West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, who receives the most fossil fuel monies of any senator or representative, will be presenting in September the so-called “permitting reform bill” which we in XRPDX are demanding that Senators Merkley and Wyden oppose. The Inflation Reduction Act, now signed into law by President Biden, already gives huge gains to the fossil fuel industry; for more on this, please see https://xrpdx.org/inflation-reduction-we-need-carbon-reduction/.
This side deal bill, a draft of which has been written by the American Petroleum Institute, would:
- fast track energy infrastructure projects including fossil fuel, biofuels, carbon capture and extraction projects
- limit public input and environmental review
- put time limits on permit reviews
- set a short statute of limitations and severely limit legal challenges
- rollback public health, public safety, and environmental protections that have been law for decades
- require more leasing auctions for companies being granted the right to drill on federal lands
- sacrifice communities’ health and safety, especially frontline communities, by limiting their input and protections, and
- potentially push through the Mountain Valley methane pipeline, which Manchin has a vested interest in.
For now and unless we can kill this dirty deal, Congressional Democratic “leaders” plan to present this as an amendment to either a government funding bill that must pass by the end of September to avoid governmental shutdown (the “Continuing Resolution”), or the bloated military funding bill (NDAA FY2023). Progressive Democrats in Congress, led by Rep. Raul Grijalva, are insisting this should be voted on as a stand-alone bill and are pushing to defeat it. As shown in the image above from People vs Fossil Fuels, please call the 917 number which will connect you to your Congressional representative (either Blumenauer or Bonamici) and will keep a count of calls so that People vs Fossil Fuels can see the momentum on stopping this dirty deal.
However, we in XRPDX, like the brave protesters in New York City and Seattle, are going beyond that. This dirty deal was cooked up by two senators, and NOW is the time to contact our Senators!
Merkley: email https://www.merkley.senate.gov/contact and/or call 503-326-3386
Wyden: email https://www.wyden.senate.gov/contact/email-ron and/or call 503-326-7525.
Ask Senators Wyden and Merkley to pledge that:
1. They stand with climate justice activists and tell Majority Leader Schumer NOT to add the Manchin side-deal as an amendment to ANY Senate bill.
2. They will vote NO on the side deal if it is brought to the floor in any form.
3. If the side deal is brought to a vote as an amendment, they will use their power to call a roll call vote, so that all senators’ votes are on the record.
For an excellent overview of this dirty deal and how it will hurt low income and BIPOC communities already struggling with environmental injustice and climate impacts, please watch this panel presentation hosted by WE ACT for Environmental Justice:
[Mike Fairhurst wrote the pledge we are asking Oregon’s senators to sign on to. – Ed.]