FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 1, 2023
Media Contact: Heather Hansen, Humanity Communications Collective, firstname.lastname@example.org, 410-991-4444
WASHINGTON – In response to ongoing negotiations and procedural restrictions associated with the debt ceiling bill, WE ACT for Environmental Justice Senior Director of Strategy and Federal Policy Dana Johnson today issued the following statement:
“We applaud and support the efforts of Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) to amend the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA) to remove harmful provisions before a final vote in the Senate. Since the start of the debt ceiling negotiations, WE ACT and trusted allies and partners have been clear: people’s health, safety, and security are not up for debate, and the rights and protections afforded to environmental justice, front and fence-line, low-wealth, and Tribal and Indigenous communities are NOT bargaining chips.
Last week, we led the organizing and signing of a letter, alongside 76 environmental justice organizations, Tribal and Indigenous partners, and allied organizations, warning of this very outcome:
Environmental racism crises will continue in communities around the United States until Congress acts to provide communities with the tools and resources to achieve equitable and just outcomes for overburdened and historically marginalized communities. . . The permitting provisions [proposed by House Republicans] accelerate the climate crisis and environmental racism by railroading more fossil fuels projects through our communities without their consent.
We renew our concern and outrage about the greenlighting of the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) in the FRA. Its inclusion in this legislation is an affront to environmental and procedural justice. This inclusion overrides long-standing judicial decisions, forecloses judicial review, evades permitting processes, and silences the voice of the people and communities affected. It proliferates dirty, polluting, fossil fuel infrastructure that carves through homes, neighborhoods, and farms, threatens public health and safety, and exacerbates social, political, and economic burdens on front and fence-line communities. We also renew our call to remove the harmful carve-outs and attacks on the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) set forth in the House-passed version of the FRA.
Yesterday, WE ACT released a statement calling on Members of Congress to advance amendments removing the MVP and Builder Act provisions from the FRA. In these final moments, we urge the Senate to stand for justice and equity, to protect people and the planet, and to preserve key environmental protections that uphold these goals and ideals.”
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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 creating 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.