WE ACT and 60+ Orgs Speak Out Against House Environment/Interior Appropriations Bill

WE ACT for Environmental Justice and 60-plus Organizations Speak Out Against House Passing Extreme Anti-Environment Appropriations Bill 

November 6, 2023
Contact: Ashley Sullivan, ashley.sullivan@weact.org 1(917) 837-1183

WASHINGTON – As the Republican-led House of Representatives moved forward on the passage of the Interior-Environment FY24 Appropriations Bill Friday, WE ACT for Environmental Justice joins 60-plus organizations raising major concerns in a letter over the dramatic nature of these provisions and cuts to essential programs and agencies. This bill is a clear and blatant attack on action to fight the Climate Crisis, and on long-fought environmental justice efforts to right the wrongs of decades of discrimination. This bill also stalls agreement to fund the government during a year already littered with standoffs, only underscoring the lack of responsible leadership by the current House majority. We urge lawmakers and voters to take notice of these unveiled strategies to hurt our communities and to turn the clock back on historic investments in environmental justice that have overwhelming support from public officials and Americans alike. At a time when frontline communities are increasingly facing the worst of natural disasters and extreme heat, along with a myriad of other health issues related to fossil fuel infrastructure, and the world at large is at a crucial, historic threshold to stave off the worst of climate chaos, the passage of this bill is a profound and devastating act against the people, lands, waters, and air of the United States and our shared planet.

If this bill is enacted, communities of color, low-income communities (who disproportionately face the burdens of the Climate Crisis and fossil fuels), and Americans as a whole will face increased and prolonged suffering and harm. The bill cut nearly 40 percent of the budget funding to the Environmental Protection Agency and Interior to the lowest point in three decades, blocked funding for necessary societal costs of carbon and emissions considerations that would protect communities, as well as international climate mitigation initiatives, and it would increase offshore gas and oil projects and sales. Alarmingly, it would also plainly stop federal agencies from appropriately advancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility policies (DEIA), and prohibit the implementation of the American Climate Corps, a program focused on investing in equitable, fair-paying livelihoods that also works to mitigate the impacts of the Climate Crisis. As former senator and U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry has recently shared on the partisan nature of climate inaction at the global level, “Public money has to be part of the equation—and there’s not enough of it. And there hasn’t been enough of it for quite some time. That’s a reflection of really tough politics that have been created in our country.”

After decades of research, exposure of prejudicial policies, and grassroots organizing, WE ACT and our collaborators have finally made inroads towards creating a better future for all with investments from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and efforts to weave environmental justice across agencies including Justice 40. The monumental efforts of hundreds of thousands of passionate, devoted people invested in this commitment to justice cannot be undone, and these kinds of attacks and steps backward cannot stand. As we can expect to see continued attempts to cut the IRA in a continuing resolution, we are steadfast and united in the effort to ensure that environmental justice is implemented across programs, policies, and agencies with adequate funding from our elected government.

In combination with the various overarching issues with this bill, these specific environmental justice provisions CAN NOT be conceded in any negotiations to keep the government open, or to pass appropriations bills: 

  • Any cuts to the hard fought protections for and investments in environmental justice under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act, as well as EPA’s Environmental and Climate Justice Block Grant program, and other investments in environmental justice communities; 
  • Any effort to weaken the implementation of the Justice40 Initiative Executive Order 140008 or Revitalizing Our Nation’s Commitment to Environmental Justice for All Executive Order 14096 ;
  • Any effort to weaken NEPA and the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, in addition to its ability to consider environmental justice and climate change;
  • Any provisions to roll back regulations such as EPA rulemaking on air pollution, especially on vehicle emissions standards and National Ambient Air Quality Standards;
  • Anything that supports “permit reforms” which ultimately support fossil fuel interests, reduce community-engagement, and slow clean and renewable energy transition; 
  • Any policies that include anti-immigration, anti-abortion, and anti-LGBTQ+ riders as well as racial prejudice; and
  • Any funding that facilitates the build out of fossil fuels, including acceleration of liquified natural gas buildout.

In response to the passage of the Interior & Environment FY24 Appropriations Bill, these 60-plus groups reiterated their opposition with the following statement:

“There are so many outrageous attacks on our environment in this bill that it would be impossible to name them all. 

Following a summer full of record heat waves, horrific flooding, and wildfire smoke blanketing much of the nation, this bill would gut the agencies charged with protecting our environment and our health and would massively undermine last year’s historic climate legislation, the Inflation Reduction Act.

In contrast to the Senate’s bipartisan bills, the House is once again setting Congress on a path to a harmful and completely avoidable government shutdown. 

This attack on our health, lands, wildlife, biodiversity, air, water, ocean, and communities is unacceptable and must be rejected.”



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/X, andInstagram.


Below are the 58 groups who signed onto the letter, as well as additional organizations that endorsed the statement:

League of Conservation Voters

Trust for Public Land


AFFTA Fisheries Fund

Alaska Wilderness League

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy

American Humanist Association

Animal Legal Defense Fund

Appalachian Mountain Club


CCAN Action Fund

Center for Biological Diversity

Center for Freethought Equality

Clean Water Action

Climate Action Campaign

Climate Law & Policy Project

Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks

Conservation Lands Foundation

Defenders of Wildlife





Endangered Species Coalition

Environmental Defense Fund

Environmental Law & Policy Center

Environmental Protection Network

Environmental Working Group

Evergreen Action

Friends of the Earth


Greenpeace USA

Hispanic Access Foundation

Humane Society Legislative Fund

Inland Ocean Coalition

Interfaith Power & Light

Kids for Saving Earth

Los Padres ForestWatch

Maine Conservation Voters

Moms Clean Air Force

National Audubon Society

National Ocean Protection Coalition

National Wildlife Federation

National Wildlife Refuge Association

Natural Resources Defense Council

Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness

Ocean Conservancy

Ocean Defense Initiative


Partnership for Policy Integrity

Sierra Club

Silvix Resources

Southern Environmental Law Center

Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance

The Earth Bill Network

The Wilderness Society

Union of Concerned Scientists

Voices for Progress

WE ACT for Environmental Justice

Western Watersheds Project

Native Organizers Alliance

Zero Hour


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