmental and community leaders are calling on the Senate to reject Senator Manchin’s proposal to undermine environmental and community review and fast-track oil, gas, coal and mining projects. Those participating in civil disobedience are all directors of prominent organizations, including national and regional environmental groups, community organizations and labor unions.

Photos and videos will be available here as soon as they are uploaded: https://media.greenpeace.org/collection/27MDHUFR3KM4

The protest came a day after Manchin officially released its Energy Independence and Security Act of 2022, which was first announced in July. Since its release Wednesday night, the bill has been widely criticized by civil rights and environmental justice advocates, as well as members of Congress.

Organizations participating in the protest include the Center for Biological Diversity, Center for Popular Democracy, Earthworks, Familias Unidas por La Justicia, Food & Water Watch, Greenpeace USA, Indigenous Environmental Network, Just Transition Alliance, New York Communities for Change, Oil Change International, Step Up Louisiana, Sunrise Movement, Climate Justice Alliance and United Steelworkers Local 675.

The administrators of each organization issued the following statements:

Ebony Twilley Martin, Co-Executive Director of Greenpeace USA:

” Meaning. Manchin and Schumer’s dirty business is a disaster. Congress should protect people, not the polluters responsible for destroying the climate. This does not allow for reform. This is a gift that benefits the oil and gas industry which is lining its pockets at the expense of those affected by ongoing climate disasters and extreme weather conditions. This dirty business sacrifices communities of color who already bear the brunt of decades of environmental injustice while dragging us all even further into climate devastation. Schumer and Manchin’s efforts to push this through while congressional committees investigate Big Oil’s tactics to delay climate action is an attempt to silence those of us who want to protect our communities from neighborhood drilling. black and brown. We will not be silenced. We refuse to be silent. This agreement must be terminated.

Kierán Suckling, Executive Director of the Center for Biological Diversity:

“Sen. Manchin’s proposal is a travesty fueled by fossil fuels, and those who support it are setting their climate credibility on fire. We will not tolerate the sacrifice of more communities and valuable wildlife to line the pockets of profiteers. And we will not let up on our efforts to stop this legislative disaster, which will only benefit fossil fuel companies, not renewables.

DaMareo Cooper, co-executive director of the Center for Popular Democracy Action:

“Today we call on Majority Leader Charles Schumer, the Senate and the White House to dismiss Senator Joe Manchin’s dirty deal. Climate change is the preeminent issue of our time and we have seen the drastic effects that the lack of action from our leaders on this issue has in our country and around the world – most recently in Puerto Rico with Hurricane Fiona. This agreement will only exacerbate the problem and lead to further death and destruction for countless When the government puts the interests and profits of the American Petroleum Institute before the health of human beings and the planet’s ability to sustain life, that is nothing short of political corruption. Time for Congress to prioritize the needs of people over the interests of corporations, especially those whose entire business model depends on endangering communities.

Jennifer Krill, Executive Director of Earthworks:

“We are here today to call on Senator Schumer to stand in solidarity with Indigenous and frontline leaders and stop Senator Manchin’s dirty permit bill. Prioritizing the climate crisis is prioritizing environmental justice. Legislation that leads to more drilling and mining is precisely the kind of political side deal that has kept us from meeting our urgent climate goals. It’s time for leaders in Congress and the White House to take the necessary steps to stop the exploitation of frontline communities, reform our mining policies, and stand up to the fossil fuel industry. Congress has sacrificed people for corporate profits for far too long. »

Edgar Franks, political director of Familias Unidas por la Justicia (Independent Trade Union of Agricultural Workers):

“As a union of agricultural workers, we want to stand on the side of environmental justice. We are one of the communities bearing the brunt of climate change and also some of the most politically disenfranchised. The IRA is filled with mechanisms that further widen the gap where we will continue to be sacrificed for the profits of the fossil fuel industry. We are waiting for the time when we will not have to pit the environment against jobs. As unions, we need to be there and demand real solutions that are led by affected communities.

Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch:

“Senator Manchin’s bill is little more than a shameless giveaway to the fossil fuel industry – a green light for oil and gas companies to keep digging, drilling, fracturing and polluting. At a time when frontline communities and the entire planet are crying out for climate action and clean energy, this dirty backroom deal would plunge us deeper into fossil fuel addiction for decades to come. In the interests of countless communities suffering from air and water pollution today, and a livable climate for generations to come, this dirty permit deal must be stopped.

Tom BK Goldtooth, Executive Director of the Indigenous Environmental Network:

“Manchin’s permit reform bill, the Energy Independence and Security Act, is a direct threat to the inherent sovereignty and jurisdictional authority of our Indigenous Nations and their peoples to protect us from this crisis. accelerating climate. The content of the bill removes essential provisions of NEPA that Indigenous and other environmental justice communities need to act on destructive projects like pipelines. Pipelines like the one in Mountain Valley will be built with impunity under this bill. This dirty business will set a precedent for more destructive projects to be implemented without scrutiny. We must uplift and protect our Mother Earth, not abrogate the minimum provisions that exist. We must continue to fight against climate greenwashing and false solutions. We need to take real action to keep fossil fuels in the ground.

José Bravo, Executive Director of Just Transition Alliance:

“Contrary to all of its environmental justice components, the Cut Inflation Act aims to burn billions of public dollars into dangerous and harmful technologies such as carbon sequestration, nuclear power and bioenergy. Not only these corporate tech solutions will fail to create additional jobs, but they will expand the operations, market control and profits of the world’s biggest polluters with massive subsidies that will prevent critical investments from going into proven solutions like that local, distributed, zero-waste energy. This plan will only increase the toxic burdens and financial risks for communities of color and Indigenous communities – communities that have been left out of the political conversations that led to the law came in and were sold again by racist and greedy politicians.

Olivia Leirer, co-executive director of New York Communities for Change:

“This agreement is not theoretical for us. This has real consequences for our communities. Ten years ago, during Hurricane Sandy, we saw the devastation and displacement it caused in the lives of our members and how they are still affected today. This agreement must be terminated. The planet and our communities cannot afford it.

Elizabeth Bast, Executive Director of Oil Change International:

“We cannot protect our climate without ending our dependence on fossil fuels and phasing out extraction. The data is clear on this. Additionally, frontline and Indigenous communities have made it clear for decades that fossil fuels are unclean, unsafe and unnecessary. Manchin’s dirty business would set us back on climate action and directly threaten the health and well-being of communities in the path of oil and gas projects.

Maria Harmon, co-executive director of Step Up Louisiana:

“Our communities have suffered for far too long from the impact of harmful pollution from petrochemical, gas and oil companies. I have family members who have died of rare forms of cancer and other terminal illnesses from exposure to chemicals! Our lives have value and we deserve to live in healthy environments that provide us with opportunities to thrive! We cannot allow political agreements to continue to sacrifice our lives and our communities. »

Lauren Maunus, Advocacy Director for Sunrise Movement:

“I’m angry and frustrated that this is how we have to spend our time after the Cut Inflation Act – less than 50 days before the mid-terms – when we could and should be giving our full attention to help Democrats expand the majority and fight fascism.. But instead, we are forced to pressure our leaders to end a dangerous permit deal that will inflict suffering on people and places that we love. Stop the license deal now.

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