MEJC Statement on Senator Manchin and Senator Schumer’s Dirty Deal



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 1st, 2022

Contact: Jamesa Johnson-Greer (jamesa@michiganej.org)

On August 16th, 2022, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) was signed into law by President Biden. While branded as a “climate bill,” the IRA sacrificed many Environmental Justice and frontline communities by funding toxic projects in our communities such as fossil fuel expansion, carbon capture, hydrogen, and nuclear energy. In exchange for Senator Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) support for the bill, Senator Schumer promised to pass legislation to fast-track energy projects. This backroom side deal was negotiated in an undemocratic way without input from other members of Congress let alone the communities that will be affected by this bill. If passed, Manchin and Schumer’s dirty deal would be an environmental justice disaster. It would weaken the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Clean Water Act (CWA), both of which have been essential to protecting environmental justice communities nationwide. This side deal would expedite polluting projects in Michigan with terrible consequences for our families’ health and environment.

Executive Director of MEJC, Jamesa Johnson-Greer, said: “We have to do everything within our power to protect the ability of Black, Brown, Indigenous and poor communities to speak for themselves and that includes strengthening NEPA. Early and meaningful participation of a community to weigh in on how a project will impact them is critical. This should not be taken away in the name of expediting projects. Instead, we should include cumulative health and environmental impacts into permitting processes. Communities already overburdened by pollution should not be inundated with more pollution.”

From Marquette to Detroit, communities across Michigan and the nation have the right to clean energy, air and water. Senator Manchin and Senator Schumer’s side deal is incompatible with a future rooted in justice and equity. We must protect our families from the expansion of oil, gas, and false solutions so we can build the healthy, clean future we all deserve.


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