Senator Manchin’s Proposed Dirty Side Deal Harms People and Climate

Proposed legislation would greenlight the dangerous Mountain Valley Pipeline and undermine bedrock national environmental policy

RICHMOND, VA: Yesterday, draft language of Senator Joe Manchin’s ‘‘Energy Independence and Security Act of 2022’ – “Manchin’s Dirty Side Deal” – was released. CCAN Action Fund, the advocacy arm of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, stands firmly in opposition to this effort to undermine bedrock environmental protections and explicitly greenlight the disastrous Mountain Valley Pipeline. 

Statement from Victoria Higgins, Virginia Director for CCAN Action Fund:

“The Mountain Valley Pipeline is a direct threat to Southwest Virginians and an existential threat in the face of a warming planet. Courts have rightfully thrown out permits that failed to take into account Clean Water Act and environmental justice violations. It is beyond repulsive to see Democratic leadership wave off court findings and public input from the Virginia communities who will face the brunt of this pipeline’s impacts. Bypassing decades of democratic norms to force a fossil fuel project is an endeavor worthy of the previous Presidential administration, not the current one. We are proud of Senator Kaine and many other members of the Virginia delegation for standing up to Congressional leadership and for the rights of Virginians to ensure that they have a voice in the construction of a pipeline that rips through our communities.”

Energy projects have direct and often harmful impacts on their surrounding communities, impacts that have historically been born disproportionately by Black, brown, and indigenous communities. Senator Manchin’s Dirty Side Deal would strip those communities of their ability to block devastating or deadly projects. Making it easier to build fossil fuel infrastructure will also have enormous consequences for our global community, which faces pressing deadlines to reduce emissions and stave off the worst effects of climate change.

This bill, originally drafted by the American Petroleum Institute, would significantly shorten the timeline for review of fossil fuel projects – projects that are well known to increase respiratory illness in nearby areas, and which will inhibit our ability to meet our net zero goals. It gives wide latitude to the President and heads of federal agencies to expedite the review process for favored projects, which opens the door to corporate influence over our energy future. Most offensive to our democracy is the express direction to build the Mountain Valley Pipeline, a 300-mile environmental justice disaster that has been rightfully stalled for seven years because its passage violates numerous federal and state laws. 

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CCAN Action Fund is the advocacy arm of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, the oldest and largest grassroots organization dedicated exclusively to raising awareness about the impacts and solutions associated with global warming in the Chesapeake Bay region. For 20 years, CCAN has been at the center of the fight for clean energy and wise climate policy in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C.