FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 29, 2022
Contact: Sumer Shaikh, email@example.com, 774-545-0128
Green New Deal Network Celebrates Removal of Dirty Side Deal from Continuing Resolution
For months, activists, community leaders, and Democratic members of Congress have demanded extended debate on dirty side deal as a standalone bill
Washington, D.C. – This week, activists and community leaders celebrated the removal of Senator Joe Manchin’s dirty side deal from the continuing resolution, a must-pass bill to keep the government funded. For months, the Green New Deal Network (GNDN) and its allies have supported frontline communities in the fight against the side deal, a deal that would expedite the construction of fossil fuel projects, including Sen. Manchin’s pet project: the Mountain Valley Pipeline.
This victory is a testament to the power of grassroots organizing against the fossil fuel industry and Democratic leaders who chose to protect frontline communities by not supporting a poison pill in a must-pass legislation. Grassroots communities and groups have shown up consistently — through marches, call-in days, lobbying, civil disobedience, and more — to quash this legislation that would cause more harm to communities on the frontlines of fossil fuel extraction and climate change impacts. The opposition to the dirty side deal in a must-pass legislation is also clear in Congress: 72 House members signed onto a letter from Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva and champions in the Senate also opposed the move last week and before the vote.
The Green New Deal Network will continue to call on Congress to give the side deal the time and debate necessary for a vote on a standalone bill. As background, the side deal:
Compromises democratic processes by reducing the opportunity for public input on new federal projects and limits Tribal and state authorities from challenging projects that will hurt local communities and resources.
Undos decades of environmental advocacy — activism often led by communities of color — that led to critical laws to protect people and the planet including the National Environmental Protection Act, the foundation of 50 years of federal environmental protections.
Reviving new fossil fuel projects, including the Mountain Valley Pipeline, Manchin’s pet project with a price tag has doubled to a current projection of over $6 billion as permits have been rejected and renewables have become more affordable and reliable.
In response, Green New Deal Network members stated:
“The withdrawal of the dirty side deal from the Continuing Resolution due to the lack of votes was a testament to the power of frontline community organizing! However, we are under no illusion that the fossil fuel industry will give up easily. Democratic Congressional Leadership already announced that they will double down and try again to pass this harmful legislation to benefit the dirty energy industry. Their new attempt might be to possibly attach Manchin’s bill to another must-pass piece of legislation, the National Defense Authorization Act, again trying to circumvent regular legislative processes and fast track the bill without regular committee input. They can ignore and dismiss Environmental Justice communities at their own peril. The fossil fuel industry might have deep pockets, but we have people power.” – Ozawa Bineshi Albert, Climate Justice Alliance Co-Executive Director
“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. 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.” – Sulma Arias, People’s Action Executive Director
“The removal of Manchin’s dirty energy deal from the government spending package is a massive victory for frontline communities and environmental justice. This was possible because of the broad coalition of groups led by frontline grassroots leaders who lobbied, organized, and demonstrated to stop this harmful legislation,” said Cindy Wiesner, Executive Director of Grassroots Global Justice Alliance. “Yet the prospect of Manchin’s permitting proposal deal being revived in the National Defense Authorization Act would reaffirm the unholy union of fossil fueled-crisis and militarization. The U.S. military is already the world’s largest institutional polluter. Tying fossil fuel handouts to the defense bill spits in the face of frontline communities resisting pollution and militarized violence. We will continue to fight until this dirty deal is shut down.”
“This is a win for communities and our climate, and a testament to the power of frontline advocates demanding that their representatives in Congress prioritize their health and safety and not the wishes of fossil fuel executives,” said Sierra Club Deputy Legislative Director Mahyar Sorour. “We will continue to fight back against any future attempts to weaken critical environmental protections and rubber-stamp the Mountain Valley Pipeline and dangerous fossil fuel infrastructure.”
This is a victory for anyone who enjoys breathing clean air and drinking clean water. This proposal was not permitting reform, it was a handout to the companies that continue to be caught red-handed attempting to delay climate action and silence community protectors,” said Greenpeace USA Chief Program Officer Tefere Gebre. “This deal would have been the ultimate betrayal of all the people of color that stood in line for hours and hours, electing leaders that were supposed to protect them. This must signal an end to backroom deals that sacrifice the health and safety of our communities at the altar of Big Oil profits.”
“For decades, the fossil fuel industry has used its power and influence to hold back progress in the fight against climate change, lying about its impacts and buying off politicians to block the development of sustainable energy sources,” said the Center for Popular Democracy Co-ED, Analilia Mejia. “The impact of this corruption has fallen hardest on Black, Brown and Indigenous communities who bear the brunt of extreme weather events in communities from Puerto Rico and Florida through the gulf coast and up to Alaska. Thousands of people across the country fought back, demanding that Congress preserve the right of frontline communities to challenge projects that threaten air and water quality and reject Manchin’s backroom dealing. This is a testament to people power.”
“In the wake of this win and over the next few months, we urge Leadership to focus on a winning legislative agenda that unifies the Democratic caucus. As we have seen with this fight, attaching controversial policies to must-pass vehicles is a recipe for infighting and failure,” said Indivisible National Advocacy Director Mary Small. “There is much to celebrate and Indivisible looks forward to a uniting Democratic agenda that allows us to celebrate the climate action, lower health care costs, and increased tax fairness passed in the Inflation Reduction Act.”
# # #
About the Green New Deal Network
The Green New Deal Network is a nationwide network of organizations committed to transforming our politics and economy with policies that address the climate crisis, that create good, union jobs, and that repair past harm and advance justice. The Network includes coalitions in 25 states, as well as a coordinating team of 15 national organizations: Center for Popular Democracy, Climate Justice Alliance, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, Greenpeace, Indigenous Environmental Network, Indivisible, Movement for Black Lives, MoveOn, People’s Action, Right To The City Alliance, Service Employees International Union, Sierra Club, Sunrise Movement, US Climate Action Network, and the Working Families Party.