West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin’s proposal to reform the federal permitting process has suggested that Senate leadership would be included in a makeshift government funding bill, allowing for a new pipeline and other It would undermine the protection of communities near energy projects, often those who are black or brown. Indigenous and already facing disproportionate and cumulative pollution loads. According to the Coalition of Concerned Scientists, the proposed undermining of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) is particularly egregious, with federal agencies reviewing the environment for proposed key federal actions before making decisions. should be evaluated for impact. Environmental justice (EJ) leaders have used NEPA successfully for years to protect communities from projects that harm them.
Below is a statement from UCS President Johanna Chao Kreilick.
“The proposal includes many changes that have long been pushed by the polluting industry. Projects can be approved with little or no analysis Exhibit A: Mountain Valley Pipeline Project Scientific evaluation and public opinion underpin the project, not fossil fuel company profit motives should.
“Undermining the bedrock protections provided to the environmental justice community under the National Environmental Policy Act is a farce. NEPA is the EJ community’s best tool for protecting itself from pollution projects.
“If this proposal becomes law, if industry wants to build pipelines and other energy projects, federal decision makers will be able to choose the least damaging alternative to public health, the environment, and the climate. , will be better able to consider alternatives favored by the industry.In addition, affected communities will be severely limited in their ability to seek legal remedies. Billions of dollars are about to be unleashed on infrastructure, and we want these investments to directly benefit communities, address the climate crisis, and not pollute infrastructure that has been around for decades. must be
“As frontline community leaders and EJ advocates have made clear, these changes will only exacerbate the environmental burden of communities that have long faced discrimination and racism. We urge Congressional leaders and administrations to stop enacting this harmful law by allowing fossil fuel projects to proceed under uncontrolled oversight that could undermine America’s climate goals. Attaching it to mandatory bills to keep the federal government running is a particularly cynical tactic: Congress will instead start addressing the cumulative contamination that harms the EJ community, everyone We need to pass an environmental justice law.”