WASHINGTON – This week Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) announced an agreement to add the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 to the fiscal year 2022 budget reconciliation bill. Dana Johnson, Senior Director of Strategy and Federal Policy, of WE ACT for Environmental Justice responded with the following statement:
“We acknowledge Members of Congress for returning to the negotiating table and producing an inflation reduction package that has billions of environmental justice funding that can deliver the once-in-a-generation investments needed to make communities of color and areas of low income healthier, cleaner, and economically viable.
Our organization, and the broader environmental justice movement, fiercely advocated for these investments, which include expanding air pollution monitoring; restoring substantive National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) implementation; deploying urban tree planting programs; accelerating electric vehicle adoption in the medium- and heavy-duty truck sector; and other measures that can begin to address legacy harms and climate change, and dawn renewable energy development.
While we acknowledge the strides made, we are concerned, along with our movement allies, about provisions for offshore drilling, carbon capture, nuclear, hydrogen, and logging on public lands. These line items continue practices that are not aligned with centering overburdened communities in decision-making or transitioning away from fossil fuels. These credits can be more effectively invested in renewable energy generation and other programs that ensure an energy transition that protects people and addresses climate change.
Congress and the Biden-Harris administration must continue to take ambitious and durable steps toward realizing environmental justice in our communities. First, by supporting and advancing H.R. 2021, the Environmental Justice for All Act, which is the first comprehensive environmental justice bill to pass through a congressional committee. Second, the Environmental Protection Agency must aggressively work to finalize strong multi-pollutant public health standards for the power and transportation sectors. Together, these actions can ensure that all Americans live in environmentally healthy and economically vibrant communities.”
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WE ACT for Environmental Justice is a Northern Manhattan membership-based organization whose mission is to build healthy communities by ensuring that people of color and/or low-income residents participate meaningfully in the creation of sound and fair environmental health and protection policies and practices. WE ACT has offices in New York and Washington, D.C. Visit us at weact.org and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.